History and Background
This Myanmar’s largest Catholic Cathdral is an remarkable red-brick building dating which was designed by Dutch Architect Joseph Cuypers, son of Pierre Cuypers. The cathedral’s exterior, of red brick, consists of spires and a bell tower.
This construction of the cathedral took 17 years from 1893 to 1910. Five months later after the dedication, on 1 August 1911, Father Hendrick Janzen died and was interred at the entrance to the nave of the Cathedral. A plain inlaid marble slab indicated the spot written “I love the Lord, your family, the place of your Glory” could have been chosen to lay him to rest than within the walls of that magnificent edifice. And yet by an irony of fate, he lies there forgotten by the hundreds of Catholics who flock almost daily to the Cathedral, whilst only some of the visitors, mindful that he is in a place of worship and desirous of seeing the architectural beauties of the interior, stands in hushed and respectful silence at the foot of the grave and pays his genius at least the passing tribute of a sigh.
This Cathedral faced with sad disasters like earthquake of May 5, 1930 and 2008 Cyclone Nargis but stands still impressively. The colourful decorated interior with its red, white and green-brick patterns and painted statues is quite an eye-opener.
The St. Mary Cathedral is open from 7:00 am – 10:00 am and 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
We ask that visitors who are not participating in Mass wait to visit the St. Mary Cathedral until the completion of daily Mass. Daily Masses are celebrated Monday – Saturday at 6:00 am and 5:00 pm and Sunday Masses are celebrated at 6:00 am 8:00 am and 5:00 p.m.
However, we strongly encourage visitors to call and ensure the church is available, especially on the weekends, due to weddings, Archdiocesan events and other weekend activities. Tour availability is pending other scheduled events.
TIP: It is important to remember St Mary’s Cathedral is a place of worship. Please remember to treat the place with respect whilst you are here. Mobile phones should not be used whilst you are in the Cathedral. Gentlemen’s hats should be removed and no food or beverages are to be taken in or consumed on the Cathedral grounds. You should always talk in hushed tones so as to not disturb parishioners and worshipers.
PHOTOS: You are allowed photos to be taken inside the Cathedral however not during liturgical celebrations and Masses. If you are using a camera do not be too intrusive with it and do not use a flash.
CLOTHING: As this is a place of worship please, ensure that you are wearing suitable clothing – no short skirts and please cover your shoulders. Hats should be removed before entering the Cathedral.
TICKETS: Entrance fee to St Mary’s Cathedral is 2000 Ks for the tourists. However a donation towards the upkeep and cleaning of the Cathedral also is greatly appreciated.
OPENING TIMES: St Mary’s Cathedral is open every day of the week from 6:30am to 6:30pm. Extended hours may be introduced during daylight savings and Christmas periods.
MUSIC: St Mary’s Cathedral is renowned for its high standard of music and Choir. They are famous for their weekly celebrations of the Divine Office and Solemn Mass. You are more than welcome to join in at Mass and listen to them sing. Alternatively, you can also see other musical events such as organ recitals and concerts.
MASS: Mass is held daily at 6:00am and 5:00pm. Please click here for our complete Mass details and schedule.
CARS: Parking is available In the Cathedral compound if there is no solemn celebration in the compound.
PARKING METERS: There is metered parking available on streets near the Cathedral.
TRAINS: The nearest train stations is Central train station on Pansodan Street. The distance to us and is an easy seven-minute walk.
BUSES: For bus services arriving in the city center, you can easily take the No. 58 and off on Pensodan stop. From there you can just 3 to 5 minutes walk towards us through Bo Gyoke Rd. For further enquiries, please call the Cathedral office during office hours: Tel: 95-1- 245647
ONE MORE TIP: St Mary’s Cathedral offers a spiritual experience whether you are religious or not. If you love history or architecture, the building and its interior will offer lots of interesting discoveries. You are always welcome to attend Mass at any of our services.