State Fair booth evangelizes thousands


COLUMBIA — Volunteers from around the state are mustering support for the Catholic booth that provides information on the faith to people attending the annual State Fair.

The Catholic booth can be found in the Hampton Building at the fairgrounds from Oct. 6-16.

Volunteers work the booth day and night. They are available to answer questions and to distribute donated literature and religious articles. People can also sign up to receive more information or place a prayer request in a basket.

Our Lady of the Hills Church will have a special Mass following the State Fair at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 for the special intentions of visitors and for the Catholic Booth supporters and volunteers.

The booth’s theme is the mercy of God and a portrait of “Divine Mercy” is displayed along with literature about the devotion. The Knights of Columbus, the Ladies Auxiliary and the Legion of Mary coordinate the effort.

Not only do these groups round up volunteers, making sure that all the hours are covered, they also supply the booth with educational materials from Catholic publishers through donations.

“Being a convert, I grew up without any clear answers of who Catholics were,” said Johnny Nix, the Knights’ district deputy. “The booth is a great way to help people get a better understanding of our faith.”

Sharon Crocker is the president of the Legion of Mary’s S.C. Curia and another one of the organizers. She has been involved with the evangelization effort for three years.

“The Catholic booth is a wonderful opportunity for every Catholic in the state, every Catholic organization, and every parish to share their faith with fellow Catholics and people of other faith traditions in a spirit of friendship and mutual respect,” she said.

With only a few weeks left, organizers invite Catholics to support the booth with their time, talent, and/or treasure. The booth is only made possible through the donations.

Gloria Cazallis, from Our Lady of the Hills Church and a member of the Legion of Mary, has been one of those supporters for three years.

“I love it,” she said. “Being in the South, I find that so many people do not understand the Catholic faith, and the booth is a wonderful way to evangelize.”

Mediatrix Catholic radio will visit the Catholic booth during the 10 days of the fair to interview volunteers and visitors.

To donate to the booth, send checks made payable to Catholic Booth-S.C. State Fair Fund c/o Sharon Crocker, 107 Arbor End Road, Lexington, SC 29072. To volunteer to work the booth call Sharon Crocker at (803) 356-3042 or (803) 309-2480.