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  4. St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral

St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin

Photo © Jorge Castro. View all images in our St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral Photo Gallery.
Photo © GFDL.
Photo © Javier ie.

The two main cathedrals (Christ Church and St. Patrick's) of Dublin belong to the Protestant Church of Ireland, so St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral (meaning "acting cathedral" and known affectionately as "The Pro") is the closest the Catholics get to having their own.


St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral was built between 1815 and 1825 on the site of a 12th-century Cistercian Abbey of St. Mary.

St. Mary's is not an official cathedral, even though it functions as one. Why? Back when Christ Church Cathedral was built, the pope consecrated it as the Catholic cathedral of Dublin. Although Christ Church has been Protestant for centuries, no pope has ever revoked its original designation. Since a city can only have one Catholic cathedral, St. Mary's cannot enjoy that status until Christ Church's is revoked.

What to See

Tucked into a corner of a rather unimpressive back street, St. Mary's is in the heart of Dublin's north side and functions as the main Catholic parish church of the city center. The church is noted for its Palestrina Choir, which sings a Latin Mass every Sunday at 11am.

The cathedral is in the Neo-Classic Doric style, which provides a distinct contrast to the Gothic Revival look of most other churches of the period. The exterior portico is modeled on the Temple of Theseus in Athens, with six Doric columns, while the Renaissance-style interior is patterned after the Church of St. Philip de Reule of Paris.

Quick Facts on St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral

Site Information
Names:St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral; St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin; The Pro
Faiths:Christianity; Catholic
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates:53.350867° N, 6.258962° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral

Below is a location map and aerial view of St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral - Official Website
  2. Frommer's Ireland 2005

More Information

Article Info

Title:St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:07/22/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/dublin-st-mary-pro-cathedral/dublin-christ-church-cathedral">St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin</a>