Our Lady of Peace Mission, Bonneau
The modern history of the Catholic Church in Berkeley County commenced about 85 years ago. It began in Bonneau with the gift of “a piece of land with a small house” by Mr. and Mrs. James Thomas Barry on April 27, 1922. The small endowment was soon transformed into a place for a mission chapel for Catholic worship. On October 14, 1923, Right Reverend William T. Russell, Bishop of Charleston, dedicated a chapel to the honor of “Our Lady of Peace”. The little chapel was canonically attached to St. John the Beloved, Summerville, but serviced for several years from old St. Joseph’s in Charleston and various other parishes.
The growth of the Catholic community around Our Lady of Peace chapel was slow, but the chapel was necessary. By the early 1960’s, the continued growth of Catholic families made another expansion of the chapel desirous. Plans were developed for a new expansion. However, when the Diocese of Charleston announced that it had come time to establish a new and larger church in Moncks Corner, the plans were set aside.
St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, Moncks Corner
About ten years later, St. Philip Benizi grew to have a second mission when on May 22, 1976, Most Reverend Ernest L. Unterkoefler, Bishop of Charleston, authorized the establishment of the “Catholic Community of Goose Creek”. This Goose Creek community soon developed into a parish in its own right, which is now called Immaculate Conception.
St. Philip Benizi and Our Lady of Peace are now in their second and third generation of families. Although the future is in God’s hand, with faithful hearts, the growth of the Catholic Church will continue in Berkeley County for the glory of God.
Pastors and Priest Administrators of St. Philip Benizi and Our Lady of Peace
1965 – 1972 Rev. Ernest E. Kennedy
1972 – 1973 Rev. Henry J.Burke
1973 – 1975 Rev. Michael Kaney
1975 – 1976 Rev. James J. Beagan
1976 – 1981 Rev. Patrick Shelton & David Draim