Attentive to the Sacred, the Evolving Universe, Relationships of Compassion.

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

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

We honour their elders past, present 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.

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

St Joseph’s by the Sea is a gathering 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

View what we have on offer below.

Retreats 2023 (PDF)

Lenten Program 2023 (PDF)

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.

This ministry has a long and revered history across faith traditions, and in the Christian tradition has been practiced by non-ordained people and ordained ministers. The focus of ministry is the particular relationship between God and the person seeking direction.

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


St Joseph’s by the Sea 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.

View our retreats on offer below.

Retreats 2023 (PDF)

Look at the birds… Consider the flowers… Matthew 6:26,28
Ecological Activities

View below our ecological activities…


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, celebration and learning.

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

Worm Farms

These are a delight 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 herbs and natural oils in our cleaning products.
  • Craft Workshops teaching how to create environmental ways of doing things. e.g. Beeswax Wraps
  • Less/no use of single use plastics.
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
Facilities and Accommodation

You’re invited to view below facilities and accommodation at St Joseph’s By The Sea…

Meeting Rooms

St Joseph’s by the Sea has several meeting rooms and breakout out areas for hire.

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

  • Our larger meeting room accommodates around 50
  • Our smaller room accommodates around 25
  • Morning tea, light lunch and afternoon tea can be catered for.

We offer opportunities tailored to your needs.

Dining Facilities

For further information and hire rates call (03) 9397 6012 or email

Accommodation by the Sea

St Joseph’s By The Sea has modern short term accommodation available.

  • There is a common kitchen, dining room and lounge area.
  • Laundry facilities are available.
  • The six bedrooms have an en suite
  • All linen is supplied.
  • Rooms are air conditioned and have access to Wi-Fi.

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 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.

Relaxation Massage

St Joseph’s by the Sea has Relaxation Massage available by appointment via email

Photo Gallery
Contact Us

St Joseph’s By The Sea