“The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration… It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach.”
– Pope Francis
Catholicity 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 continue to live so that our lives may inspire to holiness of life the generations to follow, and continue our progress onward and upward through the years to come until the Lord is all in all.
Below can be found links to information about our parishes history, the men who’ve served the People of God here at Saint Mary of the Assumption as Pastors and Vicars over the years, and a summary of the events of our most recent historical celebration as we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the consecration of our present church building.
August of 2019 began our parish bicentennial. There was a year of celebration to commemorate this historic time in the life of our parish. Each month at least one special event took place from special sacred liturgies, choral concerts, and social gatherings. The highlight of the year was on 15 August 2020 when Bishop Brennan offered Mass in the newly beautified church. A recording of that Opening Mass for the bicentennial year is available on our parish YouTube channel ( here ).
A Historical Sketch
In 1817, Father Edward D. Fenwick, O.P. offered the first Mass at the home of Michael Garaghty at the corner of Main and High Streets. In 1818/19, Father Nicholas D. Young, O.P., a nephew of Fr. Fenwick, founded and named the parish “St. Mary of the Assumption.” A small frame building erected at the southeast corner of Chestnut and what is now Memorial Drive served as the first church…
Former Parish Clergy
After the Order of Preachers entrusted our parish to secular clergy of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1836, we have been shepherded by twenty-one pastors in less than two hundred years who were supported by just over one hundred parochial vicars in total.
On 5 June 2014, our parish marked the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of the consecration of our third and present church building with a year of celebration. In 2017 our parish marked the bicentennial anniversary of the offering of the first Mass in Lancaster at the corner of Main and High Streets in what is now the Fairfield County Foundation building. Most recently, August of 2019 – 2020 was the bicentennial anniversary of the founding of our parish – again, another year of celebration was in order to commemorate this historic year.