The sixth Archbishop of Colombo, the Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Cardinal Cooray, appointed in 1947 is the longest standing Archbishop of Colombo and the first indigenous Archbishop and the first to be elevated to the Cardinalate in Sri Lanka.

He was fortunate enough to fulfill the vow of Archbishop Masson for the country and build the beautiful edifice of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka, as the living symbol of the maternal mediation of our Mother Mary.

He was keen on developing the education in the Archdiocese and had a non-capitulating battle with the government to safeguard the schools in 1960.