Year in review: Looking back on 2016

2016 was a year for the record books.

A number of tragic shootings rocked the nation, including a hate crime at a gay club in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 dead and 53 wounded. There was also a spate of shootings involving unarmed black men, followed by retaliatory attacks on police officers that led religious leaders to call for peace and begin a series on race in America.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia left a hole on the court that still remains, leaving several important issues unresolved.

Pope Francis began the canonization process for Mother Teresa, who was proclaimed a saint in September. He also led the way by example during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. One of the messages emphasized by the pope was welcoming the stranger, as record-breaking numbers of refugees fled wars, natural disasters and poverty.

As the world moves into 2017, Pope Francis asks all to continue the acts of mercy and follow the path of Christ.

Here is a look at events in South Carolina:




Pro-life supporters marched into the New Year in prayer and faith as they joined others in rallies at the Statehouse and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Al and Lisa Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” were the keynote speakers in Columbia.

The permanent diaconate expanded dramatically when 35 men were ordained in two ceremonies.

Cardinal Newman School opened on its new campus and was dedicated by the bishop.

The diocese earned a construction award for its new Pastoral Center.




Schools across the diocese celebrated their accomplishment, communities and faith during Catholic Schools Week.

The annual Marriage Anniversary Celebration toasted 300 couples with 9,000 years of matrimony between them.

Hundreds of men and women joined the church during the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion.

The Catholic Community of Sumter was officially established as St. Anne and St. Jude Parish.

40 Days for Life began its annual stand against abortion.




Bishop Guglielmone encourages everyone to participate in the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy.

The Miscellany won four top awards from the S.C. Press Association.

Pro-life activists won the right to protest on public-right-of-way areas.

A crowd of almost 200, including students, participated in Catholic Day at the Capitol.

Margaret “Peggy” Moulton and Sister Kathleen Kane were named women of the year by the SCCCW.




Franciscan Sister Connie Fahey received an award for distinguished service to humanity.

Our Lady of the Lake Church in Chapin was dedicated by the bishop and the late Father Andrew Vollkommer honored at the ceremony.

St. Mary Mission in Summerton reopened as South Carolina continued to recover from the 2015 flood.

The Youth and Young Adults Ministry Office announced the creation of a diocesan missionary team.

Msgr. James A. Carter received The Order of the Palmetto.

The Knights of Columbus named Ron Stanley from Spartanburg as their Golden Knight of the Year and Bruce Hutchison of Lancaster as Knight of the Year.




Almost 250 students from schools in the Upstate passed through the Holy Door at St. Mary Church in Greenville for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was signed by Gov. Nikki Haley.

Seminarian Will Frei received his candidacy to holy orders by Bishop Guglielmone.




Carole Anne White retired after 17 years as principal of St. John School in North Charleston.

The Miscellany earned eight top awards from the Catholic Press Association.

An anonymous donor provided funds for 20 Pope Francis Habitat for Humanity homes as an act of mercy, including three in S.C.

Andrew Fryml was ordained into the transitional diaconate.

Deacons from the diocese attended a Mass for the Jubilee of Deacons at the Vatican.

The Bishop England Trek kicked off its inaugural hike for Scouts along the Foothills Trail in the Upstate.




More than 50 pilgrims from the diocese traveled to Poland for World Youth Day and Mass with Pope Francis. set up a radio station at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Camden for the Spanish-speaking community.

Sister Alma Marie Learner entered the Dominican sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation.




Father C. Thomas Miles was appointed as judicial vicar to the diocesan tribunal.

The Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy arrived to serve the residents of Carter-May Home in Charleston.

Nine new seminarians began their journey to the priesthood.

Four schools welcomed new principals.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Myrtle Beach began its inaugural year as the sixth high school in the diocese.

On Fire with Faith and the Hispanic Ministry conference drew over 1,000 participants.




Members of the Diocesan Missionary Team arrived to evangelize at parishes and schools.

St. Peter School in Beaufort celebrated its 25th anniversary.

40 Days for Life and Rosaries for Life kicked off their annual campaigns.

Participants honored unborn children at the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.

Father Aaron Sandbothe was ordained to the priesthood for the Maronite Church.


The Grounds of Holy Family Catholic Church lay flooded on Hilton Head Island, SC, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2016.The flooding occurred as a result of the passage of Hurricane Mathew which brought 10 inches of rain to the island. (Miscellany Photo/Gerald Weaver)


Hurricane Matthew hit, devastating portions of the state.

Life Chains began its silent, peaceful protest against abortion.

Father Jeffrey Kirby received the Order of the Palmetto.




Mercy Mission in Hardeeville, formerly Mercy Ministries Thrift Store, was blessed by the bishop.

UNITED 40 Days for Life bus tour held rallies in Charleston and Columbia.

The Vietnamese community came together for a dual celebration for the dedication of Our Lady of La Vang Church and celebration of the Feast of the 117 Martyrs.

Native American Catholics focused on the theme “We are the Guardians of Creation” at the Heritage Celebration.




Our Lady of Guadalupe was honored in festivities across the diocese through song, dance and praise.

The Black Catholics’ Heritage Celebration in Charleston addressed relevant topics, including race in America.


Milestone anniversaries

The following churches in the diocese celebrated years of faithful service to the community:

St. Anne, Florence, 75

St. Joseph, Charleston, 50

Holy Family, Hilton Head Island, 50

St. Thomas the Apostle, North Charleston, 50

St. Philip Benizi, Moncks Corner, 50

St. Mary Magdalene, Simpsonville, 25


Religious jubilees

Father Guerric Heckel, 50th

Msgr. James A. Carter, 50th

Sister Roberta Fulton, SSMN, 50th

Father Michael Okere, 25th

Father Sandy McDonald, 25th

Father Gregory West, 25th

Msgr. Steven L. Brovey, 25th


In Memoriam

Deacon Joseph Carmody, 86

Father Gary Dale Dilley, 75

Father Andrew Vollkommer, 60

Poor Clare Sister Joyce Munson, 81

Poor Clare Sister Helen Godfrey, 77

Franciscan Sister Trinita Balbach, 91

Franciscan Sister Evelyn Marie Hartnett, 89

Adrian Dominican Sister Patricia Cecile Slattery, 87

Oratorian Father Joseph Anthony Wahl, 86

Father James Parker, 85

Franciscan Sister Juliana Whitefield, 87

Ursuline Sister Patricia Marcian Lowman, 94

Sister Celeste Marie Kennerty, SSCM, 86

Tito Guglielmone, the bishop’s brother, 80

Father Eugene Leonard, 90

Sister Marie Amelia Ferillo, OLM, 91

Paulist Father Gerry Aylward, 94

Sister Christine Alice Cunningham, 99

Father Edmund McCaffrey, 83