Sunday, December 21, 2014
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People & events


Holy Spirit art show
JOHNS ISLAND—Holy Spirit Church will host a display of Nativity creches, statues and pictures on Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parish center, 3871 Betsy Kerrison Parkway. Free.

BE oyster roast, auction
DANIEL ISLAND—Bishop England High School Triple B Booster Club will hold an oyster roast and silent auction Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the school, with college football on outdoor screens. Tickets: $30, available from school office and Triple B members. Details: or Lewis Moore, (843) 901-3315.

Party for Baby Jesus
CHARLESTON—The Daughters of St. Paul will hold their Party for Baby Jesus for children on Dec. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Pauline Books & Media, 243 King St. Includes pictures with Baby Jesus with costumes provided, music, activities, and more. Call (843) 577-0175.


All-night adoration
BLUFFTON—St. Gregory the Great Church, 333 Fording Island Road, will host “A Night of Love”, an all-night adoration, on Dec. 5 beginning with Mass of the Sacred Heart, at 9 p.m., processions, rosaries, songs, hourly intentions, and Divine Mercy Chaplet. Closing is Dec. 6 with Mass at 5 a.m. Call Peggy Kraus, (843) 788-9798 or Buck Grim, (843) 705-7534.

Christmas yard sale
SAINT HELENA ISLAND—The Franciscan Center will hold its Christmas yard sale on Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Items include Christmas decorations, designer clothing, housewares, décor, toys, furniture, collectibles, bedding, jewelry, electronics, books and gift items. The center is located off State Route 21 at 85 Mattis Road.


Adoration and benediction
COLUMBIA—St. Peter Church will have adoration with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament beginning Dec. 3 on each Wednesday of Advent. Exposition starts at noon, and benediction is at 5:45 p.m. followed by soup and sandwiches. Details: or call the office at (803) 779-0036.

Prayer service and tree lighting
LAKE WYLIE—Knights of Columbus Council 14475 will celebrate Light up for Christ on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at All Saints Church, located at 530 S.C. 274. Prayers offered by Father Ed McDevitt, pastor, joined by Pastor Gayle Montgomery of the River Hills Community Church. Featuring messages from Grand Knight Rick Engel, plus Brother John Kummer will speak on “A Christmas Surprise,” followed by the tree lighting. Kay Lewis and the All Saints Choir will sing seasonal hymns. Bring non-perishable food items for the Clover Area Assistance Center.

Single, Single Again
AIKEN—Single, Single Again will host a wine and cheese gathering on Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Smith Hall, 123 Park Ave., SE. Bring an hors d’oeuvre. Cost, $5. RSVP by Dec. 2 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or (803) 663-3839.

Carmelites formation classes
COLUMBIA—The Order of Carmelites Discalced Secular will begin formation classes in January 2015. Those interested in joining the community of lay persons who live according to the spirit of the order must visit the group from now through December. Meetings are held on the fourth Sunday of each month from 1:30-5 p.m. at Good Shepherd Church, 809 Calhoun St. Contact Sharon Crocker, (803) 309-2480 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Catholic Daughters
MURRELLS INLET—The Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court 2356 will sell Christmas buttons stating “It’s O.K. to say Merry Christmas to me!” that are available in St. Michael Church office and gift shop, 542 Cypress Ave. They meet Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the parish center.

Black Catholic Heritage fete
FLORENCE—St. Anne will host the Diocesan Black Catholic Heritage Celebration, “The Catholic Family Affair: An Advent Gathering” at St. Anthony Church parish center on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Includes Mass, workshops, meetings and a meal. Details and registration: Office of Ethnic Ministries, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (864) 331-2627.


Advent prayer healing service
TRAVELERS REST—An Advent Evening Prayer Healing Service will be held at the Monastery of St. Clare on Dec. 7 with adoration at 4 p.m. and the service at 4:30 p.m. Details: or Sister Nancy Shively (864) 834-8015.

Christmas concerts
GREENVILLE—St. Joseph’s Catholic School will hold two middle school Christmas concerts. The band, strings, and dance ensembles will perform on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the J.L. Mann High School auditorium and the Middle School Choral Ensemble will perform on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Mauldin Cultural Center. Free. Details:

Lessons and Carols
SPARTANBURG—St. Paul the Apostle Church choir will perform Lessons and Carols on Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. The church is located at 290 East Main St.

World Meeting of Families The Diocese of Charleston’s Office of Family Life will sponsor a trip Sept. 21-28, 2015, to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Pope Francis will attend the family-friendly event sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family. The theme is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” Register at For information about the diocesan trip, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (803) 547-5063.

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.



Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia in 2015

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—The visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families will be a “joyful moment,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Pope Francis made his intention to travel to the United States public, Nov. 17, in an address to the Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman at the Vatican.

“The presence of Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in our country will be a joyful moment for millions of Catholics and people of good will. Our great hope has been that the Holy Father would visit us next year to inspire our families in their mission of love. It is a blessing to hear the pope himself announce the much anticipated news,” Archbishop Kurtz said.
The World Meeting of Families, sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families and is held every three years. World Meeting of Families 2015 will be Sept.r 22-25, 2015, hosted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It will focus on the theme “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on society.
More information about the meeting, including open registration, is available online:
The Vatican has not announced additional dates or cities for the 2015 papal visit at this time.

Pastors and principals unite to strengthen education

MYRTLE BEACH—Principals and pastors joined forces recently to discuss revitalizing and strengthening schools in the diocese.

Chris Trott, principal of St. Gregory the Great in Bluffton, said they went into the meeting with a bit of trepidation, not quite knowing what to expect; but they came away with a sense of unity and common purpose.

During the day-long meeting, participants split into five groups, based on school size, and focused on four categories: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and future threats.

Strengths included strong academics and Catholic values, said Erik Goldschmidt, one of the consultants.

Among the weaknesses listed by the groups was diminishing enrollment and a lack of resources, especially for the smaller schools and parishes.

Trott said one thing they fight against in terms of enrollment is a belief that children can get the same formation through the parish as they do in Catholic schools.

“Religion is woven throughout the day and the curriculum,” he said. “It is more than just a class. You will find Jesus Christ present in the morning through the afternoon, every day.”

At the meeting, Msgr. Chet Moczydlowski, pastor of St. John the Beloved in Summerville, said one of the challenges schools face is the need for more pastoral support. The diocese has 118 parishes that can support Catholic education in some manner.

Ways to increase collaboration between the parish and school in terms of religious education was one of the opportunities discussed by the groups. They also spoke about the growing Hispanic community and ways to appeal to them, Goldschmidt said.

Future threats that need to be addressed include methods to engage people in Catholic schools and parishes amidst a growing secular culture, and ways to keep up with technology, especially in older facilities.

Although the diocese will create its own solutions, the participants did look at national trends and creative answers used by other dioceses. Funding, for example, is a common problem, and some regions have responded with a diocesan-wide fundraising campaign exclusively for schools.

Other national trends focus on enrollment. One idea being tested by Wichita, Kan., is a total stewardship model that opens education to all Catholic families based on the gifts — prayer, service, finance — that the family offers the parish.

At the end of the session, the information was given to the consultants, who will help guide the diocese through the planning process and create a revitalization plan.

Next on the agenda are a series of community meetings asking for input from the public. See below for times and places.

Regional meetings:

The diocese is asking the public to attend input sessions in their region.
Please note changes from the earlier published schedule: sessions will be held at 9 a.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the following areas:
Columbia: Nov. 10, St. John Neumann School
Greenville: Nov. 11, St. Mary Church
Myrtle Beach: Nov. 17, Our Lady Star of the Sea Church
Charleston: Nov. 18, 9 a.m., Christ Our King School; 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Cathedral Center
Ridgeland: Nov. 20, John Paul II Catholic School
Contact Sandra Leatherwood, (843) 402-9115 ext. 86 or sleatherwood@


Blessed Chavara holds special place with Carmelites of Mary Immaclate


Blessed Kuriakose Elías Chavara, founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, the first indigenous religious order of India, will be canonized by Pope Francis on Nov. 23 at 10 a.m. at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. This day will be most memorable for the Church in India, especially for the Syro-Malabar Christians.

Blessed Chavara was born on Feb. 10, 1805, in Kerala, India. At the age of 13, he joined the seminary, and in 1829, at age 24, was ordained a priest. Together with two learned and holy priests, Fathers Thomas Palackal and Thomas Porukara, he worked hard to start an indigenous religious congregation of men for the renewal of the Church in India. But the two priests died before their vision came to be a reality.

Father Chavara kept that dream alive and made his religious profession on Dec. 8, 1855, under the name Kuriakose Elias Chavara of Holy Family and became its first superior general. The religious life of the congregation was rooted in Indian, Oriental and Carmelite spirituality and traditions.

They were contemplatives in action who preached at retreats, established seminaries, educated youth, disseminated Christian literature, labored for the propagation of the faith and for the reunion of separated Christian brethren, undertook works of mercy, and started charitable institutions.

The Carmelites are now the largest indigenous religious congregation of India. At present, it has about 3,500 professed members including seven bishops, 2,100 priests, 33 brothers and 1,362 seminarians. They serve more than 30 countries around the world and more than 100 priests do pastoral service in various dioceses of the U.S. and Canada.

Blessed Chavara was a reformer in the Church, especially in the area of liturgy. He was a brilliant writer, well-versed in Latin, Italian and Portuguese, plus the Malayalam and Tamil languages. He was also an excellent preacher and an inspiring champion who fought against evil.

His services include the founding of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel for women, establishing two seminaries, and creating a printing press of his own design. It was on this press that the first local daily newspaper ‘Deepika’ (Light-bearer) was printed.

As the vicar general of the Syro- Malabar Catholics, he took pioneering steps in 1864 to establish schools at every church in the Kerala state.

Blessed Chavara was a true apostle of the sanctity of family life. He worked unceasingly for the spiritual renewal of families through parish retreats, adoration in the churches, and various biblical and devotional prayers and publications. Some of his works included guidelines for the ideal Christian family life.

He also organized works of charity and would remind everyone that a day without a good deed of charity is not counted in the “Book of Life”.

A zealous priest with a prophetic vision rooted in divine intimacy, Blessed Chavara led a holy life committed to God and His people. Essentially a man of prayer and intense charity, he lived in close communion with the Lord amidst his religious and social activities. He had total confidence in God and in His loving and powerful providence.

He was greatly devoted to the holy Eucharist, holy family, Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. His constant advice to his spiritual children was, “Live in the love of Jesus, sit with Him, walk with Him, and talk with Him always.”

At the end of his life he was able to say, “I have never lost the baptismal grace I received at my baptism.” After dedicating his congregation and all its members to the holy family, he breathed his last on Jan. 3, 1871.

Acclaimed as a saint by all who knew him, Blessed Chavara was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Feb. 8, 1986. He will be the second canonized Indian-born saint, along with St. Alphonsa, a Clarist nun who died on July 28, 1946, at age 34 and was canonized in 2008. St. Alphonsa testified in 1936 that Blessed Chavara had appeared to her twice during an illness and relieved her sufferings.

Carmelite Father Cherian Thalakulam is the pastor of St. Edward Church in Murphy Village.

Image from Wikimedia


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