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Sister Pamela Smith

A spirituality for society

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final column in a series on Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhorta­tion, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). The Francis Effect is what writers like John Gehring have termed the influence of the pope on politics and Catholic life. He notes what we all know: that the policies supported […]


What makes marriage work?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third column in a series on Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). Whenever celibates start talk­ing about sex and marriage, there are inevitable guffaws and yawns. The presumption is that one who hasn’t walked the walk has nothing to contribute to the talk. There is […]


Mercy is a fountain to extinguish the blaze of sin

Editor’s note: This is the second column in a series on Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). Read the first column, Teaching young people how to navigate love and terror, here. Somehow people thought that Pope Francis might redefine our Catholic understanding of sexuality and matrimony. When that did not […]


Teaching young people how to navigate love and terror

Editor’s note: This is the first column in a series on Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). This series on “Amoris Laetitia/ The Joy of Love” would have started elsewhere if we had not faced yet another onslaught of ter­rorism and hate crimes. However, as one looks back on this […]


Loving our neighbor even when it’s confusing

The Lord tells us that everyone is our neighbor — the stranger, the sad-faced child, the loner, the drunkard, the prostitute, the leper, the sell-out, the natural enemy. That means that everyone is worthy of our love and care, and no one is unworthy. It is so, so easy to spout this Chris­tian message. Every […]


What’s up there on your family tree?

My cousin Pat has a long-standing addiction to Ancestry.com. At a dinner the evening before my mother’s funeral, she announced that we have a family connection to Millard Fillmore. Frankly, I knew little about him except that he was one of the portraits on a U.S. Presidents puzzle we had when I was still wearing […]


All-around education helps us glimpse the mind of God

It isn’t every day that we find the likes of Fareed Zakaria and Blessed John Henry Newman in the same sentence and, in a larger sense, on the same page. The first is the familiar CNN commentator on foreign policy and a recognized contemporary expert on international relations, the son of immigrants to the U.S. […]


Practicing the under-publicized virtue of recreation

Suddenly coloring books for grown-ups are all the rage. At one time, a few craft shops here and there stocked little books of geometric designs in black and white for adults to tint and possibly frame. Now, though, coloring books for those old enough to vote (and their grandparents) are turning up in bookstores, pharmacies, […]


What we may see on our back roads reveals our true glamor

South Carolina is glamorous. There are shell-strewn sands running from North Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head. Charleston has its spires, Rainbow Row and out­lying plantations. Columbia displays high culture, USC Gamecocks and all the symbols of government. The Upstate swings into the Blue Ridge and exults in expansive growth and Clemson tiger tails. But there […]


Are we simply a secular society?

During Holy Week 2016, New York’s Cardinal Dolan posted a complaint about the fact that basketball’s March Madness includ­ed Good Friday games in which two Catholic universities would be com­peting. Apparently no one represent­ing these two institutions of higher learning had blinked. We probably should not be sur­prised. After all, we Catholics do all sorts […]


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  • Diocesan Events Calendar
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    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate