History

The Macleay Valley Catholic Parish is situated in the beautiful Macleay Valley on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. The Parish population is 4,797 Catholics.

The first priest to offer Mass in the Macleay valley was Reverend Father John Rigney in 1846. A small wooden Church was built in East Kempsey in 1858. At this time Kempsey parish was part of the Maitland Diocese. The Kempsey Parish became part of the Diocese of Armidale in 1871.

In 1887 Bishop J. J. Doyle established the Diocese of Lismore and the parish of Kempsey became part of this Diocese. In 1887 Kempsey was given the parish boundaries as they are today.

Father John Grace Buggy was entrusted with the care of the new parish.

Father Bernard Gunn is credited with the building of the present Church in 1922 at a cost of 11,000 pounds. It was blessed, dedicated and open on the 11th July 1922 by Bishop John Carroll, the second Bishop of Lismore. It was built by Mr J. G. Taylor, the architect being, Mr Austin McKay.
The stained glass windows are the work of Mr John Ashwin who was from Sydney.

The Parish today has a rich heritage- it is truly a Community of the Catholic Faith handed down by a faith filled people who have gone before us. It is very proud of its Parish schools:
St Joseph’s Primary and St Paul’s Secondary; also the aged care facility Vincent Court. Above all we are very proud of our worshipping faith community.