MOUNT PLEASANT—Approximately 300 members of St. Benedict parish gathered for the dedication of its new church site located off Darrell Creek Trail on April 11.
The new facility is the first of a multi-phase building plan that will include other structures, such as a possible school, to support the growing community, according to Maggie Thompson, chairwoman of the parish communications ministry.
Originally known as East Cooper Catholic Community, St. Benedict was established in May 1999. Founding families attended Mass in the Dunes West neighborhood clubhouse before moving to Cario Middle School cafeteria.
Since then, the parish has grown to over 500 families, according to a press release. Currently, Mass is held at All Saints Lutheran Church and Cario Middle School.
Msgr. Chester M. Moczydlowski, pastor, held a brief ceremony. Bishop Emeritus David B. Thompson and honored guests shoveled dirt into a cross-shaped hole that was filled with rose petals.
The guests included representatives from neighboring Palmetto Presbyterian Church, All Saints Lutheran Church, the Diocese of Charleston, LS3P Architects, Thomas and Hutton Engineering, Trident Construction, Cario Middle School, the parish building committee, parish staff, and members of the parish campaign cabinet. Each parishioner was also invited to fill the cross.
In a letter, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone offered his congratulations.
“I know the journey to this destination for you and your parishioners was long and, at times, arduous, and the advent of this moment is the result of years of hard work, dedicated prayers, and deep and impenetrable faith,” he said in the letter.
“Now the fruit of your labor will be made visible, for which I am most grateful. It has taken a great deal of time, effort and patience to form and to grow this parish, to raise the necessary funds to build a church, to design and to settle on these plans, and to begin this construction process. While the church building will be new, the parish community has existed with vibrancy since the beginning,” the bishop said.
Bishop Guglielmone said the community should give thanks for the growth of a new parish in a time when many dioceses around the country have to close or combine parishes due to dwindling Mass attendance and parish involvement.
LS3P Architects designed the new church and Trident Construction is the builder. Thomas and Hutton Company is responsible for civil engineering and land planning. CRG will manage structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineering.