GREENVILLE—Temperatures soaring into the 90s couldn’t keep people from taking their faith out in the open at the Diocese of Charleston’s third annual Fortnight for Freedom kickoff on June 21.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone celebrated Mass for more than 500 people in St. Mary School’s gymnasium, then led a eucharistic procession down a nearby street and around the church campus.
The Fortnight for Freedom began in 2012 as a response to threats against religious liberty coming from the federal government, and continues to be observed because those threats have not diminished, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Running through July 4, this year’s theme is “Freedom to Serve,” focusing on the right to serve the poor and vulnerable in accord with Church teaching and human dignity.
Bishop Guglielmone gave a passionate homily that included specific descriptions of how limits on religious freedom are affecting Catholic education, outreach to the poor and immigrants, and health care.
He said that some Catholic universities have removed religious symbols such as crucifixes from classrooms in order to remain eligible for federal funding. As for Catholic health care, it is constantly threatened by a culture that disregards the sanctity of life from beginning to end.
The bishop also mentioned the HHS mandate, which requires employers to provide services such as contraception, which goes against Church teaching. The mandate was one of the rallying cries for the first Fortnight and is still being fought in the courts.
“Pope Francis just yesterday addressed a conference on religious liberty, and he said that freedom of religion is not just that of thought or private worship, but the freedom to live according to our ethical principles and core beliefs,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “That is why we are here praying. We need to have the ability to do things to make this world a reflection of the kingdom of God … This affects every person in the country. If we are going to continue to be the American people we have been all these years, we need to offer prayers for religious freedom every day between now and July 4.”
The celebration drew a crowd that included many different groups in the Upstate, including the Knights of Columbus, Knights of Peter Claver, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
Gwen Whitner and Virginia Robinson, who attend St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville, wore the white hats and dress that symbolize membership in the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary. Both women echoed the bishop’s call to prayer as the answer to the question of how to preserve religious freedom.
“We’re a prayerful people and we need to believe in the power of prayer,” Robinson said.
Children who recently received first Holy Communion donned their suits or ruffled dresses and veils, and scattered rose petals ahead of the procession. Young girls in white dresses and blue sashes from the Guild of Our Lady and St. Gianna, a girls’ faith group at Prince of Peace Church in Taylors, followed. Ashley Maddox’s two daughters, Alaina and Belle, belong to the guild.
“It’s important they’re out here today because I want these girls to be educated, to know what they’re up against and their responsibilities as Catholic women in this society,” she said.
Members of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville represented the growing Vietnamese community in the Upstate.
“We know that we have to fight for religious freedom today and we want to be a part of that fight,” said Lan Nguyen. “We have to let the younger generations know that they have a part in this too and it’s important to keep up the fight.”
Dustin Evancho, a member of St. Mary Church, said the freedom to express faith in all aspects of his life is especially important to him because he converted to Catholicism after spending years as an atheist.
“I understand and value what the Church gives me, and I’m only truly free with the Catholic faith,” he said.
In an effort to make young people more aware of the issues, the diocesan Office of Family Life sponsored an essay contest connected with the Fortnight for Freedom.
Caroline Daly, a senior from St. Andrew Church in Myrtle Beach, won first prize. Her essay can be found here.
David Truluck, a senior from St. Michael Church in Murrells Inlet, won second prize. Honorable mentions were given to Taylor Lewis, a freshman from Corpus Christi Church in Lexington, and Patrick Daly, another senior from St. Andrew.
Each of the winners received a gift card.
Bishop’s dog, Mickey, dies at 18
CHARLESTON—Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone’s beloved canine companion, Mickey, died June 11 at age 18.
Mickey was received with great warmth by adults and children in his New York home at the Diocese of Rockville Centre and when he came to the Diocese of Charleston in 2009.
The bishop adopted the stray pup 17 years ago.
Bishop Guglielmone would be grateful that instead of cards and flowers, messages of condolence be made only in the form of prayer.
The bishop will not seek out another dog at this time and well-intentioned sympathizers are respectfully asked not to attempt to gift him with a new one.
CHARLESTON—Father Artur D. Przywara, parochial vicar at St. Theresa the Little Flower Church, will lead a pro-life rosary and prayers July 19 from 8-9 a.m. at 1312 Ashley River Road. Call Stephen Boyle, (843) 763-0681.
Seminar on nuptial theology
BLUFFTON—Father David Nerbun, parochial vicar at St. Gregory the Great Church, will give a summer seminar on the Pharisee, Nicodemus, in the Gospel of John, on July 28-31 from 3-5 p.m. in St. Andrew Hall. The course will discuss specifics of Johannine nuptial theology and show how St. John develops and uses the character of Nicodemus to unveil how we are called to share in the nuptial love of Christ, which culminates in rebirth at the foot of the Cross on Calvary. Call the church to register, (843) 815-3100. Space is limited.
St. Peter School info session
Father Thalakulam at Vatican
MURPHY VILLAGE—Father Cherian Thalakulam, CMI, pastor of St. Edward the Confessor Church, attended the world meeting of bishops and national directors of ministry to Gypsy and Traveler communities held in June at the Vatican. The representatives from 26 countries met with the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and had an audience with Pope Francis. In the meeting, “The Church and gypsies: proclaiming the Gospel in the peripheries,” the pontiff called for a new pastoral approach from the Church, saying local, national and international groups need to identify projects to improve quality of life.
Family day at Carowinds
Lunch in the Tea Room
COLUMBIA—St. Joseph Church women’s society will host a Tea Room Lunch on July 23 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with all proceeds going to Birthright. Cost: minimum of $10.
Engaged Encounter weekend
ROCK HILL—An Engaged Encounter weekend will be held Aug. 15-17 at The Oratory. To register, visit cee-sc.org. Details: (864) 232-1222.
July 4 celebration
PAWLEYS ISLAND—The annual Pawleys Island Fourth of July Celebration will be at 6 p.m. in Precious Blood of Christ Church center, 1633 Waverly Road. Featuring the Pawleys Island Concert Band with food and drinks for purchase. Doors open at 5 p.m. Sponsored by Knights of Columbus Assembly 3272 and Council 11028.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter
MYRTLE BEACH—Restore, renew and rekindle your marriage at an upcoming Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. The next weekend is Oct. 3-5. Apply early. Details: scmarriagematters.org or (803) 810-9602.
CHARLOTTE—The Miscellany received seven national Catholic Press Awards during the annual Catholic Media Convention held June 18-20.
Amy Wise Taylor won second place in Best Reporting On A Special Age Group: Senior Citizens for the article, “Isolation can lead to depression for senior citizens”.
Deirdre C. Mays received a second place and honorable mention for Best Photo Illustration, “Is your Sunday a day for the Lord?” and “Reflect with gratitude to the Lord this Thanksgiving”, respectively.
Caroline Nelson was awarded second place for Best Chart Or Information Graphic: “Liturgy of the Hours - The basics”.
Christina Lee Knauss won third place for Best Coverage of a Routine, Sacramental Event: “Confession: A gift of forgiveness to the soul”.
The staff received second place for Best Coverage of Pope Francis' Election and the Transition Process: “Habemus Papam Franciscum!”.
And Mays and Nelson received an honorable mention for Best Front Page - “Is your Sunday a day for the Lord?”
Mays, the editor, said the awards are an affirmation of the teamwork and focus of the entire newspaper staff including the administrative and circulation personnel.
“We are grateful to our readers and strive to provide them with a meaningful publication that they value and from which they may learn,” she said. “I look forward to continuing our hard work to inform and educate South Carolina's Catholics in all of our media efforts."
GREENVILLE—Age is nothing but a number for the women of the “Nineties Club.”
These six members of the women’s club at St. Mary Church in Greenville are enjoying their ninth decade of life.
Pat Webb, corresponding secretary for the club, said the idea started about four years ago as a way to pay tribute to the oldest members, who are honored each year at a spring luncheon.
Jean Boggs, the senior member, will proudly tell you she is 97.
“It’s a milestone and it’s wonderful —God has been good and I’ve had a great life!” she said.
She’s been a member of the club for 77 years. Mrs. Boggs remembers being a member of the junior women’s club as a girl. Once she graduated to the women’s club, she was especially proud of the charity work they did, including outreach to local orphanages and children’s homes.
Time made a complete circle for her earlier this year when she attended the annual Mardi Gras celebration at St. Mary in March. She was elected Mardi Gras Queen in 1938.
Alma Furman, 95, is the second oldest member. She moved to Greenville from Philadelphia in 1957 and joined shortly after.
Furman said the women’s club has given her a chance to make wonderful friends and her proudest moment was being elected Catholic Woman of the Year in 1992.
Mrs. Furman drove her own car and attended meetings up until 2013, when she moved to High Point, N.C., to be close to her son. She doesn’t make it back to St. Mary very often but still treasures her memories and loves life. “The key to a long life is just to be happy,” she said.
Ruth O’Rourke, 94, joined the club in 1941.
Some of her favorite memories include serving meals for the church, entertaining children from St. Mary School and hand-sewing baptismal garments that were donated to the church to be given to babies who needed them.
Mrs. O’Rourke’s best advice to people is “enjoy your family and enjoy your friends, because you never know when God will call you!”
Rose Eassy, 93, has been a member for 43 years, and follows in the footsteps of her mother, the late Seleny Eassy, who was a member most of her life.
She lives with her sister Anne, 85, also a longtime member, and said the club is like a second family to her.
Nancy Ferro, 90, likes to talk about her service in the U.S. Navy during World War II almost as much as she likes to talk about the club.
“Those women are my sisters,” she said. “Over the years, if one of us had a problem, we all had a problem.”
The youngest club member is Helen Williams, 90.
She makes it to meetings when she can, although she spends most of her time caring for her husband and driving him places.
Mrs. Williams said staying active is the key to the long life she and her fellow club members enjoy.
“Keep moving, because if you don’t leave your bed you might soon not get out of it!" she said.
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Page 10 of 21
- September 01 2014 - September 13 2014 Run With Endurance 5k
- September 04 2014 Options for elders
- September 05 2014 - September 07 2014 Women of Grace conference
- September 05 2014 John Michael Talbot concert
- September 05 2014 St. Joseph School gala
- September 05 2014 Lowcountry Trout Tournament
- September 06 2014 Ladies Day of Recollection