St. John Clinic Independence's blessing ceremony brought together faith and the desire to expand the city's health care choices Tuesday night during two special events — the blessing of the Health for Life Center, 2011 N. Penn Ave, and St. John Clinic, Jane Phillips MedCare Pharmacy, and Imaging Center, 800 W. Laurel Street. 

The blessing ceremony for these two locations are intended to help protect and heal those that enter the facilities. Todd Hoffman, MD, senior vice president of St. John Health System, and Mike Moore, chief operating officer of Jane Phillips Medical Center, were in attendance. Other special guests included Sister Theresa Gil and the Rev. Jose K. Thottahil, CMI, Lisa Wilson, president of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, medical staff, and supportive members from the community. After the blessing, the Chamber of Business After Hours event followed at the clinic location.

"We really have our work cut out for us to have such great people here," said Moore before the blessing ceremony. "Our goal is to provide community education and services through high quality health care. We want to be a provider that leaves no one behind — unified, we will make a positive impact."

Hoffman was next to speak, adding that the moment was not only special, but historic for St. John.

"The mission continues; we know a lot of help is needed here now. We'll always look for ways to support Independence," Hoffman said. 

Sister Theresa Gil opened the ceremony with a prayer and those attending the blessing recited the Holy Ground prayer. Gospel readings of Matthew 9:18-26, 35-38 were read by Rev. Thottahil. 

After reading "Reflection/Prayer," Gil detailed the services that both the imaging center, pharmacy, fitness center and the clinic will provide to the community.

"We are very much looking forward to this opportunity," she said as the Rev. Thottahil moved to bless the building with a bottle of holy water. "The Lord's purpose is to ensure that we provide care, that we engage and welcome the community, and that all who come here feel comforted and protected."

"Let us enjoy this facility and improve our health together. Exercise is very important, it helps us live longer," the Rev. Thottahil added before the closing prayer.