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Chilaw in early times was not only a reputed sea port it was also famous for its pearl fisheries. According to some writers like Donald Ferguson, Chilaw is connected with the Tamil term 'Salapam' which means diving.

The original inhabitants of Chilaw were descendants of a group of people who came from India on military service. Originally from Northern India from such towns like Kanchipuram, Kaveripattannam and Killakarai they subsequently made their homes in the south. 

According to the 'Mukkara Hatana' it happened during the reign of King Parakrama Bahu VI (1412-1467) the ruling monarch of Kotte. The Mukkuvars from India had landed off the Puttalam coast and were preparing to capture the land. King Parakrama Bahu summoned help from neighbouring India. A battalion of fighting men were sent across to Sri Lanka. Culturally the people of Chilaw have been always active and in the forefront. Chilaw has been the home of the Sinhala Nadagama - the first form of Sinhala drama in Sri Lanka, and the sea board town of Chilaw has kept on forging ahead. The Chilaw people are fortunate to have a beautiful statue of Mother Mary 'Protectress of the town' who stands sentinel warding off all disasters and calamities at the main entrance to the town.




Present Bishop

 Rt. Rev. Dr. Valence Mendis

Diocesan Director

 Rev. Fr. Nishantha J. Perera



No. of Catholics

 About 300,000

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No. of Churches


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Name of 1st Bishop

 Rt. Rev. Dr. Edmund Peris

Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Marcus Fernando 

Name of 2nd Bishop

Rt. Rev. Dr. Valence Mendis

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Name of 4th Bishop


Name of 5th Bishop


Name of 6th Bishop



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The Pontifical Mission Societies is an invitation to the baptized Christian throughout the world to share in the command of Jesus Christ when He said, "Go out to the whole world and make disciples". The most convincing way in which this command was carried out by the first Christians was when they lived their Christianity sharing and caring for each other in Love

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