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The installation of Bishop Jacques FabreJeune, CS, was an enthusiastic celebration of hope and an embracing moment where various cultures came together harmoniously. But it was also a witness to historical significance — a time to welcome a new bishop for the Diocese of Charleston, one with a different background than the 13 who preceded him.
Bishop Fabre was ordained as the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston on May 13 at the Charleston Area Convention Center. He replaces Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, who has served since 2009.
Bishop Fabre, who is of Haitian descent, was welcomed by a diverse crowd. In the audience stood his Haitian family members, Black and white Catholics alike and many Hispanic/Latino people — all of whom make up only a portion of the variety of Catholics in South Carolina. Bishop Fabre recognized special guests, such as the many bishops and priests from around the country who came to bear witness. Even leaders from other religious communities were in attendance, plus several state and city officials.
The ceremonies began Thursday evening, May 12, with Solemn Vespers at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The moving and smaller service, followed by a reception, guided people to pray for the new bishop and his journey ahead.
With parts of the programs spoken in Creole and Spanish, the ordination May 13 brought praise, welcome, excitement and hope. Music from Haiti, and Bishop Fabre’s former Spanish-speaking parish in Forest Park, Ga., played to the glory of God.
On Sunday morning, May 15, Bishop Fabre officially took possession of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist at Mass, as he sat for the first time in his cathedra, a bishop's seat, which now bears his coat of arms.
With appreciation, we say goodbye to Bishop Guglielmone; we pray for the new shepherd, Bishop Fabre, and we look to a future of continued growth among Catholics in the Palmetto State. Welcome, Bishop Fabre. May the Lord be with you now and always.