ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL IN JAFFNA
St. Mary’s Cathedral is the principal Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Jaffna. The foundation of St. Mary’s Church was laid in 1789 and was completed in 1794. The first parish Priest was Rev. Fr. Leonard Rebeiro. Prior to that the Catholics assembled for worship in a thatched house of wattle and daub under a large tamarind tree which then stood at the present entrance to the Cathedral by the big door. By the early twentieth century the church, which was now a cathedral, had become too small to accommodate all its worshippers. Construction of a new cathedral began in 1939 but wasn't completed until 1975. The Cathedral in Jaffna today is the most spacious Cathedral in Sri Lanka which can accommodate maximum number of people at a time who can participate in the liturgy comfortably.