From the 1800s
This Centretown basilica’s first parishioners were mostly of Irish descent, and therefore as a group they decided to name the church after Saint Patrick, the man who brought Christianity to Ireland. The present building was designed back in 1866 by the same architects that worked on the East and West blocks of the Parliament buildings. In 1872, Sir John A. Macdonald laid the cornerstone of the church, after being blessed by the first Bishop of Ottawa. The church was declared a Basilica in 1995. On the south lawn, a statue of the Immaculate Conception welcomes parishioners and visitors to the church.
Made of local stone, the Basilica is Gothic in style and seats 1,000 in its four rows of pews. The interior of the church is adorned by beautiful white arches and intricate railings. The main altar railing also contains a solid bronze gate carved with angels, while other altar gates contain equally detailed symbols of the pierced Heart of Our Saviour and the initial M for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Many imported materials including Belgian marble and Mexican onyx were used to make the elaborate "Altar of Reservation." To the right of the altar is a beautiful replica of Murillo's Assumption of the Virgin Mary, hand painted by Quebecois nuns in 1929. The stained glass windows depict various scenes and figures of biblical importance, including Abraham sacrificing Isaac and a depiction of Saint Michael the Archangel, among many others.
The Basilica offers masses, confessions, daily holy hours and Novena throughout the week. The church also invites interested parishioners to join the various choirs organized for youth, adults, advanced singers and seasonal singers. Saint Patrick's Basilica conducts wedding ceremonies and encourages interested parties to inquire about services at least six months in advance. The pastoral staff offers their wisdom and advice for ensuring a successful ceremony and marriage. The Basilica also hosts a weekly Meditation Group to focus on silent, contemplative prayer that follows the teaching of a Benedictine Monk John Main. Also associated with the Knights of Columbus, you can find more information about the fraternal membership through Saint Patrick's Basilica.
The basilica contains a well-stocked gift shop that carries a large selection of gifts and Catholic books for all occasions. You will find books, crucifixes, greeting cards, stationary, figurines, candles and more. All proceeds go back to the church and its parishioners.