‘Dynamic’ pastor to take helm at Blessed Sacrament

Father Joseph Romanoski is often described as friendly and outgoing, and praised for his qualities as a dynamic preacher and a true “sweetie pie.”

He is adored by his parishioners, who know his love for the beach and his passion to protect the unborn, and were saddened by his reassignment.

“We don’t want to see him go!” Bobbi Bellardine said.

The priest was recently reassigned, effective Aug. 19, from parochial vicar at St. Mary Magdalene in Simpsonville to administrator of Blessed Sacrament in Charleston.

Speaking from his vacation digs along the shores of the Pee Dee, the priest’s voice was warm and full of energy. He had glowing things to say about his time in the Upstate, but also expressed excitement about coming to the coast.

He blessed Father Teo Trujillo and the community for being so wonderful and full of energy, and said it was nice to not be in charge for awhile as he learned the ways of the South.

“I’m really grateful I had the opportunity to see that part of the diocese,” he said. “The people are absolutely marvelous.”

As for joining Blessed Sacrament, Father Romanoski said he finds it fascinating that his first assignment as an administrator is to a church named for the Eucharist, which is the center of all and defines his priesthood.

He is also looking forward to having a connection with a parish school again, noting that he is an adamant supporter of Catholic education and the formation of the future.

Father Romanoski came to the diocese in 2012, after a long period of discernment. He was ordained in 1986 and served parishes in New Jersey. He first visited South Carolina on a vacation to Garden City in the ’80s and said he immediately felt called to the area.

He kept returning for vacations, and came to consider St. Michael his home church, but did not act on the call he felt. Laughing, he said he recalls the day he finally took it seriously — when he heard the Lord say, very clearly, “’Listen Joe, I’ve been very patient with you, but I can get rough!’”

After that, Father Romanoski spoke to his spiritual advisor, who said the best way to discern is to go and see. The priest was released from his diocese to serve South Carolina in a missionary capacity and said he is leaning toward asking for a permanent assignment.

“I continue to discern this calling, but each day it gets stronger and stronger,” he said.

The priest will be the guest speaker at the South Carolina Catholic Charismatic Conference Oct. 25-27 in Columbia, and has a blog site at www.ithirst.net.

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