Attentive to the Sacred,

the Evolving Universe,

Relationships of Compassion.



St Joseph’s by the Sea is a gathering and accommodation place for all who seek to:

  • nurture contemplation
  • explore and celebrate the wonders of the Universe and Earth
  • nourish body, mind and spirit.
  • develop just and respectful relationships.
  • live into new ways of being.
What's On at St Joseph's By The Sea

Sustainability & Energy Saving Event

7:30pm – Tuesday 10 Oct 2023

Presented by: Anthony Verhoef a Senior Engineer and Climate Reality Leader

St Josephs by The Sea, 16 Esplanade Williamstown

Learn how to save energy, reduce your power bills and help the environment.

Supper Provided

Eco-Spirituality Week 13-19 November

Welcome to Eco- Spirituality week. Eco-Spirituality exists when one listens and responds to the spiritual connection between human beings and their environment. We invite you to be part of a reflective practice this week. Please download our Eco-Spirituality guide to support your reflections over the coming days. Or find us and follow us on Facebook for daily posts during Spirituality week and for regular updates throughout the year.

As part of your reflections this week you are also invited to our special event a presentation on;

Father Julian Tenison Woods and Eco-Spirituality

Thursday 16 November 7.30pm – 9.00pm

The topic will be presented by Maria Francalossi, with an introduction to the Explore ~ Embrace ~ Embody Laudato Si’ Action Plan 2022.

To register for this event please fill out the registration form on this page below. Chick here to share flyer.

Donations Welcome


To conclude and celebrate Eco- Spirituality week the team along will volunteers from the community will be hosting a day in the Garden.

A Day in the Garden with the SJBTS Team 19 November 23

Sunday 19 November 2023, time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

We welcome you to join us for a Day in the Garden. An event filled with blissful bites, fascinating concepts on sustainability, cosmology, wellness and beauty.

Come and enjoy…

Wicking bed demonstrations, Garden Tours, Reflexology/seated massage, Heartwarming refreshments at the Bee-Hive CAFE, children’s activities and so much more.

Anthony Verhoef a Senior Engineer and Climate Reality Leader will be presenting Sustainability in daily life workshops. 10:30am & 2pm

Topics include.

  • Reduction of power usage
  • Time of Usage
  • Efficiency of appliances
  • Energy contract and rates
  • Solar Panels

Check here to download a copy of the Sustainability in daily life booklet.

Click here to share a poster of our Garden Day with your community.

To book a reflexology session on Garden Day click here for more information.

Reflexology – Circle of Light

We are delighted to offer those needing special consideration a Reflexology for relaxation service in our Wholeness Room here in the beautiful environment of SJBTS. Available very second Friday.  To book your treatment please contact Jodie 0413 881 462

For information and to book click link to see flyer


Lending Library

Our Library at St Joseph’s By the Sea has an extensive collection of books of a spiritual nature including Eco-spirituality, Scripture, Aboriginal Spirituality Theology as well as art, fiction and magazines like Earth Song, Madonna, NGV magazines and spirituality in daily life.

These are all available for borrowing.

A librarian is in attendance on Thursdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm.


Making an enquiry you agree to our safeguarding framework as outlined Commitment to Safeguarding Approved by CLT

Event Registration


Williamstown Accommodation by the Sea

Double Room
En Suite
Single Room
En Suite
Communal Kitchen
Dining Room
Hall way

St Joseph’s By The Sea has six modern single and double accommodation rooms with en suites.

  • Spacious rooms with tranquil leafy outlook.
  • Beautifully appointed modern bathrooms.
  • Stylish desk and chair.
  • All linen is supplied.
  • Wheelchair accessibility.
  • Rooms are air conditioned and access to Wi-Fi.
  • Perfect space to nourish body, mind and spirit.
  • Elegant common kitchen, dining room and lounge area.
  • Laundry facilities are available.
  • Accommodation Room Rate $150 per night.
  • Light breakfast provisions included.

Making an enquiry you agree to our safeguarding framework as outlined Commitment to Safeguarding Approved by CLT

Accommodation Enquiry

Meeting and Conference Rooms

Williamstown Meeting Rooms by the Sea

Chapel Room
Chapel Room
Chapel Room
Bay Room
Lounge Room
Blue Room
Blue Room

Meeting Rooms

St Joseph’s by the Sea has several meeting rooms and breakout out areas for hire from 8:00 am – 10:00 pm daily.

Our main meeting rooms have views of the Bay, natural lighting, reverse cycle air conditioning and access to Wi-Fi.

  • Chapel Room holds 50 people, with Smart TV facility, $500 per day
  • Bay Room with bay view holds 25 people, with Smart TV facility, $350 per day
  • Blue room holding 10 people for $150 per day
  • Tables, Chairs and Whiteboard available for use.
  • Tea, coffee and kitchen facilities available.

We offer opportunities tailored to your needs.

Please submit enquiry and we will confirm the availability in due course.

Making an enquiry you agree to our safeguarding framework as outlined Commitment to Safeguarding Approved by CLT

Conference Room Enquiry

  • DD dash MM dash YYYY

St Joseph’s by the Sea is an ideal environment for a retreat. Those wishing to have a time of silence and prayer are welcome to book into this facility at a time convenient to you. There is opportunity to arrange a retreat to suit yourself. To enjoy a day or days where you relax and have time for yourself. The arrangement for these days is that we provide tea, coffee and breakfast but you need to provide other meals. There are facilities for cooking here. Williamstown is renowned for their eating places.

We also host Retreats throughout the year, our final retreat for 2023 is our October  Directed Retreat, all our hosted Retreats are fully catered. Our 2024 Retreats are now open for booking, please fill out an online booking form to book your spot in our 2024 Retreats. See below for dates and a link to more information.

Final Retreat for 2023

9-15 October 2023 
Directed Retreat
Therese Quinn rsj and Jenny Scally rsj
$800  (one spot available)

Retreat Dates 2024

7-14 April 2024 
Easter to Ascension The Presence and Absence of Jesus
Jennifer Scally rsj

5-12 May 2024
My Heart is Longing for you
Maureen McDermott rsj

2-9 June 2024
Art As Prayer
Directed by Therese Quinn rsj

19-25 August 2024
Directed Retreat
Therese Quinn rsj and Jenny Scally rsj

23-29 September 2024
The Strength of a Women’s Witness
Therese Quinn rsj

21-27 November 2024
Connecting with The Mystery of Earth’s Love
Elaine Smith rsj and Carmel Crameri rsj

Click here for a full description of our 2024 Retreats.

Look at the birds… Consider the flowers… Matthew 6:26,28
Making an enquiry you agree to our safeguarding framework as outlined Commitment to Safeguarding Approved by CLT

Retreat Enquiry

  • DD slash MM slash YYYY
Ecological Activites


Vege Garden
Vege Garden



Gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the Universe. Thomas Berry

In 2016, preparing for the seed to be sown…

In 2020, working on The Permaculture Principles of Organic Gardening, we have transformed our garden into using ‘No dig’ systems that utilizes all composting materials – cardboard, papers, prunings and lawn cuttings….

In developing the garden, we hope it will be a space of beauty and celebration. Our garden enhances the activities of the Centre with our veggies and fruits central to our menu.

The sacredness of this space reflect the sacredness in all life that surrounds us – the birds, the sea creatures, the ancient sheoak, the lava blister, the human.

Worm Farms

We delight in our worms in our gardens. They are an efficient way to reduce household waste and provide nutrient rich fertilizer for the garden.

We have two large worm farms and are now putting “worm homes” straight into our garden beds.

Educating heart and mind in the Cosmological approach to the 13.7-billion-year Universe Story

We do this through:

  • Earth Rituals
  • Contemplative Reflections
  • Earth Retreats
  • Workshops

Visible Sustainability Practices at our Centre

  • Regular assessing of our strategic plan.
  • House recycling and compost bins
  • Utilizing natural and environmentally friendly products for our cleaning purposes.
  • Craft Workshops teaching how to create environmental ways of doing things. e.g. Beeswax Wraps
  • Less/no use of single use plastics.
  • We have reflective quotes in the garden and throughout the Centre.

The Song of The Bay is heard by every listener.
Our Mission is living in relationship with Earth, our home, celebrating the wonders of the Universe and Earth, by living in an awareness of our Earth friendly environment.
History and Local Environment

Many millions of years ago, Williamstown was alive with volcanic activity. Lava flowed from the vents of hundreds of surrounding volcanoes into Port Phillip Bay.As lava flowed to the shoreline, gases in the lava built up and created a large bubble. This formation is extremely rare and has fascinated geologists the world over. Victoria’s basalt plains form one of the largest lave plains in the world.

Plenty long ago the Yalukit-Willam came to live in the coastal lands around Port Phillip. They called the Williamstown area Koort-boork-boork. This means a clump of many she-oak trees.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph were invited to Williamstown in July 1900 when the FCJ Sisters who had been travelling from Vaucluse Richmond withdrew from the school.

In 1927 the Sisters purchased the home “Tulliallan” built by sea captain James Ogilvie. This then came to be known as St. Joseph’s Convent at 16 Esplanade.

A community was sent for Williamstown last week… The school was opened yesterday with an attendance of 170. Not a bad beginning!
Mary MacKillop 1900
Little Shop

Our Little Shop

Our little shop is more than just a funding space. We have supported asylum seekers, aboriginal ministries and those who need our support. However, our little shop creates links between the garden, our craft group, and the community.

Our craft group makes and supplies items for our shop. Our garden produce is used to make jams. Along with donations from the community we also stock jewelry from Africa, which helps support the women who make these. Clients who use the facility often revisit us to buy a little gift from our Little shop.

Little Shop
Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction is available at St Joseph’s by the Sea.

Spiritual direction is a process by which one person journeys contemplatively with another who is seeking to discern God’s presence (however God is named) in the everyday experience of their life, thus enhancing growth in intimacy with God, and right relationship with all creation.

Spiritual Directors are welcome to use our space.

There where we are we find God.
Mary MacKillop 1871

For further information please call St Joseph’s by the Sea on (03) 9397 6012

Photo Gallery
Chapel Room
Double Room
Bay Room
Stained Glass Doors
Blue Room
Water Outlook
Single Room
Communal Kitchen
Dinning Room
Stained Glass Windows
Contact Us

St Joseph’s By The Sea

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

We pause to recall the millions of year of ocean and land emergence which eventually gave birth to the many life forms.

We acknowledge with respect and wonder, the traditional custodians of this sacred land on which St Joseph’s By The Sea stands. The Yalukit-William of the Boon Wurrung people and Kulin nation.

We honour their elders, past and emerging and acknowledge their wise care of the land, rivers, creeks and sea, and food resources during the hundreds and thousands of years they walked this area.

We give thanks for their insight, wisdom and caring.

We accept the invitation in the ULURU statement from the HEART to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

Let’s learn from the First Peoples of our countries and wholeheartedly support them.27th General Chapter