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About Our Parish

Humble Beginnings

In 1898 as the area around Summerville thrived, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston built a small church dedicated to St. John the Beloved. In 1969, St. John’s parish constructed a larger building to accommodate the growing number of faithful. In rapid time Summerville Catholics outgrew this new building and further expansions were not possible. On January 3, 1984, The Most Rev. Ernest Unterkoefler, Bishop of Charleston, signed a decree establishing a new parish in Summerville. The parish was to be named St. Theresa the Little Flower after St. Theresa's 'little way' of living and deep love of God. 

Rev. Thomas McManus, arrived in February 1984 and led his flock first to the unheated gym at Pinewood Preparatory Academy and then to Newington Elementary School. 

A serene 23 acre site near the Ashley River was chosen for the new parish and with much love and labor the temporary church was constructed. When Fr. McManus returned to Ireland in 1986, Rev. Edward Morley a Trappist priest was appointed to the parish. After two years at St. Theresa parish Fr. Morley returned to The Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers and Rev. David J. Schiller was appointed first Pastor of St. Theresa the Little Flower. Upon his retirement in 1997, Monsignor Edward D. Lofton was appointed the next Pastor.

With the parish growth bursting at the seams with 600 registered families it was time to look to the future. Under Msgr. Lofton’s guidance, a building program was instituted and the long awaited sanctuary became a reality in Spring 2001. The 13,500 sq. ft. building seats 1100 people and the focal point of the sanctuary is an exquisite mosaic of the Millennium Christ crafted out of Italian Venetian Glass. This beautiful gift was donated in memorial of Fr. Schiller by his family, the Toners. 

In February, 2011, the Daniel Thomas Powell Chapel & Administrative Center was completed. This new building includes our beautiful Chapel and offices for the church staff.