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The Parish of

South West Coast


  • Infant Jesus

    18 Queen Street, Koroit

  • St Patrick's

    487 Princes Highway, Port Fairy

  • St Anne's

    Hopkins Highway, Purnim

  • St Joseph's

    169 Kepler Street, Warrnambool

  • Our Lady Help of Christians

    2 Selby Road, Warrnambool East

  • St Pius X

    80 Morriss Road, Warrnambool West

Parish Office


Postal Address:
PO Box 104
Warrnambool VIC 3280

Street Address:
169 Kepler Street
Warrnambool VIC 3280

Phone:  (03) 5562 2231

South West Coast Parish Warrnambool


Office Hours
Monday – Friday:  9.00am – 4.00pm


Mass Times


Easter Sunday Mass Times

8:30am & 10:30am St Joseph’s (NB: No 6pm Mass)

10:00am St Pius X

9:00am Infant Jesus

10:00am St Anne’s Purnim


Latest Parish Bulletin

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Parish Moderator
Fr John Fitzgerald
Assistant Priests
Fr Abraham Thomas MST
Fr Bill Lowry
Parish Office
(03) 5562 2231
Parish Staff
Parish Manager Tony Herbert

Accounts Manager Louise Dryburgh

Parish Secretaries

Karen Johnson
Trisha McGinness
Virginia Martin


Pat Negri
Parish Safeguarding Officers:
Infant Jesus Koroit
Nick Murrell
St Patrick’s Port Fairy
Peter Sanderson
St Joseph’s Warrnambool
Anne Maree Mugavin
0433 708 017
St Pius X
Warrnambool West

Karen Johnson
Our Lady Help of Christians Warrnambool East
Dion Bartlett
Parish Catholic Schools
St John’s Primary School, Dennington
Ben van de Camp
263 Russell Street, Dennington, 3280
(03) 5562 5362
St Patrick’s Primary School, Koroit
Principal: Tegan McDonald
Address: Queen Street, Koroit, 3282
Phone:  (03) 5565 8208
St Patrick’s Primary School, Port Fairy
Principal: Olga Lyons
Address: 9-11 William Street, Port Fairy, 3284
Phone:  (03) 5568 1371
St Joseph’s Primary School, Warrnambool
Principal: Matthew O’Brien
Address: 70 Botanic Road, Warrnambool, 3280
Phone:  (03) 5561 1343
St Pius X Primary School,
Warrnambool West

Principal: Nick Murrell
Address: 32-24 Hoddle Street, Warrnambool,  3280
Phone:  (03) 5562 2506
Our Lady Help of Christians
Warrnambool East

Principal: Stephen Madden
Address:  Selby Road, Warrnambool, 3280
Phone:  (03) 5562 5559
Emmanuel Secondary College,
Principal: Peter Morgan
37 Ardlie Street, Warrnambool, 3280
(03) 5560 0888


Our Parish

Star of the Sea Parish, South West Coast

On Friday, July 1, 2022 a Decree from the Bishop of Ballarat (Bishop Paul) was received advising that the parish of Warrnambool East will unite with the South West Cost Parish.

On Friday 1 October 2021 a Decree from the Bishop of Ballarat (Bishop Paul) was received advising of the new parish of Star of the Sea, South West Coast, with the amalgamation of the former parishes of Port Fairy (est. 1849), Warrnambool (est.1853), Koroit (est. 1886), Dennington (est. 1965) and Warrnambool West (est. 1970).  Fr John Fiztergald is appointed as Moderator and Fr John Corrigan as Co-Pastor.

Moderator: When a number of parishes come together the pastoral care can be entrusted to several priests jointly, but with the stipulation that one of the priests is to be the moderator of the pastoral care to be exercised. The moderator is to direct the joint action and to be responsible for it to the Bishop. (Canon 517.1).


St Patrick’s, Port Fairy

Port Fairy’s Catholic church, dedicated to St Patrick, was built to replace the school Chapel in William Street. Even in 1846 it was realised that a church was needed and by June 1847, £317 had been collected for the proposed building.

In 1844, James Atkinson donated two acres in William Street and £100 towards building the first church. He gave it “as a landlord desirous of encouraging his tenantry,” the great majority of his tenants being Irish Catholic.

In March 1849, Port Fairy – then known as Belfast – welcomed its first resident priest, Fr Thomas Slattery. He was succeeded by Father Shinnickin 1853 who collected another £1000 towards the new church.

Early in 1857 Atkinson gave another 1.5 acres, at the present site. In this year Fr Shinnickin, along with his three lay trustees, prepared for building. The design was prepared by Nathaniel Billings from plans from the English architect Hansom, secured by Dr James Alipius Goold, Bishop of Melbourne. It was to be built of bluestone with Hobart and Merri freestone feature decorations. The pan included the typical Hansom octagonal belfry. The building would be dedicated to St Patrick, the name chosen by Fr Geohegan, the Victorian colony’s pioneer priest, when he inaugurated the building fund on his visit in 1847. Bishop Goold, returning from Portland to Melbourne, laid the first stone on 23 July 1857.

In the Warrnambool Standard of 23 April 1857, an advertisement invited tenders for the erection of the Belfast Catholic church, but work was delayed until late 1858 due to unfortunate strife at the time. The Banner of Belfast, dated 30 September 1857, states “Father McCarthy has already let the contract for the foundations amounting to £600 and is now to sign a second contract for £1599 for the wall masonry towards which the government has granted another £400.”

A third contract of £730 was signed in May 1859. The foundation contractor is unknown but the Warrnambool Examiner of 12 February 1859 states “that having completed the contract for the wall masonry at the new Belfast Catholic Church, the contractor, Mr Isaac’s full claim of £1640 has been paid by the Reverends Messrs Maloney and McCarthy.”

On 21 May 1859, the roofing contract of £730 was let to Messrs McKenzie and Cowan of Belfast. A tender called on 25 June 25 1860 for glazing the floors was not proceeded with and on August 25 the tender of Young’s of Melbourne was accepted for the completing of the church. Flooring, plastering and doors came to £260, the windows to £75.

As the sanctuary had not yet been build, the altar stood before a temporary wall which filled the chancel arch. Over the altar hung a painting purchased and presented by Bishop Goold. This painting is believed to now hang in the Ballarat Convent of Nazareth House.

The blessing of the Church was performed on 17 January 1861. The Pontifical High Mass was followed by the Blessing and Benediction. The sermon “The grain of Mustard Seed” was preached by Dr Shiell of Ballarat. Present were Parish Priest Fr Dean Slattery, Fr Edward McCarthy, Fr Eugene McCarthy, Fr Michael Farrely, Fr John O’Connell, Fr J.J. Madden, Fr Henry England and Fr William Finn. Six hundred people overflowed the church and a fine choir under Herr Gollin rendered Mozart’s Twelfth Mass. A record of the occasion reports, “The church to date has cost £3500 and the collection of £200 on the day reduced the debt to £500.”

A further government grant of £300 was expected so it was decided to proceed with the building of the chancel, but because of other commitments this was delayed. A severe storm in 1863 shook the west gable making the temporary chancel filling dangerous. After the fierce winter of 1864, when the north wall split at the return to the west gable, it was decided to proceed immediately with the erection of the chancel. This was completed before the end of 1867, to the design of J.B. Denny a former student of William Wardell, the renowned architect of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney and St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. Whilst in Belfast, Denny was commissioned by Fr Parle to design a church for Koroit, which then constituted part of the Mission of Port Fairy. As Denny was a keen admirer of Wardell, having studied and worked under him, Wardell features can be detected in the sanctuaries and sacristies of St Patrick’s Church, Port Fairy, and Infant Jesus Church, Koroit.

An old account book contains an entry by Fr Linehan, “Total cost of St Patrick’s Church to March 1864, £3345,” and another entry by Fr Parle, “Laid out on the church by James Parle (during his tenure) to December 1867, £1175, 12 shillings and 9 pence. £400 of that sum had been contributed by the Victorian Government, giving rise to the depictions of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at the windows at either end of the church.

Stained glass windows depicting the Ascension, Annunciation and Descent of the Holy Ghost were added in 1868. These windows are those above the four chancel panels, added to in 1920. There is no foundation stone but it is thought that a cavity under the chancel steps contains pertinent papers and mementos of the occasion.


St Anne’s, Purnim

There is no record of when the original St Anne’s Church was built other than that it was being used as a school and a Church prior to 1863 and was extended in 1885.  This old wooden Church served the community for more than 75 years and in 1940 the community built the present brick building.  This is still an important place of worship for the Catholic community of Purnim.  It is situated on the Hopkins Highway which runs through Purnim.


St Joseph’s, Warrnambool

The present Church is situated on the corners of Raglan Parade, Kepler Street and Lava Street.  It was completed in 1889.  Until 1849 there was no permanent place of worship for Catholics in Warrnambool.  Initially a small wooden building erected on the corner of Kelp and Timor Streets served as the Church for the Catholics of Warrnambool. Dean Thomas Slattery, the first Parish Priest of Warrnambool, came to live permanently in the city in 1853.  In 1856 the foundation stone of  the present parish hall on the corner of Kepler Street and Raglan Parade was laid by Bishop Goold from Melbourne.

The building was used as a school and Church for the increasing Catholic community of Warrnambool.  By 1867 it was becoming apparent that this building was also too small for the congregation and plans for a new Church were made. The Church was built in two stages  and the present St Joseph’s was finally completed on the 23 September 1889.  In 2002 a Gathering Space was built on to the Church.  This Gathering Space has certainly complemented parish life.


Our Lady Help of Christians, Warrnambool East

The First Move towards the Building of the Church:  In the earlys 1960’s Warrnambool grew outward toward the East, and its growth engendered may community needs, not least amongst them being a “bricks and mortar” expression of faith.

In January, 1973, Warrnambool East was established as a parish in its own right. Within weeks, the Catholic Community met to discuss the question of a place of worship. Thanks to Monsignori O’Connell and Fiscalini, the centre already had a large block of land and a modern primary school. At their first meeting, the people elected a committee to be responsible for the building project.

After almost three years of planning, meetings, and hard work, the goal was attained – the completion of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Church.

On July 1, 2022 the Warrnambool East parish was united with the South West Coast Parish.


St Pius X, Warrnambool West

St Pius X Parish was established in 1970.  Its first Parish Priest was the late Father P.M. Bohan and it was then the only totally urban parish in the Diocese of Ballarat.  Previously, the area was part of St Joseph’s Parish, Warrnambool, as was St Pius X School which had opened in 1962.

The neighbouring parish of St John the Baptist at Dennington was also part of the Warrnambool parish until 1965, when the late Father G.G. Payne became its first Parish Priest (his name is commemorated at Dennington’s G.G. Payne Reserve).  The Dennington parish school, now at 263 Russell Street, was opened in 1920 in the former church in Tylden Street.

From the beginning of 2021 the two parishes became part of a single ministry district which included the parishes of Port Fairy, Koroit and Warrnambool.


A Century in Bluestone

A History of St Joseph’s Parish and the Catholic faith in the Warrnambool area up until 1989.
D Melican and C Lourey. ISBN 0 7316 7303 4. Published in 1989. Only available in hard copy: $10. Contact the Parish Office.



Click here to access CDF Pay for the South West Coast Parish.


Diocesan Social Justice Commission

Click here to access the Diocesan Social Justice Commission information.


Professional Standards

Children Young People and Vulnerable Adults Safety Policy 

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Code of Conduct

Commitment Statement to the Safety of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults


Parish News

October 15, 2023
Discerning the Future Together
From August 18 - 20, eighteen members of the South West Coast Parish Pastoral Leadership teams embarked upon a journey of collective discernment facilitated by Fr Michael Smith SJ
Read More >
October 25, 2022
Liturgy Formation at South West Coast Parish: November 13, 2022
The Diocesan Liturgical Commission will present Liturgy Formation on Sunday Assembly of Word & Communion and scripture reflection at St Joseph’s Gathering Space, Warrnambool on Sunday, November 13, 2022.
Read More >
July 6, 2022
Star of the Sea Parish, South West Coast
Bishop Paul Bird CSsR decreed the uniting of the parish of Warrnambool East with the South West Coast Parish as at July 1, 2022.
Read More >
October 4, 2021
Star of the Sea Parish, South West Coast
Bishop Paul Bird CSsR decreed the establishment of a new parish in the diocese, Star of the Sea, South West Coast as at October 1, 2021.
Read More >
More South West Coast News

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