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Colin Peterson is Knight of the Year

GEORGETOWN—Colin Peterson’s greatest joy is helping others and that’s why he joined the Knights of Columbus nearly 39 years ago.

The 64-year-old regularly helps serve meals and hand out food to people in need, visits the sick in hospitals, volunteers at Special Olympics and leads an annual Knights fundraiser for children with mental disabilities. Those are just a few of the good works that earned him the Sir Knight of the Year award at the 67th Exemplification held in Columbia in February. The honor is given annually to a fourth degree Knight who shows exceptional service and dedication to his parish, community and the organization.

“I always felt a need to do what I can to make things a little nicer for people in this world, and I found that in the Knights,” Peterson said. “There are always people in more need than we are, and there’s always time to do a little more for others.”

The Illinois native moved to Georgetown in the mid ’70s to work with International Paper. He joined the Knights at St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom Church. He is currently in his third term as Grand Knight of Council 3067 in Georgetown and also belongs to Assembly 3272, which covers Pawleys Island and Georgetown.

He is especially proud of his three-year stint as project chair for the Operation Hope fundraiser. Under his leadership, local Knights have raised about $13,000 a year for Special Olympics, the Georgetown County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs, and the JOY School in Murrells Inlet, a summer program for disabled children.

“It is so special to see what we can do for those children,” Peterson said. “If you could bottle up the joy they show in life and get it out to everybody in the world, it would make a big difference.”

He also promotes patriotism, one of the central values of the fourth degree. Peterson helps with the annual Flag Day Streets of Flags, placing American flags along major thoroughfares in Georgetown and distributing them to homeowners. He works with the Lions Club on the 9/11 Flags Between the Bridges program, participates in honor guards that march in local parades, and helps the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter with the proper disposal of damaged flags.

Peterson’s wife, Sandra, works with him on a lot of his projects. The two were married in 2001, after he lost his first wife to cancer. Between them, they have four daughters and five grandchildren.

Bill Wichrowski has witnessed Peterson’s unselfishness firsthand in the nine years he has served alongside him in the Knights.

“The man has an inordinate amount of human energy and a heart as big as the state of South Carolina,” he said. “He has never turned away anybody in need. That’s just the way he is.”

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Black History Month is celebrated with stories and song

Prayer and poetry, spoken words, song, dance and fellowship were in abundance as parishes and schools around the diocese celebrated Black History Month in February.

St. Anne Church in Florence welcomed poet Nikky Finney during its celebration on Feb. 16. Finney is the John H. Bennett Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Finney was raised in the Pee Dee region and told stories about growing up during the civil rights movement. She admitted she didn’t like going to the store with her mother, who would openly confront people who treated her badly or ignored her.

It was only in later years, she said, that she learned the importance of her mother’s willingness to take a stand against inequality.

“What I didn’t know as a child and what I do know now is that sometimes a scene was needed,” Finney said.

“She had a great message for everyone in the audience, but especially for the young people,” said Denise Abraham, event organizer.

Praise dancers from Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Florence performed, and parishioners sang gospel music and read poems. Deacon Jim Johnson, one of the oldest members, talked about the history of St. Anne and its role in the community.

At St. Mary Church in Rock Hill, the celebration started with an African-style liturgy that included traditional drumming. Each Sunday, guest speakers shed light on different aspects of black history in York County, said Gwendolyn Finley, who handles parish communications. A man who works at the Brattonsville historic site in nearby McConnells portrayed one of the slaves owned by the Bratton family, and discussed the role slaves played in developing the land.

Parishioners over 85 were honored during Sunday Masses at St. Martin de Porres Church in Columbia, said member Dottie Ashford. Family members wrote biographies of the senior citizens and shared photos and other items related to their lives.

Students at St. Martin de Porres School dressed as their favorite figures from black history, including Mary McLeod Bethune, George Washington Carver and Harriet Tubman, said Sister Roberta Fulton, principal. Each class presented a historic scene and participated in the Black History Bowl. The students also learned about African-American Catholics being considered for sainthood: Venerable Henriette Delille, Father Augustus Tolton and Mother Mary Lange.

At St. Anthony of Padua School in Greenville, students presented “Past, Present and Our Future” on Feb. 28. The evening included traditional African dance and readings of poet Maya Angelou, and “What the Black Man Wants,” a speech by Frederick Douglass. The school’s choirs and recorder ensemble also played a tribute to Thomas Dorsey, the composer often called the father of black gospel music. Students also portrayed different historical figures and described their contributions.

One student dressed as Rep. Leola Robinson-Simpson, D-Greenville, who spoke after the program.

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Men’s conference offers key to a balanced life

COLUMBIA—Joseph Lombardi says three things were most important to his late grandfather, legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, “faith, family and football … in that order!”

Replace that sport with any other career or job, and that simple list offers the key to a balanced life, Lombardi told hundreds of men packed into St. Joseph Church on
March 1.

Lombardi, the current offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions, was one of the keynote speakers at the first South Carolina Catholic Men’s Conference, “Building Men of Faith.” Sponsored by the South Carolina State Council of the Knights of Columbus, with help from the offices of Family Life and Youth Ministry, organizers hope the event will become an annual tradition.

It combined the spiritual and the practical, offering workshops along with the chance to go to the sacrament of reconciliation, participate in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and attend Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone.

All the speakers focused on ways men can build better marriages and families through a deeper relationship with God.

Lombardi said many of the traits he looks for in football players are the same things that make a good Catholic. A solid quarterback, for instance, is committed to his team, follows the fundamentals of the game, and is coachable. In turn, he said strong men of faith need to commit themselves to seeking Christ, look for guidance in the moral and sacramental basics of the faith, and also be willing to listen to the teachings of Scripture and the Church.

“Players also need to have physical and moral toughness, and we as Catholics need that,” he said. “You have to be able to rebound from adversity, from falling short. That’s why we have confession, which offers a chance to start over and start fresh.”

People also should consistently try to live their faith to the fullest each day and be willing to talk about it with others at every opportunity,
Lombardi said.

Father Dwight Longenecker, administrator of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, spoke on the rule of St. Benedict and how its vows of stability, obedience and conversion could be useful to men in their daily lives.

Steve Wood, author and director of Family Life Center in Greenville, offered a session on becoming a stronger father through studying scriptural examples. He reminded the men that strong families are key to combatting a growing tide of secularism in popular culture.

“Parents are the primary educators of their children, and the strength of the faith conveyed to the child is directly proportional to the parents’ faith,” Wood said. “Remember that the family is the ‘domestic church.’ We can’t control what goes on outside, but we can make a decision to be a happy, faith-filled cell within society.”

Men who might not know how to discuss the faith with their children can begin by talking about the Gospel readings from Sunday Mass with them, Wood said.

“Share one intelligent thing from the Gospel every week,” he said. “It’s important your children hear you proclaim God’s word.”

In an intense afternoon session, Wood talked about pornography addiction, a fast-growing problem he said is one of the greatest threats to marriages, families and youth. Since the internet has made sexually explicit material instantly available, he said, more and more men of all ages are addicted to the constant stream of images, often viewing the damaging material at work.

“Pornography doesn’t just stimulate the brain, it alters it,” he said. “When a man uses pornography, neurochemicals put an imprint of the images in a man’s brain. There have been men in their 70s who say they can still vividly see the images of pornography they viewed as a teen. In order to get back the feeling they get from a first viewing, they
have to view more and more. It’s an addictive cycle.”

Like any other addiction, it requires accountability and commitment to stop, he said. He urged men who feel they have a problem to seek out counselors or spiritual advisors for help, and also to find fellow men of faith who will stay in communication and help keep them accountable.

Strong faith and commitment to Christian values can also prevent addiction in the first place, he said. He urged men to stay away from movies, music and other cultural influences that might lead to impure thought.

Developing a strong prayer life and reading Scripture daily can also help men avoid the cycle of temptation and lust that leads to an urge to view adult material, he said.

Wood said one of the main stumbling blocks for many Catholics when dealing with issues such as pornography is that the men focus too much on the details and practice of the faith instead of full awareness of God’s love and grace.

“When we put the emphasis on what we do rather than God first, that’s backwards,” he said. “Keep the emphasis on God, His goodness and His mercy. Ask Jesus to reveal His love to you. If you become aware of Christ’s love, you’ll have the power to overcome sin.”

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People & events


St. Joseph fish fry/bake
CHARLESTON—…Knights of Columbus Council 10334 will hold a fish fry and bake each Friday through Lent at St. Joseph Church parish center, 1695 Wallenberg Blvd., from 5-7 p.m. with a bake sale by the ladies club.

Gospel choir to perform
CHARLESTON—…Penn State University Gospel Choir will perform in an interreligious concert at St. Patrick Church, 134 St. Philip St., on March 14 at 7 p.m. Call the church, (843) 723-6066.

St. Patrick’s Day events
CHARLESTON…—The Ancient Orders of Hibernians, Knights of Columbus and others will host St. Patrick’s Day events March 17 with 8 a.m. Mass at St. Patrick Church, a parade at 10 a.m. on King Street, an Irish flag-raising at 11:30 a.m. and more. Details: (843) 556-3578, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or

Living the faith mission
NORTH CHARLESTON—…Father Dwight Longenecker, administrator of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, will lead a parish mission on living the faith at St. Thomas the Apostle Church on March 24-26 at 7 p.m., 6650 Dorchester Road. Details: (843) 552-2223.


All-night prayer event
BLUFFTON—…St. Gregory the Great Church, 333 Fording Island Road, will hold a Night of Love on April 4-5. It includes all-night adoration, Mass dedicated to the Sacred Heart at 9 p.m., confession, rosaries, songs, processions, hourly intentions, Divine Mercy, and Mass dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 5 a.m. April 5. Details: Bucky Grim, (843) 705-7534 or Peggy Kraus, (843) 788-9798.


Movie night
NORTH AUGUSTA—…Our Lady of Peace Church will show “The Passion of the Christ” on March 21 at 7 p.m. in the parish hall, 856 Old Edgefield Road. Only for 18 and up. Seating is first-come first-served.

Home Works blitz
COLUMBIA…—Home Works of America will repair 20 homes for people in need on April 12. No skill required. Planning meetings will be March 27 and April 3 at 6:30 p.m. in Benedict-Allen Community Development Center, 2001 Two Notch Road. Contact: Hank Chardos, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (803) 781-4536.


Young adult eve of recollection
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH…—SPARK will hold a young adult evening of recollection on March 14 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 1100 Eighth Ave. The event includes meditations by Father Michael Cassabon, adoration, confession, and fellowship. Details: or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

St. Anthony fish fry
FLORENCE…—St. Anthony Church, 2536 Hoffmeyer Road, will hold a fish fry on Fridays of Lent from 4:30-7 p.m. in the parish center. Cost: $8, adults; and $5, children under 12.

St. Michael Lenten dinners
MURRELLS INLET—…St. Michael School, 542 Cypress Ave., will host fish fry dinners during Lent on Fridays through April 11 from 5-7 p.m. in the parish center. Cost: $10. Eat in or take-out.


Lenten fish dinners
GREENVILLE—…Knights of Columbus Assembly 1073 will hold fish dinners on Fridays of Lent at 6:30 p.m. through April 11 at 762 Mauldin Road. Cost is $10 for adults, $6 for kids 6-12, kids under 6 eat free. Seniors, $9; families with three or more under 12, $35.

Toddler Time
ANDERSON—…St. Joseph School, 1200 Cornelia Road, will hold a free Toddler Time for children 4 and under on March 18 at 9 a.m. Details: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (864) 760-1619.

Day of the Unborn Child
SIMPSONVILLE…—Knights of Columbus Council 1668 and Our Lady of the Rosary respect life committee will hold a rosary service for the Day of the Unborn Child on March 25 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 3710 Augusta Road.

‘Love Crucied’ mission
TAYLORS…—Prince of Peace Church, 1209 Brushy Creek Road, will hold a parish mission on March 25 from 7-10 p.m. and March 26 from 7:30-10 p.m., with Father Jordi Rivero of the Missionaries of the Cross. Details:

Health care panel discussion
GREENVILLE—…St. Joseph’s Catholic School will host a panel on “The Affordable Care Act, SJCS, Religious Liberty, and Catholic Teaching on Love and Sexuality” on March 26 at 7 p.m. Speakers include: Father Jon Chalmers, hospital chaplain; Dr. Ingeborg Collins; Father Jeffrey Kirby, moral theologian; and Matthew Utecht, attorney. Details:

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 and click on submit news.

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