In 1956, the growing Missionary Society of Saint Columban purchased a 100-year old home in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia area, near the intersection of Routes 202 and 352, in the Goshenville neighborhood.
The Columbans officially dedicated the West Chester House in March 1957 in a large ceremony which attracted many Catholic clergy and secular dignitaries from the Philadelphia area. Columban Father Peter Garahy served as the first Superior for the house.
Misfortune would strike the Columbans later in 1957. In September of that year, Columban Father Edward J. McCarthy, one of the original seven Columban Fathers and a leader in the Society, died in a freak car accident.
Despite this tragic loss, the West Chester House served as a beacon for the Columbans in the U.S.