2015 Year in review
2015 has been a year for the record books; a time when people felt their faith repeatedly tested by extreme situations, but were buoyed up by the face of Jesus in their fellow men.
Ultimately, faith in the goodness and mercy of God prevailed in South Carolina as people reached out to each other over and over in compassion and love — seen in small daily actions and on a grand scale.
A poignant example came in the wake of the most shocking event in the state: the shooting deaths of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in July. The tragic event led to the rallying of an entire nation, which called for love to triumph over violence and racism. Dylann Roof was arrested and confessed to the killings, but his call for a race war was smothered in the forgiveness of Christians. Then, when photos of Roof wrapped in the Confederate battle flag linked that banner to hate and death, it led to the flag being removed from Statehouse grounds.
In another example of mankind’s unity, a visit by Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September drew enthusiastic participants from the diocese and around the world, who united in the brotherly love of global faith.
A week later, the state once more came together in outreach and comfort when vast sections of the coast and Midlands were devastated by unprecedented flooding, from which people are still recovering.
Both internationally and locally, Pope Francis continued to dominate the news, stirring the world with his encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si”, On Care for Our Common Home, and his urgent call to help the world’s refugees. The pontiff also spoke passionately against terrorism and the horrific attacks in Paris.
Looking back on 2015
Pro-life supporters kicked off the New Year in prayer and faith as they participated in marches and rallies at the Statehouse in Columbia and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The Year of Consecrated Life began.
St. Mary Help of Christians in Aiken dedicated its new church.
Diocesan deaneries were realigned, with two new deaneries being created for a total of seven.
40 Days for Life began.
Neighborhood House outreach center in Charleston celebrated 100 years of service.
Christian Brother Ed Bergeron and Sister Rosemary Render of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet each celebrated their golden jubilee.
The SCCCW named Mary Shumpert and Sister Sandra Makowski as their women of the year.
Our Lady of the Lake in Chapin broke ground for construction of its new church.
Ryan Dela Pena was ordained to the transitional diaconate for the Adornos.
Sister Julienne Guy retired after 33 years of service in the Midlands.
Our Lady of La Vang was decreed a quasi-parish.
Fathers Richard Wilson and Roger Morgan were ordained into the priesthood for the diocese.
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur Colie Stokes and Sandra Makowski celebrated 50 years in ministry.
St. Patrick Church in Charleston broke ground on its new parish center.
Holy Cross Church in Pickens celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Protestors call for the federal government to end funding to Planned Parenthood after the release of disturbing videos.
Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville broke ground on its new church.
The Fortnight for Freedom stressed religious freedom.
The Diocese of Charleston opened its new pastoral center.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone blessed the new diocesan pastoral center and dedicated the Holy Family Chapel.
Bishop England High School marked 100 years of education.
Participants from the diocese shared their experiences at the World Meeting of Families along with stories of Pope Francis.
Father Norbert Mendonca celebrated his 25th jubilee.
Our Lady of Grace parish held a groundbreaking for a new church in Indian Land.
Respect Life Month called people to honor all life.
More than 500 people attended the Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration in Rock Hill.
Bishop Guglielmone blessed the site of the future St. Elizabeth Ann Seton High School in Myrtle Beach during a groundbreaking ceremony.
The Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Low Country celebrated 25 years.
Holy Doors were opened across the diocese to mark the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy.
Thousands marked the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with prayer and song.
The Black Catholics’ Heritage Celebration in Columbia honored families.
Native American Catholics celebrated their culture at the Heritage Celebration in Lexington.
Trappist Brother Robert Wojciechowski, 85
Ursuline Sister Anthony Wargel, 100
Ursuline Sister Denise Roberts, 93
Franciscan Sister Clare Carty, 78
Deacon John H. Brown, 92
Deacon Frank Petrusak, 71
Filippini Sister Norma Garbaccio, 92
Deacon Henry Dillard, 86
Ursuline Sister Andrea Callahan, 90
Trappist Father Christian Carr, 100
Franciscan Father Tom Vigliotta
Father Francis Patrick Obong
Deacon Joseph Anonie, 73
Adrian Dominican Sister Sharon Culhane, 76
Deacon Michael Alexander Kulungowski, 67
Father Carl Bauer, 78
Deacon Charles Poole, 88