A Message from Your Bishop

In July 2020, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston will celebrate its bicentennial year. Established by Pope Pius VII in 1820, our diocese has upheld God’s Word and built His Kingdom for nearly 200 years. Through our rich history, we are now 114 parishes and missions strong, with over 200,000 registered Catholics.

Our diocese is entering an era of significant growth. People from all over the country and the world are choosing to make South Carolina their home. Challenged by population growth and secularization, our parishes need the strength and capacity to both support the faithful and evangelize our neighbors by being the light of Christ for others.

Pope Francis said in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), “To evangelize is to make the Kingdom of God present in our world.” Therefore, we are compelled to accomplish this by living out our faith with generosity and joy.

Having served as your bishop for nearly a decade, I strongly believe in the need for the Church to prepare for the demands of this next century of Catholic evangelization. Through our $60,000,000 Bicentennial Campaign, we will strengthen our parishes and missions across 46 counties to serve our people, enhance statewide programs and ministries, and help those who suffer by acting as the hands and feet of the Body of Christ.

I challenge you to put Christ in the center of your life so that all whom you encounter can see Christ in you. I ask you to take responsibility for upholding the mission of our Church and join me in sharing the Gospel throughout South Carolina.

In the Lord’s peace,

Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston

Case for Support

Strengthening Our Parishes and Missions — $30,000,000
• Enhance parish-level ministries to share the Gospel more effectively
• Acquire property in high-growth areas to ensure the future of the Church
• Strengthen the financial position of our parishes and missions

Forming Catholics to Believe in the Gospel — $19,000,000
• Catholic School Tuition Assistance
• Seminarian Education Fund
• Hispanic Ministry Endowment
• Formation Ministries Endowment
• Continuing Education for Diaconate & Lay Leaders
• Facilities Endowment

Living the Gospel through Social Outreach — $11,000,000
• Social Ministries Endowment
• St. Clare’s Home
• Clean of Heart
• Outreach Program Fund

The Bicentennial Campaign is an extraordinary and intentional effort designed to strengthen our existing Diocesan programs and parishes/missions, while taking strides toward sustaining our growing Diocese into the next century. For nearly 200 years, the Catholic Church has ministered to the state of South Carolina through its parishes, people, and social programs. Bishop Guglielmone is dedicated to maintaining and strengthening parish communities and ensuring the continued formation of our Catholic family so we can evangelize and provide outreach to all South Carolinians. The Bicentennial Campaign will bolster the strong foundation of the Church to support these priorities well into the future.

We in the Diocese of Charleston encounter the Gospel of Christ most energetically through our many and diverse parishes, where the Church’s vision for South Carolina is most directly fulfilled. Through receiving the sacraments, we come to know what it means to be part of the universal Church. This campaign will provide an infusion of financial resources for parishes to fulfill the challenges and ambitions of their mission: to realize the Great Commission through teaching and baptism.

Each parish is in the best position to determine its most urgent priorities. For every dollar raised in the Bicentennial Campaign, proceeds will be shared fifty percent (50%) to the Diocese and fifty percent (50%) to the parish to fund local needs. This sharing begins with the first dollar raised.

Since the arrival of Bishop John England in 1820, preaching and teaching the faith has been a cornerstone of our Diocese. It is one of the most important investments of the Church, and the foundation upon which all our evangelization efforts are built. Catholics are formed by the Sacred Scriptures, the homilies of our priests and deacons, religious education, and Catholic schools. The personnel of our parishes and schools help us to carry out our responsibility to lead others to know, love, and practice these values every day.

We have a broad and exciting vision for educational formation ministries that begins with families, where parents form their children, with the help of the Church, into disciples of Christ. This formation extends to all age groups so that children, youth, students on college campuses, young adults, older adults, and people being initiated into our faith are taught to hear and live the Word of God. Religious education guides us through life’s transitions, and continually renews our relationship with God. Through an early, consistent, and continuous education in the values of the Gospel, we trust, with the help of God, that all Catholic vocations – marriage, priesthood, diaconate, religious life, and dedicated single life – will be stronger.

Being formed in the mind of Christ will help us to see others as Christ, as did St. Teresa of Kolkata. In Evangelii Gaudium, the Holy Father reminds us that “Our Faith in Christ, who became poor, and was always close to the poor and the outcast, is the basis of our concern for the integral development of society’s most neglected members.” Across South Carolina, our brothers and sisters are suffering from homelessness, mental illness, drug addiction, crisis pregnancy, and incarceration, among other acute challenges.

Mother Teresa taught us by example to see Christ in everyone, not just our Catholic brethren. Therefore, our Catholic presence, love, and impact should be shared among all our neighbors, regardless of their religious affiliation, and across all ages.