The History of San Isidro Parish
San Isidro Church started out as a Mission that was created to serve the needs of Hispanic migrant farmworkers in the late sixties. It served primarily to facilitate those who worked and lived in Broward County.
The celebration of Masses at that time occurred in the old Pompano Beach Labor Camp, in several homes, and even outdoors many times. Occasionally, an old one-room schoolhouse that no longer exists was temporary home for the celebrations.
On October 25, 1975, San Isidro Mission found a home at 2310 Hammondville Road, where it exists and functions to this day.
Father Jose Moreno was the first priest to take the Word of God and the Sacraments to the Migrant workers in the Pompano area. He was an assistant pastor at St. Vincent's Church in Margate. He voluntarily spent many hours each week ministering to the needs of these Catholic workers. He celebrated many of the Masses in the old wooden schoolhouse mentioned previously. No one seems to be able to place the location of the schoolhouse at this time.
In 1969, Father Moreno returned to Spain and Father, now Monsignor John McMahon stepped into the picture. He came to the work camp in the role of Rural Life Bureau Director for the Archdiocese. On his arrival Fr. McMahon found the schoolhouse condemned and he therefore celebrated Mass on the porch of another old building.
In March 1970, Fr. Jeremiah Singleton was designated as Mission Administrator and shortly after taking his post, he was able to permanently locate "The Mission" on Hammondville Road. Despite all the difficulties encountered, the people responded with enthusiasm and The Mission began to grow slowly.
Shortly thereafter Fr. Bernard Kirlin became the new Administrator. It was then determined that "The Mission" would be permanent and a decision was made to construct a Church building. At that time there were 15 to 20 permanent Mexican and Puerto Rican families who volunteered to help in any way they could.
Since there was no permanent building to hold services in, the Knights of Columbus Hall in Pompano Beach was utilized. To facilitate the C.C.D. program, Sr. Mary Rose Crowley S.S.N.D. appeared on the scene along with several candidates for the priesthood from St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach. After some time, a small house was moved to the Hammondville site and it became the church and Rectory. This small house was removed in 1990 to facilitate for the building of the new Rectory and additional office space.
Collection of funding to facilitate the building the Church was slow. God intervened and allowed something to happen which accelerated the construction plans. During the Annual Archbishop's Charities Drive, now known as the ABCD, Fr. John Handrahan was preaching at Assumption Church in Pompano Beach. He was telling the parishioners about the various needs that were in evidence throughout the Archdiocese. He especially focused his talk on the needs of the missions. A parishioner of Assumption Church, Carl Koch, was inspired to help fulfill the requirements of these mission needs. He immediately contacted Bishop Robert Joyce who arranged a meeting with Fr. Handrahan and Mr. Koch. After their meeting, Mr. Koch was inspired to give $50,000 to "The Mission" which the Archdiocese matched. Construction could now begin!
Besides this initial donation from Mr. Koch and the Archdiocese, people began to help with the funding to provide for the furnishings, the Cross and the many other needs incidental to first time construction of a Church building. The congregation, many of whom had been able to change from farm labor to construction trades, helped build the Church. Many, many volunteer hours went into the first building. Many memories and sentimental experiences have been built into the mortar and wood which made up the building… and they are still there.
By 1982, San Isidro Church became a credible congregation because its size was increasing. The community was made up of representatives from many Latin American countries. It became apparent that expansion was needed to facilitate growth.
About that time Fr. Ricardo Castellanos arrived. His enthusiasm fired everyone up to get on with the new construction. Many fundraising events were scheduled to provide the needed cash to facilitate the Church construction. Coincidentally, with these fundraising events, Fr. Willie Pena coordinated "The Great Mission of Faith" in December of 1983. With this catalytic event, construction followed soon after.
San Isidro Church was now again in the midst of expansion in 1990. There were over 2100 families registered in the congregation. Over 100 ministries service both the Hispanic and English speaking communities. In addition there is a television ministry that reaches out nationwide to Hispanic and English speaking audiences.
The community of San Isidro Church responds to the needs of God's work and has been loyal and supportive of all the Divine Direction we have received. May God bless all who have been part of San Isidro Mission now and in the future.