Thursday, July 24, 2014
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Pet Partners: A tale of success

FORT MILL—For a year, furry friends have offered love and comfort through Pet Partners, a ministry based at St. Philip Neri Church. Each week 14 dogs and their owners visit nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers in the area. They also work with autistic children.

“This ministry really runs itself,” said founder David Eggert, who makes his rounds with Reba, a German shepherd-retriever mix. “These dogs seem to have a sense of need when they go to a visit. They sense sickness, loneliness. Sometimes something as simple as a paw on someone’s lap offers comfort.”

The dog roster includes poodles, shih tzus, Labrador retrievers and mixed breeds. To participate, canines must have all their shots and a calm disposition, and should know basic obedience commands.

Teresa Coulter, a new volunteer, visited a local hospice with her two bichon frises, Alex and Tori.

“It’s absolutely the biggest blessing to be able to do this,” Coulter said. “You see the connection the dogs make with people. Sometimes animals can make a connection that people can’t.”

To learn more about Pet Partners or receive a visit, contact Eggert at (803) 548-6864.

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Dog program sits well with Carter-May home

CHARLESTON—Residents at the Carter-May retirement home smiled happily and applauded their star pupil during the weekly pet therapy program.

They were part of an interactive session that allows residents to help socialize and even teach new tricks to a therapy dog.

“A lot of them had animals and they miss that,” said Nancy Moss, activity director. “This lets them be part of that world again.” She added that it’s a great socialization hour, with a lot of good-natured teasing and laughter.

The star of the hour is Magnus, a 19-pound bundle of good vibrations, and his owner/handler, Caroline Hunt. She is a semi-retired college professor who uses her extra time for her other passion, which is therapy dogs.

Hunt is a member of Southeastern Therapy Animal Resources, which employs trained animals for therapeutic purposes. She said the charitable work was a natural for her since she has always had dogs and grew up in a family where civil service was expected.

“It was a great way to combine the two,” she said.

For almost 20 years now, she has tapped into the talents of her canine companions to provide comfort — or entertainment — to people in hospitals and nursing homes.

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital and Carter-May are the two places she visits most. At Carter-May, she takes Magnus, a Shetland Sheepdog she describes as a “rock star”, who loves to do tricks and receive adulation.

For the hospital, she takes Ellie, another Shetland who is more calm and therefore better with sick patients.

“Different dogs serve different purposes,” she said.   WATCH THE VIDEO

Hunt has been making weekly visits to Carter-May for about eight years, where she enlists the residents to help teach Magnus tricks. Participants can flip through a book and choose something they want to see the Sheltie do, such as “carry my purse.”

She said it’s been a very successful program that energizes the residents and leads to a lot of laughter.

Marvin Veronee, a former U.S. Navy lieutenant living at Carter-May, makes rope toys that Hunt incorporates into the routine, teaching the Sheltie to distinguish between the rope and other items.

Most of the residents enjoy everything Magnus does, saying he simply makes them feel good.

“We just like him,” said Bella Love, who had dogs all her life. “It doesn’t make any difference what he does.”

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People & events


Why Catholic? series
CHARLESTON—Mike Lorenzo, youth minister at Blessed Sacrament Church, will discuss his missionary work with the National Evangelization Team in Ireland on July 30 at 6:45 p.m. in Pauline Books and Media, 243 King St. A social will follow. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Children’s choir camp
SULLIVAN’S ISLAND—A Children’s Choir Beach Retreat will be held Aug. 13-15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Stella Maris Church. All youth ages 7-18 are welcome. Details: Music AtStellaMaris@gmail.


Chardos in hall of fame
COLUMBIA—Hank Chardos, founder of Home Works of America, will be inducted into the S.C. Housing Hall of Fame. The hall of fame’s board of trustees chooses people who have given lifelong service to the housing industry. Chardos was nominated by the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia board of directors for his founding and continued labors with Home Works to repair the homes of more than 2,100 people across the Southeast and in Peru with over 35,000 youth and adult volunteers.

Ives and Barber concert
COLUMBIA—St. Peter Church, 1529 Assembly St., will host a free concert featuring some of the works of Charles Ives, Samuel Barber, and Aaron Copland on July 19 at 7:30 p.m. Jacquelyn Stucker, a soprano and doctoral candidate in vocal performance at New England Conservatory of Music, will sing, accompanied by Susan Zhang and Mark Husey, pianists.

Homeschool convention
COLUMBIA—A Midlands Catholic homeschool convention will be held July 24-26 at the Columbia Convention Center featuring exhibits, authors, and information on home education. Onsite childcare available with early registration at


Yard sale
CONWAY—St. James Church will hold a yard sale July 19 at 7 a.m. and July 20 after Masses in the Founders Center, 1071 Academy Drive.

Indoor yard sale
MURRELLS INLET—Blessed John Duns Scotus Secular Franciscan Fraternity will hold an indoor yard sale at St. Michael Church, Duffy Center, 542 Cypress Ave., on July 26 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children’s movie night
FLORENCE—St. Anthony Church, 2536 West Hoffmeyer Road, will host movies for children on Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. through Aug. 6. Space is limited. Call the church office, (843) 662-5674.


Women of Grace conference
GREENVILLE—The Women of Grace national conference, “Authentically Feminine, Authentically Masculine: Real Women, Real Men for Such a Time as This,” will be held Sept. 5-7 at St. Mary Church, 111 Hampton Ave. A new men’s track has been added. Speakers include Johnnette Benkovic; Monica Miller, Ph.D.; Father Philip Scott, FJ; Father Dwight Longenecker; Thomas K. Sullivan and Steve Wood. Registration before Aug. 1 is $100 per person or $160 per couple, after is $120 per person, $200 per couple. To register:, (800) 558-5452.

Marian Eucharistic Conference
GREENVILLE—A Marian Eucharistic Conference will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, 100 St. Joseph’s Drive, from Sept. 27-28. Featured speakers include Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, Fathers of Mercy Fathers Bill Casey and Wade Menezes, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Ricardo Castanon Gomez, Ph.D. Details:


Medical mission to Guatemala
The Diocese of Charleston’s International Ministries will host a mission trip to San Pedro La Laguna Sept. 21-28, 2014. Interpreters, dentists, dental assistants, physicians, nurses, medical professionals, and people who just want to provide support are needed to provide healthcare for San Pedro and nearby villages. Details: or contact Deacon Gabriel Cuervo, gcuervo@catholic-doc.

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New appointments for Fathers Babick and Wodecki

CHARLESTON—Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone announced the following priestly appointments for the Diocese of Charleston.

The following appointments are for Aug. 1.

Rev. Bryan P. Babick, in addition to his duties as Administrator at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Folly Beach, is appointed as Chaplain at Bishop England Catholic High School on Daniel Island, SC.

Rev. Jeremi Wodecki, Parochial Vicar at Holy Trinity Church in Orangeburg, St. Mary Mission in Allendale, St. Andrew Church in Barnwell, and St. Theresa Mission in Springfield, is appointed as Chaplain at St. Joseph Catholic School in Greenville and as Chaplain at Presbyterian College in Clinton.


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