Parish History

The Roman Catholic Parish of

Our Lady the Immaculate Conception,

Devizes, Wiltshire

The Roman Catholic Parish of

Our Lady the Immaculate Conception,

Devizes, Wiltshire

Parish History

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Fr Francis Larive

Fr Francis Larive

Fr Larive was born in the little town of Hermillon in what is now the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France on August 19th 1819. He studied for the priesthood and was ordained on June 1st 1844. After serving as curate in a couple of parishes, he joined the newly formed Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales in Annecy. After a novitiate of only a few months, he was professed as a Missionary on June 6th 1848.

 

In November 1848 Fr Larive travelled to Kamptee in India. There he spent eleven years working in the parish and as chaplain to the garrison of the British Army. It was there that he met Captain Charles Dewell who was from Malmesbury.  Fr Larive received him into the church and then, in 1861, they travelled together to England. The Bishop of Clifton, The Right Reverend William Clifford, sent him first to Chippenham and then to Devizes where, on October 27th, he said the first post-Reformation Mass in the town.

 

In 1867 he moved to Malmesbury to set up a mission there – his original reason for travelling to England.  By 1885 he was ill. He spent a further year in Devizes and then returned to Annecy.

 

In 1890 he was asked to start a parish in Petersfield, Hampshire. He spent three years there until his death on May 28th 1893. He is buried in the town cemetery.

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