CHARLESTON—A new Catholic church and parish will be established on Daniel Island.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone announced the plans in a Jan. 30 press release.
“The Catholic population continues to grow in the Daniel Island, Mount Pleasant and Charleston areas,” he stated. “It is important that we, as Church, do everything we can to serve the ever increasing number of Catholics by providing a place for the faithful to grow in their spirituality, to receive the sacraments, and to build a supportive and strong community.”
Father H. Gregory West will be the founding pastor, according to the release. He is currently pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Seneca and St. Francis Mission in Walhalla.
He is a veteran when it comes to establishing new churches. He was at the helm for the establishment and building of the large St. Gregory the Great Church in Bluffton, and for the transition of St. Paul the Apostle from mission to church status.
Father West is a native of Sullivan’s Island and an alumnus of Bishop England High School. The Lowcountry native is looking forward to his new assignment in familiar territory, but it is also a bittersweet time.
“While I am sad to leave the St. Paul and St. Francis families, I will take with me their passion for and devotion to the faith,” he said. “That enthusiasm is shared by the people of Daniel Island and I look forward to working together with them to utilize our God-given gifts to further the growth of the Church in South Carolina.”
He plans to meet with his future parishioners sometime in March to listen to their needs and desires for the new parish, including its name. The process of choosing a name involves holding town hall style meetings to talk about mission and identity, followed by nominations with final selections submitted to the bishop, who will make the decision.
The establishment of a parish on Daniel Island has been anticipated since the area began development and the subsequent move of Bishop England High School. A group of area Catholics also formed the Good Shepherd Club in January 2012, stating on their website that they have 353 adult members and 198 children, to foster spiritual and social activities in anticipation that a parish eventually would be created.
Discussions and plans for choosing the location of the new church and setting a date for the new parish’s first Mass will take place over the next several months.