Concerns for St Mary’s window

Thora Hogan contributed this image of the 'Coolac Window'.

Thora Hogan contributed this image of the 'Coolac Window'.


Voting has been scheduled to take place after 6pm Mass on Saturday, March 26 and after 9am Mass on Sunday, March 26 regarding what is being referred to as the Coolac Window.

There are those of us who believe that it is important for parishioners to remember the facts surrounding these windows and Father Murphy's purchase of them. After St Mary's Church was gutted by fire in 1958, the Crookwell community raised money to restore the building.

Father Peter Murphy came to Crookwell in February 1985 and remained in Crookwell until his death in April 2015. During those 30 years he always put the parish first. Father was one of Jesus' good stewards and under his leadership parish funds were in a good shape.

In 2014 his attention was drawn to an advertisement for the sale of stained glass windows at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gundagai. These windows had been in storage for years but prior to that they had been installed in the Coolac Church. After inspecting them, Father was most impressed, believing they could be placed very suitably behind the altar at St Mary's, Crookwell.

In June 2014, the then Archbishop of Canberra Goulburn, Archbishop Christopher Prowse, and the trustees of the Archdiocese gave Father Murphy permission to purchase the windows. Local stonemason Brian Doyle and Father Murphy collected the windows and brought them back to Crookwell.

Father paid for the windows and had money on hand to pay for their installation, as well as to paint the interior of the church. Had Father Murphy lived, the windows would now be installed, the interior of the church painted and by now there would be money in the bank account to carry out further repairs on the church. Sadly, some people believe Father's windows should be sold. One person said they had no objections to a window being installed in Father Murphy's memory, but not “that window”. The point is “that window” is the one Father chose and the one for which he paid.

Before you cast your vote, bear in mind Father Murphy's devotion and service to this parish and community. Maybe during his 30-year service he helped you, or someone close to you, through a difficult time or two. And maybe, if these beautiful windows were installed, you as well many others, would gain inspiration as you prayed before their unique beauty. Windows of Father's choosing: windows which in themselves bear witness to God. Having written this letter I must admit that I am neither materialistic nor particularly ambitious. My most valuable possession is my faith in God.


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