The Immaculate Conception School was opened in 1903 by the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in a small building formerly used as a chapel at the corner of Sheppard and Coming Streets in Charleston.  It was enlarged in 1906.  The Sisters of Mercy taught there for ten years.  They made a major contribution to the success of Catholic Schools for Black children in Charleston.  As the demand for educators throughout the Diocese increased, Bishop William T. Russell made an appeal to the Oblate Sisters of Divine Providence to staff Immaculate Conception and St. Peter’s Schools.  On September 13, 1917, nine Oblate Sisters came to Charleston to take charge of the two schools.

Immaculate Conception School

In 1928 plans to build a new school on Coming Street was perfected.  It was dedicated on September 28, 1930, by Bishop Emmett Walsh.  The new two-story fire-proof building contained fourteen classrooms.  Ten rooms were occupied by the Grammar School and four for the High School.  Both levels flourished to the point that a third floor was added to the building in 1945.

Immaculate Conception School After the third floor was added in 1945

The Reverend Ward F. Cleary, C. S. Sp., Pastor of St. Peter’s Church, expanded ICS to include a science lab, home economics department, and a business course.  Father William Haggerty, C. S. Sp., became Pastor in 1961 and it was under his direction that Father Cleary Hall was built for the school’s use.  The last High School graduation at ICS was held in 1968.  Although the building still stands, it is no longer owned by the Diocese of Charleston.  ICS closed its doors to teaching after the 1973-73 school year.  In 2006, a phase II of the “Walk of Faith” Project at St. Patrick was erected as a tribute to the Immaculate Conception School.

“Preserving Our Past, Embracing Our Future”
A Tribute to ICS School


St. Patrick
Saint Patrick
Our Patron Saint


Our Lady of Mercy
Sister Parish:
Our Lady of Mercy Church
77 America Street
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 723-7784)


The Vatican Diocese of Charleston Conference of Catholic BishopsNational Council of Catholic WomenKnights of Peter ClaverKnights of Columbus
134 St. Philip Street, Charleston, SC 29403 Phone: 843. 723.6066 Email: stpat@bellsouth.net