History of Holy Cross Parish, Moyhu
Moyhu and the whole King valley, which had earlier been served by priests from Beechworth, a parish since 1854, became part of Wangaratta when that parish was established in 1863, with Father George Galen as the first parish priest.
Father T.J Egan succeeded when father Galen died in 1869. Melbourne historical records compiled by Father Walter Ebsworth tell us that “early in 1873 Father Egan announced that a brick and stone church was about to be built in Moyhu” a rich district where the Byrnes, Whittys, Kings, Shanleys, Farrells, Bartleys and Johnstons were amongst the farming families.
The land for the church was donated by John and Andrew Byrne. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Goold of Melbourne on 4 May 1873.
Nearly two years later on February 28 1875 the finished church of the Holy Cross at Moyhu, now in the Diocese of Sandhurst, was blessed and opened by Bishop Goold of Melbourne who was acting for Bishop Crane, the newly appointed (1847) Bishop of Sandhurst, who was away in Europe.
Described as decidedly ornamental and standing in a large well grassed and wooded paddock, the church was 56 feet long and built in the Gothic style from plans prepared by Coe of Melbourne.
Dean Murphy succeeded Father Egan in Wangaratta from 1890 to 1895. For the next 50 years the Parish Priest was Father Maurice Byrne. When father Byrne died in 1946 he was succeeded by Monsignor Peter Mahoney, but after a few years failing health caused him to hand over management of the parish to Father John Hussey. Four years later in 1955 the new parish of the Holy Cross, comprising Moyhu, Greta, Whitfield and Carboor was established with Father William Batchelor as its first parish priest.