The idea of a Catholic parish in the Goose Creek area surfaced about 30 years ago. In 1975, Father Alfred Pepera, Chaplain at the MENRIV Naval Weapons Station was presented with some cards by the local Baptist Church showing 40 Catholic families living in the area. Father Pepera, concerned that the MENRIV Chapel membership was growing rapidly and that it might not be able to accommodate the civilian and retirees worshiping with his military population, encouraged some of his faithful to look into the possibility of forming a civilian parish in the area. Soon a group of interested Catholics was formed and decided to hold meetings for that purpose. A brief canvassing of the new subdivisions in the community yielded 160 resident Catholic families. The group decided to approach the Bishop of Charleston, the Most Reverend Ernest L. Unterkoefler, who in turn asked the priests of Moncks Corner, Father Patrick Shelton and Father David Draim, to meet with the community in Goose Creek. Father Patrick and Father David would say Mass for the community on Saturday evening at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and would establish a catechetical program for the children. The Bishop also expressed the hope that in the future a new parish would be established in Goose Creek. While the Catholic Community settled and worshiped at St. Timothy, the Diocese looked for a piece of suitable land where a church could be built. The search ended in 1979 when 10 acres of land in Goose Creek, adjacent to Highway 176 near and just past the Foxborough subdivision, was acquired. The community celebrated the event with an open Mass on the field where they pledged to build a church. A campaign for funds started right then and there. In March of 1982, a Butler Multi-Purpose Building was dedicated for a total cost of $136,000. More importantly, on April 12, 1982, Bishop Unterkoefler nominated the community officially as the Church of Immaculate Conception and on June 5, 1983 the first resident pastor, Reverend Robert Fix, was sent to Goose Creek. The parish continued to grow and to expand under the second resident pastor, Reverend Donald Grady, SJ, who built the present rectory. But, the dream to realize a larger and final church fell to the third resident pastor, Reverend Nicholas Capetola, CRM. The planning, the campaign and the building of the new church took about six years at a cost of $1.8 million. The church seats about 750 people comfortably.
THE ADORNO FATHERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA
The presence of the Adorno Fathers in South Carolina started, as did their presence in the United States, with a request from the Filippine Sisters. The sisters had accepted the invitation of Most Reverend Ernest L. Unterkoefler, Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, to become administrators and teachers at Divine Redeemer Catholic School in Hanahan, SC. After the ordination of Father Michael Marotta, CRM, and Father Leo Prince, the idea of a possible expansion to the South was entertained. The sisters introduced them to Father Joseph J. Murphy, pastor of Divine Redeemer. Father Murphy introduced them to the Bishop. Father Hector DiNardo, CRM, received a letter from Father Murphy, dated May 21, 1987, inviting the Order to come and spend some time in the area. In the letter he cited the urgent need for priests in the Diocese of Charleston and the possibility of a visit with the Bishop. Father Hector received a letter dated September 4, 1987, from the Bishop expressing his interest to speak to the Order about possible expansion in to South Carolina. A meeting was held in Lodi, New Jersey on April 28, 1989. Representatives of the communities of Ramsey, New Jersey and Lodi were present along with the General Procurator of the Order, Father Nicholas Capetola, CRM. The American community accepted the challenge to expand into South Carolina. South Carolina was and, in a sense, still is a mission area. Even though Charleston is one of the oldest Catholic Dioceses in the United States, the Catholics are a small minority (3 to 4%) of the general population. Father Nicholas arrived in Goose Creek, South Carolina on May 20, 1989. He took possession of Immaculate Conception parish on June 6, 1989 and was appointed pastor, effective June 9, 1989. The parish was composed of 396 families who worshiped in a multi-purpose building. It was used on Sundays for Masses and religious education classes. During the rest of the week it was used for all other parish social activities. There was a rectory with two apartments, a secretary's office and a small office for the pastor. Today, the parish family worships in a church which seats 750 and is the pride of the area. The parish family has grown from 396 fami- lies to about 2,000, approximately 6,000 souls. Our church, as a visiting priest aptly put it, is one in which everything is in its place and is decorated with simplicity and decorum. The church is a place of celebration and contemplation. The Adorno Fathers have brought, and are continuing to instill their love for the Eucharist and their sense of joy in the celebration of the Liturgy to the people of the parish. This is a community of people coming from different areas of the country and the world, with different ethnic backgrounds, who are able to worship, pray and play together. In October 1994, while in South Carolina, the Adorno Fathers came in contact with Father Edgardo O. Enverga. He was here from the Philippines for a family baptism. He expressed an interest in the Order. After his coming in to the Order, a door was opened in Southeast Asia. Father Ed took his Profession of Solemn Vows at Immaculate Conception Church on June 18, 2000. Our current pastor, Father Jason and Parochial Vicar, Father Gerry were the first two priests ordained in this parish on December 7, 2002. Father Liam was ordained here on June 23, 2007 and Father Melvin, Father Noni, and Father Jun were ordained as transitional deacons. This section of South Carolina is exploding with newcomers from all over the United States. Demographic projections of the area indicate that this area will double itself in the next ten to fifteen years. These people are coming from areas where the percentage of Catholics is much higher. May the Adorno Fathers, who are happily employed in spiritual and apostolic work for the glory of God, for the consolation of the church and the honor of their Father, Saint Francis Caracciolo, be blessed and successful. May they live, flourish and increase "for the greater glory of the Risen Christ."