Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Colombo

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Archdiocese of Colombo
Archidioecesis Columbensis in Taprobane
கொழும்பு உயர்மறை
St. Lucia's Cathedral, Colombo, Sri Lanka.jpg
Country Sri Lanka
Ecclesiastical province Colombo
Area 3,838 km2 (1,482 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2006)
700,000 (12.3%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Cathedral St. Lucia's Cathedral
Patron saint St. Joseph Vaz, Our Lady of Lanka, Our Lady of Madhu, St. Thomas the Apostle
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith
Auxiliary Bishops Fidelis Fernando
Vincent Peiris
Sampathawaduge Maxwell Grenville Silva
Emeritus Bishops Nicholas Marcus Fernando Archbishop Emeritus (1977–2002)
Oswald Gomis Archbishop Emeritus (2002–2009)
Website of the Archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Colombo (Latin: Archidioecesis Columbensis in Taprobane) is a Latin Metropolitan Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church, whose ecclesiastical province covers all Sri Lanka plus the Maldives (which are within the archbishopric). Yet is depends on the missionary Roman Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The current Archbishop of Colombo, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 16 June 2009, is Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. He is assisted in this role by the auxiliary bishops.

The archidiocesan motherchurch and cathedral seat of its Metropolitan Archbishop is St. Lucia’s Cathedral. Its other National Shrines are the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka, a minor basilica in Tewatta, and St. Anthony's National Shrine in Kochchikade.


As per 2014, it pastorally served 637,729 Catholics (8.8% of 7,281,000 total) on 3,838 km² in 128 parishes with 592 priests (313 diocesan, 279 religious), 1,560 lay religious (380 brothers, 1,180 sisters) and 292 seminarians.[1]

Ecclesiastical province[edit]

Its suffragan sees are :


Episcopal Ordinaries[edit]

(all Latin rite)[2]

Suffragan Bishops of Ceylon
  • Vicente do Rosayro, Oratorians of Philip Neri (C.O.) (born India) (1836.12.23 – death 1842.04.29), Titular Bishop of Thaumaci (1836.12.23 – 1842.04.29)
  • Caetano Antonio Mulsuce, C.O. (born India) (1843.05.24 – 1845.02.17 see below), Titular Bishop of Usula (1843.05.24 – death 1857.01.25)
Suffragan Bishops of Colombo
  • Caetano Antonio Mulsuce, C.O. (born Italy) (see above 1845.02.17 – death 1857.01.25)
  • Giuseppe Maria Bravi, Sylvestrines (O.S.B. Silv.) (born Italy) (1857.01.25 – 1860.08.15), succeeding as previous Coadjutor Bishop of Colombo (1849.08.03 – 1857.01.25) and Titular Bishop of Tipasa (1849.08.03 – 1860.08.15)
  • Hilarion Silani, O.S.B. Silv. (1863.09.17 – death 1879.03.27), Titular Bishop of Callinicum (1863.09.22 – 1879.03.27)
  • Clemente Pagnani, O.S.B. Silv. (1879.11.12 – 1883.04.20), Titular Bishop of Hephæstum (1879.11.12 – 1886.09.01), next only Apostolic Vicar of daughter see Kandy (Sri Lanka) (1883.04.20 – 1886.09.01), promoted first Bishop of Kandy (1886.09.01 – death 1911.06)
  • Christophe-Etienne Bonjean, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.) (born France) (1883.04.20 – 1886.09.01 see below), formerly Titular Bishop of Medea (1868.07.24 – 1886.09.01) as Apostolic Vicar of Jaffna (Sri Lanka) (1868.07.05 1868.07.24 – 1883.04.20)
Metropolitan Archbishops of Colombo
  • Christophe-Etienne Bonjean, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.) (see above 1886.09.01 – death 1892.08.03)
  • André-Théophile Mélizan, O.M.I. (born France) (1893.04.15 – death 1905.06.27); previously Titular Bishop of Adrana (1879.07.18 – 1886.09.01) as Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of Jaffna (Sri Lanka) (1879.07.18 – 1883.04.20), succeeding as last Apostolic Vicar of Jaffna (1883.04.20 – 1886.09.01), (see) restyled first Bishop of Jaffna (1886.09.01 – 1893.04.15)
  • Antoine Coudert, O.M.I. (born France) (1905.01.28 – death 1929.03.31), succeeding as former Coadjutor Archbishop of Colombo (1898.07.18 – 1905.01.28) and Titular Archbishop of Balaneæ (1898.07.18 – 1905.01.28)
  • Pierre-Guillaume Marque, O.M.I. (born France) (1929.12.16 – death 1937.06.04)
  • Jean-Marie Masson, O.M.I. (born France) (1938.06.13 – 1944.12.06 see below)
Metropolitan Archbishops of Colombo in Ceylon
  • Jean-Marie Masson, O.M.I. (see above 1944.12.06 – death 1947.07.28)
  • Thomas Cooray, O.M.I. (first native incumbent) (1947.07.26 – 1972.05.22 see below), succeeding as former Titular Archbishop of Preslavus (1945.12.14 – 1947.07.26) and Coadjutor Archbishop of Colombo in Ceylon (1945.12.14 – 1947.07.26); created Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo (1965.02.25 – 1988.10.29), also President of Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (1970 – 1977)
Metropolitan Archbishops of Colombo (again)

List of Churches in the Archdiocese[edit]

  • St. Thomas' Church, Kotte
  • All Saints' Church, Borella
  • St. Mary's Church, Maharagama
  • Sacred Heart Church, Rajagiriya
  • Holy Rosary Church, Slave Island, Colombo-02
  • St. Philip Neri's Church, Pettah, Colombo-12
  • St. Anthony's Church, Kollupitiya, Colombo-03
  • St. Mary's Church. Bambalapitiya, Colombo-04
  • St. Lawrence's Church, Wellawatte, Colombo-06
  • Fatima Church, Maradana
  • St.Joseph's Church, Grandpass, Colombo 14
  • St.Mary's Church, Mattakuliya, Colombo 15
  • St. James the Great Church, Mutwal, Colombo 15
  • St.Sebastian's Church, Panchikawatha, Colombo 10

St. Theresa's Church Colombo[edit]

The Church of the St. Theresa's is a Roman Catholic church, located at Thimbirigasyaya Road Colombo, Sri Lanka. The current parish priest is Rev. Fr. Neil Dias Karunarathne C.Ss.R..

In 1937, a proposal was made to Fr. Giwdan, the parish priest of Bambalapitiya, to lay a foundation for a Catholic church. Bishop has given his permission and as a result the temporary structure was built and dedicated to St. Theresa. In time the Catholic community of the area grew and Fr. James has initiated a process in 1934 to construct the existing church.

In 1951, construction started and in 1952 Archbishop Thomas Corey has handed over the church to Dominican fathers. It was completed and consecrated on 7 October 1961 by Archbishop Thomas Cooray.

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 6°56′54″N 79°51′51″E / 6.9482°N 79.8643°E / 6.9482; 79.8643


Sources and external links[edit]