St Isidore Catholic Church - Our Story

Bishop Armstrong appointed Father Bernard McElwee as the founding pastor of the newly created Saint Isidore Paish in Yuba City, CA. Father McElwee’s first task was to find a place where he could begin gathering the Catholic community in Yuba City to celebrate Mass on Sundays.
On the other side of the Feather River in Marysville, CA, the Army base at Camp Beale was being converted to Beale Air Force Base at the time. During WWII, prisoners of war were held at the Beale Army Base. The former Italian prisoners’ chapel was acquired by Father McElwee and was moved to a site on Cooper Ave in Yuba City. This Army chapel became the first temporary church where the Catholic community of Yuba City began its life as the Saint Isidore Parish of Yuba City and Sutter County.

The chapel on Cooper Avenue was moved to a 17-acre parcel on Clark Avenue that Father McElwee had purchased as the permanent site for Saint Isidore Parish.

St Isidore School opened its doors, and was called Holy Angels School. It was staffed by the Sisters of Notre Dame who commuted daily from their convent at Notre Dame School in Marysville.

Saint Isidore Parish and School were flooded in 12 feet of water. It was heart-breaking and expensive work for the residents of Yuba City to restore their homes and for Saint Isidore Parish to repair the school and church.

After a year of construction, the newly-completed, permanent church was dedicated by Bishop Joseph McGuckan. The design of the new church was to reflect the local agricultural buildings and fruit packaging sheds of Sutter County. Father McElwee and the parish community felt such a design was especially appropriate in Sutter County since the primary industry was agriculture and the church was named after and dedicated to Saint Isidore, the Patron Saint of Farmers.

Construction began on a new rectory built on the parish site next to the church. Before this time, Father McElwee and his assistant priests lived in a house on Cooper Avenue. From this point forward, the priests would live on the parish site.

Father McElwee retired and was succeeded by his assistant, Father Joseph Bishop.

Parish Improvement Project 

November 17, 2022 - The exterior painting is finished and the new speakers are up inside the church.  We are still waiting for the arrival of our new exterior crucifix.

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September 11, 2022 - We celebrated our first mass back inside the church this weekend.  Everyone so was happy to be back in our beautiful sanctuary.  We are still working on upgrading the sound system.  And, since we have surpassed our financial goal we have enough to update the exterior of the building as well.  Plans are still be working up for the outside, but it should be starting soon!

Parish Improvement Project


August 17, 2022 - Praise be to God!  We have surpassed our financial goal and have reached $385,000!  The church is looking more and more put together everyday.  All the newly polished pews are back in the church, there is new flooring on the altar and stairs, new wallpaper behind the crucifix, and all the statues have been refinished.  We look forward to once again holding mass inside the church in the coming weeks.

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July 27, 2022 - Great news! We are only $12,000 away from our Parish Improvement goal of $350,000!

We can really see the progress. Thank you Dario and crew for starting on the flooring this week!

Parish Improvement Project

July 25, 2022 - It's been a busy week at the parish!  The interior painting is finished and our group of amazing volunteers spent the weekend prepping the floor before installing the new flooring.

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July 19, 2022 - The flooring abatement has been completed, now we are prepping for interior painting.

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June 26, 2022 - We are moving along with our Parish Improvement Project.  The church building has been emptied and is currently closed for abatement on the floors.  After the abatement is done we will get started on the interior painting.

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Thank you to all who have donated their time, talent, and treasure to this project!