Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Conewago, established in 1730, is the oldest parish in the diocese. In 1787, its stone church was erected, and became the first church in the United Stated to be named for the Sacred Heart. It was named a National Historic Site in 1975.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Abbottstown was founded in 1809, blessed in 1843 and became the first church in America dedicated to Mary under this title.
St. Francis Xavier Church in Gettysburg served as a hospital during the Civil War battle in 1863.
St. Stanislaus Parish in Shamokin was founded in 1872, and was the first Polish parish in Pennsylvania.
St. Katharine’s Hall in Carlisle was opened by Mother Katharine Drexel in 1901 for the instruction of African and Native American children. The site is currently the rectory for St. Patrick Parish there.
St. Catherine Labouré Parish in Harrisburg was established in 1948, making it the first parish in the world dedicated to this Miraculous Medal.
38 parishes were merged in 13 new parishes on July 1, 1995, after a three-year process of consultation.
Iglesia Católica San Juan Bautista in Lancaster was established on June 24, 2003. Originally opened in 1982, it became a quasi-parish in 1998 and achieved full parish status in 2003. It is the first Hispanic parish in the diocese.
St. Peter Son Korean Catholic Church in Enola was established in 2012, making it the newest parish of the diocese and the first Asian parish in the diocese.
Three parishes named for North American saints: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Mechanicsburg, founded in 1977; St. John Neumann Parish in Lancaster, founded in 1978, one year after his canonization; and St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Mechanicsburg, established in 1988.
Two minor basilicas: In 1962, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Conewago was elevated to the rank of minor basilica by Pope John XXIII. In 1989, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, Pope John Paul II declared the Motherhouse Chapel of the Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Danville to be a minor basilica, the only one in the world dedicated to the co-patrons of Europe.