A New Zealander, he came to Sydney in 1926 as the first non-French Marist parish priest of St Patrick’s. Innovative and forward looking, during his years at St Patrick’s he developed the pattern which was still continuing there 80 years later: perpetual adoration of the blessed sacrament, Masses throughout the day, and extended hours for confession every day of the year. At the completion of his first term as parish priest (1926-34), he returned to New Zealand and served for 3 years there as Marist Provincial superior. He came back to St Patrick’s in 1938 as Marist Provincial superior for the newly-established Australian Province, a position he held from 1938-47, and which he combined with a second term as parish priest at St Patrick’s from 1939-44. After a period in Rome as a senior Marist administrator from 1947-54, he returned to Australia for a third term as parish priest at St Patrick’s from 1955-63, and continued an association with St Patrick’s as an assistant priest until his death in 1974. A reserved, formal little man with just the hint of a limp, Hurley had an indefinable strength of character which made him at one and the same time appreciated by his parishioners, respected by Marist superiors and bishops, and feared by some of his Marist confreres. He was always courteous and pleasant, a polished speaker and a gifted raconteur.
Hurley was responsible for comissioning the decorative reredos which still stands as a backdrop to the Church’s spectacular polished brass altar.