of St. Mary's Church,
Until 1886, Bambalapitiya was a substation of St. Philip Neri's Church
in Pettah. At this time, the Mission of Philip Neri's comprised the
areas of Pettah, Slave Island, Kollupitiya and Bambalapitiya, including
From its inception the Parish of St. Mary's was closely associated with
the priestly formation of the Oblate order. Fr. François Euze, OMI
assumed duties as Parish Priest from 15 December 1901, and continued
until 1912. The foundation stone of the present stately church you see
today, was laid by Archbishop Anthony Coudert, OMI on 12 July 1908. The
church was ready for services in 1912, and was completed by 1917, and
was blessed by Archbishop Coudert. The library and the bookstall were
added in 1927. You can see these two dates, 1917 and 1927 inscribed on
the left and right side of the church.
St. Mary's in turn has seen its substations at Thimbirigasyaya and
Kollupitiya become full fledged Parishes in their own right, namely St.
Theresa's and St. Anthony's. The Parish also played a key role in the
two famous Catholic schools in Bambalapitiya, namely St. Peter's and
Holy Family Convent. To date, only Rev. Fr. Joe De Mel has had the
honour of being baptised and serving as Parish Priest here.
This web article is necessarily limited. There is much on the historic
and miraculous Lady of Livramento statue, the changes to the building and
mission house you see today, and the historic project to build a
Centenary Hall in the
A comprehensively researched and more complete article on the
history of the Parish and the Church, is available in the
It is available for sale at Rs. 2,500 at the Parish Bookshop.