History of St Joseph’s, Black Rock
In the latter half of the nineteenth century , settlement began to expand outwards from Melbourne. Part of this expansion was southward along the bayside. St.Kilda and Prahran first, then with the
establishment of the railway , Brighton was formed. Brighton beach in those days was a popular area for bathing and seaside picnics among the ti -trees. In 1887 the railway was further extended along
the coast from Brighton to Sandringham.
As the various areas along the railway line expanded in population they were declared cities. Brighton in 1919 became the first city south of Prahran. Sandringham , separated in 1919 from
Moorabbin shire to conduct its own local government as a borough and was declared a city in 1923.
Earlier in 1906 Archbishop Carr laid the foundation stone for the Sacred Heart church in Sandringham, In the early twenties the administrative control of the city of Sandringham extended over
Black Rock and Beaumaris. Black Rock was the terminus of an electric tram line from Sandringham. South of Black Rock settlement began to peter out and not revive again until it reached Mentone, where
another railway from Melbourne reached the coast. Beaumaris , located between Black Rock and Mentone, comprised one large hotel which still stands and many acres of ti – trees, scrub and coastal
For the Catholics of Black Rock , there was as yet no church and parish boundaries did not quite coincide with municipal development. The Black Rock church district was included in Mentone parish
, but parishioners living adjacent to the tram line attended mass at Sacred Heart Church at Sandringham. Other parishioners living further to the south of the tram terminus were faced with the choice
of Mentone or Sandringham. Either way it was a long journey. In order to overcome this obstacle some of the parishioners decided to celebrate mass at the home of Mr. and Mrs Murphy , which lay half a
mile south of Black Rock terminus( Cnr of Ebden Ave and Fourth Street). A temporary altar was set up on a wide enclosed verandah and chairs provided for about 15 to 20 people. Outside was a
delightful , rambling garden.
Black Rock church district was transferred from Mentone to Sandringham parish on 20 th May 1927. One the 1 st of Jan 1928 the foundation stone was laid for the Black Rock church school. St.
Joseph’s church , Black Rock was formally opened on 22 nd April 1928. In 1931 St Joseph’s was officially formed as an independent parish with Fr Gorry as the parish priest.
The present church was officially opened on 8 th Dec 1963 by Rev Monsignor L.P. Moran.