25 Years of History
We are a Catholic community united to form a church family dedicated to continuing the ministry of Christ. We will strive to be examples to others through open minds, open hearts and open arms.
In October 1992, Fr, John Giuliani, C.O. led a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a Catholic community in the Fort Mill area. In early 1993, 44 families gathered, on faithful hope and prayer, to establish a Mission Church known as the Fort Mill/Tega Cay Catholic Community. Initially, Masses were celebrated Saturday afternoon at Lake Wylie Lutheran Church in Fort Mill. The congregation grew rapidly, with Masses then held in the Fellowship Hall at Philadelphia United Methodist Church.
On January 8th, 1994, Bishop David B. Thompson celebrated Mass and announced that he had accepted the Fort Mill/Tega Cay Catholic Community’s Mission Statement. The Bishop, at that time, also named our community after St. Philip Neri, the founder of the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.
As the Parish Grew . . .
In February 1995, the Parish of St. Philip Neri purchased eight acres of land on Munn Road in Fort Mill for a future church. On September 1, 1997, a groundbreaking was held to celebrate its construction start. Approximately nine months later, during Easter 1998, the first Mass at St. Philip Neri was celebrated in the partially-completed Parish Center building. On May 30, 1998, the Parish Center officially opened, with its dedication by Bishop David B. Thompson held several months later.
In April of 2002, a new capital campaign was initiated to raise funds for the Parish’s ongoing construction plan. At the time, there were over 1,000 registered families. In June 2003, St. Philip Neri celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Plans were then made to begin construction of the Ministry Building in early 2004. A “snowfall of the century” on February 28, 2004 caused severe roof damage to the Parish Center, with the Parish unable to use the building until repairs were completed eight months later. In November 2005, the St. Philip Neri congregation launched “The Mission Continues”, a four-year capital campaign designed to raise funds for the construction of a new sanctuary. At that time, the parish had over 1,700 registered families. After years of planning and the plentiful efforts of many devoted parishioners, St. Philip Neri Church dedicated our beautiful sanctuary in May 2013.
2018, our 25th Anniversary Year . . .
From our very humble beginnings more than 25 years ago, to 2018, our church has developed a rich heritage with dedicated parishioners who have generously offered the gifts of their time, talent and treasure to make St. Philip Neri Church what it is today. We have come this far by faith and as we celebrate 25 years, we honor and reflect on the past, and its many challenges. We also celebrate the present day and welcome the promise of a future that continues the mission to which we have been called – continuing the ministry of Christ. Today, St Philip Neri has over 2,700 registered families and we continue to grow.
Our Mission Continues . . .
The cross in the sanctuary, through which God’s light shines through, represents Christ’s crucifixion and His sacrifice to redeem humanity and grace us with salvation. This cross, as Fr. John reminds us, should be an inspiration to all to graciously carry the crosses in our own lives, as well as bear one another’s burdens with the compassion of our Lord. As a faith-filled community, we will joyfully continue the mission to which we have been called.