Saint Joseph's Church

cnr Rouse and Stokes Streets
Port Melbourne

Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9.00am
Sunday at 9.00am
also second Sunday of the Month at 11.30am in Indonesian.
Children are welcome at all Masses.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

cnr Richardson and Wright Streets
Middle Park

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9.00am
Saturday (Vigil) at 5.00pm
Sunday at 10.30am
Children are welcome at all Masses.


From Ashes to Easter

In Lent we begin our journey to the great feast of Easter.  That journey begins in ashes on Ash Wednesday and ends in water at the Easter Vigil. The marking with ash on our forehead echoes the first marking of us with the sign of the Cross at Baptism. Being blessed with water at the Easter Vigil echoes our first blessing in water at Baptism. The Sign of the Cross, in ash and water, marks the beginning and end of our journey.

Two Great Themes: Baptism And Penance

Our preparation for Easter is dominated by two great themes: baptism and penance. Recalling our baptism and practising penance helps us to prepare for Easter. We recall God’s grace in which we have been baptised. We honestly take account of where we stand in our following of Christ. What baptism began in us can readily be undone. Coming back to baptism is hard work, like pruning vines. It takes discipline and commitment to enter into renewal and to find the way to refresh our faith and turn again towards God.

The discipline of repentance helps focus our energy on the task at hand. Our penance is not a self-imposed punishment for sinfulness. It is a sign of our gratitude to God for the forgiveness and healing we receive in Christ.

Our self-examination during the Season is not an end in itself. It leads us to a fresh discovery of forgiveness and to know how to better follow Christ.

The Lenten Journey

Three traditional elements of Lent guide our conversion: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Prayer – Our prayer takes two forms: public and private.

Our public prayer at Mass on Sunday takes on a simpler and more penitential character.

The Psalms and Gospel Acclamations echo the reading and prayers of each Sunday.

The season of Lent focuses on our Christian journey towards Christ the Light. The festival of light at the Easter Vigil is the highpoint of our liturgical journey.

The Gospel readings for each Sunday in Lent have the themes of Temptation, Transfiguration, Life nurtured, life restored, death forestalled.

Each Sunday you are invited to listen closely to the weekly scripture readings and in the style of Lectio Divina, centre on a word, a phrase or an idea that captures your attention.

In each church the Lenten Cross will be entwined in vine branches. Coloured paper leaves will be available on which to write your prayerful thoughts. The leaves will be added to the vine each week to enable a dynamic flowering; a visible expression of the Word of God taking hold in our hearts. Leaves will be available at the back of both churches and baskets for collection at the foot of the Cross.

In our private prayer we reflect on these themes and the Gospel readings that explore them.  Within our parish there are other opportunities for prayer and reflection with others which in turn can nourish our private prayer. Details of our Lenten Program We Wish to See Jesus and weekly Lectio Divina are in this newsletter.

As well, each week through the newsletter we will have the opportunity to deepen our understanding of the Gospel for the following Sunday, to reflect on ways we can integrate what we have learnt and to clarify positive actions to take in our lives this Lent.

These reflections can inspire us to quiet prayer by ourselves, or to pray with our families and friends.

Fasting & Almsgiving – Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Our penance takes two forms: public and private.

As a whole Church, and in public solidarity with each other, we fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. All those who have completed their 18th year and not yet begun their 60th year fast and all those who have completed their 14th year abstain from eating meat on these days.

During Lent we are encouraged to find our own ways of expressing our thanks for God’s love. The penitential action we undertake should have both a spiritual and a practical dimension. For example, our self-examination might lead us to identify what we need to abstain from in order to live better.  Perhaps we need to fast from being so critical of each other so that others are spared our negativity;  from too much work in order to spend more time with those we love; from our ceaseless activity so that we can put a little breath back into our lives, to really become aware of God’s presence in us, making us easier people to live with.

Whatever form our penance takes it should always result in a benefit for others. Our fasting from food, for example enables us to contribute alms in the form of money to the welfare of the poor.   Almsgiving is the material and spiritual benefit which we make available to others so that they can live well too.


Contributing through the Project Compassion money boxes and envelopes is a good way of letting our penance do good for someone else.  We all have a role to play in empowering people to help themselves.  Enabling self-help is the key to Caritas’ Project Compassion which operates world-wide including Australia. Through your sacrifice you can make a practical difference to the lives of people in Mozambique. Bolivia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and indigenous Australians. More details are in this newsletter.

Journeying Together

In Lent we draw strength from each other as we journey together in faith and hope towards the Light of Christ. No long faces or gloomy looks for this Season. We confront our weaknesses surrounded by God’s never-ending forgiveness and love. We are forgiven, put back together in Christ. We move forward to Easter in faith, hope and love.

“But now, now – it is the Lord who speaks –
come back to me with all your heart,
fasting, weeping, mourning.”
Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn;
turn to the Lord your God again,
for he is all tenderness and compassion,
slow to anger and rich in graciousness,
and ready to relent. (Joel 2:12-18)


The Easter Candle
‘words’ from artist, Kristian Joy Tangso

Our Risen Lord is depicted in His heavenly glory and victorious on the Cross. Jesus Christ who is the light of the world and the living water is enrobed in ‘the flames of Love’ from whose pierced side (Sacred Heart) opens up an ocean of mercy (blood and water) for the whole world that springs forth new life at the foot of the cross. The white lilies symbolise purity, rebirth, new beginnings and hope, while the three blossoms remind us of the presence of The Holy Trinity in all things.

It is an honour and blessing to have been gifted with the task of painting the Paschal Candles this year for the Parish of St Joseph’s and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I am very grateful and humbled by the wisdom, experience and encouragement shared by Sally Diserio to help make this possible, as well as for Sr Reba’s gentle invitation to consider this opportunity perhaps as a door God may be opening for me as an artist. It has been a very beautiful journey of receiving, giving, complete surrender, resting in Jesus and being guided by the Holy Spirit to create with God a fruit of our prayer together during Lent and especially in days leading up to the Holy Triduum.

May the love, joy, peace and hope of Our Risen Lord remain in our hearts and let us always remember that we are Easter people.

Kristian Joy Tangso

We thank Kristian for her beautiful Paschal candle. We also recognize that for the past many years Sally has gifted our Parish with magnificent Paschal Candles which are both artistically beautiful and always convey an essential message about the reality of the Christ light and the mystery we celebrate. Sally is a remarkably talented and gifted parishioner whose Paschal Candles have always been a source of inspiration for those who see the image and reflect on the message. Both the image and its message come from the depths of her own spiritual experience and her prayerful reflection on the power of the Easter candle. As a community we are blessed to have her with us. The history of her candles are displayed below.


Sacraments for Adults

We welcome everyone to our Parish and we welcome enquirers.

You may have lost touch with the Catholic faith of your childhood or family, you may have been baptised in another denomination but be interested in the Catholic faith, you may not understand some of the changes in sacramental and faith practice, or you may be wondering how do I go to confession?

You are most welcome to contact the Parish Office to discuss any aspect of adult faith or the sacraments.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a structured program for adults wishing to join the Catholic Church, or complete their initiation into it, by celebrating the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist (Holy Communion).

RCIA is specifically designed for adults and we offer a supportive environment in which to continue to explore the mysteries of faith and life in the Church.

You can also click here to obtain further information about RCIA.

In the meantime, you may wish to join us at any of our Liturgies. Please feel free to come along.


Baptism is the beginning of a process of belonging to the Church. We know that children need time to grow and develop. The Catholic Church spaces the process of Christian Initiation over many years.

The Church is also conscious that your child will one day need to own for themselves’ what you do for them at Baptism.

Christian Initiation for children begins with the celebration of Baptism. Over the next eleven years your child will also celebrate First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation which completes initiation into the Catholic Church.

Like all sacraments of the Church, baptism is a celebration for all, not just those immediately known to the candidate. Baptism is not a private family affair. It is the very business of the worshipping community which receives the newly-baptised person into its midst.

It is in this community that your child will grow in and develop his or her relationship with God and celebrate the other sacraments which will complete his or her initiation into the Catholic Church (reconciliation, eucharist and confirmation).

Baptism is normally celebrated after Mass on the second and fourth Sunday of the month at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Middle Park at 11.30am and on the first and third Sunday of the month at St Joseph’s, Port Melbourne at 12.00pm. These dates may be changed due to parish or liturgical celebrations.

Please contact the Parish Office to check the exact dates and availability before making family arrangements, booking reception venues, etc. Please note that we are not able to change dates to fit in with reception venue availability.

Baptisms are not celebrated during Lent, the Church’s season of preparation for Easter. Normally there are increased opportunities to celebrate Baptism on Easter Sunday and the four Sundays after Easter.

Parents and Godparents need to attend a Welcome Mass and Baptism Preparation session before the Baptism of their child can take place. This session looks at what the sacrament of Baptism is, the roles of parents, Godparents and the Christian community and how the sacrament will be celebrated. The Welcome Mass and Baptism Preparation session is currently held the first Sunday of the month at 10.30am at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Please contact the Parish Office at least two months in advance for bookings and further information. Please return the following booking form to the Parish Office.  Baptism Booking Form 2023

An information guide is available for parents and godparents by clicking here: Baptism Information Document



Christian Marriage is the making of a life-long covenant of love between two baptised persons. It is the making of a true partnership of the whole of life recognised, celebrated and blessed by the Church in the sacrament of Christian Marriage.

Both Churches are popular venues for the celebration of Marriages. To avoid disappointment, you should check the availability of the Church before you book your reception venue.

Our Churches are only available for the celebration of marriage according to the Rites of the Catholic Church (that is, with a Catholic Priest as Celebrant). The Churches are not available for civil weddings or weddings celebrated by ministers of other religions or according to the rites of other religious traditions.

If you have been married previously, you will need to contact the Parish Office before you make any firm arrangements for your wedding. We will do everything we can to assist you.


The sacramental celebration of Reconciliation is one of the Church’s two sacraments of healing. It is sometimes called ‘confession’ because it involves acknowledging our sins and acknowleding God’s holiness and mercy towards us. It is called ‘reconciliation’ because it celebrates our reconciliation with God by proclaiming God’s mercy and forgiveness, and our intention to live according to the Gospel of Christ.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated every Saturday morning immediately following Mass in both our Churches. Please approach the priest who celebrates the Mass.

In the weeks before Easter and Christmas the whole community assembles in both our Churches to celebrate the Second Rite of Reconciliation together in preparation for the celebration of these great feasts.


The Sacrament of Anointing is the Church’s prayer for healing and comfort for those who are ill. It can be celebrated by arrangement with the Parish Priest through the Parish Office.

The Sacrament of Anointing is offered within the 9.00am Mass at St Joseph’s on the 1st Wednesday of each month and at the 9.00am Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the 1st Thursday of each month. 

Please contact the Parish Office for further details and assistance.


The death of a loved one is an especially sensitive time for families and friends.

The Parish works with the family and the Funeral Director in planning the details of the funeral.

It is important to allow sufficient time before the Funeral for making all the necessary decisions.

The Rite of Christian Funerals allows great involvement for the family in choosing appropriate readings from Sacred Scripture and the various prayers and hymns used for the celebration of a funeral as well as various types of involvement by family and friends in the celebration itself.

Your funeral director will normally make contact with the Parish on your behalf to determine the date and time of the funeral.

The Parish will work with you in planning the details of the Funeral itself.


Both Churches have a memorial garden in which the ashes of a loved one can be placed.

The gardens provide a tranquil place of prayer, reflection and peace within the grounds of the Churches.

Brass plaques in the Memorial Gardens commemorate those interred.

Please contact the Parish Office for further details.


The Parish holds the following Sacramental Records:

  • Baptisms and Weddings in St Joseph’s Church from 1881 to present
  • Baptisms and Weddings in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church from 1892 to present
  • Baptisms in Rosary Place Chapel, Good Shepherd Convent, Albert Park 1912 – 1972
These records are not available for viewing by members of the public.
Copies of entries in the Baptismal Register required for Marriage are given only to the person named in the entry. Application for a Baptismal Certificate must be made in writing to the Parish Office, enclosing a stamped, self addressed envelope and a cheque for $25.00 made payable to “Port Melbourne/Middle Park Parish”. The following details are also required:
  • Name of person Baptised
  • Date of Birth
  • Names of parents
  • Address at time of Baptism
  • Approximate date of Baptism
  • Church in which Baptism was celebrated
  • Names of Godparents

These details will help ensure that you are given the correct certificate.

Copies of register entries for those researching family history are only made available to those who can prove their identity and relationship with those named in the entries. Registers are not available for general viewing or searching. The Parish will release only the:

  • name(s) of the person who received the sacrament
  • date and place
  • name of the priest or celebrant

but no other information.

Our registers are not computerised. Because physical searching of the Registers is very time consuming a charge of $30.00 per hour of search is made regardless of the result. An initial amount of $30.00 is required to be paid before the search of our records begins. If entries are found, the details above will be provided without further charge.

In many instances it will be quicker and cheaper to apply to the online service at the Department of Justice or phone 1300 369 367.

If you require a copy of a Baptism Certificate for School Enrolment, or for Sacramental Preparation, or if you have lost your Baptism Certificate, please ring the Parish Office on 9681 9600. Cost for replacing Baptism Certificates is $25.00.

St Joseph's Church
cnr Rouse and Stoke Streets
Port Melbourne
Mon, Wed, Fri 9am
Sunday 9am
Children welcome at all Masses

Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church
Cnr Richardson & Wright Streets
Middle Park
Tue, Thu, Sat 9am
Saturday (Vigil) 5pm
Sunday 10.30am
Children welcome at all Masses


The Carmelite Parish Office is currently open Tuesday and Wednesday between 9.00am and 4.00pm and Friday between 9.00am and 12.00pm (except public holidays). The Parish Office is closed on Monday and Thursday. The Parish Office phone number is 9681 9600. If we can’t answer at the time, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can email any other enquiries to and once again, we will get back to you as soon as possible. The After Hours emergency number is 0419 136 030.