St. Mary Cathedral Basilica

Visit Saint Mary Cathedral Basilica in downtown Galveston!

St. Mary Cathedral Basilica

If you’re Catholic, and don’t want to miss the Sunday Mass while you’re vacationing in Galveston, then you’re in luck! St. Mary Cathedral Basilica is a beautiful church, but more than that, it’s an important historical location that serves as the mother church of the Catholic Church in Texas. Stop by for a service, or just come in any time to worship quietly and admire the sanctuary.


The first iteration of St. Mary Cathedral was built in 1842, and it was a humble wooden church with 30 benches for parishioners. In 1847, construction began on the larger and more permanent church structure, which was built of imported Belgian brick and mortar. In that same year, the Archdiocese of Galveston was approved by the Pope. St. Mary Cathedral was dedicated in 1848, and was elevated to the status of a minor basilica in 1979.

St. Mary was one of the few significant historical structures in Galveston to have survived the Great Storm of 1900 intact. However, it was extensively damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008, with the storm surge having flooded the sanctuary with five feet of water. It took the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston nearly six years to renovate the church and make it fully operational once more.


Just a few blocks away from Broadway, Saint Mary Cathedral is nearby many other historic Galveston landmarks. If you come to the cathedral for mass, you can spend the rest of the day exploring the other sights nearby. Visit Bishop’s Palace or Moody Mansion to see some of Galveston’s finest historic homes, or learn about some other aspects of Galveston’s past by stopping by the Galveston Railroad Museum, the Tall Ship Elissa, or the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum.

If the day is getting a bit too serious and historical for your family, you’ll also be just down the road from the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, a fun spot to enjoy some carnival games and rides at the beach. Finish up with a visit to the Seawall, and a great dinner at one of the restaurants overlooking the ocean.

Enjoy the peace and serenity you’ll feel when you visit Saint Mary Cathedral Basilica in downtown Galveston!