Bishop adds fifth deanery

CHARLESTON – Bishop Robert J. Baker has announced that the Diocese of Charleston is adding a fifth deanery.

The Hilton Head Deanery will include the Hilton Head Island and Beaufort areas. The boundaries of the deanery have yet to be determined. Father Martin T. Laughlin, pastor of Holy Family Church in Hilton Head Island, is the new dean.

“Father Laughlin has served at many of the parishes in Hilton Head Island and Beaufort, and he knows the deanery well,” Bishop Baker said.

Msgr. Charles Rowland will chair a committee that will determine boundaries of the deanery. The committee will include Father Joseph Hanley, Msgr. Leigh Lehocky, Ann Mitchum and Joan Mack of the South Carolina Council of Catholic Women.

The bishop made the announcement during the annual meeting of the Charleston Deanery of the SCCCW, Jan. 12. He said he is adding the fifth deanery to decrease the size of the Coastal Deanery, making it more accessible for deanery gatherings and because the diocese is considering adding a high school in that area.

Also at the SCCCW meeting, the group voted to change its name to Coastal Deanery of The South Carolina Council of Catholic Women. Ann Mitchum was elected president. Patricia Cummings of St. John’s Women’s Guild, North Charleston, was named the deanery’s Catholic Woman of the Year.