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Living Life with Christ in the Liturgical Year

The Season of Ordinary Time

The Church’s liturgical year, as recalled by the Second Vatican Council in the constitution on the sacred liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, notes: “Holy Church celebrates the saving work of Christ on prescribed days in the course of the year with sacred remembrance. Each week, on the day called the Lord’s Day, she commemorates the Resurrection of the Lord, which she also celebrates once a year in the great Paschal Solemnity, together with his blessed Passion. In fact, throughout the course of the year the Church unfolds the entire mystery of Christ and observes the birthdays of the Saints.”
With the conclusion of the Christmas Season (during which, we recalled the nativity of Jesus and His manifestation to the people of the world), the Church now enters the first period of Ordinary Time in the liturgical year during which the Christian faithful are called to growth, conversion, and maturation by considering the fullness of the Revelation of God incarnate in Jesus with His life, teachings/words, and works/deeds. Each day of ordinary time, the Church calls Christians, to live His mystery and life in their own lives. And, while moving through this period of ordered time, the church invites us to stop on some special days to commemorate major events in the Lord’s life and ministry, the memorials of canonized saints, and the life of Mary, the blessed Virgin, Mother of God and Mother of the Church. As the US Conference of Bishops reflects on the liturgical year on their website, regarding the call to live Jesus’ mystery in our own lives: “This call is best illustrated in the lives of Mary and the saints, celebrated by the Church throughout the year. There is no tension between the mystery of Christ and the celebration of the saints, but rather a marvelous harmony. The Blessed Virgin Mary is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son, and the feasts of all the saints proclaim the wonderful works of Christ in his servants and offer the faithful fitting examples for their imitation.

Lent is fast Approaching

Since Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord is 9 April this year, that places Ash Wednesday with the start of Lent to begin on Wed. 22 February. This will be here before we know it! We encourage you to take some time before then to recall the Church’s mind and heart on the Spiritual purpose of Lent and begin with both prayer and intellectual preparation for the season so you may begin the lenten journey well and with mature and intentional preparation. Check out this short but very helpful video by Fr. Mike where he reviews the three pillars of Lent and gives us guidance and encouragement so we can open and prepare ourselves for this special time in the liturgical year.

Blessing Bags – Help Needed
Click Here


Saturday: 5.30 PM (Rosary at 5 pm)
Sunday: 8.45 AM and 11.15 AM

Monday – Thursday: 7:00 am
Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 am

Welcome to Saint Mary

We welcome to Saint Mary of the Assumption those who are new to the Lancaster area and would like to join our parish church; those who are looking to return to an active practice of the Catholic faith and participation in the sacramental life; or those adults or families interested in becoming Catholic through our parish R.C.I.A. Process.

Christian Worship: Mass & Sacraments

Join us in the celebration of the sacred liturgy at Mass or in the Sacraments, through which we worship God and are touched by the Lord in His Paschal Mystery to grow fully alive in our human nature, to be nourished and built up together as the Body of Christ, and to be sent out into the world to continue that worship in our lives to His glory.

Our Parish History

Catholicism in Lancaster goes back to the early settlers in 1800. The people of our parish are grateful for the gift of the catholic faith given us by the Apostles and our local ancestors, we strive to continue to live so that our actions may inspire to holiness of life the generations to follow until the Lord’s return.

Mass & Confession Times

The Lord’s Day
Saturday: 5:30 pm (Rosary at 5)
Sunday: 8:45 am and 11:15 am

Monday – Thursday: 7:00 am
Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 am

Saturday: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Or by Appointment

January 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  • Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
  • Baptism Class
  • Rectory Office closed
  • OCIA (RCIA) Session
  • Liturgy Committee Meeting
  • Children's Choir
  • Adult Choir
  • Youth Group
  • Women's Group
  • Women's Group
  • Irish4Life Pancake Breakfast
  • Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
  • Dismissal of Catechumen(s)
  • PSR (CCD) Session
  • Epiphany Open House
  • Youth Group - MS
  • OCIA (RCIA) Session
  • Staff Luncheon/Meeting
  • Peace after Divorce
  • Reader Video Workshop
  • Children's Choir
  • SMHS Meeting -Spirit Center
  • Adult Choir
  • Youth Group
  • Women's Group
  • Women's Group
  • Young Adult -contact (abennett@stmarylancaster.org) for info
  • Dismissal of Catechumen(s)
  • PSR (CCD) Session
  • MLK Day - Rectory office closed
  • OCIA (RCIA) Session
  • Parish Pastoral Council Meeting
  • Peace after Divorce
  • Children's Choir
  • Adult Choir
  • Youth Group
  • Women's Group
  • Women's Group
  • Sandwich Saturday
  • Reader Video Workshop (Church)
  • Dismissal of Catechumen(s)
  • PSR (CCD) Session
  • Youth Group-MS
  • OCIA (RCIA) Session
  • Peace after Divorce
  • Children's Choir
  • Adult Choir
  • Youth Group
  • Women's Group
  • Eucharistic Adoration
  • Benediction
  • Women's Group
  • Reader Video Workshop (Church)
  • Young adult -contact (abennett@stmarylancaster.org) for info
  • Catholic Schools Week
  • Dismissal of Catechumen(s)
  • Confirmation Prep Session 4 - Candidates and a Parent
  • PSR (CCD) Session
  • School Open House
  • Catholic Schools Week
  • OCIA (RCIA) Session
  • Catholic Schools Week
  • Peace after Divorce

Blessing Bags

Our Homeless Outreachgroup is organizing the preparation of blessing bags for those in need around the Lancaster area. But, they need your help to gather the needed items. Click below to learn more and see how you can help via the wish list on Amazon or by purchasing needed items around town to drop off at the parish. Thank you.

Stewardship 2023

On the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary (13 Nov.) Father Eilerman and John and Laura Bradford spoke about stewardship and making a parish commitment for offertory giving in 2023. If you were at another parish for Mass, please take 25 minutes to watch the presentation video. A letter and pledge card will be mailed to all parishioners, please complete and return the pledge card as soon as possible. Thank you!

What is a Basilica?
While somewhat familiar to Catholics, the term Basilica originally referred to a specific function and style of building in use during the time of the Roman Empire. A Basilica was a public building used by the Emperor or Judges for major events of noble import or significance.  The structure was usually distinguished by columns, a long center aisle, and an apse within the building. It was into the apse that the Emperor or Judge would be seated.

As Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, Basilicas were converted into churches, with the Altar and Tabernacle of Our Lord, Jesus Christ substantially present in the apse, the place once occupied by the emperor.  The Basilica thus became the “Royal House” where Christians gathered to celebrate the Eucharist and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Two Types of Basilicas
There are two types of Basilicas: Major Basilicas and Minor Basilicas. All the Major Basilicas are found in the city of Rome. First among them is the Lateran Basilica of Saint John, which is the Pontifical Cathedral of the Holy Father as the Bishop of Rome.The other three are the Vatican Basilica of Saint Peter, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, and the Basilica of Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls. 

Minor Basilicas are those churches throughout Christendom that have been given a special designation by the Holy Father.  Reasons for bestowing this designation may be granted for architectural beauty, historical significance, liturgical renown, or for any combination of these attributes.  A Minor Basilica shares a special relationship with the See of Rome and with the Holy Father.

Special Privileges and Obligations

The faithful who devoutly visit the basilica and within it participate in any sacred rite or at least recite the Lord’s Prayer and the profession of faith may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intention of the Supreme Pontiff):

    • on the anniversary of the dedication of the same basilica;
    • on the day of the liturgical celebration of the title – 15 August;
    • on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles – 29 June;
    • on the anniversary of the granting of the title of basilica – 7 July;
    • once a year on a day to be determined by the local Ordinary.
    • once a year on a day freely chosen by each of the faithful.

From the Catholic Times: “Three years ago, Bishop Robert Brennan made his first visit to Lancaster St. Mary of the Assumption Church to open its bicentennial year on the solemnity of its patroness. The beauty of the parish’s sanctuary, which had just undergone extensive renovation, left a lasting impression on him. So much so that a year later when he returned in 2020 to close out the bicentennial year, he asked the church’s pastor, Father Craig Eilerman, whether he’d ever considered pursuing a special designation for the historic church. That conversation and future discussions set the wheels in motion for a process that culminated in the diocese’s second-oldest church receiving the special designation of a minor basilica from the Vatican.” (Catholic Times Credit and Link)

“It is the home of a thriving Catholic community and is already a destination for pilgrims and visitors who seek to experience the holiness of this place, and to admire the beauty of this sacred edifice.”

The Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan

Previous Bishop of Coumbus

In September of 2021, the Holy Father announced that he appointed Bishop Brennan to serve as the bishop of the Church of Brooklyn. In April of 2022, he named Father Earl K. Fernandes, a priest of Cincinnati, as the next bishop of Columbus. Bishop-elect Fernandes was consecrated and installed as bishop of Columbus on 31 May 2022.

It’s a beautiful and historical church, which has been restored and enhanced. In Lancaster, people of faith have gathered to worship God for more than two centuries. Here they have celebrated sacred moments in their lives. The designation also shows the ongoing loyalty of the Diocese of Columbus and its people to the Holy Father. The designation is a testimony to the faith that was brought here by missionaries and a reminder to continue to be missionaries, bringing Good News to others!”

The Most Reverend Earl K. Fernandes

Bishop of Columbus

“I am thrilled that our church has been granted the title of a Minor Basilica. It’s an affirmation of the strong Catholic faith that has existed for over 200 years in Lancaster and of the outstanding beauty of St. Mary of the Assumption Church.”

Rev. Fr. Craig R. Eilerman

Rector, Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption

Learn about the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

Visit our Basilica Church

Our parish is at the heart of the Catholic faith in downtown Lancaster. Holy Mass, central to everything we do, is celebrated seven days a week and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is easily accessible. We welcome your visit!

132 South High Street
Lancaster, Ohio

Parish Office Hours:
M – F: 8.00 am – 4.30 pm