Map showing Our Lady of Mt Carmel

Phone: (03) 9681 9600

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The parish has been in the care of the Carmelite Order of priests and brothers since April 1882 when the first Carmelite priests, Prior Butler and Father Shaffrey, arrived to take charge of the newly created parish of Sandridge (Port Melbourne).

Their new parish, formerly part of Emerald Hill (South Melbourne), extended along the beachfront from the river at Port Melbourne to Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda. The Carmelites celebrated their first Mass on 7 May 1882 in St Joseph’s, Port Melbourne, which had opened up in 1881.

The boom conditions of the 1880s encouraged the Carmelites to buy and build on a large scale. Several parcels of land were bought in the parish for use as possible future churches. The Carmelites also bought land on Beaconsfield Parade and built their first Priory there in 1886.

As the Middle Park/West St Kilda end of the parish began to expand, plans were made for two new churches, one in Richardson Street, Middle Park and another in Mary Street, West St Kilda.

In February 1889, the three-roomed St Joseph’s School, opened in 1857, burnt down. It was replaced by a new school hall for 300 children built along side St Joseph’s Church in September that year.

In November 1891, the Carmelites opened the first Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the corner of Richardson and Wright Streets, Middle Park.

The church, which accommodated 500 people, was a red and buff brick with cement facings, in Gothic style and with a tall belfry at the south-east corner. A pipe organ was installed to accompany the singing of High Mass on Sunday mornings and Vespers and Benediction on Sunday evenings.

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