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Bishop makes new appointments

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

Rev. Joseph V. Romanoski, Pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Charleston, is incardinated into the Diocese of Charleston, effective June 23, 2014.

The following appointments are for Aug. 1.

Rev. Antony Benjamine, Administrator of St. Mary Church on Yonges Island and Sts. Frederick and Stephen Mission on Edisto Island, is appointed Pastor of St. Anthony Church and St. James the Greater Mission in Walterboro; St. Mary Mission in Hampton; with sacramental duties at Estill Correctional Institution in Estill.

Rev. John M. Zimmerman, Administrator of St. Anne Church in Florence and Church of the Infant Jesus Mission in Marion, is appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Camden; with sacramental duties at Wateree Correctional Institution in Rembert.

Rev. Noel Tria, Administrator of St. Mark Church in Newberry, St. Boniface Church in Joanna and Holy Spirit Mission in Laurens, is appointed Pastor at St. Anne Church in Florence and Church of the Infant Jesus Mission in Marion; with sacramental duties at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville.

Rev. David A. Runnion, Pastor of St. Catherine Church in Lancaster, St. Joseph Church in Chester and St. Michael Mission in Great Falls, is appointed Parochial Vicar at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Simpsonville.

Rev. Philip S. Gillespie, Administrator of Blessed Trinity Church in Greer, is appointed Pastor of St. Catherine Church in Lancaster, St. Joseph Church in Chester and St. Michael Mission in Great Falls; with sacramental duties at Kershaw Correctional Institution in Kershaw.

 

Corpus Christi celebrates a 750-year-old tradition

LEXINGTON—Members of Corpus Christi Church took part in a meaningful celebration on June 22 to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Corpus Christi, the feast day that is also their parish namesake.

Hundreds turned out for a Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone and an elaborate eucharistic procession that wound its way around the parish property off Augusta Road.

Father Raymond Carlo, the pastor, said it was a wonderful way for parishioners to celebrate the meaning of the Eucharist.

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, it is at the heart of our faith,” Father Carlo said. “Only our Church has the teaching of transubstantiation, the real presence of Christ, and we wanted to celebrate that.”

Corpus Christi, Latin for “Body of Christ,”  is celebrated each year on Sunday, two weeks after Pentecost.

According to a written history prepared by Father Carlo for the celebration, the feast was first promulgated by Pope Urban IV in 1264.

It started thanks to a priest named Peter of Prague, who came to Rome on pilgrimage in 1263. At the time, he was struggling with doubt about whether Christ was really present in the consecrated host, even though Church teaching stresses the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as central to the faith.

Peter stopped in the town of Bolsena in the Umbria region of Italy, where he celebrated Mass in the Church of St. Christina.
According to the history, “when he began to speak the words of consecration, blood began to seep from the consecrated host and trickle over his fingers and hands and onto the altar and the white altar cloth.”

Peter first tried to hide the blood, but then halted Mass and asked to be taken to the city of Orvieto, where the pope lived at the time.

Pope Urban IV then sent emissaries to Bolsena to investigate the priest’s story. When it was confirmed, he had the host and the blood-stained linen brought to Orvieto, where they were placed in the cathedral as relics.

The pontiff then commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas to compose an order of worship and prayers that honor the Holy Eucharist.

Two of these chants are still used today, one on Holy Thursday and also the “Tantum Ergo” sung during Benediction.  Then, in August of 1264, Urban IV proclaimed a papal bull that instituted the feast of Corpus Christi.

Traditionally, Catholics in Europe and the U.S. have observed Corpus Christi with Eucharistic processions along town and city streets, followed by Benediction. This was exactly how Father Carlo and others planned the Lexington event.

After the 11 a.m. Mass, Bishop Guglielmone held the Eucharist aloft in a monstrance while walking under an elaborate canopy held by men of the Knights of Columbus. He was accompanied by Father Carlo and the parish deacons, and followed by a large crowd of about 200 that included members of the choir who prayed, sang and played handbells during the procession.

They all made their way to four prayer stations set up around the church property, including a spot tucked away down a shady woodland path and a grotto to Mary in the back of the church.

The stations were set up and decorated by the parish youth group, the women’s group, the Knights and the Legion of Mary.

Bishop Guglielmone incensed the monstrance and prayers were said at each stop.
At the end, participants filed back into the church for Benediction.

Afterward, everyone enjoyed a meal that included an elaborately decorated cake donated by a parishioner to commemorate the feast.
Behind the cake stood a painting of a chalice and host done by Shannon Neusch, a convert who came into the church in 2009. She said the painting took about 13 hours and offered a way for her to honor the day.

“For me, Corpus Christi represents a lot of what I felt coming into the Catholic faith,” she said. “I feel like becoming Catholic was the first time I ever really understood the whole Christian experience, and the Eucharist is a big part of that.”

Sandy Butler of Lexington said she loved the celebration because it is a way of bringing back traditions she remembers from her Catholic childhood.

“This celebration really brings back to us why we receive Communion and what it truly means,” she said. “A lot of times we take it for granted.”

Read more about the Feast of Corpus Christi.

 

Day of reflection focuses on inspirational saints

COLUMBIA—The annual Black Catholic Day of Reflection was a chance to reflect on holy people from the past and learn how to build a better future for the Church.

About 170 people attended the June 28 event held at St. Martin de Porres Church and sponsored by the Office of Ethnic Ministries. The theme was “Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk: On the Path to Sainthood.”

Father Michael Okere, vicar for black Catholics, began the day with a discussion of four leaders currently being considered for sainthood: Venerable Pierre Toussaint, a freed slave and philanthropist known for his charitable work in New York;  Venerable Henriette DeLille, founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family; Father Augustus Tolton, the first black priest ordained in the U.S.; and Elizabeth Clarisse Lange, also known as Mother Mary Lange, who founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence.
He encouraged the crowd to learn about these men and women, pray for their canonization and use their examples to advance the faith at the parish level.

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“The history of the Church tells us about the efforts people like this made so we can have what we have today,” Father Okere said. “We need to remember these men and women because we can see the face of God through them. The life of a saint is about doing simple things extraordinarily, and we can use these examples to help us with evangelization. Our children will learn about them and know we have a history in the Catholic Church.”

Music played a big part in the event, as the crowd learned about different styles available in the latest edition of “Lead Me Guide Me,” a hymnal especially designed for historically black parishes.

Aaron Mathews, a musician from Columbia, and Charlton Singleton, director of music at St. Patrick Church in Charleston, showed participants how everything from traditional spirituals and hymns to more contemporary gospel music could be used in worship.

Discussion also focused on a pastoral plan for evangelization of African Americans in the diocese, and discussed strategies for promoting holiness in daily life, the dignity of the human person, more effective worship and evangelization, and outreach to children, teens and young adults.

Barbara Downs of Columbia said the day provided a good opportunity to think about ways to keep the Church a vital and important presence in the community.

“It’s good to see black Catholics getting together, being rejuvenated and awakening, and it’s good to see young people getting rejuvenated,” she said. “That’s our job as parents and grandparents. God put us here to make sure these babies get back to church.”

 

A prayerful start to Fortnight for Freedom

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.

 

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