To celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the founding of the Franciscan order members of the Franciscan parish of Deeragun, Townsville, are conducting a pilgrimage to important Catholic sites in Sydney. The leaders of the group are Franciscan Friar Giles Setter and Mary-Ellen Pattinson. Mary-Ellen is an Education Consultant for the Townsville Catholic Education Office and is interested in including the Receveur story in the curriculum. When the group arrived today they immediately headed for the La Perouse headland to pay their respects at Receveur’s Grave. The group will be leaving on Sunday. The Receveur Grave is a very important site for Catholics and particularly Franciscans, because it is on the La Perouse headland that the first Christian services, Roman Catholic Masses, were celebrated in colonial Australia. The first burial mass in Australia was for Receveur. It was performed by fellow chaplain and noted physicist and geologist on the Laperouse expedition, Abbé Jean-Andre Mongez. Each year St Andrew’s Catholic Church at Malabar hosts the Pere Receveur Mass.

The Headland is now regarded as a site of major significance for catholic pilgrims from around the world as evidenced by the high visitations to the site. In 2008 it attracted pilgrims visiting Sydney for

The group pictured at the Laperouse Monument and graveside with Fr Paul Ghanem, from Waverley OFM.