In 1949, the Personal Parish of St. Cyprian in Georgetown, South Carolina, was established to serve the spiritual welfare of the black Catholic Faithful of Georgetown 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 parishioner numbers as well as sacraments received. 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 St. Cyprian’s presence in Georgetown while establishing revised provisions for the spiritual care of its parishioners.
To that end, after due consultation with the administrator of both the Personal Parish of St. Cyprian and St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Rev. Richard Charles Wilson; 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 January 30, 2018; 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 St. Cyprian, Georgetown, South Carolina, and St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Georgetown, South Carolina, to form one territorial parish resulting in the subsumption of the present Personal Parish of St. Cyprian into St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish. This amalgamated parish shall include the membership of the Personal Parish of St. Cyprian and the present St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish, thus the good of souls of all concerned suffers no detriment. The territorial boundaries of St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish shall remain unchanged. Likewise, the current St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom 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. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish (founding date of 1899), the new territorial parish will retain the name of St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish.
This decision is based upon a number of factors, among which are the decline in the worshiping community at the Personal Parish of St. Cyprian, 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 St. Cyprian 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. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Georgetown, where they will be faithfully preserved in accordance 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 St. Cyprian, upon this amalgamation, will become the assets and liabilities of the present St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish. Furthermore, possession of all ecclesiastical goods and all objects of artistic or historical value belonging to the former Personal Parish of St. Cyprian shall be transferred to the present St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Georgetown, and shall be administered in accordance with canons 1189 and 1292.
The extinctive union between the Personal Parish of St. Cyprian and St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish will extinguish the juridic personality of the Personal Parish of St. Cyprian, which it now possesses by law. Therefore, the Personal Parish of St. Cyprian 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, or alienating temporal goods according to the norm of law.
I direct this decree be given to the administrator of both the Personal Parish of St. Cyprian and St. Mary, Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Georgetown, South Carolina, and communicated at all Masses of obligation on the weekend of Saturday, June 23, 2018, and Sunday, June 24, 2018. I further direct 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 July 1, 2018, nothing the contrary withstanding.
Given at Charleston, South Carolina, on the _____ day of March 2018.
Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston
Sr. Sandra Makowski, SSMN, JCL