Prayer service held at Jayme Closs' church to celebrate her return

Jayme Closs grew up going to St. Peter Catholic Church and Sunday, the church hosted a prayer service to praise and express gratitude for her safe return.

After nearly three months in captivity, the Barron community was excited to celebrate at the place Closs received her first communion and started her religious education.

Until Oct. 15, Closs was in the 8th grade class of Patty Gerber, the Parish Director.

“Denise was a sweet person to me, so I’m sad,” said Gerber. “I’m sad that she’s not here and just so ecstatic when Jayme came home. Then for a split second, my heart dropped - almost in tears of mourning that her mom wasn’t here to welcome her home in her arms.”

Gerber was instrumental in organizing Sunday’s event. She helped select the music that reflects how the community is feeling about the tragedy of losing James and Denise Closs as well as writing a tribute to Jayme.

The prayer service intended to bring closure for Jayme, her family, her friends and those on the front lines leading the investigation to bring her home safely.

“They can hold their heads high because they have responded well, because they’ve had the eyes of the nation upon them and they have remained strong in their hope. They need to hold their heads high tonight,” said Father John Gerritts.

Jayme herself was not ready to attend the service Sunday, but the event was videotaped and will be given to her to view at a time when she’s comfortable watching it.