CHESTERTON | Members of the community gathered at St. Patrick’s Church in Chesterton on Thursday night to pray for Dr. James McGrogan, 39.
McGrogan, of Chesterton, has been missing since March 14 while hiking near Vail, Colo.
Although the search and rescue efforts turned to a recovery mission Wednesday evening, parishioners, classmates, former teachers, co-workers of the family and neighbors came together in the name of hope.
“Hope. It’s what we must do. It’s all we can do at this time,” said Jodi Perrine, a classmate of McGrogan from Chesterton High School who read from Scripture during the prayer service.
The prayer vigil was organized by Margie Calhoon, who also attended high school with McGrogan. She said praying was all she could do during this difficult time.
“I tried to imagine what it would be like to be in his parents' shoes, and it terrified me. The only thing I can do is to pray and hope and ask the Duneland community to pray with me,” Calhoon said during the service.
She said it was a source of support to see the community gathered together for one purpose, despite differences in backgrounds and faiths “to say a prayer for Jim and his family.”
“If there is one thing we’ve learned in Chesterton, it’s that we are all a caring family and you circle the wagons when a fellow family is in trouble,” Calhoon said.
"Amazing Grace" and the Prayer of St. Francis filled the chapel with harmony while friends, family and strangers held hands and prayed, hugging and hoping for a sign of McGrogan in the coming days.
The Rev. James Meade, pastor of the St. Patrick's parish, welcomed guests and read from Scripture, encouraging the community to have faith and endurance.