Sunday, April 20, 2014
   
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St. Joseph Church in Chester is built on a bedrock of devotion

CHESTER—It is a determined people who attend Mass in the small brick church tucked away on West End Street. As a parish, they have withstood the ups and downs of the economy, a dwindling population and an anti-Catholic bias.

The Diocese of Charleston purchased the former Presbyterian house of worship in 1854 and renamed it St. Joseph.

Changes were made over the years, such as the addition of stained glass windows and a bell tower. Priests travelled in for services until 1950, when The Oratory in Rock Hill sent St. Joseph its first resident priest. Oratorians served there until 1981. At first, the priests lived downtown in rooms provided by parishioner Lutie Eisenman. Then, in 1953, members built a rectory and parish hall on the site of a former stable.

What hasn’t changed, longtime parishioners say, are the bonds of love and faith nurtured within those walls.

“It’s a very loving and supportive parish, and it just feels like home to me,” said Anne Bond Peterson, 75. She has attended St. Joseph all of her life.

“I have so many memories here I couldn’t tell you all of them,” she said.

She recalled her late father, Jim Bond, would arrive at church in the early morning before Mass to load wood in a small stove that heated the building. In those days, parishioners provided dinner for the priest, and her family’s night was Wednesday. Her happy memories include Christmas crowds at midnight Mass and proudly watching her brother, James, who was the only altar boy for many years.

The parishioners faced challenges because they were a minority faith in the region.

“It was very difficult to be, literally, the only teenager who couldn’t eat meat on Fridays,” Peterson said. “I couldn’t belong to the only social organization for teenage girls, the Rainbows, because it was affiliated with the Masons. People didn’t understand that. There was a lot of anti-Catholic prejudice back then, but society has changed.”

Catholics now play a larger role in Chester, said Father David A. Runnion, the current pastor. Folks from St. Joseph regularly take part in ecumenical services sponsored by the local ministerial association during Holy Week, and support local food pantries and other social ministries with other churches.

Anne McMurray said the parish is the kind of place where members will call someone and check on them if they don’t show up for Mass.

They might be small, only 67 households, but that doesn’t stop people from being as active as possible,
she said.

McMurray belongs to the women’s club, whose members host monthly covered dish suppers and take part in a variety of service projects. They visit nursing homes, donate money to provide medicine for the poor and help out people in need, McMurray said. The prayer shawl ministry provides about 100 blankets and shawls a year to area hospitals and hospices.

“It’s an inspiration to those of us who are members,” McMurray said. “It’s where we belong.”

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St. Anne School to expand to 12th grade

ROCK HILL—Families from St. Anne said the decision to expand into a high school is an answer to their prayers.

For many years, parents expressed a desire to include ninth through 12th grades in the school, which currently serves K-3 through eighth, said Shaileen Riginos, principal. But the plans never came to fruition because St. Anne doesn’t fit the traditional model, which calls for several primary schools to serve as feeders for a secondary school.

St. Anne is the only Catholic school in its area, so expanding into a high school took some creative thinking. With input from Sandra Leatherwood and Jacqualine Kasprowski, who oversee diocesan elementary and secondary education, and the approval and support of Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, Riginos said they decided to simply grow their current school by one grade each year, until they reach 12th. The first graduating class will be 2018.

“There are a lot of people who are cheering this decision,” said Michelle Hatchett, marketing coordinator.

Some of the biggest cheerleaders are the students themselves. Enrollment just opened for the next school year, and six of the 19 eighth-graders have already signed up.

“I’m excited about St. Anne for ninth grade because of the smaller classes,” Riley Pack said. “I have always done better in small classes. It will help me maintain good grades in school. I’m also excited about more opportunities for the performing arts.”

Riginos said they are busily planning out the next few years. The goal is to maintain the close-knit environment of St. Anne with classes no larger than 25, and to offer new opportunities for the upper grade students, such as the creation of student government.

The first class will help launch the new school and provide direction and leadership for the younger students, she said.

Before the recent decision, families had to decide between a secular high school close to home, or traveling to Charlotte.

Grace Rea, a seventh-grader, is already planning to stay.

“I think it’s a really good idea to add high school to St. Anne,” she said. “If I went to Charlotte Catholic, I would have to wake up every day at 4 a.m. to start my day. At St. Anne, I will eventually be allowed to drive to school!”

Gus Krause said he’s looking forward to the creation of a jazz band, and Julia Costantino said she’ll have stronger academics than at the public school.

Parents are also happy, noting the positive family environment that Riginos has helped revive, and the strong focus on faith.

The first year will be a smooth transition, Riginos said, with just a bit of shuffling, but the years after that will require more space and additional staff. The school has launched a development fund and is mapping out its options.

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People and events

Coastal

Saints Alive Auction
CHARLESTON—Charleston Catholic School will hold their Saints Alive Auction on March 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Founders Hall in Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road. Cost: $50 per person, $90 per couple in advance, or $60 at the door. Includes food and drink. Auction includes vacation homes, art work, jewelry and more. Sponsorships available. Details: (843) 577-4495.

Lenten Retreat
CHARLESTON—The Theresian Communities of the Greater Charleston Area will sponsor a Lenten Retreat on March 1 from 9 a.m. to noon at Pauline Books and Media Store, 243 King St. Sister Donna Lareau, OLM, will speak on preparing for Lent. She is the director of adult faith formation at Christ Our King Church in Mount Pleasant. Cost: $15. RSVP: Joanne Lannie, (843) 406-4735.

‘The Great Divorce’
CHARLESTON—Fellowship for the Performing Arts will perform C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” at the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre, 44 George St., on March 1 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets: $29 to $59. Students: $25 with student ID. Tickets: www.greatdivorceonstage.com or (800) 514-3849.

Knights golf outing
MOUNT PLEASANT—Knights of Columbus Council 9475 will hold its annual golf outing to support the Daughters of St. Paul and Operation HOPE on March 4 at Wild Dunes Harbor Course. Sign-in 10 a.m., shotgun start 11:30 a.m. Cost, $100 per player, includes lunch and dinner with prizes. Sponsorships available. Contact Jim Welsch, (843) 849-1979, (843) 442-9614, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Pro-life rosary
CHARLESTON—Deacon Tom Baranoski, from St. Joseph Church, will lead prayers outside Charleston Women’s Medical Center, 1312 Ashley River Road, on March 15 from 8-9 a.m. Details: Stephen Boyle, (843) 763-0681.

Women’s day of reflection
JAMES ISLAND—The SCCCW Coastal Deanery will hold a Lenten Day of Reflection on March 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the May Forest Motherhouse, 424 Fort Johnson Road. Sister Sandra Makowski, SSMN, JCL, will serve as director and share from her first published book “On the Side of Kindness.” Cost: $15, includes a hot lunch. Bring a Bible. RSVP by March 10: Mary Lou Taylor, (843) 364-7756.

Lowcountry

Men’s Day of Recollection
Hilton Head —The Knights of Columbus will sponsor a Men’s Day of Recollection April 5 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Holy Family Church, 24 Pope Ave. Brian Pusateri of Broken Door Ministries will speak on the secret to living closer to Christ through authentic Christian friendship. Lunch will be provided. Cost: $15. RSVP: Lou Seikel, (843) 363-9100 or Denny Mahoney, (843) 715-9464.

Midlands

Potluck and pro-life seminar
ORANGEBURG—A potluck dinner and pro-life seminar will be held March 1 at 6 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, 2202 Riverbank Drive. Featured speakers include Wayne Cockfield of the National Right to Life Committee, and Michael Acquilano of the Diocese of Charleston. Call the church, (803) 534-8177.

Irish Ceili for the family
COLUMBIA—The Ancient Order of Hibernians will hold their annual Ceili for the family on March 8 at 5 p.m. at 200 Pickens St. Featuring food, music and stepdancers. Tickets: $10 at event, $5 in advance from Delaney’s in Five Points, English Bulldog Pub or Tilted Kilt in Irmo. Kids free.

Tour St. Peter School
COLUMBIA—St. Peter School, 1035 Hampton St., will host an information session for interested families on March 19 at 12:15 p.m. Learn what the school offers and take a tour. Details: Emily Hero, (803) 779-0036 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Pee Dee

Knight of the year
GEORGETOWN—Colin Peterson, a member of Knights of Columbus Assembly 3272, was named South Carolina Sir Knight of the Year. The award recognizes his significant contribution to Georgetown County, St. Mary Church, and his assembly. The award was presented by Michael J. Mika, district master, during the Knights of Columbus 67th Exemplification in Columbia recently. This is the third year in a row that a member of Assembly 3272 has won the award.

Knights fish fry Fridays
MYRTLE BEACH—Knights of Columbus Council 5086 will hold a Lenten Friday Fish Fry each week from March 7 to April 11 from 5-7 p.m. at St. Andrew Church center, 503 37th Ave. N. Cost, $10 adults, $5 under age 10. Tickets available after Masses and in the church office.

Card party
CONWAY—The Ladies Guild of St. James will hold a card party on March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Founders Center. Cost, $5. Bring your favorite games and your friends. Contact Carol, (843) 236-5925.

Eucharistic Miracles presentation
CONWAY—St. James in Conway is hosting a free Eucharistic Miracles presentation with film footage of some of the miracles on March 8 from 7:30–10 p.m. and again March 9 from 3-5:30 p.m. at 1071 Academy Drive. Contact: Paulette Flench, (843) 347-5168 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

PIEDMONT

40 Days for Life opening rally
GREENVILLE—The 40 Days for Life kick-off rally is March 8 at 9:30 a.m. at Greenville Women’s Clinic, 1142 Grove Road. Father Denis Wilde, O.S.A., of the Priests for Life, will speak. The Upstate 40 Days for Life will be from March 5 to April 13. To volunteer, contact JoAnn Gorman, (864) 248-0264 or Ingrid Ireland, (864) 329-0044 or visit: www.40daysforlife.com/greenville.

St. Patrick’s dinner
GREENVILLE—The Knights of Columbus Council 1668 will present a St. Patrick’s Celebration for families on March 8 at 6 p.m. at the Knights Hall, 762 Mauldin Road. Includes Irish food music and dancers. Cost: $15 adults, $7 ages 6-12, under 6 free, $45 family max. Tickets: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (864) 380-7354 or (864) 363-5681. No sales at the door.

Conference on youth issues
SIMPSONVILLE—St. Mary Magdalene Church will host a Destination Dignity conference on March 14-15. Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone will celebrate opening Mass. Speakers include Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director; Joe Hyland, coach and teacher, talking about chastity to young men; and Stephanie Wood Weinert, speaking to young women on Virtue in Vogue. Mary Ann Fey will talk about healthy marital communication and Dr. Peter Bleyer will discuss “Birth Control — It’s Not My Job!” Family Honor will present ways to encourage preteens in purity, and Mary Boyert, of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, will discuss human trafficking. Registration: www.smmcc.org or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Shrimp dinner
SPARTANBURG—Knights of Columbus Council 6076 will hold a boiled shrimp dinner
on March 15 from 5-8 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle parish center, 161 N. Dean St. Tickets: $12 adults/$15 at the door and $6 children 12 and under/$8 at door. Details: (864) 590-4964.

Lenten retreat
GREENVILLE—Our Lady of Good Counsel Fraternity will host a free Lenten retreat at St. Anthony of Padua Church hall, 307 Gower St., on March 15 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Includes speakers, Stations of the Cross, Mass and confession. Lunch provided. RSVP: Alice Ramos, OFS, (864) 246-1684 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Suffering and Lent talk
GREENVILLE—St. Mary Church will host “A Lenten Day of Recollection with Joseph Pearce,” on March 15 at 10 a.m. in Gallivan Hall. Pearce is an author and EWTN host who will present his conversion story and talk about the role of suffering and Lent. Mass will be at 9 a.m. Registration: T.J. Nielsen, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (864) 679-4113.

St. Mary School testing
GREENVILLE—St. Mary School is accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year. Admissions testing dates March 19, register by March 12; and April 12, register by April 4. Applications must be on file prior to testing. Contact: Nelle Palms, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (864) 679-4117.

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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 www.themiscellany.org and click on submit news.

 

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina Elects 2014 Officers

COLUMBIA—The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina announced its 2014 board of trustees’ officers: Craig Waites, chair; Rick Mendoza, vice chair; Barbara Gourdine Clark, secretary; and Thomas Otis, treasurer.

Waites joined the board in 2008. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University. He is currently a vice president at Colliers International of South Carolina where he specializes in the sale of retail properties. He is also a graduate of Leadership Columbia. Waites participates in numerous community and civic activities. He has served as a Junior Achievement instructor, United Way of the Midlands volunteer and as a Palmetto League baseball coach. He is an active member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. He and his wife Donna have two daughters, Annie and Rebecca.

Mendoza joined the foundation board in 2010. He earned a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina School of Business and a juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he later served as an adjunct professor. Mendoza is a member of Nexsen Pruet, LLC and practices in the areas of creditors’ rights and bankruptcy law. He is a certified bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law specialist in the State of South Carolina, and currently serves as chair of the bankruptcy and debtor-creditor law specialization advisory board for the State of South Carolina. Mendoza has received the William E.S. Robinson Public Service Award of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association and has been selected for, The Best Lawyers in America for bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law.

Clark joined the board in 2011. She received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Xavier University of Louisiana. In addition, she received a master's in early childhood education and a degree in master's supervision and district administration from State University College at Buffalo, N.Y. A retired educator, her interests have always been helping children and families develop a quality of life that leads to education, work ethics, and service and contributions to ones' community. A founding member of the Office of Black Ministries, now Office of Cultural Diversity, in the Diocese of Buffalo, she served as a delegate to the papal visit in New Orleans and also attended workshops and conventions of the National Black Catholic Congress in leadership, liturgy, and music. Before joining the Sisters of Charity Foundation board, Ms. Clark served on the foundation's grants committee as a non-member in 2012. She is currently a member of St. Patrick's Church in Charleston, South Carolina and sings in the choir.

Otis joined the foundation board in 2007 and currently serves as executive vice president of finance for JDA Frontline in Charleston. He received a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Washington and Lee University and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Otis has served as past president of the Palmetto Chapter of the W&L Alumni Association, Salvation Army of the Midlands advisory board member and on the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina finance committee.  He is married with two children and is an active member of St. Philips Episcopal Church.

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