All Saints Parish in Portland is the third oldest parish in Victoria, created and proclaimed in 1847 when Rev. Father Kavanagh was appointed as the first Parish Priest. At this time Victoria was known as Port Phillip District and Portland was under the jurisdiction of the Sydney Diocese.
A number of years earlier in 1844, the Archbishop of Sydney John Polding had held the first Mass in Western Victoria in Portland. The mass took place in Mr Tulloch’s store, in the vicinity of what is now 7 Gawler Street. During his time in Portland, Catholics prevailed upon Archbishop Polding to create a parish in this part of the colony and to permanently locate a parish priest in Portland.
So with his appointment, Fr. Kavanagh set about erecting a temporary church which was to be the third church constructed in Victoria, this building was blessed and opened on 11th February, 1848. Fundraising continued for the construction of a more substantial church and in 1862 the solemn Blessing and Opening of All Saints Church by Bishop Goold was held on April 6th. It was one of the outstanding events in the history of the Church in Portland with about 800 people crowding into the church for the Mass and again in the evening for Vespers, Sermon and Benedictions.
It was not long after this that St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop spent some time as a member of the Portland parish. In the years between 1861 and 1864 while Mary MacKillop was in Portland, along with teaching at the school she also became the sacristan, accepting responsibility for the care of the church.
With the addition of a spire in 1877, the All Saints church building was completed. The people of Portland had a place to gather and worship. Over the years churches continued to be built in Conah, Digby, Heywood and Dartmoor to provide similar places across the parish.
Rev Gregory Tait
All Saints Parish Church
115-117 Bentinck Street, Portland
Portland Normal Weekday & Sunday Masses ( Check weekly Notice Sheet for exceptions )
Postal Address PO Box 210, Portland VIC 3305
Street Address 115-117 Bentinck Street Portland
Parish Office & Church Car Parking Entrance Via 8 Henty Street
Phone (03) 5523 1046
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 9.00am till 3.00pm
Friday by prior arrangement with Fr Gregory
Entry via 8 Henty Street at rear of Church
There are three Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist celebrated in our parish. Along with the Sacrament of Penance at different times throughout each year.
In 1997 our Diocese of Ballarat chose to take up the directive of the Second Vatican Council re-emphasising the traditional link between Baptism and Confirmation, stressing that these two sacraments should be received before the child is fully initiated into the Faith Community through the reception of the Eucharist for the first time.
Families wishing to have their children baptised in All Saints Parish do so by contacting the Parish office to discuss the process and sacrament with Fr. Greg. Generally the sacrament is then received during the weekend parish masses.
As children get older they participate in the Parish based Sacramental program that is supported by the school, with teachers from All Saints taking on the role of the Catechists, leading the children through the program.
Children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation when they are in Year Four, but there is in fact no age limit. Any child who misses out in Year Four can receive the Sacrament during the following years. The program commences with the Rite of Commitment at the weekend Masses, and 4 weeks of dismissals at the Parish masses. Children attend sessions with their Catechist working through the Dicosean program ‘Let the Children Come’.
First Eucharist is normally celebrated in Grade Five. Once again though, there is no age limit above this. The program operates in the same way as the previous sacrament, beginning with a commitment mass, followed by 4 weeks of preparation through the dismissals at the weekend parish masses.
The Sacrament of Penance is offered to children at a Year 3 level and usually occurs during the lenten season. Preparation for this program runs for 4 weeks and is completed individually by families. Using the ‘Forgiveness is…’ program children explore the themes of admitting wrongs, making amends, saying sorry and rebuilding relationships. Children and families gather together at the conclusion of the preparation time to celebrate a liturgy and allow children to receive the sacrament.
All enquiries regarding the Sacramental Program can be directed to Fr Greg at the Parish Office on (03) 5523 1046.