“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.”   (from Communities of Salt)


In 1939, an acre of land on Bohicket Road was purchased to erect a mission chapel to serve the Catholic families on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. Rev. John McCarthy,  Assistant Pastor of St. John the Baptist Cathedral, requested funding for the construction.  His request was approved by the Most Rev. Emmet M. Walsh, Bishop of Charleston, and funds were donated by the Cathedral congregation in Charleston.


Volunteer laborers were recruited and three members of the Knights of Columbus offered their services and construction began in June of 1939. By the time the first Mass was celebrated on Christmas 1939 in the completed chapel, the number of volunteers had grown to 40. These men designed and installed many features of the new Chapel such as the wrought iron railing for the entrance, the Maltese cross erected on the roof, mitered joint corners and a sturdy altar. The tabernacle was ingeniously made out of barrel staves. The pews, Communion rail, and statues were salvaged from Sacred Heart Church which was destroyed by a tornado. The total cost for the mission chapel was $714. The Chapel has been preserved and was moved in 2011 to our present location.  Today, parishioners attend daily Mass in the chapel.


As various parishes were established West of the Ashley, the Mission on Johns Island first came under the supervision of Blessed Sacrament Parish  in 1944 and was transferred to Nativity Parish on James Island in 1958.  Holy Spirit Mission Church was officially established as a canonical parish on September 7, 1967. It’s territory includes Johns, Wadmalaw, Seabrook, Kiawah, Folly and Horse Islands. The first resident pastor was Rev. John A. Simonin. A rented home on Hay Road served as the rectory and home of the pastor.  As the population in the area increased, additional land at the Bohicket site was purchased in 1976. A church-hall addition to the Chapel was built   and   dedicated   on   June 4, 1978  by   the   Most   Rev.  Ernest  Unterkoefler, Bishop of Charleston. The chapel and new church-hall served the parish until it became evident, by over-flowing crowds for Sunday Masses, that additional space was necessary to accommodate the many visitors to the islands.


On May 27, 2002, thirty-seven acres of land at 3871 Betsy Kerrison Parkway, were dedicated by the Most Rev. Robert Baker, Bishop of Charleston and Fr. James Parker for the site of a new 1000 seat church to serve the needs of the families of the area and visitors from all over the United States and the world to the sea islands. On February 16, 2004 our church was dedicated by the Most Reverend Robert J. Baker. A Family Life Center was dedicated in 2011 by the Most Rev. Robert Gugliemone and Msgr. Charles Rowland, our present Pastor.  Most recently, a residence for our pastor and priests that serve our parish was completed.

The Parish campus site includes a Columbarium and our cemetery is a resting place for our Founding Families as well as our present community.

Holy Spirit Parish continues to have an ever-expanding role in the growth and welfare of the community that it serves on the islands. Holy Spirit Parish is a viable and loving parish seeking active participation from all its members.


Our 50th Anniversary as a canonical Parish on September 29, 2017.