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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Members of church destroyed by arson hold Mass

Parishioners of St. Ann’s Catholic Church gather next to the rubble of their church on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Earlier in the day, the church was destroyed by arson. Parishioners gathered for Mass just prior to this  photo at the adjacent United Methodist Church. (Courtesy of David Wenk)
Parishioners of St. Ann’s Catholic Church gather next to the rubble of their church on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Earlier in the day, the church was destroyed by arson. Parishioners gathered for Mass just prior to this photo at the adjacent United Methodist Church. (Courtesy of David Wenk)
From staff reports

About 200 people attended Catholic Mass Thursday at the Bonners Ferry United Methodist Church, the same day fire destroyed St. Ann’s Catholic Church.

“It was very emotional,” said David Wenk, a St. Ann’s parishioner.

Afterward, attendees walked to the nearby lot where their church had stood less than a day before and posed in front of the rubble.

Police say the fire was intentionally set and that a “person of interest” is in custody. But new details were not released on Friday.

Wenk said St. Ann’s will hold its weekend services at the United Methodist Church at 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. The Methodist church, like others in the community, offered their facilities for St. Ann’s to use, Wenk said.

Officials with the Catholic Diocese of Boise say Bishop Peter F. Christensen likely will be in Bonners Ferry this weekend, but details were not available.

The steel cross on top of the church and a few items from the basement are all that will be salvageable, Wenk said. If the church is rebuilt, the cross will be incorporated into the building.

“I would say with 100 percent certainty that we will reuse that,” Wenk said.

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