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A Year in the Life of St Joseph’s By The Sea

July 17, 2017

It is just over one year since the Convent across the road from Port Phillip Bay in Williamstown, commenced operating under its new identity, St Joseph’s By The Sea.

Those at St Joseph’s By The Sea are committed to being open to the wide ranging possibilities offered at this gathering place.

A calm space is offered for those wishing to nurture contemplation, explore and celebrate the wonder of the Universe and Earth, nourish their body, mind and spirit, develop just and respectful relationships or simply live into new ways of being.

Over the past 14 months, St Joseph’s By The Sea has developed a coastal garden run on organic gardening principles; established practices to run the Centre as sustainably as possible and set up the Conference rooms and bedrooms for short term guests.

There has been a busy schedule of hosting school staff groups and a variety of Institute and Congregational gatherings, as well as Guided, Directed, Private and Live Out Retreats.

The Sisters have welcomed participants to monthly Prayer and Spirituality sessions, craft mornings, and Organic Gardening afternoons. We have also run Lenten and Easter reflections based on the gospels.

The Centre has hosted a group investigating death and dying through conversation, movement, meditation and breath, as well as offering hospitality to corporate groups seeking the peace and tranquil setting of this place for their professional gatherings.

A particular highlight was the day Joan Healy rsj,  and colleague  Marilyn, accompanied a number of their English language students who are refugee women along with their children to Williamstown to enjoy the beauty of the bay and the beach. It was a joy to talk with the women as they practised their English and watched their children enjoy the garden and the morning tea!

Visitors to St Joseph’s By The Sea comment on the peace and tranquility of this place. They sense it as soon as they enter the space and say:


There is a sense of peace and serenity when you walk through the door

Is it because of the generations of Sisters who lived, worked and prayed here?
Is it Williamstown, nestled on the bay, with its ever changing view?
Is it the impact of the Chapel Room doors that were created by Sr Therese Quinn?

Below is a list of what’s happening during August.

Everyone is welcome to visit, to participate or just to be. All are welcome!

Marianne Zeinstra rsj, Therese Quinn rsj and Carmel Crameri rsj