In 1984, the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd in Columbia, South Carolina, was established to serve the spiritual welfare of those identified by their common bond of Anglican heritage in Richland County, South Carolina. Since its erection, the Faithful have heard the Word of God, worshiped, and received the Sacraments of the Church within this personal parish. Over the past decade, a marked decline has been noted in the Anglican community of which the parish was initially established to serve. In an effort to ensure the vitality of parish life, with concern for the best stewardship of resources, and the right of the people of God to receive assistance from the Church, especially the Word of God, spiritual sustenance, and the sacraments, it is now deemed necessary to begin a new chapter for Good Shepherd’s presence in Columbia while establishing revised provisions for the spiritual care of its parishioners.
To that end, after due consultation with the pastor of St. Peter Parish, Very Rev. Canon Gary S. Linsky, V.F.; having requested parishioners make known their needs and desires; having sought and heard the counsel of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Charleston on September 15, 2014; and in accordance with the norms of canon 515, §2 and by testimony of this document, I hereby decree an extinctive union (unio extinctiva) between the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd, Columbia, South Carolina, and the parish of St. Peter, Columbia, South Carolina, to form one territorial parish resulting in the subsumption of the present Personal Parish of Good Shepherd into St. Peter Parish. This amalgamated parish shall include the membership of the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd and the present St. Peter Parish, thus the good of souls of all concerned suffers no detriment. The territorial boundaries of St. Peter Parish shall remain unchanged. Likewise, the current St. Peter Church edifice is established as the seat of the parish and its edifice shall be the primary place of worship. Given the historical significance within the Diocese of Charleston of St. Peter Parish (founding date of 1821), the name of the new territorial parish will retain the name of St. Peter Parish.
This decision is based upon a number of factors, among which are the decline in the worshiping community at the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd, the fostering of unity, the enhancement of collaborative ministry, the best use of available priest personnel, and the relative proximity of other worship communities and churches. The registers of the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd containing the records of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Marriage, and deaths as well as all parish records and historical documents are to be transferred to the present St. Peter Parish, Columbia, where they will be faithfully preserved in accord with canon 535, §1-5. In accordance to the norms of canon 121, all goods, patrimonial rights, and obligations, whether movable or immovable, of the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd, upon this amalgamation, will become the assets and liabilities of the present St. Peter Parish. Furthermore, possession of all ecclesiastical goods and all objects of artistic or historical value belonging to the former Personal Parish of Good Shepherd shall be transferred to the present St. Peter Parish, Columbia, and shall be administered in accordance with canons 1189 and 1292.
The extinctive union between the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd and St. Peter Parish will extinguish the juridic personality of the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd, which it now possesses by law. Therefore, the Personal Parish of Good Shepherd shall no longer be a subject of obligations and rights in canon law corresponding to its nature as a juridic person, nor will it be capable of acquiring, retaining, administering, and alienating temporal goods according to the norm of law. I direct that this decree be given to the pastor of St. Peter Parish in Columbia, South Carolina, and that this information by communicated at all Masses of obligation on the weekend of Saturday, February 25, 2017, and Sunday, February 26, 2017. I further direct that this decree be published on the website for the Diocese of Charleston, www.sccatholic.org, which will be presumed the official notification of this action. A petition for revocation or emendation of this decree is subject to canons 1732 – 1739.
This Decree has an effective date of February 28, 2017, nothing the contrary withstanding.
Given at Charleston, South Carolina, on the 17th day of February 2017