Priests' house back to glory

RESTORING presbyteries (priests' houses) to their former glory has become a passion for Father Rex Hackett.

St Mary's presbytery, Grafton, celebrated its 100th birthday on the weekend with two thanksgiving masses.

Prior to co-ordinating the restoration of the St Mary's presbytery in 2007, Father Rex did the same to the Casino presbytery.

"They were all built around the same time - Kempsey, Grafton, Casino and Murwillumbah - at the turn of the century," he said.

"In the '60s they were all filled in because parishes had to have offices and they had to fit in more priests - but it was done most inappropriately.

"The Casino one was even uglier than Grafton."

Father Rex said Jim Muldoon, who did the first stage of the makeover, was aiming to complete the back and interior of the presbytery in the near future.



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