Called To be a People for Others.
Anchored by faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ, we strive to be active disciples, serving each other and all God’s people by welcoming and embracing the enriching diversity of our community of faith.
Words From Our New Priest:
I AM VERY DELIGHTED TO COME TO YOU.
I am very delighted to be assigned to St Gerard. I come as one sent. This assignment brings back memories and histories that have shaped my consciousness and the understanding of my role and functions as a priest. I share this with you as a way of introducing myself and also to enable you to know how much I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this community. I intend to work with you in building up the reign of God in our hearts, in our community and in our world. I consider every new pastoral assignment as a privileged opportunity for collaboration with the People of God in the parish family in the work of witnessing to the faith. I draw inspiration and strength from the missionary mandate of the gospel and the pastoral outlook bequeathed to me by my Irish missionary mentors. They like me were priests that came from far away lands, but they shared the faith with generous hearts, leaving an indelible mark on my young mind that became the inspiration for my priestly vocation.
Portuguese missionaries, dating back to the fifteenth century, were the first to bring the Christian faith to the inhabitants of the coastal region of what became the nation state of Nigeria. Their efforts at evangelization did not succeed in establishing the church in what was to become my home region in the world. The next wave of Christian missionary activity came in the 19th century. The leading group of missionaries in Calabar was Scottish Presbyterians. The Catholics came in the first decade of the 20th century.
In my hometown of Calabar, my Pastor (Fr. Denis O’ Hara) was an Irish missionary and a priest of St Patrick Society from Dublin, Ireland. My family being Catholic ensured that I became an altar boy. The role of an altar boy gave me the opportunity to interact with the priest on a more personal level. I quickly became deeply impressed by his kindness and love towards everyone. He inspired me to want to be like him. So at the age of nine years, I told him that I was going to be a priest. His response was that I would have to go to the junior seminary instead of the regular middle and high school. He gladly recommended me when the opportunity came to take the entrance exam to the junior seminary.
I was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Calabar, Nigeria in 1977. I have served in the Diocese of Charleston since 2005. My assignments have been in Campus Ministry and in the parish. I was Director of Campus Ministry at the Citadel at Charleston (six months) and at Clemson University for four years. I was the pastor at Corpus Christi, Lexington for about four years.
Before I came to the Diocese of Charleston, I served in my home diocese, the Archdiocese of Calabar (Nigeria) in various ministries including teaching at the Junior Seminary and as Pastor in different parishes. I also had opportunity to do advanced studies. I did graduate studies at the University of Leuven in Belgium and obtained Masters degrees in Philosophy and Social and Cultural Anthropology as well as a Doctorate degree in the later. I taught at the University of Calabar in Nigeria as well as at universities in New York (USA).
I appreciate the opportunity the Bishop has given me to serve you. I eagerly look forward to a fulfilling and productive pastoral ministry in this parish family. Thank you and God bless.Rev. Emmanuel Andinam. Edgefield, SC Feb. 24, 2015