Vatican Council II says "the laity are empowered — indeed sometimes obliged — to manifest their opinion on those things which pertain to the good of the Church" to their bishops. It is "with truth, courage and prudence and with reverence and charity" (see The Church paragraph 37) that we the undersigned appeal to you as our Pastor and as our Brother in Christ.
We petition Your Excellency to restore the once most beautiful Catholic Parish of St Joseph's Benalla Victoria to it's rightful former glory, as it was before the fire of 1989.
In this the year of Grace, and a time of Church renewal please celebrate our rich heritage and bring back the jewel in the crown of the Sandhurst Diocese.
How wonderful it would be if you were to celebrate this restoration with a Solemn Mass as you did when you were installed as Bishop. Here you could echo those inspiring words when you said: "It is on occasions such as this, when we gather together in this magnificent Church of St Joseph's Benalla, that we remember with deep gratitude that we were drawn into the life of God and indeed became part of God's family when we were Baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."