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Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

St Mary's Catholic Church

 
 
St Mary's Catholic Church South Entrance Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
1. St Mary's Catholic Church South Entrance Marker
Inscription.
With the founding of the Greenville
Missions in 1852 this parish,
dedicated to Our Lady of the Sacred
Heart of Jesus, became the Mother
Church of Catholicism in the twelve
counties of Upstate South Carolina
which comprise the Piedmont Deanery
of the Diocese of Charleston.

 
Location. 34° 51.133′ N, 82° 24.2′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is on West Washington Street. Touch for map. The west, south, and east entrances to the church bear the same plaque. Marker is at or near this postal address: 111 Hampton Avenue, Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Textile Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Prospect Hill Park (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); McKay Memorial Chapel (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Buncombe Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); Downtown Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historic Plants Garden (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historic River Cane (approx. 0.2 miles away); History of the Reedy River (approx. 0.2 miles away); Linky Stone Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Geologic History of Greenville (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
 
Also see . . .
St Mary's Catholic Church South Entrance Dedication Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
2. St Mary's Catholic Church South Entrance Dedication Plaque
Constructed 1904
Monsignor Andrew K. Gwynn, Pastor
Expanded 1956
Monsignor Charles J. Baum, Pastor
Restored 2002
Father Jay Scott Newman, Pastor

1. St Mary's Catholic Church. The mother church of Catholism in Upstate South Carolina. (Submitted on April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Catholic Diocese of Charleston. The Catholic Diocese of Charleston comprises the entire state of South Carolina with Charleston as its See city. (Submitted on April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston. 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, with Charleston as its see city. (Submitted on April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Knights of Columbus Msgr. Andrew K Gwynn - Council 1668. Official website of the Knights of Columbus Msgr. Andrew K Gwynn - Council 1668. (Submitted on April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. St Mary's Catholic Church
There are many kinds of "sublime" and many kinds of "transcendent" in the Catholic world. The Sistine Chapel is one obvious example of both. So is a rather different place -- St. Mary's Church in Greenville, South Carolina. It doesn't
St Mary's Catholic Church South Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
3. St Mary's Catholic Church South Entrance
have Perugino or Michelangelo frescoes. Popes haven't been elected there. But you don't need all that to experience the divine touching the mundane in the Catholic world. St. Mary's, Greenville, is as good a place as there is in North America to experience what Catholic worship is and ought to be -- and then to think about why and how we pray, as a community and as individuals.

Catholics have been migrating to the Piedmont region of South Carolina since the first days of the American Republic, but it wasn't until 1872 that a resident pastor settled at Greenville. Missions had been conducted in the surrounding area for the previous twenty years, so St. Mary's Parish is reckoned to have been founded in 1852. The first parish church was consecrated in 1876 and dedicated to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a new Marian devotion that originated in France in 1854. The church building you see here today was the work of two pastors, Monsignor Andrew Keene Gwynn and Monsignor Charles J. Baum, who, between them, ran St. Mary's for seventy-three years. At its sesquicentennial in 2002, St. Mary's parish included some two thousand families from a host of racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds and circumstances, and its school educated 350 youngsters. (Source: Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel (2004), pgs 139-140.)
 
St Mary's Catholic Church<br>Vintage Postcard image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
4. St Mary's Catholic Church
Vintage Postcard
  — Submitted April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. St Mary, Greenville, SC
This parish embraces the counties of Greenville, Newberry, Laurens, Abbeville, Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, Cherokee, Spartanburg, Greenwood and Union. Greenville was first visited by a priest in 1850, when Father Barry found here two Catholic families. He was succeeded by Rev. L.P. O'Connell, who in 1852 was followed by Rev. Dr. O'Connell, author of Catholicity in the Carolinas and Georgia. From this time the missions were visited from Charleston or Columbia until 1873, when Father Folchi was appointed. During his pastorate V.E. McBee donated the site on which the Church of St. Mary's was erected. On October 15, 1876, the church was dedicated by Bishop Lynch. From 1878 to 1880 Father Schmitz was pastor; then came Father Woolahan, and in 1882 Rev. J.J. Monaghan, later Bishop of Wilmington. To him is attributed the organization of these missions. He secured the present church site, moved the church, provided a rectory, and also built the churches at Spartanburg and Abbeville. His successors were: Father Hirschmeyer (1888); Rev. J.D. Budds (1894); and Rev. A.K. Gwynn, who was assisted by Rev. M.J. Reddin and Edw. Duff. Father Gwynn was educated in the public schools and at Wofford College, Spartanburg, and at St. Charles'
St Mary's Catholic Church image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
5. St Mary's Catholic Church
College, Maryland; he studied for two years in Europe, finished his course of theology at Mount St. Mary's, and on July 29, 1895, was ordained at Charleston by Bishop Northrop. During his pastorate the Academy of the Sacred Heart was established at Greenville; it is in charge of the Ursuline Nuns, and has 90 pupils. He renovated the rectory and built the attractive brick church and has begun work on a new parish house which is to be the center for the work of the extensive missions of upper South Carolina. In Spartanburg he erected the St. Paul Building, one of the finest structures in that city, and remodeled the church. In Anderson he built a mission church. His father, Captain A.J. Gwynn, was one of the early leaders in the Catholic congregation of Spartanburg, which for many years assembled in his home to hear Mass.

In all the missions there are but three churches: St. Joseph's at Anderson, which was built in 1881 and dedicated by Bishop Lynch; St. Paul's at Spartanburg; and the Sacred Heart at Abbeville, built in 1885. Among the early Catholic settlers of Abbeville were John Enright and Edward Roche; the son of the former bequeathed a fund sufficient for the building of the church. There are nearly fifty stations in all to be visited by the pastor of the Greenville Missions. (Source: The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the
St Mary's Catholic Church Main Spire image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
6. St Mary's Catholic Church Main Spire
Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X, Volume 3
by The Catholic Editing Company (1914), pgs 136-137.)
    — Submitted April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. St Mary's Catholic Church
St. Mary's Catholic church was first erected upon a lot donated by V.E. McBee, Esq., son of Mr. Vardry McBee, who gave sites for the first four churches erected in the village of Grenville. It was dedicated by Bishop Lynch in 1876, while under the pastoral care of Father Folchi. It was subsequently removed, under the administration of Rev. J.J. Monaghan, to its late site on Washington street. Recently it has been moved again to give place to the handsome structure now going up. Through the efforts of Rev. A.R. Gwynn, the pastor in charge, liberal subscriptions have been obtained both at home and abroad, and the congregation will be enabled to build a church costing $15,000 without incurring a debt upon it. (Source: The Greenville Century Book: Comprising an Account of the Settlement of the County, and the Founding of the City of Greenville, S.C. by the Press of Greenville News (1903), pg 61.)
    — Submitted April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
St Mary's Catholic Church Spire Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
7. St Mary's Catholic Church Spire Entrance
St Mary's Catholic Church South Facade image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
8. St Mary's Catholic Church South Facade
St Mary's Catholic Church Annex<br>Former Location of Textile Hall image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
9. St Mary's Catholic Church Annex
Former Location of Textile Hall
Memorials to Monsignor Andrew K. Gwynn (L)<br>and Monsignor Charles J. Baum (R) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
10. Memorials to Monsignor Andrew K. Gwynn (L)
and Monsignor Charles J. Baum (R)
Andrew Keene Gwynn Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
11. Andrew Keene Gwynn Memorial
[West Inscription]:
Right Reverend Monsignor
Andrew Keene Gwynn, V.F., P.A.
Baltimore, Md. June 12, 1870
Kathwood, S.C. March 5, 1953
Ordained: Charleston, S.C. July 29, 1895
Domestic Prelate August 29, 1929 - Prothonotary Apostolic December 21, 1945

[East Inscription]
The Builder of
St Mary's Church and St Mary's School, Greenville,
Sacred Heart, Blackville, St Francis of Assisi, Walhalla,
Our Lady of Lourdes, Greenwood, St Andrew, Clemson,
Pastor of St. Mary's, over 25 years. First dean of the Greenville Deanery.
Right Reverend Monsignor<br>Andrew Keene Gwynn<br>June 12, 1870 - March 5, 1953 image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, March 5, 2011
12. Right Reverend Monsignor
Andrew Keene Gwynn
June 12, 1870 - March 5, 1953
Charles James Baum Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 2, 2010
13. Charles James Baum Memorial
[East Inscription]
Right Reverend Monsignor
Charles James Baum, D.D.
Born January 2, 1908, Charleston, S.C.
Ordained Priest May 20, 1934, Charleston, S.C.
Named Domestic Prelate December 18, 1959
Died December 19, 2000, Greenville, S.C.
Requiescat in Pace

[West Inscription]
Priest of the Diocese of Charleston
Founding Pastor of the Church of St Louis, Dillon, 1943-1945
Pastor of the Church of St Paul, Spartanburg, 1945-1952
Pastor of St Mary's Church, Greenville, 1952-1973
Second dean of the Greenville Deanery
Right Reverend Monsignor<br>Charles James Baum<br>January 2, 1908 - December 19, 2000 image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
14. Right Reverend Monsignor
Charles James Baum
January 2, 1908 - December 19, 2000
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,466 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   12. submitted on December 7, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   13, 14. submitted on April 29, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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