Posts Tagged ‘ Divine Saviour Catholic Church ’

Divine Saviour Catholic Church, Part II – Visited on 12/9

Last Sunday Churchspotting visited Divine Saviour Catholic Church of York, SC (http://wp.me/p1JM4Z-5q).  Today we sit down with Father Adilso Coelho, the presiding priest at Divine Saviour, to learn a bit about him and his church.

Father Adilso is a genial man in early middle age, of middling height and build.  A native of the state of Santa Katarina in southern Brazil, he entered a seminary administered by the Franciscan order at age eleven and studied there for the next twelve years.  At age twenty-three, troubled by doubts of his course and vocation, he left the seminary and moved to the United States.

After a few years in American Fr. Adilso returned to his religious education; in his words, he “realized that God was really calling him to the priesthood.”  After reviewing the United States’ Catholic religious orders, he decided to join the Oratory of St. Phillip Neri in Rock Hill, SC, 1998, where he resides to this day.

After a year as a novitiate in the Oratory and two more years of theological study at Notre Dame University, New Orleans, Fr. Adilso was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church in 2001.  His first post was as an assistant priest at St. Anne Catholic Church in Rock Hill, where he became pastor after a year and a half.  For the next nine years he was the priest of St. Anne’s, until he was transferred to Divine Saviour in 2010.

According to Father Adilso there are approximately ten thousand Catholics in York County, SC.  Though Catholicism is a minority denomination in the area, the last several months of Churchspotting show that the Protestant majority is divided into any number of smaller groups and associations.  In terms of united religious associations, the Catholics of York County constitute a powerful minority.  Fr. Adilso’s church associates with its Protestant neighbors during each year’s Holy Week, and Adilso himself is a member of a multidenominational ministerial association that meets each month.

In terms of charitable works, Divine Saviour provides needy parishioners with approximately $600 in relief each month, distributed by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and also offers an open food pantry that parishioners can avail themselves of in extremity.

On the subject of Church and State, Fr. Adilso echoed sentiments Churchspotting has heard from other religious leaders of York County, who believe that the State is acting to curb and ostracize Christian practice.  Uniquely, however, Fr. Adilso tied this effort more to large corporations than to the government.  He complained of Wal-Mart and other large retailers removing religious elements from their holiday products.  He believes that the heads of such corporations are not Christians themselves, and are acting to change the way Christians think about themselves and their religion.

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