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Charleston, South Carolina

About Charleston, South Carolina:

The original settlement was established by English colonists in 1670 and named for King Charles II. One of the significant factors that facilitated its growth was that it is situated on a peninsula between the estuaries of the Ashley and Cooper rivers with a deep water harbor.

The history of the Catholic Church in Charleston, South Carolina:

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.  Bishop England wrote that “sometime about the year 1786, a vessel bound to South America put into the port of Charleston. There was a priest on board; as well as can be recollected, he was an Italian. The few Catholics, who now began in the city to be acquainted with each other … invited him to celebrate Mass, which he did in the house of an Irish Catholic for a congregation of about twelve persons.” This might be marked as the introduction of the Catholic religion to the present Diocese of Charleston.

St. Mary of the Annunciation Church on Hasell Street in Charleston was the first Catholic church in the Carolinas and Georgia, an area now comprising five dioceses. It was permanently established on August 24, 1789, by the Rev. Thomas Keating. It was incorporated by an act of the legislature of South Carolina in 1791, and was well established when the Diocese of Charleston was created by a Papal brief, and when Bishop England arrived in December of that year.

Prior to the establishment of the Diocese of Charleston and the coming of Bishop England, the Catholic Church of the Carolinas and Georgia was part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Baltimore.

Note:  We included the cruise port of Charleston on the map below.  As of early 2024, there are a few cruises on Carnival Cruise Lines that depart Charleston in late afternoon, so you can probably attend morning Mass at one of these churches.  Carnival is schedule to pull out in late 2024 since the city wants to develop the port beyond what it is today.

Credit:  the official website of the Diocese of Charleston:

Catholic places of interest in Charleston, South Carolina:

Saint Clare of Assisi (Daniel Island)

Saint Mary of the Annunciation


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