Saturday, December 20, 2014
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Corpus Christi celebrates Bambinelli Sunday

LEXINGTON--Corpus Christi Church celebrated Bambinelli Sunday on Dec. 14.  St. John Paul II started the tradition 30 years ago as a way to emphasize to children and families what the real meaning of Christmas is.

The pope gives this special blessing of Christ Child figurines that families bring from their Nativity set at on Gaudete Sunday at noon in St Peter's Square. Children are also blessed. The name of the event comes from "bambino" which is the Italian word for baby.

"It is so easy to get caught up in the material frenzy and the secularization of Christmas," said Father Raymond Carlo, pastor of Corpus Christi. "I thought that this would be a good way for us to do what the Knights of Columbus have tried to push for so many years, 'keep Christ In Christmas.'  It is also a good way for us ... to stay united with the universal Church and with the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the Holy Father in Rome."

Father Carlo said he used the same blessing as the pope used.  The blessings were given at the end of all four Masses at Corpus Christi.


Matt Dwyer, diocesan stewardship director, moves on

CHARLESTON—Matt Dwyer, diocesan director of the Office of Stewardship and Mission Advancement, is starting a whole new life come January.

Just after the New Year, he will join his fiancé Nathalie Argueta in Maryland and begin a career path with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Va., as director of special gifts and as a capital campaign consultant. The couple will be married on Feb. 21.

Dwyer, who grew up in New Jersey, came to Charleston 10 years ago as a member of the consulting firm that helped establish the Our Heritage/Our Hope financial campaign.

At that point, he had worked in six dioceses and was ready to be off the road. He said he loved the people he worked with and thought the Diocese of Charleston would be a great fit.

He worked for the diocese for two years before being appointed director of stewardship, where he has served for the past eight years.

Dwyer said he’s proud of what the department has achieved, noting that the annual appeal has increased by 229 percent in eight years, and gives credit to the priests, religious orders and generous faithful.

There are many things he will miss about the diocese, he said, such as the good-natured culture and the dynamic of the Catholic Church in the Southeast, where the numbers are smaller, but the faith and level of ownership that everyone shares is huge.

“I’ll miss the warm weather and the minimal traffic,” he said, “but I’ll definitely miss the people the most, and the vibrancy of our diocese.”

Dwyer met his fiancé in Myrtle Beach when he was working on the capital campaign for the planned St. Elizabeth Ann Seton High School, and she was in the area on vacation. They were engaged in July and decided to begin their lives together in Maryland.

“I’ve loved it here,” he said. “I’ve absolutely loved it, but I’m also excited about this next stage of my life.”


Share the joy of Christmas, Bishop says

I was recently walking down Broad Street in Charleston and saw a gentleman arranging Christmas decorations outside his home. I mentioned to him that “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” repeating the line from that standard Christmas song. How is it that things begin to look like Christmas? What are the elements of life that reflect what this season is all about?

First of all, it is obvious that people are really kinder to one another: more politeness, more openness and a real desire to reach out in compassion to those in need. As we prepare to celebrate the 25th of December, we are generous: food drives, gift collections for needy children, Christmas cards (even those we hardly ever see during the year). It appears that the spirit of the season causes us to reach out to everyone.

Isn’t that what it is all about anyway? God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son as gift to all people. Jesus Christ, born in a stable in Bethlehem, would one day stretch out His arms both in embrace of the whole world and in willing submission as He was nailed to a cross for the salvation of every one of us. All that is necessary for us is that we accept this great gift in its entirety and accept Jesus as the center of our life and as true meaning for the whole world.

Perhaps this humble beginning of the human journey of the awesome God in the person of Jesus tugs at our emotions as well as our reason. Christmas causes us to reflect on the deeper realities of life and it becomes easier during this season to see this beautiful baby boy born of Mary as true inspiration for peace, justice, and beauty in our world.

Would that Christmas and all its beauty might last beyond the season. That certainly is the desire of our God, and with effort, we can extend the peace and joy of Christmas into the new year.

A blessed Christmas to you and all the best for a happy, healthy and holy new year!

+ Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston


2014 Annual financial report

A letter from Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

During this season of Advent, we experience a time of joyful expectation for the coming birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As we anticipate His arrival we make special preparations to welcome Him into our homes. Our churches in the Diocese of Charleston are also our homes, created as a place of worship and celebration of the holy sacrifice of the Mass, and where we prepare ourselves for eternal salvation.

It is important that in the day-to-day functioning of a church we remember that material goods only serve as tools in spreading the spiritual goods of our faith. As your bishop, it is my responsibility to ensure that all of these resources are developed in a way that secures our purpose in this life, to know and to love God. And, with an accounting of the Diocese of Charleston’s finances, you see that through your continued generosity and good stewardship, we are able to carry on the mission of Our Savior.

As in the past, I encourage you to read the full report on the diocesan website (, but am thankful to say that we maintain our successful record of managing the resources to which we have been entrusted, and are humbled by the increasing generosity of our people who support the Church and the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.

Thank you for your prayers and devoted stewardship. May God bless you and your families.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston


Click following charts to view larger.

2014 annual Financial Report Diocese of Charleston2014 annual Financial Report Diocese of Charleston


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