ANDERSON, S.C. — More than 200 community well-wishers, including several fellow Franciscans, celebrated in fellowship last month the 25th ordination anniversary of Paul Williams, OFM.
Beginning with the regularly scheduled evening Mass on June 30, in which the local Knights of Columbus Council served as honor guard, attendees flooded the Fr. Francis A. Friend Fellowship Hall of St. Joseph’s Church in droves, forcing organizers to quickly find additional tables and chairs to accommodate the crowd. It was soon evident that the attendance far exceeded expectations — and came close to exceeding the capacity of the building itself.
Among those present were members of Anderson’s St. Mary of the Angels Parish along with Aubrey McNeil, OFM, accompanied by Dac Tran, OFM,Jeffery Jordan, OFM, and Sr. Mary Frances Cannon. Sr. Catherine Noecker from St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Greenville came as well.
Following a performance by the parish’s youth who had just wrapped up their week of Vacation Bible School, where they learned that “God is Wild About Us,” and a lovely rendition of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” by a St. Joseph parishioner, Paul expressed his observation that “this is (the) most people to have showed up at an ‘eating event’ like this that I’ve seen at any parish that I’ve been at.” He went on to say, “I hope this means we are coming together. …” Indeed, after just a few months, it seems that Paul and the Franciscan community have gained leaps and bounds in bringing together the Catholic community of Anderson, S.C.
Dan Amic, president of the St. Joseph Men’s Club, presented Paul, pastor since March, with a check on behalf of various parish organizations as a token of their appreciation for his service and presence to the parish thus far.
— Michael Stein is director of mission advancement at St. Joseph Church.