Saint Francis by the
Sea evolved with $40,000. of seed money from the Holy Family Building
Fund established in 1983.
Joe Majewski a Redemptorist became our first Pastor, and the first
mass was celebrated on the first Sunday of Advent, 1984 at Tom
Reilly's Crazy Crab Restaurant. From 1985 to 1987 mass was also
celebrated at the First Presbyterian Church and the Hilton Head
In 1985, the present
site of land was bought by the diocese from Greenwood Development
Corporation which was planning development of Palmetto Hall Plantation.
This location was ideal since most of the early parishioners lived
in Port Royal and Hilton Head Plantation.
Six years after the first mass at
the Crazy Crab, Bishop Thompson dedicated our new church building,
a great tribute to Father Joe and the many parishioners with vision
and dedication back in the late 1980's.
In December 1993, a campaign to raise funds
for the rectory office building, parking and landscaping was undertaken
- $3,700,000. was raised.
In 1994, the Family Center was added to the
master plan at a cost of $1,900,000. 1,100 families of the parish
pledged $1,500. each over three years to complete this task.
In late 1995, the Bishop
authorized the building of the Columbarium, a self financing project
allowing for the creation of 2,000 niches.
In February 1996, the beloved Father Joe was
transferred to Hampton VA, and replaced by Father Martin Laughlin
who had been Pastor of St. Peters on Ladys Island. While Father
Laughlin served for less than one year, he was the primary force
in starting the St. Francis Catholic School buildings. Initially
Pre-K and Kindergerten started in the Fall of 1996 and the building
program reached fullness under Pastor, Father Michael McCafferty,
In 2004, Father McCafferty left the parish and was replaced by
Father Laughlin as Pastor . Father Laughlin remained at St. Francis
until he was transferred to a parish near Charleston in 2005.
In mid 2005, Father Michael Oenbrink came to St. Francis as Pastor.
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