Places of Worship

Our Lady of Fair Haven Cathedral

Dominica / Americas

Our Lady of Fair Haven Cathedral is Roseau’s Catholic Cathedral.  It was originally a wooden hut with a roof of river reeds, but now it rises impressively above the neighbouring rooftops.

In 1730 Father Guillaume Martel arrived and built a solid timber church for the growing congregation.  In 1764 ten acres of Roseau were leased to the Roman Catholics, and in 1864 they were given the freehold.  The new church had a stone floor 12m long and 5m wide.  This survived for over 100 years until it was destroyed in the 1826 Hurricane.  Twenty-four years later a new church was built but deemed too small.  It took 100 years for the larger church to be built.   It was consecrated by Bishop James Morris in 1925.

When Dominica was taken by the British, the Crown allowed the Roman Catholics to continue as before, but many Catholics wishing to participate in government or hold official posts had to take certain oaths denying aspects of their faith.  This practice ended with Catholic Emancipation in 1829. 

It currently lacks a roof.  In 2016 the £3 million restoration costs had risen to £7 million.

See it on these walks

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