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Although the parish of St. Isidore the Farmer was officially established on 20 April 1910, its history dates back to the founding of Mission San Jose. In June 1797, Franciscan Father Fermin Francisco de LaSuen founded the 14th of the 21 Spanish Missions in Alta California. Mission territory encompassed rich agricultural land throughout the area known today as the East Bay. By 1832, San Jose was one of the most agriculturally prosperous missions. However, Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1836, and all church property in California was secularized. The present state of California was established in 1840 and became part of the United States after the US-Mexican War of 1846. The town of Oakland was founded by gold prospectors in 1850 and the Temescal chapel was established in the town of Martinez in 1853. This chapel, which ultimately became St. Catherine of Sienna parish in 1873, became the center of Church life in the area east of the Oakland-Berkeley hills.

The first Mass was celebrated in Green Valley in 1875 and continued to be offered at the Alamo Hotel on the fifth Sunday of the month. The Mass schedule increased to the second and fourth Sundays in 1883. Mass was now in Walnut Creek Grange Hall, and St. Mary ‘s Mission Church in Walnut Creek was founded in 1884. St. Mary’s became the center of the Church’s life in the area, and the first baptism was recorded in 1892, the first marriage in 1896 and the first religious vocation in 1890. The valley continued to attract farmers and ranchers for the next 20 years, and in 1910 the Parish of St. Isidore the Farmer was founded in Danville.

St. Isidore The Farmer

St. Isidore, the patron saint of this parish, was born in Madrid , Spain in the 12th century. For most of his life, he worked as a worker on a farm near Madrid. He was a devout man, he attended Mass every day, and he maintained a spirit of prayer as he went about his work. He was favored by celestial visions, and it is said that angels sometimes helped him in his field work. In 1622, he was canonized.

When the parish was founded in 1910, Danville was the center of the agricultural area. For this reason, “Saint Isidore the Farmer” was chosen as the patron saint of our parish. Our little chapel on the right side of the sanctuary is dedicated to his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza.

The Diocese of Oakland announces its affiliation with VIRTUS; a well-known and internationally respected platform for best practices in the field of Safe Environment training. The training is available online. It is a comprehensive and multi-dimensional training program that specializes in helping churches and religious organizations to create safe environments for children. Its main course, Protecting God’s Children, assists the Church in her efforts to recognize and stop sexual abuse.

This amazing landmark in Danville, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:

  • Blackhawk Museum
  • Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site
  • AuburnJames Winery 
  • Blackhawk Plaza
  • Museum of the San Ramon Valley
  • San Damiano Retreat 
  • Iron Horse Regional Trail
  • Century Blackhawk Plaza

All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 1091 Shary Circle in Concord, California! Stop by for a visit anytime!

By Geraoma - Own work, Public Domain,