Lady of Fair Haven

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Fair Haven of Roseau started from humble beginnings & is rich with history. It was initially a small wood hut with a thatched roof made of locally available reed. Kalinago people built the cathedral in the local building tradition. In 1730, Father Guillaume Martel established a permanent church made of solid wood (timber-framed) and stone flooring, to meet the growing congregational needs of settlers who had come from France and occupied territory on the south coast of the island nation.

This church survived until 1816 when it was destroyed by hurricane. The present church, which was built 24 years later, located at the same site, was expanded after abolition as more space was needed to accomodate the newly freed slaves – black and white people sat together to worship in the pews without discrimination.

As the Catholic Ministry did not support the building activity, the Catholic community carried stones to the site to build the church. It was badly damaged again by hurricane in 1863, and refurbished, with new stone pillars, the steeple on the Western end built with stones from the old church at Point Michel. Funds were raised by imposing a levy on the French planters. The building was substantially damaged again after Hurricane Maria.

Not only is it a place of religious worship but a national monument that has served for many big national events – a place of peace, tranquillity and reflection to find oneself in amidst a challenging world.
There is much much more to this beautiful building than can fit in one post.

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