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 | By Danny Jost

Myrtle Beach Catholic Community Becomes a Groundbreaking New Parish

Our diocese is taking part in an exciting historical event this month. Bishop Jacques Fabre-Jeune, CS, will make a ceremonial announcement that the Catholic Community at Carolina Forest (CCCF) in Myrtle Beach is now officially Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Territorial Parish. It will be the first in the nation to be named after the beloved and venerable Italian. The establishment of the parish was decreed on Feb. 6.

Frassati was born in 1901 in Turin in the newly-unified nation of Italy. From an early age, he exhibited a spirit of unbridled selflessness and generosity. He reportedly gave his own shoes and socks to a person in need at just four years old, and regularly gave money to the poor that was designated for transportation fare, opting to run to his home. He was also known for his athleticism as a mountain climber and his profound sense of humor. Around his home town, he was known as il terrore, literally “the terror,” for the many pranks he pulled on the people around him.

Most importantly, however, Blessed Pier Giorgio was dedicated to his faith, the Eucharist and serving Catholic youth. He was involved in Catholic Action, the Third Order Dominicans and the Catholic Student Organization. He died of polio at the young age of 24 and was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1990, who referred to the Italian as “the man of the beatitudes.”

Before his death, Blessed Pier Giorgio made one final mountain climb and wrote Verso L’Alto, “to the heights,” on a photograph taken the day of the trek. He is regarded as a patron for youth and young adults.

Father David Nerbun, the pastor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Church, made a special trip to Pollone, the site of the Frassati family summer home, in advance of the parish naming. He met and visited with the blessed’s niece, Wanda Gawronska, who is now 95, and said Mass (see photo). She will virtually attend the naming dedication of the Myrtle Beach parish from her home in Italy.

CCCF opted to rename their parish after Frassati due to his “extraordinary ordinariness,” and this comes as no surprise. Sometimes, the holy saints and blesseds can be perceived as larger than life, and their level of holiness as unattainable, but Frassati embodies the universal call to holiness that was explicated in Vatican II. He is relatable, and in many ways his spirit seems to dwell among us in the young souls of the Church.

Additionally, the community hopes that healing of familial relationships will continue to come about through the intercession of Pier Giorgio. He experienced strained family relationships in his own life, and few families in today’s culture are without divisions and wounds.

Frassati’s life also models the ad intra – ad extra approach to spirituality. By going inward to meet Christ in prayer and the sacraments, the faithful are called at the end of the Mass to go forth to spread the light of the Gospel to the world.

The request to name the parish after Frassati was sent to the Vatican in 2021, and it was approved through a letter received on Feb. 3 this year.

In imitation of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, let us strive to attain virtue, so that we too might conquer the mountains that separate us from God’s life.

Daniel Jost is the public relations specialist for the Office of Communications. Email him at