2009 was a year of hope with a new bishop, ordinations and outreach

SOUTH CAROLINA—Before the headlong rush into 2010, The Catholic Miscellany invites its readers to take a look back at the news that affected their lives in 2009.

The year had its share of big stories. During Christmas 2008, Msgr. Martin T. Laughlin asked the Diocese of Charleston to pray for a new bishop. By January 2009 those prayers were answered with the appointment of Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone. The new bishop continued to be part of the news the rest of the year.

The poor economy was also a factor throughout 2009 and people responded with an outpouring of concern and generosity.

Churches and communities all over engaged in outreach to help feed and clothe the poor, and to help people find jobs.

Diocesan schools also felt the pinch and came up with ways to save and offered financial assistance to those in need. The principals, teachers, students, and schools as a whole also raked in all manner of awards. Outbreak of the swine flu had schools and other public places enacting strict guidelines to prevent the spread of germs.

Other big events for the diocese were the variety of cultural celebrations that were honored over the months, with parades, dances, food and more.

The diocese also mourned many people who gave their lives for ministry including: Carmelite Father James Orumpakatt; Dominican Sister Noel Boggs; Father Roger Prokop; Father William C. Burn; Father John F. Bench; Father Michael J. Polewczak; Father Robert W. Ninedorf; Dominican Sister Mary Therese Janke; Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy Sister M. deNeri Faase; Franciscan Father Thaddeus M. Sapio; and Dominican Sister Mary Lequier.

Here are just some of the headlines from 2009:


—Bishop Guglielmone was appointed to lead the diocese.

—The pro-life movement jump-started the year with its annual March for Life and Youth Rally for Life, plus Catholics across the state rallied at the National March for Life in Washington, D.C.


 —A second wave in the pro-life battle moved out with 40 Days for Life, which was held at the beginning and end of the year.

 —The vocation of marriage was honored at the Marriage Anniversary celebration.

 —The Catholic Miscellany conducted a readership survey, which culminated in a new, improved paper, a design change, and a revamped Web site, www.themiscellany.org.


 —Bishop Guglielmone was ordained as the 13th bishop of South Carolina.

 —David Nerbun, a seminarian from the diocese, was installed as an acolyte in Rome.


 —Church of the Nativity celebrated its 50th anniversary.

 —The South Carolina Council of Catholic Women named Maria Leal as woman of the year, and Franciscan Sister Mary Schifferle as religious woman of the year.

 —The Black Women’s Project spoke on ways to help their community overcome difficulties through faith and cooperation.


 —Philip Gillespie, Richard Jackson and Artur Przywara were ordained to the transitional diaconate, followed by Richard B. Tomlinson in June.

—Fires destroyed the homes of seven families from Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in North Myrtle Beach.

 —The Knights of Columbus named Arnold Kuthy as Knight of the Year.

 —A new school choice bill was introduced then sent back to committee as proponents searched for support.

 —Oratorian Brother David Boone received the Order of the Palmetto.

 —Sister Mary Joseph Ritter of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy was awarded the Seton Legacy of Charity bicentennial medal.

 —Father Edmund F. McCaffrey celebrated his 50th jubilee.


 —Mepkin Abbey’s Trappist monks unveiled mushrooms as their new source of income.

 —Deacon Joseph C. Kemper, one of the diocese’s first deacons, turned 100.

 —Chantal Fleming was chosen as the St. Peter Claver Woman of the Year.


 —Pope Benedict XVI marks the beginning of the Year for Priests. The Miscellany begins profi les of priests in the state.

 —The Knights of Columbus set a record for fundraising.

 —St. John Neumann principal Barbara Cole received a National Distinguished Principal award.


 —Our Lady of Grace in the Indian Land community of Lancaster County was established as a mission of St. Philip Neri Church in Fort Mill.

 —Catholic Charities began workshops to guide parish prison ministries.

 —Sister Roberta Fulton, of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, was elected president of the National Black Sisters conference.

 —Holy Trinity School in Longs opened.


 —Bishop Guglielmone spoke out on health care.

 —Sister Kathleen Kane marked her 50th year as a Sister of St. Mary of Namur.

 —Mary McKenzie was appointed as a collegiate judge in the Province of Atlanta.

 —St. Mary in Greenville and Christ Our King/Stella Maris in Mount Pleasant earned National Blue Ribbon status.

 —Bishop Guglielmone and other newly installed bishops met with Pope Benedict XVI.


—St. Francis by the Sea Church on Hilton Head Island celebrated 25 years.

—Blessed Sacrament Church in Charleston celebrated 25 years of perpetual adoration.

—Bishop Guglielmone blessed the bells at the Cathedral of St.  John the Baptist in Charleston.

—Catholic Charities partnered with the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C., to help couples looking to adopt.


 —St. Anne School received a historical marker for accomplishments in civil rights.

 —The first annual Mass to honor All Souls’ Day was held at Holy Cross cemetery.

 —Cardinal Newman in Columbia purchased property for a new school.

 —Will Dantzler, a senior at Bishop England, won second place and $31,600 in Jeopardy! Teen Tournament.

 —The Cathedral hoisted its new bells.

 —Oratorian Father William F. Pentis celebrated his 50th jubilee.

 —Father Richard B. Tomlinson was ordained.

 —St. Theresa the Little Flower Church in Summerville celebrated 25 years.


 —Father Andrew Trapp won $100,000 on PokerStars.net in a competition for $1 million.

 —The Grand Strand Byzantine Fellowship established a mission church.

 —Father Henry Kulah celebrated 25 years as a priest.

 —The Diocese of Charleston began its campaign to increase vocations.