Rev’d Fr Christopher Smith, STD/PhD, KHS, Pastor
Father Smith is a native of Greenville, South Carolina. He was received into the Catholic Church at the age of 13 at St Mary’s. After graduating from Southside High School, he went to Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. After a year living in Rome studying at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, he entered priestly formation at the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, the Pope’s personal seminary, for service in the Diocese of Charleston. While there, he obtained a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Gregorian University and also studied French at the Institut Catholique in Paris. Father Smith was ordained Deacon by Camillo Cardinal Ruini, Papal Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, on 30 October 2004 and Priest by Bishop Robert Baker of Charleston on 23 July 2005.
Father Smith spent two years at St Mary’s, Greenville as Parochial Vicar and then Administrator pro tempore. He then was assigned to St Peter’s, Beaufort and Holy Cross, St Helena’s Island as Parochial Vicar and Administrator pro tempore. He then spent two years at St Francis-by-the-Sea on Hilton Head Island. In all of his parishes, he had primary responsibility for Hispanic Ministry, chaplaincy and teaching in parochial schools, and apostolate to the sick. While in Beaufort and Hilton Head, Father Smith pursued a Master of Business Administration degree at the Citadel.
In 2009, Bishop Guglielmone assigned Father Smith to the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain. He defended his doctoral dissertation in dogmatic theology on the thought of twentieth-century French Jesuit Henri De Lubac in June 2012, after which he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology.
Father Smith speaks Spanish, Italian, French and some German. He enjoys reading, kickboxing, and music. He is a member of the Church Music Association of America and contributes regularly to the Chant Café blog. He is also a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America and is a speaker on sacred music, liturgy, theology, and catechesis. In 2013 he was elected to the Society for Catholic Liturgy. In 2014 he was received into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem as a Chaplain.
On 10 February 2015, Bishop Guglielmone appointed Father Smith the Pastor of Prince of Peace.
Rev’d Fr Richard Tomlinson STD, Parochial Vicar
Father Richard Tomlinson was born in 1949 in Washington, DC and grew up in the area of Princeton, NJ. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School and Tulane University with a BA in English. Fr. Tomlinson was raised as an Episcopalian and converted to Catholicism after college, while he was teaching at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Fl.
After post-graduate work in Classics and Hebrew at Princeton and the University of Toronto, Fr. Tomlinson was employed as a private investor for 16 years. He was also engaged in various charitable activities, including missionary work in Haiti and serving as a volunteer with the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton and the Missionaries of Charity in Newark.
In 1997, Fr. Tomlinson entered the seminary as a postulant with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. He earned the Master of Divinity degree summa cum laude in 2002 and the License in Sacred Theology in 2004 magna cum laude from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington.
After a year of doctoral research in Princeton, Fr. Tomlinson joined the Diocese of Charleston in 2006 and was a pastoral associate at St. Mary’s in Greenville, St. Theresa the Little Flower in Summerville, and Stella Maris on Sullivan’s Island.
He then spent two years in Rome, where he did priestly formation at the Pontifical Beda College and worked on a doctorate in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (the Angelicum). After the successful defense of his dissertation (“A Comparison of the Aqedah and the Prose Tale of the Book of Job”), he was awarded the Doctorate in Sacred Theology magna cum laude in 2010.
Fr. Tomlinson was ordained to the diaconate on June 19, 2009 at St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome and to the priesthood on November 21, 2009 at St. Theresa’s in Summerville, SC.
From 2009-2011, Fr. Tomlinson served as Parochial Vicar at Stella Maris RC Church in Sullivan’s Island and as Chaplain at Bishop England High School on Daniel Island. He also taught Latin at Bishop England and Greek at Our Lady Star of the Sea Home School. From 2011-13, he served as Administrator and as Parochial Vicar at Prince of Peace in Taylors, SC.
In September, 2013, Fr. Tomlinson was temporarily assigned to the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, where he served as Chaplain at Monmonth University in West Long Branch. In February, 2015, he returned to Prince of Peace as Parochial Vicar.
Fr. Tomlinson is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, the Knights of Columbus (4th degree), and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Owners Manual (Denver: 1995)
The Theological Structure of the Prologue to the Book of Job (Washington, DC: 2004)
The Aqedah and the Prose Tale of the Book of Job (Rome: 2011)
Deacon Robert Smith
Deacon Robert (Bob) Smith was ordained Deacon on May 19, 2007 by Bishop Baker for the Diocese of Charleston after 5 years of formation (32 courses). He was assigned to Prince of Peace, where he and his family have been parishioners since 1981. He is married to Lois and has 4 children and 5 grandchildren located in Lebanon, New Hampshire; Staten Island, NY, Shawnee, Kansas, and Easley.
Deacon Bob graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1968 with a BS in Engineering and again in 1974 with an MBA also from Notre Dame. He is retired from Cryovac Div of Sealed Air Corp (formerly W R Grace) after 35 years in various financial and marketing management positions. He is also retired from the Army after 32 years (3 active duty years and 29 years in the reserves) as a Colonel. He is a Viet Nam veteran and commanded an Engineer Company, Engineer Battalion and a Chemical Brigade. His final assignment was Chief of Staff of one of the 12 major Army Reserve Commands. He is a graduate of the US Army War College and recipient of Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (5), Army Commendation Medal (5) and Army Achievement Medal (3).
Deacon Bob is currently active with the Knights of Columbus (Council 9184 and Holy Family Assembly – 4th degree); the Notre Dame Club of the Western Carolinas (a co-founder and oversees a scholarship fund and contact with current students from our region), diaconate formation and mentoring current candidates, the Army Engineer and Chemical Associations; Cursillo, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepucher of Jerusalem, AOH, and the various activities associated with the diaconate at POP (including bringing communion to senior living facilities, visiting sick and dying, RCIA, POP school activities, assisting at Mass and with various sacraments and sacramentals and as needed). He enjoys his prayer life, his family, anything Notre Dame, POP/St Rafka Parishes, the Catholic community in the upstate, maintaining friendships, traveling (visiting the children, Kiawah Island, Houston, Notre Dame/St. Joseph, Mi, old hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio, Israel, Italy, France, Poland/Czech Republic and going to Botswana and Victoria Falls next fall), and sports.
Gustavo Suarez, Diaconate Candidate
Gus was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Cuban refugee parents. At age six, his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he learned English from Big Bird and, thanks to many sacrifices by his parents, went to Catholic schools. Gus attended Furman University, where he performed improvisational comedy, travelled to South Africa, and graduated with a double major in History and Political Science. After completing law school at the University of Georgia, Gus was excited to be able to return to Greenville in 2003. He assists with Prince of Peace’s Baptismal Preparation Program.