Byzantine Catholic Church planned in S.C.

Community Comes Together in Fort Mill, S.C.

Ron Somich, who moved to South Carolina from Cleveland, Ohio five years ago, said he’s always meeting people from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and other northern states.

This influx of people into the Carolinas is among the reasons his community of faithful is
seeking to build a new Byzantine Catholic Church. “Starting something down here is an exciting way to expand the Church and bring more and more of God’s servants to Him,” Ron said.

The Byzantine Catholic Community of Fort Mill, S.C. has been meeting for the past two years and celebrated its first Divine Liturgy with Father Mark Shuey, administrator of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Cary (Raleigh), N.C., in July. The Community meets at St. Philip Neri, a Latin Rite church with the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., at 292 Munn Road, Fort Mill, S.C.

The community formed with the blessing of Bishop Kurt Burnette of the Eparchy of Passaic, N.J. Ron, administrator of the Community, lives in Lake Wylie, S.C. and works as a marketing consultant. Earlier this year, he talked with two priests from the Eparchy of Passaic, who contacted Bishop Kurt and helped the Community get started on the path to becoming a Byzantine Catholic Church.

Father Steven Galuschik, of All Saints Byzantine Catholic Church in North Fort Myers, Fla., celebrated the Oct. 29 Divine Liturgy with 86 people in attendance. He is also scheduled for three Saturdays this month. Ron said Father Steven will continue serving “for as long as he can do it.” The Community serves the northern part of South Carolina as well as Charlotte, N.C. Ron said forming a Community is the first step in becoming a Byzantine Catholic Church.

The next step is being recognized as a Mission and being granted a name for the Church. He said there is no timetable for when the Community will be recognized as a Byzantine Catholic Church and where a parish will be constructed. “It takes everybody to build a church.”