The eighth state to be admitted to the United States, 23 May 1788.
Among the Jesuits sent out in 1566 by Saint Francis Borgia to the SpanisIi colonies of North America was Father John Rogel of Pamplona.
In 1569 he went as missionary to the post of Saint Helena, on Port Royal Sound, and soon after erected a chapel for the Indians at Orista, about 12 leagues away.
The indifference of the savages obliged him to abandon the post, and since Catholics were not welcome in the Carolinas under the English it was not until after the Revolution that Mass was said in 1786 by an Italian priest, detained on a vessel in Charleston harbor, for a little group of 12 Catholics who gathered in the home of an Irish gentleman.
Two years later a priest named Ryan, (or O'Reilly) was sent by Bishop Carroll to Charleston, and during a stay of two years he assembled about 200 Catholics and used a former Methodist church on Hasell Street for their meeting-place.
In 1790 he was succeeded by Father Thomas Keating who purchased and renovated the shabby building, which was later replaced by Saint Mary's Church.
A period of dissension ensued after Father S. F. Gallagher, a brilliant but headstrong priest, had been made pastor in 1793, but the ministry of several zealous priests, including Father Le Mercier in 1803, Father Joseph de Cloriviere in 1812, and the forceful Jesuit, Father Benedict Fenwick, later bishop of Boston in 1818, tided over the Church until the appointment of the distinguished first bishop, Right Reverend John England in 1820.
The diocese of Charleston comprises the state.
Catholic influence on the place-names of the state is shown in the following:
See also patron saints index.
- Mount Carmel
- Saint Charles
- Saint George
- Saint Matthews
- Saint Paul
- Saint Stephen
New Catholic Dictionary