|Saint Joseph Catholic Church, Columbia, South Carolina|
We were astonished to learn this past Sunday that in our Columbia, South Carolina parish, 9 adults will be baptized and an additional 28 adults will be received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. In following-up on this good news, the statistician for the statewide Diocese of Charleston informs us that approximately 500 adults throughout South Carolina will be received into the Church this Easter. In a small state where Catholics are not quite 4% of the population, that is a remarkable rate of growth. Indeed, Catholic numbers in South Carolina are up by more than 30,000 in the past 10 years, and unlike traditional centers of Catholic life, like the Archdiocese of Newark, which has closed more than 80 schools in the past 10 years, South Carolina is building new churches and schools.
At a recent conference at Villanova University, demographers have presented heartening data indicating that Church numbers in the United States are climbing and would continue to grow even without immigration.
|Holy Mass at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Taylors, South Carolina|
Having lived in Virginia and South Carolina, as well as in the Northeast and Midwest, we can attest to an extraordinary contrast between regions. The most faithful, orthodox and beautiful liturgies we have encountered have been in the South. Devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, traditional Catholic devotions, sound preaching and all the richness, beauty and fullness of the Faith are alive and well in places like the Dioceses of Arlington and Charleston. After all the painful corruption and scandal on the part of a few, we can see the hand of God renewing His Church in unexpected places and in wondrous and surprising ways. "Where sin abounded, grace did more abound."