A group of Catholic parents say they have been left shocked and confused after their prayer meeting was interrupted by a priest telling them to leave.
Parents of students at Kildare Catholic College organised a prayer vigil at St Michael's Cathedral from 5.15pm on Sunday.
But soon after their arrival, they allege Father Kevin O'Reilly interrupted their prayer and asked for them to leave.
Stephen Lawler, father of a year 12 student at the school, attended the vigil hoping it would provide community collegiality following the sudden resignation of the school's principal Rod Whelan last month.
It was Mr Lawler's first outing in Wagga following his major surgery last week.
"We started praying and all of a sudden we heard Father O'Reilly saying 'will these protesters please leave'," Mr Lawler said.
"I looked around thinking it must've been someone behind us, we were just praying so it couldn't be us. Then he comes down the aisle telling us to leave."
Other witnesses, who requested to be left anonymous, reiterated Mr Lawler's account, saying that the collective was largely made up of parents, children and a group nuns from the Presentation Sisters order.
"We got outside, and there's police there, saying 'are you here for the protest', I said, 'what protest? We're praying in a church and we've been told to leave'," Mr Lawler said.
"I've never seen so many upset elderly people in my life. There were kids too, it's shocking, people left distraught."
A spokesperson for St Michael's Cathedral told The Daily Advertiser the group had been asked to leave the Cathedral due to not having made a booking with staff prior to the vigil.
"A group of people gathered inside St Michael's Cathedral as part of a vigil planned by members of a local social media page," the spokesperson said.
"The individuals were asked to leave the property after it was determined they did not intend to share in the celebration of the scheduled Mass at 5.30pm."
However, Mr Lawler and a number of other witnesses claim they had scheduled the prayer session to be able to attend the Mass afterwards.
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Mr Lawler said the group had been "made to feel like a criminal for praying in a church", and the experience has now left him shaken.
"I don't know where my faith is at the moment, when you're treated like that.
"I now don't feel like the church in Wagga wants me, after I've spent my life in it, and paid 31 years of school fees at its schools. I don't feel welcome," Mr Lawler said.
"This will stay with me for the rest of my life.
"I never thought I'd ever see something like that, especially not in the church," he said.
"I was married there, I've been there for 48 years since I was five, my brother's funeral was there.
"I always thought I'd be buried there too, and that was always a comforting peaceful thought, like I'd found my home.
"This is probably the worst experience I've ever been through."