St. Mary of the Annunciation Church
The oldest Roman Catholic church in the Carolinas and Georgia, St. Mary of the Annunciation (89 Hasell St., 843/722-7696, www.catholic-doc.org/saintmarys) traces its roots to 1789, when the Irish priest Father Matthew Ryan was sent to begin the first Catholic parish in the colony.
The original church was destroyed in the great Charleston fire of 1838, and the present sanctuary dates from immediately thereafter. While it did receive a direct hit from a Union shell during the siege of Charleston in the Civil War—taking out the organ—the handsome Greek Revival edifice has survived the 1886 earthquake, the great hurricane of 1893, and Hurricane Hugo in fine form.
You can tour the interior most weekdays from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Sunday mass is at 9:30 a.m.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition