New Church at Wagragobilly
1 November 1902 The Catholic Press (Sydney)
There are, perhaps, no more enthusiasts and generous Catholics in Australia than those in the district of Gundagai, They have retained unimpaired the devotion and simplicity of their Irish forefathers, The Catholic people are almost in the majority in the district, and consequently sectarianism is unknown, the greatest goodwill existing between an classes.
New churches have of late been springing up in the various centres, In the past the people had to travel long distances to go to Mass.
The church at Gobarralong was opened only last year, and now at Wagragobilly the foundation-stone of a now church has been laid by his Lordship Dr, Gallagher.
The ceremony took place on Sunday, Over 300 people were present, including representatives from Gundagai and the neighbouring townships.
Mass was celebrated at 8 o'clock by the Rev, Father Gregory, C.P., when the mission, which the Passionist Fathers had been conducting, closed, Dr. Gallagher, accompanied by the Rev. Father Donovan, P.P., arrived at Wagragobilly at 10 30 a.m..
At Brungle bridge they were met by a large cavalcade of buggies and horsemen, and escorted to the village, The excavations for the church have already been made.
The new church of St, Denis' is to cost £450. It will be 35ft, long, 17ft. wide and 13ft, high - being 4ft, in length and 2ft, in breadth less than the Gobarralong church.
The sanctuary will be 12ft. x 11ft,, with a height of 12ft; sacristy 9ft, square; porch, 8ft, x 8ft,, height 9ft, Theo church is to be completed by September. Seeing that only nine families are settled at Waragobilly, their enterprise in church matters is remarkable.
The old church was crowded at 11 o'clock Mass, which was celebrated by Father Donovan.
Dr. Gallagher, preached an eloquent sermon. A public luncheon was then held. Dr.. Gallagher said Yass, Jugiong and Gobarralong (in the Murrumbidgee valley) had all performed wonders in building up the church. Now Wagra had made a noble move. They were all proud of Gundagai.
At Wagga, said Dr. Gallagher, "that's the place where the Faith manifests itself."
Then they had shown good results at Narandera and Hay, and right along the Murrumbidgee. If all parts of Australia showed the same progress in church matters as the Murrumbidgee valley, then there would be the highest hopes; for the progress of the Catholic Faith in Australia.
His Lordship paid & warm tribute to the labours of their Bishop, Dr. Lanigan, for the diocese, and regretted to say that his health was so feeble that he could not hope for his restoration to permanent good health.
He proposed the health of Father Donovan and Father Gregory, who made suitable responses.
The toast of the visitors was proposed, and Mr. Donaldson, M.P., responded, Up to the present the sum of £280 in cash has been raised towards the new church, and a further sum of over £60 has been promised.
This leaves only £110 to be raised by the opening day.
The leading donations were:- Right Rev. Dr. Gallagher, £5 5s; Very Rev. Father Gregory, O.P., £1 Is; Very Rev. Father Frederick, C. P., £1 is; Rev. P. J. Donovan, £50; Rev. J. W. Dwyer (Wagga), £1 1s ; Rev. P. F. O'Shea (Wagga), £1 Is; Rev. P. Hickey (Corowa), £1 1s ; Rev. J. M. Ryan, Adm. (Goulburn), £1 1s ; Rev. J. L. Leonard (Goulburn), £1 1s ; Sisters of Mercy (Gundagai), £1 Is ; Messrs. John Pierse, Thomas. Quirk, James Quirk, M. Burke, P. Mulqueeny, £20 each; Mrs. Hobb, Messrs. M. Keefe, M. Quirk, Joseph Webb, £10 each; Dr. Donovan, Q.O. (Sydney), Messrs. J. M. Dodd, R. Crowe, G. Last, jun,, W. Warbrick, £5 each; Messrs. J. Leary, W. Bibo, Morgan Ryan, G. Last, sen., £3 each; Messrs. Donaldson, M.P., Last, jun , Mrs. Tracey, Miss M'Grath, £2 2s; besides a. large number of donotions ranging from £ to 2s 6d.