Having issued a decree on April 9, 2014, in accordance with canon 515 §2, suppressing Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Charleston, South Carolina, and unifying it with St. Patrick Parish, Charleston, South Carolina;
Having consulted the pastor of St. Patrick Parish, which is the territorial parish to which the temporal goods of the suppressed Our Lady of Mercy Parish were transferred, regarding the inability of St. Patrick Parish to maintain Our Lady of Mercy Church in good and useable condition and provide the necessary repairs to the building;
Having ensured the Catholic Faithful of Charleston, South Carolina, are to be provided for through the unification with St. Patrick Parish and, therefore, the good of souls suffers no detriment;
Having determined that no persons can claim legitimate rights in Our Lady of Mercy Church; 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 1222 §2, and by testimony of this document;
I hereby decree Our Lady of Mercy Church, Charleston, be relegated to profane but not sordid use. I further decree, Our Lady of Mercy Church edifice and parcel is to be presented to Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services, Inc., a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy for use as they deem appropriate, providing it is not given over to any use unworthy of its dignity as a former sacred place. The Diocese of Charleston shall maintain ownership of the building and responsibility for its sustenance.
The grave reasons that motivate this decision were presented in full to the Presbyteral Council. St. Patrick Parish is clearly unable to provide for the increasing expenses associated with the necessary repairs and maintenance to the aging structure. In addition, the decline in the Catholic worshiping community at Our Lady of Mercy Church, the relative proximity of other worship communities and churches, as well as the best use of available priest personnel further promote this decision.
I direct that this decree be published on the website for the Diocese of Charleston, 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.
The relegation of Our Lady of Mercy Church, Charleston, to profane but not sordid use is to become effective Monday, November 17, 2014, nothing the contrary withstanding.
Given at Charleston, South Carolina, on the 5th day of November 2014.
Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston
Sr. Sandra Makowski, SSMN, JCL