Deanery celebrations scheduled as bishop nears retirement

CHARLESTON — A series of deanery celebrations will be held this fall to give Bishop David B. Thompson and the faithful an opportunity to extend gratitude and good-byes as the bishop nears retirement.

Msgr. James A. Carter, vicar general of the Diocese of Charleston, recently announced the dates for the four special celebrations, which will be held in October and November.

“These celebrations will be an opportunity for the bishop to say thank you to the people of the diocese and to formally say farewell,” Msgr. Carter said.

As required by canon law, Bishop Thompson submitted his letter of resignation to Pope John Paul II on his 75th birthday May 29.

The dates for the deanery celebrations are: Oct. 11 in the Pee Dee Deanery, Oct. 18 in the Piedmont Deanery, Oct. 25 in the Midlands Deanery and Nov. 1 in the Coastal Deanery.

At each celebration, Bishop Thompson will preside and preach the homily at an already scheduled Sunday liturgy. A reception will follow where he will individually greet the people. The locations will be announced at a later date.

Msgr. Carter said having different celebrations in the diocese’s four main regions was important to the bishop who has spent a great deal of his eight years as Bishop of Charleston on the roads of the 31,055-square-mile diocese meeting the people and attending various church functions across the state.

“The whole thrust of Bishop Thompson’s tenure has been to go out to the people, to listen to the people, to be with the people. With these celebrations he will have the opportunity to be with them once again,” Msgr. Carter said.

In addition to the deanery celebrations, the faithful will have another opportunity to express gratitude to Bishop Thompson through a special gift collection that will be taken up at the parishes in the fall. Envelopes will be provided at each parish for the collection.

The New Catholic Miscellany is planning to publish a special 64-page commemorative edition dedicated to the bishop on Oct. 1. An envelope will also be provided in this special edition for the gift collection.