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St Joseph’s Church

History of St. Joseph’s Church


Fr Joseph Depiazzi

Fr Joseph Depiazzi

3rd Parish Priest - 1967 – 1971

In March 1967, Father Joseph Bernard Depiazzi took on the role of the third Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Bassendean. The charismatic Fr. Depiazzi, known for his direct style, initiated changes and new initiatives in the parish. Confirmation ceremonies, a renewed pledge-giving system, and the revival of the YCW, St Vincent de Paul Society, and Legion of Mary marked the vibrant atmosphere of the late 1960s.

In 1968, the interior of the Church was painted receiving a fresh look.

The Parish Council, formed on April 23, 1970, marked a new era of organizational structure, and sub-committees were established for Financial, Educational, Liturgical, and Public Relations matters. In December 1970, the Parish Council sought assistance from the Wells Organization Pty. Ltd., fund-raising consultants, leading to a successful campaign in February 1971 that more than doubled the Parish income.



Fr. Alexius Morahan

Fr Alexius Morahan

4th Parish priest 1971 to 2000

On September 19, 1971, Father Alexius Morahan became the 4th Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Bassendean.

A significant milestone during Fr. Morahan’s time was the construction of the present Church. His influence extended to the design, aligning it with the new liturgical changes recommended by the Second Vatican Council.

In August 1973, the task of designing the new Church fell to Mazak, Seagar, and Associates. As reported in “The Record” newspaper on August 8, 1974, the Church was completed in an impressive seven months. With a seating capacity of 450, it featured 4 extensive blocks and 10 rows from front to back. To preserve the legacy, benches from the old Church, along with 20 from the Maida Vale Church, found a new home in the freshly constructed space. The chairs in the Sanctuary and wooden Altar fittings were provided by Mr. Dulio Riberi, with the Altar crafted from Travertine marble.

Steel and concrete work for the new Church

St Joseph's Church Steel and Concrete work for the new Church
Steel and concrete work for the new St Joseph's Church, Bassendean
Steel and concrete work for the new St Joseph's Church, Bassendean

Steel work inside

The back of the Church

Back of the St Joseph's Church, Bassendean
Back of the St Joseph's Church, Bassendean

The front of the Church early 1974

Front of the St Joseph's Church, Bassendean in 1974
Front of the St Joseph's Church, Bassendean in 1974

St. Joseph’s Church 1997

St Joseph's Church in 1997

On August 4, 1974, the new Church was blessed and opened by Archbishop Sir Lancelot Goody, marking a significant moment in the history of St. Joseph’s Bassendean.

After the completion of the new Church, the old Church took on a new role, serving as the Parish Hall and library.

During Fr. Alexius Monahan’s time as the Parish Priest, a vibrant array of groups and activities took root within the St. Joseph’s community. Among these initiatives was the first annual Rosary procession in honor of Our Lady, which took place on December 16, 1976.

Under Fr. Morahan’s guidance, a significant spiritual practice, the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, commenced on January 16, 1992, becoming a weekly Thursday ritual from 7 am to 7 pm.

In 1993, the completion of the pavement around the Church Hall, enhanced the parish surroundings.

In 1998, a new chapter unfolded with the construction of the Parish annex and Kindergarten, expanding the facilities to accommodate the growing needs of the community.

After the passing of Fr. Morahan, the Parish saw temporary care from Fr. Anthony Van Dyke O.P., a Dominican Priest, in August 2000. Following this, Fr. Pat McAtamney, a retired Priest from Sydney NSW, assumed responsibility for the Parish from September 2000 until June 2001.

The turn of the millennium brought challenges, including a break-in at the Church in early September 2000, where burglars stole the safe and its contents.

Tragically, on December 17, 2000, vandals sparked a fire that destroyed the old Church, repurposed as the Parish Hall. The severity of the fire rendered the building unsafe, leading to its demolition. This unfortunate incident marked the end of an era. This incident was particularly heartbreaking as efforts were underway, led by Mr. Ivan Sands, the then President of the Parish Council, to have the hall listed as a heritage site.

The old Church after it was gutted by fire

The old church after it was gutted by fire