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Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina awards $80,950 in Caritas Grants

COLUMBIA—The Sisters of Charity Foundation awarded $80,950 to 30 Caritas grantees in December. The foundation awards grants to select non-profit and faith-based organizations meeting the immediate needs of the poor in South Carolina.

The Caritas Grants program supports organizations dealing with situational poverty or crisis poverty. The demand for food, clothing, shelter and free health programs as well as other immediate needs is expanding for organizations providing these services. Caritas grants are up to $5,000 for a one-year period.
The grantees are:
·    Anderson Free Clinic – ($3,000) Providing dental care to low income, uninsured adults (Anderson)
·    Area Churches Together Serving Acts – ($3,000) Funding for a daily food pantry and senior food program. (Aiken)
·    Birthright of Georgetown – ($2,500) Emergency assistance for disadvantaged new mothers and their babies. (Georgetown, Williamsburg)
·    Bluffton Self Help – ($1,000) Funding to purchase refrigeration units to store fresh vegetables and fruit for a food distribution program. (Beaufort, Jasper)
·    Caring And Sharing – ($2,500) Funding to purchase a walk-in cooler to store fresh produce and healthy foods for a food distribution program. (Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Williamsburg)
·    Christ Central Ministries Columbia – ($4,950) Enhancement of a kitchen for a food service program that prepares meals for the homeless and working poor. (Richland, Lexington)
·    Clarendon County Community Development Corporation – ($3,000) Providing assistance to a local Meals on Wheels program and food bank. (Clarendon)
·    East Cooper Meals on Wheels – ($5,000) Preparing and delivering healthier meals and foods for health impaired seniors. (Charleston, Berkeley)
·    EmmanuWheel – ($1,500) Building wheel chair ramps for those in need. (Lexington, Richland)
·    Family Promise of Pickens County – ($3,000) Providing services to help homeless families transition into affordable housing. (Pickens)
·    Fields to Families – ($2,000) Delivering fresh produce from local farms to community outreach agencies. (Berkeley, Calhoun, Dorchester)
·    Golden Strip Free Clinic – ($3,000) Providing medical services to chronically-ill and uninsured individuals. (Greenville)
·    Good Neighbor Free Medical Clinic of Beaufort – ($3,000) Providing free primary medical care to low income, uninsured adults. (Beaufort)
·    Greer Community Ministries – ($1,000) Funding for Meals on Wheels and Senior Dining programs. (Greenville, Spartanburg)
·    Healthy Smiles of Spartanburg – ($4,000) An oral health outreach and education program for children ages 4 to 18. (Spartanburg)
·    Help 4 Kids Florence – ($1,500) Distributing weekend meals to needy public school students and their families. (Florence)
·    Helping Hands of Goose Creek – ($3,000) An emergency food program serving families and individuals in crisis. (Berkeley)
·    Hopewell Senior Day Care Center – ($2,500) Funding for a food program providing breakfast and lunch, five days per week for seniors, and distributing food packages monthly to seniors and low income families. (Georgetown, Williamsburg)
·    ICNA Relief USA, Shifa Free Clinic – ($3,000) Funding for a child hunger prevention program providing weekend meals to students in need. (Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Sumter, Georgetown, Colleton)
·    James Island Outreach – ($1,000) An emergency outreach program for those in need. (Charleston)
·    Lowcountry Orphan Relief – ($1,500) Providing clothing, underwear and socks, school supplies and basic essentials to abandoned and abused children. (Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester)
·    Marion Food Bank – ($1,000) An emergency food assistance and disaster relief program. (Williamsburg)
·    MedNeed of SC – ($2,000) Funding to provide durable medical equipment to uninsured indigent citizens. (South Carolina)
·    Mercy Medicine Clinic – ($3,000) Offering coordinated services to homeless and battered women in transition. (Florence)
·    North Strand Helping Hand – ($1,000) Funding to expand a perishable food distribution program. (Horry)
·    Pro Bono Legal Services – ($5,000) A program providing free legal services to low income children, families, and individuals. (Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester)
·    Roscoe Reading Program – ($3,500) Support for a program that uses therapy dogs and provides incentives and prizes to encourage reading amongst elementary school students. (Berkeley)
·    South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness Board of Trustees-Chesterfield – ($2,500) Helping families in need with food and with access to a broad array of assistance services and information on community services. (Chesterfield)
·    Teachers' Supply Closet – ($3,000) Offering free classroom school supplies to teachers from Title One public schools. (Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester)
·    The Lighthouse Ministries – ($5,000) Providing emergency outreach to those in need. (Florence)

 

Front-line activists face opposition with grace

CLEMSON—Members of Clemson’s Students for Life group provided a valuable lesson on how to handle controversy after one of their pro-life displays was vandalized recently.

The group had set up a large exhibit called Cemetery of the Innocents, which contained more than 100 white crosses in memory of children lost to abortion.

This year, the message was met with aggressive opposition. One night, an unknown person or persons pulled up all the crosses, tossed them in a pile, and left hand-written signs behind.

It was a disturbing and upsetting act of vandalism, but Students for Life responded in a manner befitting the message of Christ.

The group filed a report with Clemson campus police, but did not retaliate in anger or engage in personal attacks. Devin Gibson, president of Students for Life, stressed that they believe all life is sacred.

“Our group continues to offer prayers for the person or people that committed the vandalism and for those who might have been affected or disturbed by the act,” she said. Kathy Schmugge, director of the diocesan Office of Family Life, praised the group’s response.

“I was really impressed with their Christian spirit in the face of the attack,” she said, adding that it’s a good lesson to carry to the upcoming March for Life in Washington, D.C., in January.

Holly Gatlin, executive director of South Carolina Citizens for Life, said vandalism is an extreme reaction, but pro-life activists must always be prepared to defend their right to free speech, assembly and religion.

Everywhere they go, they will encounter opposition, Gatlin said, and they must know how to respond in a courteous manner and use strategies of debate. For example, ask the attacker why they oppose freedom of speech, or what has happened in their life to make them so angry.

“Our goal is to win them over,” she said. “However, there are those who are never going to get it, and you have to just let them go.”

Schmugge offered three suggestions for handling vocal or hostile opposition to the message of life, family or marriage:

1. Begin and end in prayer.
2. Do not engage in personal attacks.
3. Remember you are representing Christ, and be respectful and loving.

Quoting from Rich Warren, she said “those who attack you are not the enemy; they are our mission field.”

Gibson said the vandalism has only left them more motivated.

“Although we are a very non-confrontational group, we are very on fire for life. We are more determined than ever to continue holding events on campus,” she said

 

How to navigate a season of joy while experiencing grief

Christmas cheer may be everywhere this time of year, but for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, the season can be an emotional roller coaster.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a national nonprofit organization offering comfort and care to families of fallen military troops, offers the following tips:

Make plans. Plan to spend your days where you feel nurtured, emotionally safe and comfortable. Having a plan will help you navigate the season and its activities. But remember to plan for flexibility, as you may not know how your emotions will roll, especially if it is your first or second holiday season after the death of a loved one.

Find sustenance for the soul. Your church may offer services, resources and support networks for the bereaved. You may want to look for a support group for people who are grieving and have suffered a similar loss.

Don’t be afraid to change it up. Some traditions may be a comfort, while others can cause pain. Consider which to keep and which to forego this year. Do not feel like you have to do something just because you have always done it that way.

Include your lost loved one in giftgiving. Give a gift on behalf of your loved one to someone else. Consider making a donation to a charity in their memory.

Create a tribute. Light a candle at church or at home, display a favorite photograph, or consider writing a letter to your loved one about your special holiday memories together.

Be gentle with yourself. Realize that familiar traditions, sights, smells and even tastes, may be comforting, or may jolt your emotions. This is the time of year when you need to be careful and listen to yourself.

Attend functions if you can. Consider attending Christmas parties and events, especially if you’ll be able to spend time with supportive family members and friends. Make an escape plan in case it is more than you can handle. If you think a gathering might be more than you can bear, it is OK to stay home.

Don’t pretend you haven’t experienced a loss. Imagining that nothing has happened does not make the pain of losing a loved one go away, nor does it make the holidays easier to endure. Even though memories may be painful, they also can be comforting. It is OK to talk with others about what you have lost and what the season means to you.

Pay attention to your health. Sleeping is often difficult for people who have experienced a recent loss. Make sure you get regular rest and drink lots of water. Do not over-indulge in sweets or alcohol. If you feel overwhelmed, talk with your medical care provider.

Take stock of both joy and sadness. Give yourself permission to feel joy as well as sadness. Don’t feel like you have to act a certain way because of your loss, or because it is the holidays.

Just be yourself. Express your feelings. Bottling up your feelings may add to distress, not lessen it. Let it out — write a poem, talk with a supportive friend, create a painting, or pen a journal entry.

Share the season with someone else. Many lonely people might like to experience the holidays with someone else. Consider volunteering with a local charity or soup kitchen, invite a neighbor for a special meal or include others in your seasonal activities.

 

People & events

COASTAL

Christmas Trees
SUMMERVILLE—Summerville Catholic School, 226 Black Oak Blvd., is selling Frasier Firs and wreaths. Prices range from $45 to $85. The stand will be open from 5-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Wreaths are $20, or $15 each for three or more.

CSO holiday concert
SUMMERVILLE—The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Brass and Percussion Ensemble will perform Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. in St. John the Beloved Church, 28 Sumter Ave. The concert will feature holiday music from various eras and locales, and a carol singalong.

AOH cancer talk and music
CHARLESTON—The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians will host a talk by Mary Ussher, a breast cancer survivor and author of “The Pink Ribbon Path”, on healing and hope Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in College of Charleston Building 95, at the corner of St. Phillip and Liberty streets. Reception and book signing to follow. The event will include Irish dancers and music, and information on the college’s Irish studies program. Limited to 100 seats. Contact: Cheryl Daniels, (843) 709-5839.

A Cappella Christmas
MOUNT PLEASANT—Palmetto Vocal Project presents “An A Cappella Christmas” with the Southern Harmony Chorus on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at St. Benedict Church, 950 Darrell Creek Trail. Tickets are $15 and available by calling Chris Conway at (843) 884-6681.

Misa de Gallo
GOOSE CREEK—Misa de Gallo, the annual Filipino tradition of nine Masses in preparation for Christmas, will be Dec. 15-23 at 7 p.m., except Dec. 20 which will be at 5:30 a.m., at Immaculate Conception Church, 510 St. James Ave. Mass will be followed by Christmas carols, fellowship and food to share. Details: Sally Ani, (843) 789-9292.

Pro-life rosary
CHARLESTON—Deacon Larry Roberts from Immaculate Conception Church in Goose Creek will lead a pro-life rosary and prayers Dec. 20 from 8-9 a.m. at the Charleston Women’s Medical Center, 1312 Ashley River Road. Call Stephen Boyle, (843) 763-0681.

LOWCOUNTRY

Honored parishioners
HILTON HEAD ISLAND—Leigh Bullen, and Tom and Katie Strub recently received the St. Francis by the Sea Church recognition award for their outstanding contributions to their community. Bullen has spent over 10 years in the stewardship ministry and seven on the parish finance council. He is also on the maintenance committee and is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. Mr. and Mrs. Strub have led the Kairos prison ministry for over 13 years, are active in prayer groups, and serve as lectors, and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion.

MIDLANDS

SC march and rally for life
COLUMBIA—The 2015 Stand Up For Life March & Rally will be Jan. 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Statehouse on Gervais Street. Line up for the march at 11 a.m. at the University of South Carolina Russell House on Greene Street. The march steps off at 11:30 a.m. led by the Knights of Columbus, and the rally begins at noon. Sponsored by the South Carolina Citizens for Life. A Proudly Pro-Life Dinner will be held Jan. 9 featuring Melissa Ohden, who was aborted at seven months and lived. Dinner is $30. Tickets available through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (803) 252-5433.

St. Joseph School gala
COLUMBIA—St. Joseph School’s 60th anniversary gala celebration will be Jan. 23 at the parish hall/gym. Details: Terri Boyle, (803) 622-3650 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Petrina Marsh, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Catholic Days at the Capital
COLUMBIA—The South Carolina Catholic Conference will host Catholic Days at the Capitol on Jan. 28 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Statehouse. The event features breakfast with Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone and legislators, briefing on policy issues affecting human life and dignity, meetings with elected officials, and a Red Mass. Pre-registration is required. Details: sccatholicconference.org.

Marriage for Life course
AIKEN—A Marriage for Life workshop will be held Feb. 28 and March 14 from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. Mary Help of Christians Church hall, 203 Park Ave., SE. The course is for engaged couples, recently married, or even more experienced couples seeking to renew the love that brought them together. Call Deacon Bob and Donna Pierce, (803) 474-6011 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

PEE DEE

Christmas dinner and dance
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH—Knights of Columbus Council 7122 will hold a Christmas dinner dance on Dec. 13 from 7-11 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church hall, Eighth Ave., N. Tickets: $25 single, $45 couple, includes dinner, music and entertainment. Tickets are available at the church and Sunshine Cleaners. All proceeds benefit the parish. Details: (843) 249-2356.

Language classes
FLORENCE—St. Anthony School, 2536 West Hoffmeyer Road, will offer lessons for all ages in Spanish, French and Arabic beginning on Thursdays Jan. 8 from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Elya Family Center. Cost: $40/month. All proceeds will go to St. Anthony School. Call the office at (843) 662-1910.

Marriage Encounter
MYRTLE BEACH—A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend will be held Feb. 27 to March 1. Contact: www.scmarriagematters.org or call (803) 810-9602.

PIEDMONT

AOH donates to St. Clare Home
GREENVILLE— The Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 1 donated $18,500 on Nov. 17 to help build the St. Clare’s Home of Joyful Hope, a maternity home. The donation is from proceeds of their Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day party. Pictured are Tom Farrell, president, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, and Jim Sullivan, event chairman.

ELSEWHERE

National March for Life
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The 2015 National March for Life will be Jan. 22 at noon at the National Mall. The event features a conference, expo, speakers, dinner, a 5k run and more. Visit marchforlife.org for event details, trip planners and hotel information. For buses leaving from around South Carolina, contact the Diocese of Charleston’s Office of Family Life at (803) 547-5063 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

PEOPLE & EVENTS includes items of general interest and events that are open to the statewide community. To send a notice, please include time, date, location address, city and contact email and/or phone number with area code. Items are run at the editor’s discretion and publication or frequency is not guaranteed. Send notices at least three weeks in advance of publication date to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For details visit www.themiscellany.org and click on submit news.

 

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