The Catholic faith was brought from Maryland about 1730 to Conewago, which became an important Jesuit Mission foundation. From here the faith spread over a great area of Pennsylvania and Western Maryland. A log chapel built in 1741 was replaced in 1787 by the present building – the oldest stone Catholic Church in the United States. This is the first parish church in America dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1962 this church was raised to the dignity of Minor Basilica.