A History of the Diocese of Charleston: State of Grace
by Pamela Smith, SSCM, PhD
224 pages PLUS 32 page color photo insert
In 1820, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston was established, and Bishop John England arrived from Ireland. His new diocese encompassed North and South Carolina, Georgia and, for a time, Haiti. From 1859 to 1885, when Patrick Lynch and Henry Northrop were bishops of Charleston, the diocese included the Bahama Islands. However, the history of Catholics in the diocese – which now covers all of South Carolina – began much earlier. The arrival of Spanish settlers and missionary priests dated back more than 150 years before there was a diocese on American soil. Sister Pam Smith charts the history of the diocese from the first words of prayer uttered on Santa Elena in the sixteenth century through the interfaith singing of a reformed slaveholder’s hymn at a painful funeral in the twenty-first century.
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