Point of Interest

St Mary’s Cathedral

Australia / The Pacific

St Mary’s Cathedral is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Perth, officially called the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Located in Victoria Square, it was constructed in three phases, the first completed in 1865.  Bishop Serra travelled to Rome where he received a donation of 1,000 scudi from King Francis II of the Two Sicilies (1836-94) as well as marble from the Benedictine Brothers which was used to construct the altar.  The Brothers also provided the labour. Due to labour and fund shortages, construction progressed slowly, work being suspended in 1864 because of lack of funds.  Eventually, further funds were raised and the building was completed for a cost of 4,000 pounds. 

Foundations for the second phase were laid in 1926 but because of deteriorating economic conditions with the onset of the Great Depression, the project was scaled back.  Stone from a local quarry was used for construction.  The sanctuary mosaics were made to designs found in the Book of Kells.  Stained Glass windows designed and created in Birmingham, England and the marble altar relocated from the original building.  In 1999, following a bequest of 2 million dollars from the estate of Jim and Alice Hassell, the final phase was commenced.  The present cathedral building was officially opened in 2009.

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