Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston

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Diocese of Charleston
Dioecesis Carolopolitana
Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston.svg
Country  United States
Territory  South Carolina
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of Atlanta
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Atlanta
Area 31,055 sq mi (80,430 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
192,422 (4.1%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established July 11, 1820
Cathedral Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Patron saint St. John the Baptist
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone
Metropolitan Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory
Vicar General Richard Harris
Diocese of Charleston map.png
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the southern United States and comprises the entire state of South Carolina,[1] with Charleston as its see city. Currently, the diocese consists of 92 parishes and 24 missions throughout the state.[2] It is led by the Most Rev. Robert Guglielmone, the Thirteenth Bishop of Charleston, who serves as pastor of the mother church, Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in the City of Charleston.[3] Its first bishop was John England. Charleston is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.[4]

The diocese was created from territories of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.[1] The Diocese of Charleston was canonically erected on July 11, 1820 by Pope Pius VII making it the seventh oldest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States. At that time, the diocese comprised the states of Georgia, North Carolina, & South Carolina.

Services are primarily given in English throughout the diocese, though the rapid increase in the Hispanic population has caused several congregations to include Spanish language services, particularly in the Lowcountry region.


Consecrated on April 6, 1854 the Cathedral of Saint John and Saint Finbar was the first proper cathedral of the diocese. On December 11, 1861, it was destroyed in a fire that consumed most of the city. The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist was built to replace the original and sits on the foundation of the ruins.[5] Before the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh was formed, the Diocese of Charleston had a pro-cathedral in Wilmington, North Carolina, that is now St. Mary Catholic Church.

List of Bishops[edit]

The complete list of Bishops is as follows:[1]

  1. John England (1820-1842)
  2. Ignatius A. Reynolds (1843-1855)
  3. Patrick N. Lynch (1857-1882)
  4. Henry P. Northrop (1883-1916)
  5. William Thomas Russell (1916-1927)
  6. Emmet M. Walsh (1927-1949), appointed Bishop of Youngstown
  7. John J. Russell (1950-1958), appointed Bishop of Richmond
  8. Paul John Hallinan (1958-1962), appointed Archbishop of Atlanta
  9. Francis Frederick Reh (1962-1964), appointed rector of the Pontifical North American College and later the Bishop of Saginaw
  10. Ernest Leo Unterkoefler (1964 -1990)
  11. David B. Thompson (1990-1999)
  12. Robert J. Baker (1999-2007), appointed Bishop of Birmingham
  13. Robert E. Guglielmone 2009–present



The Catholic Miscellany, successor to the U.S. Catholic Miscellany, the first Catholic newspaper in the United States, is the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston.

Office of Vocations[edit]

  • The Drexel House - Catholic residence for men's discernment in downtown Charleston, SC
  • Vicar of Vocations:
  1. Msgr. Richard Harris - Vicar of Vocations, 2004 - 2010
  2. Fr. Jeffrey Kirby - Vicar of Vocations, 2010 - 2015
  3. Fr. Mark Good - Vicar of Vocations, 2015 - Present


  • Secretary of Education:
    • Sr. Pam Smith, SSCM

High schools[edit]

Diocesan High schools[edit]
Private High schools[edit]

Parochial Elementary schools[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Diocese of Charleston". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Catholic Diocese of Charleston". Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ Welcome To The Cathedral Of St. John the Baptist Archived February 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Province of Atlanta | Archdiocese of Atlanta". February 21, 1962. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ Cathedral History Archived February 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°46′33″N 79°56′03″W / 32.77583°N 79.93417°W / 32.77583; -79.93417