A glance at St. Patrick over the decades
Here is a timeline of the interconnected history of St. Patrick and St. Peter churches, according to historical data on the two churches:
1937: Father John Fielding celebrated Mass for the first time for parishioners of St. Patrick at the residence of P.B. Bouton.
1838: The first St. Patrick Church was built. Black and white parishioners both attended worship in the humble edifice, although on separate sides of the church.
1865: The end of the Civil War.
1866: Bishop Patrick N. Lynch purchased a Jewish Synagogue at 34 Wentworth St. and its adjacent property. St. Peter Church was dedicated about two years later to serve the African-American Catholic community in Charleston, marking the segregation of the two churches.
1884: Father Daniel Quigley was appointed to St. Patrick and saw the need for a larger church.
1886: Work on the new church was begun.
August 1886: Charleston was laid in ruins by an earthquake.
December 1886: The first Mass was celebrated in the basement of the new church.
1887: St. Patrick was solemnly consecrated.
1891: The organ was installed and used at the 5 a.m. Mass on Christmas morning.
1967: St. Patrick and St. Peter were merged after serving their separate communities for almost 100 years. This was under Bishop Ernest L. Unterkoefler, who was a strong proponent of desegregation.
1978: Father Egbert Figaro became the first black priest to serve in the Charleston area and carried out many of the listed structural needs at St. Patrick.
2012: The 175th anniversary of St. Patrick takes place.