Wagga's iconic St Michael's Cathedral celebrated an impressive milestone over the weekend.
Last Saturday the Catholic church marked 100 years since major renovations commenced, which saw it effectively double in size.
Assistant Priest Father Connell Perry was just seven years old when his family migrated thousands of kilometres to attend Saint Michael's Cathedral in Wagga.
22 years on, Father Connell reflects on his experience as the church marks the historic anniversary.
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Originally from Alice Springs, Father Connell travelled down to Wagga with his family on holiday back in the year 2000.
"We were staying at the caravan park just across the road from the Cathedral," he said.
"My dad was so impressed by the church, the priests, the families and the area that we moved here about three months later.
"It's beautiful that this place could inspire such faith and devotion in my dad, because it is quite a big deal moving all the way from Alice Springs down to Wagga."
Although construction on the original cathedral began in 1885, the second foundation stone was blessed and laid on 7 May 1922, beginning the final phase of the Cathedral's construction.
The stone was unveiled in a major ceremony attended by then Melbourne Archbishop Mannix and a crowd of up to 10,000 people.
Archbishop Mannix served in that role from 1917 until his death in 1963 and was an outspoken opponent of conscription during both the First and Second World Wars.
Father Connell said his high profile may have played a part in attracting such a large crowd.
"He was invited to come and be a part of the ceremony here by the Bishop of Wagga at the time, Bishop Dwyer. So his presence might have also been part of the reason why so many people came along," he said.
"It was also a sign of the faithfulness of the Catholics in the Wagga diocese at the time."
Originally written in Latin, a translation of the inscription on the foundation stone reads:
"To God the best and greatest. Under the invocation of Blessed Michael the Archangel, Most Reverend Joseph W. Dwyer STD, first bishop of Wagga Wagga, with Most Reverend D. Mannix, Archbishop of Melbourne assisting, blessed and placed this auspicious stone of the cathedral church, in the first year of the pontificate of Pope Pius XI on the Nones of May (7 May) in the year of our Lord 1922."
Following its completion, the Cathedral was officially opened and blessed on March 22, 1925, forty years after the laying of the original foundation stone.
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