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Our Lady of Guadalupe

The celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day is a tradition that draws thousands of people to parishes dotting the state. St. Cyprian Church and Outreach Center in Georgetown welcomed about 400 people for three days of festivities.

Known as the patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe is honored each year on Dec. 12 and celebrated for her miraculous appearance to St. Juan Diego in 1531.

On that day five centuries ago, Mary appeared to the farmer and weaver on the hill of Tepeyac outside Mexico City. He related the story to his bishop but was asked to provide proof of Mary’s visitation. On a snowy day, Our Lady told Juan Diego to climb the hill and gather the flowers there. He did, picking roses from the frozen ground and wrapping them in his “tilma” or cloak for safekeeping. When he came before the bishop, Mary’s image was impressed in the fabric of the tilma.

Devotion to the Virgen de Guadalupe is integral to much of the Latin American culture, even inspiring social justice movements.

“I always think of this as being the first apparition of the Blessed Mary,” said Elva Horlings, of Pawleys Island. “Everything revolves around her. She brought the Aztecs back into the faith.”

Horlings said she loves to see the ceremonies, the traditional dress, and people’s devotion.

Sister Sandra Parra, of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and coordinator of Hispanic ministry at St. Cyprian, welcomed hundreds of people to Mass on Dec. 12, followed the next day by festivities including food, music and dance.

Bishop Emeritus Victor Galeone, from the diocese of St. Augustine, Fla., now resides at Mepkin Abbey near Moncks Corner and traveled to Georgetown to celebrate Mass.

The bishop delivered his homily in Spanish, noting that Mary is important all year, not just on the feast day. He also praised the family values of Latin Americans and encouraged them to keep that tradition alive in their children, Sister Madeline Kavanagh, parish life facilitator, translated.

“The love for Our Lady was palpable in the room,” the bishop said after Mass. “It’s a marvelous community here. Marvelous.”

 

A man with Locked-In Syndrome becomes a prayer warrior

By Shelayne Witte
Special to The Miscellany

JOHNS ISLAND—When Steve Hurn first suffered a stroke to his brain stem, he didn’t want to be alive.

Doctors said it was the type of stroke that kills 99.9 percent of people; but Steve survived — barely. He was alive, but suffering from Locked-In Syndrome, which meant he was aware but could not move or communicate verbally; completely paralyzed except for the eyes. There is no treatment or cure, and doctors told the family his life expectancy was two to five years.

Steve wanted to die. With Locked-In Syndrome your mind is whole, you see, hear and comprehend everything, but you can’t move a muscle. You can’t talk, swallow, or speak. You can only blink. That’s how Steve communicates — by blinking yes or no.

Every life has a purpose, but I wondered why someone must suffer so much? Now, 12 years later, Steve is still alive and I am starting to figure it out.

Steve was a Charleston County Sheriff’s Deputy for 22 years and a U.S. Air Force veteran. We were married in 1982 in the Catholic Church, but divorced a few years later. He was a good man, raised in a Christian home by loving parents, and we remained friends.

Eventually, Steve obtained a communication device that allowed him to blink out a letter at a time. That is the only way he can tell nurses about pain, or that he needs his pillow fluffed, or has an itch to scratch. It requires someone to assist and it takes about 30 minutes to blink out a sentence.

For years, I asked the Lord why he had to suffer so much and to tell me how to help Steve. One day I looked at him and started to cry. I begged God to show me what He wanted — to show me why Steve was still here. It was then that I found a notebook filled with requests he had painstakingly blinked out. On several pages his friend had written, “please bring me my Bible, bring me my cross necklace.”

That’s when I realized that he was reaching out to God. I asked if he wanted me to read the scriptures and he blinked “yes”. I read the Bible to him, played Christian music, prayed the rosary, and listened to the Liturgy of the Hours. After some time, I called my priest, who began to visit Steve and brought him into the Catholic Church.

Steve contracted pneumonia recently and was sent to the hospital, where he saw his original speech therapist from 2002. She asked if he still wanted to die, as he had at first, and he blinked a firm “no”. She was surprised — why after all these years of suffering would he want to live? She asked what had changed.

He told her it was his faith and love of God. The nurse began to cry.

Once, his mother asked if all his suffering could save one soul, would the past 12 years be worth it? He said, “yes”.

Steve and I are sharing his story so others out there who suffer — and those who take care of them — can see God always has a plan. It is not always our plan, but every life has a purpose in the kingdom of God.

Through all his suffering and pain, Steve is at peace. There is a purpose for his life and hope for everyone who suffers. He is still protecting people like he did as an officer and a soldier; he is a prayer warrior.

   

Sisters of Charity Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation form Partnership

COLUMBIA – The Sisters of Charity Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation announced a 2015 partnership to support Kinship Care in South Carolina.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, established in 1996, is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Foundation is committed to addressing the needs of the poor and underserved in all 46 South Carolina counties, and strategically uses resources to reduce poverty through action, advocacy and leadership.

The Annie E Casey Foundation is a national funder based in Baltimore with assets of nearly $3 billion. It is best known for its annual “Kids Count Report” which provides critical information on children and it is often used by states to direct resources to certain areas.

For more information on the Kinship Care Initiative, contact: Tamara Peterson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

   

Sister Margaret Mary Kreider, I.H.M., dies at 88

Sister Margaret Mary Kreider, I.H.M., died March 26 in Camilla Hall, Immaculata, in the 68th year of her religious life. She was 88 years old.

Born in Philadelphia, Sister Margaret Mary entered the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1946 from Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, Philadelphia, and professed her vows in 1948. At the reception of her habit, she was given the name Sister Mary Alphonsus. She later resumed use of her baptismal name, Margaret Mary.

She taught grade school in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the dioceses of Trenton, Camden, Charleston and Arlington. She also taught in South America.

She retired to Camilla Hall in August 2001.

The funeral Mass was celebrated at Camilla Hall on March 29. The celebrant and homilist was Father William E. Dean.

She is survived by members of her religious community, her two Sisters, Mary Mooney and Nancy Seaver; nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and their children. She was predeceased by her parents Francis and Margaret Corrigan Kreider and siblings Francis Kreider, William Kreider and Jane Schneider.

   

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