SAINT PATRICK’S CHURCH - Located just a short distance from the aforementioned St. Anne’s Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Church was first opened in 1815. Dedicated to Ireland’s patron saint, today’s current structure was constructed around the original church (which was then demolished). When the new building opened in August of 1877, it could accommodate 2000 worshipers. Even though this was a Roman Catholic Church, St. Patrick’s splendor was chosen for the consecration of Episcopal Bishops Henry Henry (1895) and John Tohill (1908), along with the Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Magellan (1929). One of the main features of the church is the seven foot tall statue of St. Patrick over the door. During the church’s bicentennial celebration ( May 2015), the U.K.’s Prince of Wales and his wife, the Countess of Cornwall, visited St. Patrick’s.
SAINT PETER’S CATHEDRAL - Until the Reformation (mid-1500’s), the Roman Catholic diocese was situated in the town of DownPatrick (approximately 21 miles south of Belfast). St. Peter’s Church was originally conceived as a parish church for the post-famine Catholic community of Belfast. The land on which the church was built was purchased by flour merchant Bernard Hughes, who then donated it for the construction of the church. St. Peter’s was officially opened in October of 1866. Its twin towers were added 20 years later. In 1986, it was officially designated as the Catholic diocese Cathedral of Belfast.
SAINT MARY’S CHURCH - Considered to be the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Belfast, as well as the Mother Church of the city, St. Mary’s was opened in 1784. At that time, there were only 365 Roman Catholics in the city ( according to census records). In an unusual example of cross cultural cooperation, construction of St. Mary’s was funded by a coalition of the small Catholic community with that of the Church of Ireland (Protestant) and that of the Presbyterian community. While the first mass was held on May 30th, 1784, it soon became too small for the growing Roman Catholic population of Belfast; so the Church was enlarged in 1869. Today, St. Mary’s is served by a cadre of retired clergy. One of its most popular features is the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto beside the building.