By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9817-8/16/18

The grotto located behind the Catholic Pastoral Center in Savannah is paved with as many memories as it is with stones. Possibly unfamiliar now to those who work at the Center, it may still be recalled by some “children,” older adults, who resided at the Victory Drive facility when the Center was St. Mary’s Home, a residential home for girls of the Savannah-Atlanta Diocese, operated by the Sisters of Mercy.


By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9816-8/2/18

Born in Norwich, Connecticut on November 22, 1856, Michael J. Byrne probably had no idea of the career(s) he would follow throughout his life. Early on, he wanted to be a priest, but that dream ended when his preceptor at St. Paul’s Preparatory School in Pittsburgh told him he should seek another vocation in life.


By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9815-7/19/18

There was a time when the St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) only had male members. Since then, much has changed in the world and in the perception of many organizations, including churches. What has not changed are the needs of the poor, who -- as Jesus said, will always be with us. SVP has a long history of helping those in need. Its good works began way back in 1833. Today, it perseveres in doing good works in countries throughout the world. Those lucky enough to be members of the Society of St.

By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9814-7/5/18

“Mind the steps, Rita,” my grandmother said as we moved up the stairs of Savannah’s old St. Patrick’s Church. My grandmother must have been desperate for company because I was too young at that time for her to have much hope of controlling me if I got rambunctious. At over 200 pounds, she was mostly afraid she might fall on me and hurt me. Well, we both survived for many more years, but St. Patrick’s Church, beloved by the “Old Fort Irish” of Savannah, was on the way out, though no one realized it until after a hurricane hit the Georgia coast in August 1940, and tore off half of St.

By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9813-6/21/18

Father Patrick J. Peyton didn’t originate the saying, “The family that prays, together stays together” in the late 1940s when the Family Rosary Crusade began, though he might as well have. Certainly, the devout, Irish-born priest now up for sainthood had a profound effect on laity and religious alike when he began his dedicated campaign to encourage families throughout the world to take time each day to pray together and, especially, to say the rosary.


By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9811-5/24/18

He had what might be called the “misfortune” of following one dynamic, colorful Savannah prelate (Bishop Benjamin J. Keiley) and of preceding yet another equally memorable one, Bishop Gerald P. O’Hara. A lesser man might have felt challenged.


By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9810-5/10/18

In the first decade of the 20th century the Catholic Church, as well as many of its affiliates, was subject to actual prejudice. In Georgia, where Catholics still constituted a real minority in many areas, this was more often the rule than the exception. At the forefront of opposition to this type of discrimination was the Bulletin of the Catholic Laymen’s Association of Georgia. Editorials appearing in the earliest editions of the CLA publication kept Georgia Catholics informed about what was then going on.


By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9809-4/26/18

It was 1925 and Bishop Benjamin J. Keiley’s time was running out. He was retired, ill, blind and going deaf. This visit from Richard Reid, youthful editor of the Georgia Bulletin of the Catholic Laymen’s Association, would be memorable. The bishop’s illness had kept him hospitalized for some time in Atlanta’s St. Joseph Infirmary, run by the Sisters of Mercy.

By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9808-4/12/18

Change is inevitable, even in the naming of a diocese. Like a child — evolving from infancy to maturity — who picks up nick-names along the way, the Catholic Diocese of Savannah has experienced its own name changes. Earlier, part of the Charleston Diocese, the Catholic Diocese of Savannah first stood officially on its own two feet in 1850. A bastion of Catholicity, it would hold onto both its premier position and its original name until the mid-1930s when new Bishop Gerald P. O’Hara recognized the potential of that up-and-coming city in Fulton County named Atlanta. 


By: Rita H. DeLorme
Originally Appeared in : 9807-3/29/18

One of the country’s youngest prelates in 1936 when he became bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah, Gerald P. O’Hara soon had ideas of his own about educating Catholic boys during those early post-Depression Era years. Meanwhile, another dynamo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt already had similar plans, but on a national level. Through Roosevelt’s program, known as the Civilian Conservation Corps, young men of the 1930s could obtain employment by preserving national landmarks and public property.


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