Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Conewago

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Conewago Chapel
Conewago Chapel RC AdamsCo PA.JPG
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Location3 miles (4.8 km) northwest of Hanover, Conewago Township, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°49′8″N77°2′17″W / 39.81889°N 77.03806°W / 39.81889; -77.03806 Coordinates: 39°49′8″N77°2′17″W / 39.81889°N 77.03806°W / 39.81889; -77.03806
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
Architectural styleFederal
NRHP reference No. 75001604 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJanuary 29, 1975
Designated PHMCDecember 12, 1947 [2]

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, also known as Conewago Chapel, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus located in Conewago Township (Adams County), Pennsylvania. The church is under the circumscription of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.



The Basilica was built between 1785 and 1787, and is constructed of brownstone with three-foot-thick walls. It measures 2 12 stories high, three bays wide and five bays deep. It features a Federal style entrance with a semi-circular arched doorway and an 80-foot-high spire, added in 1873. Attached to the chapel is a three-story rectory, also built in 1787. It is the oldest Roman Catholic church constructed of stone in the United States. Prince Gallitzin spent the first five years of his priesthood at Conewago Chapel from 1795 to 1799. [3]

It was decreed a minor basilica on June 30, 1962. [4] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. [1]


The following priests have served as pastor of the church: [5]

  1. William Wappeler (1741–1748)
  2. T. Schneider (1748–1753)
  3. Mathias Manners (Mathias Sittensperger) (1753–1758)
  4. James Frambach (1758–1768)
  5. James Pellentz (1768–1800)
  6. Francis X. Brosius (1800–1803)
  7. S. Cerfourmont (1803–1804)
  8. Louis de Barth (1804–1812)
  9. Adam Brit (1812–1822)
  10. Mathew Lekeu (1822–1843)
  11. N. Steinbacher (1843–1846)
  12. Michael Tuffer (1846–1847)
  13. Joseph Enders (1847–1858)
  14. John Cattani (1858–1865)
  15. Simon Dompieri (1865–1866)
  16. A. Carlier (1866–1868)
  17. Burchard Villiger (1868–1869)
  18. I. Bellwalder 1869–1871)
  19. Joseph Enders (1871–1884)
  20. Patrick Forhand (1884–1888)
  21. John Mullaly (1888–1891)
  22. Thomas Hayes (1891–1893)
  23. Timonthy Oleary (1893–1898)
  24. Daniel Haugh (1898–1899)
  25. William B. Cowardin (1899–1901)
  26. Hugo A. Loague (1901–1902)
  27. E. Halfetermeyer (1902–1909)
  28. Germanus Kohl (1909–1914)
  29. Charles Koch (1914–1925)
  30. John F. O' Donnell (1925–1947)
  31. Harold E. Keller (1947–1953)
  32. John P. Bolin (1953–1966)
  33. Thomas J. McGough (1966–1980)
  34. George W. Rost (1980–2000)
  35. Lawrence J. McNeil (2000–2013)
  36. James E. Lease (2013–2015)
  37. Joseph Howard (2015–present)

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  1. 1 2 "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. "Conewago Chapel - PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  3. "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.Note: This includes David C. Stacks (1973–1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Conewago Chapel" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  4. "Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus". Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  5. "History of Our Pastors". The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 11, 2019.