Parishes are the place where God's people meet Jesus in word and sacrament and come in touch with the source of the church's life. Communities of Salt. U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter of 1993. In 1938, 18 people formed Holy Ghost Parish. The celebration of the first Mass in the mission church (now our chapel) was on Christmas Day 1939, and it was dedicated on Pentecost, May 11, 1940. The newspaper described it as:
“The little church situated on Bohicket road, 14 miles from the Bishop’s house on Broad Street. The Presbyterian church is on the same road…directly across from the new Catholic church.” Ironically, the newspaper gave two sets of directions to the church, one over the “Stono river bridge” and the other over the “John’s Island bridge…passing on the way the John’s Island high school.” The article also credited, “the voluntary labor of about 30 Catholic men of Charleston, most of them members of the Knights of Columbus, who for several months, worked nights and on Saturday on the construction.”
As various parishes were established West of the Ashley, the mission on Johns Island came under the supervision of first, Blessed Sacrament Parish in 1944 and then Nativity Parish in 1958. On September 7th 1967, our current Holy Spirit Parish was established.
Growth within the parish continued, especially with the development of Kiawah and Seabrook Island resort communities. The number of parishioners increased and equally important, the parish became a “church away from home” for many tourists attracted to the resort areas. In 1978, a new social hall/church and rectory were constructed. The growth continues today, but more importantly, Holy Spirit Parish continues to have an ever-expanding role in the growth and welfare of the community that it serves on the islands. The most important of these activities is the Holy Spirit Quality of Life Program that reaches out to the community with both material and spiritual endeavors. The accomplishments of the program are a tribute to the dedication and direction of the pastors, and the support provided by the parish and the many visitors who worship with the parish. Holy Spirit Parish represents much more than a physical facility. It is a viable and loving parish dedicated to the community that it serves on these wonderful islands – Johns, Wadmalaw, Kiawah, and Seabrook.
The new Holy Spirit Church building is now complete and is located on thirty-seven acres that belonged to the Diocese of Charleston and is four miles south of the present church. The property bordered by wetlands has several large trees and a large pond. At a groundbreaking ceremony, Bishop Robert J. Baker and Father James Parker blessed the site on May 27th, 2002. Parishioners, visiting Priests, and the Knights of Columbus, in full regalia were present as well as the Kiawah Men’s Chorus who sang. Construction soon began. Steel pilings and girders have given shape to a 1,000 seat church for the families of the area and visitors from all over the United States and the world.