1788
French Franciscan Père Receveur dies at Botany Bay. He was
part of the La Perouse expedition to Australia, serving as chaplain
and scientific officer. The Mass said at the time of his burial was
the first Catholic funeral service held on Australian soil.
1838
Fr Bonaventure Geoghegan – first of a number of individual Franciscans
to serve in the Australian colony – arrives in Melbourne. He is responsible
for building St Francis Church in Melbourne. Geoghegan is followed in 1853 by
Fr Laurence Bonaventure Sheil, who succeeds him as Bishop of Adelaide.
   
1875
Fr O'Farrell dies leaving substantial sum of money in trust to found a Franciscan
community in Sydney.
1854
Fr Peter O'Farrell arrives in Australia as a missionary for Sydney.
He also serves in the Diocese of Bathurst where many of his
parishioners are working the goldfields. Living a frugal life, O’Farrell
saves much of his government salary with the aim of
eventually establishing a Franciscan community in Australia.
 
  1879
Frs James Hanrahan, Martin Holahan and Paschal McGinley arrive
in Sydney from Ireland to establish the first community of friars in
Australia. They assume responsibility for the eastern
suburbs of Sydney.
1904
The first two Australian-born friars, Cornelius Bartley and Basil Piper,
join the Order.
   
  1918
St Bonaventure’s College opens in Rydal, near Lithgow NSW.
It is the first step on a long journey by the friars in Australia
to establish a training college for those wishing to join the Order.
1927
Fr Fidelis Griffin is appointed by the Ireland Province to head
the mission in Sydney. He is specifically instructed to build it up into a
Franciscan Province in its own right. This begins a major period of expansion.
   
  1929
The Friars accept an invitation to assume responsibility for a parish
in Brisbane, Queensland. A new friary in Kedron is constructed,
along with St Anthony's primary school.
   
1931
The Friars are granted permission to establish a permanent foundation
in Melbourne. A retreat house, named ‘La Verna’, is established in Kew.
 
   
 
1934

Support was secured from the Archbishop of Melbourne to
establish a Franciscan College and friary. Land at Box Hill was also
acquired at this time. Building work started on what became known
as St Paschal College at Box Hill in 1935, with the students
and friar community moving there in 1936.
1934
‘Maryfields’ at Campbelltown NSW becomes the home of
the Franciscan Novitiate. Friars and novices live temporarily in
an existing house on the property while a purpose-built
house is constructed. This is officially opened in 1935.
   
  1939
Friars re-establish a presence in New Zealand, opening a
Retreat House in Auckland. By this time, Franciscans are living and
working in locations in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria
and New Zealand.