The GOAN Pilgrimage Group with Fr Robert, Gerry and Ann prior to beginning their Pilgrimage.
On 25th August 2022 a group of 25 Pilgrims, brought together by the Goan Overseas Association, began a Pilgrimage in Geraldton to visit the main sites associated with Monsignor John Hawes as well as other tourist attractions in the Geraldton area.
The driving force behind the Pilgrimage was Adolph de Souza and the group was lead by Rohan Coutinho. Fr Robert Cross, Director of Heritage in the Geraldton Diocese, was the Spiritual Director.
The Pilgrimage began with lunch in the Piazza of the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre followed by tour of the MHHC Museum and St Francis Xavier Cathedral, The Hermitage Geraldton ,and San Spirito Chapel at Utakarra . The day concluded with Mass in the Cathedral celebrated by Fr Robert.
The following day the group passed by St Patrick’s Church in Wonthella and St Lawrence’s’ Church in Bluff Point en route to Nanson, for Mass in Our Lady of Fatima Church, and then onto Northampton. A visit to the church was possible as the planned works following Cyclone Seroja had not yet commenced.
After morning tea Tin Kings Park, with the highlight being the local Vanilla Slice, they travelled to the Skywalk in the Kalbarri National Park for lunch and then through Kalbarri to Port Gregory where they were able to photograph the Pink Lake before returning to Geraldton., via Nazareth House in Bluff Point.
On Saturday the group called at St James Chapel of Ease in Kojarena on the way on their way to Mullewa. Following morning tea and a visit to the Wildflower Show, Fr Cross presented a public talk on the life of John Hawes. He then lead a procession along the Hawes Heritage Walk, to Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church. Fr Robert Cross spoke to the assembled group about the unique design of the Mullewa Church and the adjoining Priest House and an ex local parishioner, Mr Peter Thomas, who was baptised by Monsignor Hawes, spoke about his family’s connections to Hawes and expressed his great admiration for him and his incredible body of work. He expressed his belief that Hawes should be considered for sainthood. This was followed by Mass in Our Lady of Mt Carmel and a visit to the Priesthouse Museum.
After lunch in the grounds of Our Lady of Mt Carmel School, the pilgrims visited Mass Rock and then Pioneer Cemetery to see 2 children’s graves which have headstones built by Hawes.
On returning to Geraldton the group gathered at St Francis Xavier Cathedral for Vigil Mass followed by a farewell dinner in the nearby Laian Restaurant.