Daniel McLellan Appointed Pastor of Upstate South Carolina Parish

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

CLEMSON, S.C. — As of December, the Province will have four parishes in northwest South Carolina.

The Provincial Administration announced last week the appointment of Daniel McLellan, OFM, as pastor of St. Andrew’s Parish in Clemson. Daniel was appointed by Bishop Robert Guglielmone of the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., and joins seven other friars serving ministries in the upstate region of South Carolina.

Dan notified the Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham, N.C., where he has been pastor since 2004, of his departure at Masses the weekend of Oct. 13.

Holy Name Province had originally considered staffing the Clemson Parish more than three years ago.  At that time, “the bishop was offering us a 1,000-square-mile parish,” said Dan. “It was composed of a ‘mother’ church — St. Andrew’s in Clemson with 600 families, mostly Anglo and university-associated – as well as the Clemson University campus ministry, and two missions. St. Paul’s in Seneca has 1,100 families, mostly retired Anglo parishioners, and a growing Latino ministry. St. Francis in Walhalla is fairly small.”

“Based on the recommendation of the visiting team of friars from the Province’s Ministerial Development Directorate, the Administration decided at that time against taking on this complex parish, because of several issues, not the least of which was the lack of friar personnel,” said Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, in his note to HNP friars.

However, in 2010 the Province did accept the Catholic campus ministry of Clemson University, naming John McDowell, OFM, as the first friar in that position. And just recently, “the bishop created a new parish composed of the missions, so I will be pastor of St. Andrew’s alone,” Dan said.

“Now that St. Andrew’s Parish has been separated from the pastoral responsibility of the other two parishes, this becomes a much more manageable situation. It works well as a complement to our current ministry at the adjacent Clemson University, where Robert Menard, OFM, now serves as Catholic campus minister,” John O’Connor said.

Looking Forward
Dan, who will begin his new assignment Dec. 1, said he is “excited about being part of the growing Church in the South.” He said he accepted the offer to serve as pastor because after eight years, it was time for a change.

In addition, Dan said he was attracted to serving a parish near a university.  “Before I went back to school in 1981, I served a similar parish in Boston and found it full of potential for equipping young adults for active lives as parishioners, all the while attending to the specific challenges of faith formation and faith life during college years.”

Before taking the role at the Durham parish, Dan had served as president of the Washington Theological Union for six years. Prior to assuming that position in 1999, he served in various Provincial positions, including director of post novitiate formation, a provincial councilor and director of initial formation.

“After 24 years in education and formation, I’ve found parish ministry very appealing,” Dan said.

Franciscan Presence in Area
The Province has a long connection to upstate South Carolina.  The friars arrived in Greenville in 1939 and established St. Anthony of Padua Parish, where Patrick Tuttle, OFM, is currently the pastor. In 1943, the Province founded St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Anderson, approximately an hour away, where Aubrey McNeil, OFM, is pastor.

In August 2010, the Province began its affiliation with Clemson University. In early 2011, the Province began staffing St. Joseph’s Church in Anderson, where Paul Williams, OFM, is pastor and Henry Fulmer, OFM, is pastoral associate.

“St. Andrew’s will be a challenge,” Dan said. “Parishioners need to assess their future to determine what talent is available to sustain some very fine ministries and how to support the church financially. However, the parish offers a wide range of ministries: celebration of the sacraments, education for children, youth and adults, hospital, prison, and the local community. People are ripe for the Franciscan vision of life and Church.”

An announcement of the replacement pastor of the Durham parish will be made within the next few weeks.

 Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.