“I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord…” 1 Timothy, 12

Stained glass window  depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.

 Our Mission and Motive




How did Corpus Christi come to be a vibrant community of about 8,000 members and growing? What continues to attract people to the faith, and to our local church today?


Some parishioners say that in Catholicism they find a timeless quality expressed in the sacraments of the church that was founded by Jesus Christ Himself.


For our church locally, as well as internationally, the Catholic Church fosters our love of God and  loving our neighbor as ourselves.  While this extensive work is taken on by everyday people, it is bolstered through the continued changing of many hearts and minds through the power of God ‘s Word and the Holy Spirit.




Our first hardy settlers faced the well-worn challenges of travel, weather and religious persecution in what would become our hometown of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.


Irish missionary Father Dennis Cahill, in the late 1700s, said  that he found the people of Chambersburg to be “exemplary and pious”. He bought land and built a log structure that he called Christ’s Church.


In 1812, a stone church named Corpus Christi was built to replace our first log church, and to serve a growing Catholic population. Mass was celebrated in that structure throughout the 19th century, It was this church that served as an emergency hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers following the Battle of Gettysburg, which raged in July of 1863.


Our present church was completed in 1900. In church files it is noted that the church was first blessed by the pastor and occupied on February 10, 1907. Appropriately, formal dedication ceremonies took place on the feast day of Corpus Christi, May 30, 1907. Chronicles of the event included that the Right Reverend John W. Shanahan, D.D. Bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese, dedicated and blessed the edifice and its fixtures. Twenty priests took part in the ceremony.


In addition to supporting many hundreds of young families and marriages over the years, many young people from our parish devoted themselves to the religious life. Women from the parish entered religious communities, and many young men entered the priesthood. Among these were the Very Reverend John Hughes, the first Archbishop of New York.


Corpus Christi Parish has founded a number of missions and parishes, including Waynesboro, Shippensburg and Greencastle. Presently, the parish administers Our Lady of Refuge in Doylesburg, as its mission companion.  Parishioners at Our Lady strive to support area nursing homes and  local people in need of assistance.

Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church

320 Philadelphia Avenue

Chambersburg, PA  17201

Franklin County

 717-264-6317  Office & Rectory-

 717-263-9541  Religious Education Office-
 717-264-1787  Fax-



Sometime in the 21st Century, our fourth as a parish, the facilities are going to need an upgrade that goes above and beyond everyday maintenance. On the wish list is increased space for worship and modernized education facilities that allow us to keep pace both ideologically and technically.


Encouraged by our former bishop, Bishop Rhoades, our former pastor Reverend James R. O’Brien established the “21st Century Fund” as a foundation for capital improvements.





Anyone wishing to contribute financially to the fund has several options. It is possible to put Corpus Christi into a last will and testament. Making a provision in your will can be accomplished easily by including the topic in a newly written document, or by including it later as an addendum. An attorney’s advice may be helpful regarding the details and tax benefits.  Individuals wishing to memorialize a deceased person could make a donation to the 21st Century Fund in lieu of flowers. Immediate gifts are also possible.


For further details about the fund, please contact the parish office during normal business hours. Additionally, a brochure is available in the church lobby.