The Clarence Valley Catholic Parish, centred on the beautiful Clarence River, extends from the Mountains to the Sea and includes the City of Grafton and the Villages of Copmanhurst, Junction Hill, Ulmarra, Lawrence and Cowper, Minnie Water and Wooli. The Parish, with a rich Catholic heritage, was initially visited by various Priests from 1849, including Rev. Fr Timothy McCarthy from 1854. The first resident Priest, Rev. Fr Murphy, was appointed in 1862.
Grafton Parish was administered by: Vicariate Apostolic of New Holland (established in 1834); Archdiocese of Sydney (established in 1842) from 1862 – 1869; Diocese of Armidale (established 1869) from 1869 – 1887; Diocese of Grafton (established 1887) from 1887 – 1900; Diocese of Lismore (established 1900) from 1900 to the present day.
On Sunday 24th July 2013 the Fifth Bishop of Lismore, Geoffrey Jarrett, issued a Decree of Amalgamation affecting the three Parishes of St Mary’s Grafton, St Patrick’s South Grafton and Mary Immaculate Cowper to be known as St Mary Immaculate and St Patrick’s Parish of the Clarence Valley.
The current, and Sixth, Bishop of Lismore is Most Rev. Gregory Homeming O.C.D.