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St Joseph’s Church

History of St. Joseph’s Church,


Fr Jim Shelton

Fr. Jim Shelton

2005 to 2010

In a transition of leadership, on the 2nd of November 2005, Fr. Jim Shelton assumed the role of Priest in charge of St. Joseph’s Church. By January 2006, recognizing his dedicated service, the Archbishop elevated him to the esteemed position of the 6th Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s.

In a testament to the dynamic nature of the Parish, the Parish Council Meeting (P.C.M.) on the 22nd of March 2006 deliberated on the need for a larger Crucifix over the Altar. The hand-carved corpus, crafted in India, was air-shipped to Perth and arrived in impeccable condition, just in time for the celebration of Holy Week. This life-sized crucifix, made from jarrah, now stands as a powerful symbol of faith and devotion.

New Cross
New Cross
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Artistic Tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe

In a beautiful expression of devotion, Perth artist Joe Fairley bestowed the Parish with a life-size painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the unborn, in early December 2006. This heartfelt gift was presented to Fr. Jim Shelton, adding a touch of spiritual grace to the Parish.

Acts of Devotion and Community Engagement

In 2007, Fr. Jim, alongside a committed group of parishioners, initiated a vigil at the abortion clinic in Rivervale, emphasizing the Parish’s dedication to pro-life values.

On the 19th of March 2007, a significant event took place with the blessing of the new Perpetual Adoration Chapel. The Blessed Sacrament, carried in a torchlight procession, found its place in the new chapel, adorned with pavers made from bricks salvaged from the old St. Joseph’s Church that tragically burned down in 2000.

Adoration Chapel at St Joseph's Church, Bassendean

In March 2009, Fr. Jim erected a large sign behind the Grotto, calling for prayers for peace, underscoring the Parish’s commitment to spiritual values.

Adoration Chapel at St Joseph's Church, Bassendean

Just before Easter in 2010, a thoughtful initiative was undertaken at St. Joseph’s Bassendean. The Priests Sacristy, traditionally a space reserved for clerical preparations, was transformed into a Cry Room. This innovative conversion aimed to provide a dedicated space for parents with small children, offering them a comfortable and convenient environment to participate in the Church services without concern for the natural needs and occasional fussiness of their little ones.

Sacristy before conversion, and after conversion

In May 2010, St. Joseph’s Bassendean celebrated the grand opening of a new library, marking a significant step in enriching the intellectual and spiritual resources available to the parish community.

Amidst these changes, the prayer garden in the corner of St. Michael’s school was initiated in mid-October 2010, symbolizing the parish’s commitment to spiritual reflection and the beautification of communal spaces. The garden, completed in January 2011, features a mural of St. Michael and statues of St. Joseph and Our Lady, creating a serene and contemplative environment.

Sacristy before
Sacristy after

Fr Son Nguyen

Fr Son

2010 to 2021

As of November 1, 2010, a new chapter in St. Joseph’s Bassendean began with Fr. Son Nguyen being appointed as the 7th Parish Priest. This period marked a transition in pastoral leadership, bringing fresh perspectives and energies to the community. Fr. Son was deeply loved by all the parishioners for his warm, friendly, and always loving demeanour.

In January 2011, Fr. Son Nguyen engaged with members of the Parish to discuss and initiate the formation of a new Parish Council. The first meeting of the newly formed Parish Council took place on February 9, 2011, reflecting a commitment to collective decision-making and community involvement.

Commencing in November 2010 and concluding in November 2011, extensions to St. Michael’s School were completed. Fr. Son Nguyen played a key role in blessing and opening the new library, as well as overseeing the refurbishment of existing classrooms. This development not only enhanced the educational facilities but also reflected the parish’s commitment to providing an enriching environment for its students.

Fr. Son’s initiatives, such as ordering a smaller and lighter statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, using a trolley for processions, and installing a center loudspeaker, reflect his commitment to enhancing the parish’s traditions and improving its facilities.

The effort to erect the old Church bell and incorporate it into a new tower demonstrates a thoughtful connection to the parish’s history.

Fr. Son was also instrumental in the installation of air conditioners, LED lights, and solar panels, as well as the relocation of the Iron Cross and the bell tower project.

The Iron Cross from the front of the Church was taken down, was sent to be sand blasted and painted. It was then put up at the back of the Church, facing the school. This was done to make room to put up the bell tower.

Cross removal in 2018

New Bell Tower
The Cross in a new location

The Cross in its new position at the back of the Church,

Facing St. Michael’s school

Fr. Son’s decision to have the bell tower constructed in Vietnam and then shipped to Perth, as well as the meticulous restoration of the bell by Mr. Moss Wilson, showcases the strategic planning and attention to detail in preserving the historical elements of the church.

The bell after restoration

The bell after restoration

On Saturday the 4th of May 2019 after years of waiting St. Joseph's has a new bell tower

New Bell Tower
New Bell Tower

In 2020, amid the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, our church and chapel temporarily closed. Worshippers turned to YouTube and TV for Mass during this period. Seizing the opportunity, Fr. Son had the church pew kneelers revamped much to the appreciation of the parishioners.

Despite restrictions, church services resumed in June 2020. In February 2021, Fr. Son announced his transfer, marking the end of his tenure on February 28, 2021. Before departing, he arranged for a sliding gate installation, a generous gift from his brother and family.

Fr Ben Lee

Fr. Ben Lee

2021 -2023

On March 2, 2021, Fr. Benedict Lee assumed the role of Priest-in-charge until a new Parish Priest was appointed.

During Fr. Ben’s tenure, notable improvements took place. On April 16, 2021, loudspeakers with an amplifier and digital bell controller were installed on the bell tower, enhancing our audio capabilities. Fr. Ben’s active involvement extended to the visual appeal of the church, where he painted the doors and adorned the front with lettering. A critical maintenance check revealed issues in the Presbytery, leading to a comprehensive overhaul. The blow-in insulation was removed, the ceiling underwent repairs, and a complete rewiring was conducted. Fr. Ben, a driving force behind these upgrades, concluded his service at St. Joseph’s in early February 2023, transferring to Palmyra.

Father Anthony Suresh

2023 – present

Father Anthony Suresh, from Kalamunda Parish joined us on the 21st of February 2023 as our new Parish Priest.

Fr Anthony Suresh