Summerton and Manning churches begin a new chapter

MANNING—St. Mary Church in Summerton is becoming a mission and Our Lady of Hope Mission in Manning is becoming a church.

In a decree effective June 15, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone stated that a new territorial parish will be created for Our Lady of Hope Church which encompass Clarendon County — the boundaries currently held by St. Mary.

The decree stated that the change was made “in an effort to ensure the vitality of parish life, with concern for the best stewardship of resources, and the right of the people of God to receive assistance from the Church, especially the Word of God, spiritual sustenance, and the sacraments, it is now deemed necessary to begin a new chapter of the Church’s presence in Clarendon County.”

To determine when or if changes are necessary, the bishop consults with the Presbyteral Council and the pastor/administrator in accordance with canon law.

“This decision is based upon a number of factors, among which are the current allocation of the Catholic faithful in Clarendon County, the decline in the Catholic worshiping community at St. Mary, Summerton, the fostering of unity, the enhancement of collaborative ministry, and the relative proximity of the worship communities and churches” the decree stated.

Clarendon County is located southeast of Columbia and is part of the Midlands Deanery.

Our Lady of Hope was founded in 2002 as a mission of St. Mary. About 200 households are registered, according to its website ( St. Mary has about 15 families registered. The tight-knit community recently celebrated its centennial anniversary. The church was founded in 1914 by Lebanese immigrants.

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