November 9, 2017
Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Peter’s:
As most of you are aware, last February, the Bishop of Charleston by decree amalgamated Good Shepherd Catholic Church and Saint Peter’s by an extinctive union. What this means is that the former ceased to exist as a juridic person and we became the owner and responsible party for all that happened there.
Last week I wrote a letter to all the attendees of Good Shepherd announcing its closure at the end of November following Mass on the Solemnity of Christ the King. The primary reason for this is the parish house which worshippers had to go to when in need of a bathroom (a requirement for public facilities) has over $40,000 termite damage, black mold, asbestos and other problems rendering it unsafe. In addition, Father William Ladkau the retired pastor ceased his pastoral ministry in mid-October leaving a pastoral vacuum.
The good news is that with the Bishop’s support and permission, Saint Peter’s will transfer the complex to Catholic Charities to be renovated into their primary ministry location in Columbia thereby continuing a Catholic presence in the Governor’s Hill area. Should you encounter any former attendees of Good Shepherd, I ask that you encourage them to consider Saint Peter’s and assure them of a warm welcome here.
Security at Saint Peter’s is never far from our thoughts. Given the recent church shootings in Charleston and last week in Texas, we’ve made some immediate changes. The side entrances to the Church have been equipped with new panic/exit bars. This means you can go out the side doors but not enter through them. The only entrance to the church will be through the front doors which our ushers can more attentively monitor. Sadly, Saint Peter’s remains the ONLY church still open downtown and we do not intend to change this – but only to better observe those coming and going for the protection of our facility and all worshipping here. We have not yet taken the step of hiring security personnel however I would be very open to establishing a volunteer security committee of active and retired law enforcement and military personnel who could be present at Masses and other major parish events. If you would be interested in this, please contact me.
This next month we’ll have several special Masses. The first is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This year we’ll have a Vigil Mass on Thursday, December 7th at 6:00 p.m. followed by a potluck supper. A Holy Day Mass will be celebrated for our School at 8:30 a.m. and for the Parish at Noon on December 8th. On Tuesday, December 12th, our Hispanic community will celebrate the Feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a joyful Mass at 6:00 p.m. with processions followed by a festive party in Neglia Hall. What a great opportunity for all to share in this religious and cultural event.
There will be many opportunities for confessions during Advent with our own Communal Penance be celebrated on Wednesday, December 13th. Also on the Wednesdays of Advent, we pray the Stations of the Cross at Noon followed by Eucharistic Exposition, Adoration and Solemn Benediction at 5:45 p.m. A soup/salad dinner will follow.
Saint Peter’s continues to thrive, and opportunities abound for social and spiritual development. Won’t you prayerfully take part in the many activities offered here?
On behalf of Father Fryml, our Parish’s deacons and staff, I wish you all a warm and joyous Thanksgiving and hope all who travel do so safely.
The Very Reverend Canon Gary S. Linsky, V.F.