St Isabel Catholic Church

★★★★☆
  • 3559 Sanibel Captiva Rd

    Sanibel, FL 33957

    Map & Directions
  • 239-472-2763

About St Isabel Catholic Church

4.4615 13
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We look forward to including St Isabel's Church to our daily routine on our annual vacations to Sanibel. St. Isabel's is a wonderful friendly parish. One of the most touching things in the service is the special blessing for the small children. It is so very special and touches my soul to see each of the ones faces and Fr. smile as he blesses them. This church is so blessed to have such a wonderful priest and he is so blessed to have such a wonderful parish and location to serve. My husband and I would love to be able to be permanent active members of this congregation instead of our two week visit yearly. We come home yearly and tell our priest and friends about the great priest on Sanibel and his special touches to each service.
How amazing that one parish could raise funds to rebuild in such a short period of time. It was so sad to see the destruction from the hurricane. Each year we took pictures of the work completed and viewed the web page regularly to keep up with the progress.
Can't wait to return this month. Thank you friends and Father

2
★★★★★

We look forward to including St Isabel's Church to our daily routine on our annual vacations to Sanibel. St. Isabel's is a wonderful friendly parish. One of the most touching things in the service is the special blessing for the small children. It is so very special and touches my soul to see each of the ones faces and Fr. smile as he blesses them. This church is so blessed to have such a wonderful priest and he is so blessed to have such a wonderful parish and location to serve. My husband and I would love to be able to be permanent active members of this congregation instead of our two week visit yearly. We come home yearly and tell our priest and friends about the great priest on Sanibel and his special touches to each service.
How amazing that one parish could raise funds to rebuild in such a short period of time. It was so sad to see the destruction from the hurricane. Each year we took pictures of the work completed and viewed the web page regularly to keep up with the progress.
Can't wait to return this month. Thank you friends and Father

Pros: Friendly warm welcome.

Cons: I cannot write anything that is a con for this wonderful church

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I first had the pleasure of visiting St. Isabel's following the devastation of the hurricane. We sat on folding chairs to "celebrate" mass with Fr. Christopher. I was there when new stained glass doors had finally arrived and smiled with tears in my eyes as I viewed the renovations. This building is gorgeous, but more than beautiful are Fr. Christopher and those who praise the Lord under this roof. To "Never again" its probably a good thing that it is "never again". It seems that you were visiting the parish and wishing to be entertained by what you viewed to be a pompous group, however, you are so wrong. You must be strong in your faith to hear and believe in the good news. It's not about judging the parishioners or priest, its all about you and your God. We should all pray for you, I know I will.

2
★★★★★

I first had the pleasure of visiting St. Isabel's following the devastation of the hurricane. We sat on folding chairs to "celebrate" mass with Fr. Christopher. I was there when new stained glass doors had finally arrived and smiled with tears in my eyes as I viewed the renovations. This building is gorgeous, but more than beautiful are Fr. Christopher and those who praise the Lord under this roof. To "Never again" its probably a good thing that it is "never again". It seems that you were visiting the parish and wishing to be entertained by what you viewed to be a pompous group, however, you are so wrong. You must be strong in your faith to hear and believe in the good news. It's not about judging the parishioners or priest, its all about you and your God. We should all pray for you, I know I will.

Pros: Best ever!!!!!

Cons: Absolutely none

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How sad that ?Never again? will miss the spiritually that dwells in St. Isabel?s. My hour or two on the weekend at Mass is what holds me together spiritually during the week. I confess that I prefer a quiet church especially when Fr. Christopher sings the Consecration and I feel infused with the Holy Spirit. His homilies are the best I have ever heard and I feel cheated when I have to go out of town. We are a small parish. Most of the people attending Mass come from ?up north? or other places. I serve as a Eucharistic Minister and Usher and I always have a smile on my face. I want our visitors to find our church a source of peace and comfort as I do. We would not have our church had not we been given a Good Shepherd, Fr. Christopher. I remember the first day they let us return after Charley, wading though our ruined, destroyed church. My intention was to comfort our priest, instead he comforted me. Here is a an who supervised every part of the rebuilding while he was in constant pain, had several surgeries, lost several members of his family including his blessed mother who died in the rectory. Fr. Christopher is fond of saying, ?It?s not how much you go to church that counts, or how much you pray or how pious you appear to others. What counts is how you lead your life. We are blessed to have both a beautiful spiritual church and a pastor ?smote? by the Spirit.

2
★★★★★

How sad that ?Never again? will miss the spiritually that dwells in St. Isabel?s. My hour or two on the weekend at Mass is what holds me together spiritually during the week. I confess that I prefer a quiet church especially when Fr. Christopher sings the Consecration and I feel infused with the Holy Spirit. His homilies are the best I have ever heard and I feel cheated when I have to go out of town. We are a small parish. Most of the people attending Mass come from ?up north? or other places. I serve as a Eucharistic Minister and Usher and I always have a smile on my face. I want our visitors to find our church a source of peace and comfort as I do. We would not have our church had not we been given a Good Shepherd, Fr. Christopher. I remember the first day they let us return after Charley, wading though our ruined, destroyed church. My intention was to comfort our priest, instead he comforted me. Here is a an who supervised every part of the rebuilding while he was in constant pain, had several surgeries, lost several members of his family including his blessed mother who died in the rectory. Fr. Christopher is fond of saying, ?It?s not how much you go to church that counts, or how much you pray or how pious you appear to others. What counts is how you lead your life. We are blessed to have both a beautiful spiritual church and a pastor ?smote? by the Spirit.

Pros: Beautiful church, Beautiful music, The priest sings, Happy out-going priest

Cons: Homilies too short

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As a long time resident of Sanibel and parishioner of St. Isabel's Church I was surprised at the negative comments of "Never Again" about our Church and its Pastor. I can only hope that he or she had a bad day at the beach because his views are not those who regularly attend St. Isabel's as visitors based on my experience. This is somewhat of an upscale retirement community not having a variety of cultures, it is true, but the parishioners and visitors support assistance to mainland minority workers and their families and like other Sanibel residents have always been remarkable for their absence of "pompous" conduct regardless of the nature of the community. In any case I simply can't imagine how "Never Again" drew any such conclusions from the conduct of people at our services nor their supposed flaunting of piety. As for the "cry room" for families with noisy children I believe that a reasonable person should understand the need for such a facility so that religious services can be conducted in peace. They are quite common in most Churches. Our Pastor does not make a practice of beating on that subject nor on financing the rebuilding funding. I don't recall his ever doing that about funding. I urge "Never Again" to come back to our Church, to immerse himself or herself in our sacred liturgy and the specially fine preaching of our Pastor and meet our parishioners who will welcome him or her as visitors. As Catholic Christians I can assure him that we do not think we are superior to any of our fellow men or women.

2
★★★★★

As a long time resident of Sanibel and parishioner of St. Isabel's Church I was surprised at the negative comments of "Never Again" about our Church and its Pastor. I can only hope that he or she had a bad day at the beach because his views are not those who regularly attend St. Isabel's as visitors based on my experience. This is somewhat of an upscale retirement community not having a variety of cultures, it is true, but the parishioners and visitors support assistance to mainland minority workers and their families and like other Sanibel residents have always been remarkable for their absence of "pompous" conduct regardless of the nature of the community. In any case I simply can't imagine how "Never Again" drew any such conclusions from the conduct of people at our services nor their supposed flaunting of piety. As for the "cry room" for families with noisy children I believe that a reasonable person should understand the need for such a facility so that religious services can be conducted in peace. They are quite common in most Churches. Our Pastor does not make a practice of beating on that subject nor on financing the rebuilding funding. I don't recall his ever doing that about funding. I urge "Never Again" to come back to our Church, to immerse himself or herself in our sacred liturgy and the specially fine preaching of our Pastor and meet our parishioners who will welcome him or her as visitors. As Catholic Christians I can assure him that we do not think we are superior to any of our fellow men or women.

Pros: Beautiful church, a Pastor with unusual gifts as a preacher

Cons: Small congregation in the summer restricts activities - Pastor all alone for entire year.

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I read with dismay an unfavorable review of our parish St Isabels. I cannot understand how they could have felt this way. We are blessed to have a wonderful priest and the warmest and most caring of congregations. We spend part of the year in the north and I only wish I could bring some of the spirituality to our northern parish. All the churches I have attended have always mentioned the cry room so that unhappy children don't disturb the entire congregation during the celebration of the miracle of the mass. I can only pray for these people for they misunderstood and unfairly judged the pastor and the parish. jbh

2
★★★★★

I read with dismay an unfavorable review of our parish St Isabels. I cannot understand how they could have felt this way. We are blessed to have a wonderful priest and the warmest and most caring of congregations. We spend part of the year in the north and I only wish I could bring some of the spirituality to our northern parish. All the churches I have attended have always mentioned the cry room so that unhappy children don't disturb the entire congregation during the celebration of the miracle of the mass. I can only pray for these people for they misunderstood and unfairly judged the pastor and the parish. jbh

Pros: everything

Cons: none

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My husband and I look forward to our return to Sanibel for various reasons, not the least of which is our
reconnection to St. Isabel Parish, the most loving parish we have ever been privileged to be a part of. Yes,
we do have a beautiful edifice, thanks to the generousity, teamwork, love and dedication of not only it's
members, but also it's visitors, and led by it's pastor, the ultimate example of hospitality, Father Christopher. It saddens me greatly that "Never Again" had such harsh and sarcastic words for such a holy
man. It is obvious that this "first time" visitor has made a choice never to return to our lovely parish. It's
HIS loss.
Nancy Stell

2
★★★★★

My husband and I look forward to our return to Sanibel for various reasons, not the least of which is our
reconnection to St. Isabel Parish, the most loving parish we have ever been privileged to be a part of. Yes,
we do have a beautiful edifice, thanks to the generousity, teamwork, love and dedication of not only it's
members, but also it's visitors, and led by it's pastor, the ultimate example of hospitality, Father Christopher. It saddens me greatly that "Never Again" had such harsh and sarcastic words for such a holy
man. It is obvious that this "first time" visitor has made a choice never to return to our lovely parish. It's
HIS loss.
Nancy Stell

.

This is in response to the 8/08 review from a disgruntled visitor to St. Isabel parish. Perhaps if the visitor had been involved in the worship service and participating fully, he or she would have gained far more from the experience and it would have been positive. The parishoners of St. Isabel have been noted for their friendliness to visitors, be they single persons or families. We do have a cry room designated for children that may be disturbing the worship of others. Considerate parents will use this space as needed and not feel unwelcome. St. Isabel has been my spiritual home for years and we have had a number of priests serve here. Father Christopher has been one of the warmest, friendliest pastors in our history. His homilies are relative to both the Bible and our daily lives. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and it appears that reviewer was seeking something else.

2
★★★★★

This is in response to the 8/08 review from a disgruntled visitor to St. Isabel parish. Perhaps if the visitor had been involved in the worship service and participating fully, he or she would have gained far more from the experience and it would have been positive. The parishoners of St. Isabel have been noted for their friendliness to visitors, be they single persons or families. We do have a cry room designated for children that may be disturbing the worship of others. Considerate parents will use this space as needed and not feel unwelcome. St. Isabel has been my spiritual home for years and we have had a number of priests serve here. Father Christopher has been one of the warmest, friendliest pastors in our history. His homilies are relative to both the Bible and our daily lives. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and it appears that reviewer was seeking something else.

Pros: Beautiful setting invites spirtual contemplation, outstanding sermons

Cons: Sometimes very crowed over holidays

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Reply to "Never again" from one of the "pompous and unfriendly" parishioners of St. Isabel's.
I regret you had a bad experience at our Church. Your comments were especially interesting to me as I serve as an usher and greeter at most Saturday evening Masses. Our instructions (both written and personal) have us providing at least one greeter before Mass and several after Mass. We will strive to improve our greeting.
I must tell you, I struggle with your ability to to judge our parishioners as "pompous and unfriendly" during the service. I personally would not pay attention to being friendly during a service as I am completely involved in the Liturgy.
The comments you made about Father Christopher are totally unfounded. I must say, he has never told any of my family that we are "superior". He has been an excellent priest leading my family through our journey in Christianity. Interesting point, we have many people who drive to Sanibel from other communities because of Father Christopher.
All that being said, our Parrish will always accept constructive criticism and try to constantly improve our efforts to help people with their christian faith. Hopefully, if you have an opportunity to return to our Church, your experience will be better.
Larry

2
★★★★★

Reply to "Never again" from one of the "pompous and unfriendly" parishioners of St. Isabel's.
I regret you had a bad experience at our Church. Your comments were especially interesting to me as I serve as an usher and greeter at most Saturday evening Masses. Our instructions (both written and personal) have us providing at least one greeter before Mass and several after Mass. We will strive to improve our greeting.
I must tell you, I struggle with your ability to to judge our parishioners as "pompous and unfriendly" during the service. I personally would not pay attention to being friendly during a service as I am completely involved in the Liturgy.
The comments you made about Father Christopher are totally unfounded. I must say, he has never told any of my family that we are "superior". He has been an excellent priest leading my family through our journey in Christianity. Interesting point, we have many people who drive to Sanibel from other communities because of Father Christopher.
All that being said, our Parrish will always accept constructive criticism and try to constantly improve our efforts to help people with their christian faith. Hopefully, if you have an opportunity to return to our Church, your experience will be better.
Larry

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As a 23 year member of the St. Isabel's parish, I must say that is has become a part of my family. Both of my children have been baptised under it's roof and received both of their sacraments. I still love the feeling of pride when my 14 and 19 year old children are the alter servers, as was the case in this years Christmas Eve Mass. There are members of the church who come up and comment to me about how great a job they have done or how big they are getting. So many members of the church have watched my children grow up from birth. Father Chris has also become part of our family with his prayers, beautiful voice, humor and real life homilies. It was a wonderful experience to help decorate the church this year with beautiful Christmas carols playing and everyone pitching in with team work to make the holy day magnificant. We have finally settled into our new church and it's so rewarding to have it full with comfortable visitors as we move into the 2009 season. Come and raise your voice in song and prayer.

2
★★★★☆

As a 23 year member of the St. Isabel's parish, I must say that is has become a part of my family. Both of my children have been baptised under it's roof and received both of their sacraments. I still love the feeling of pride when my 14 and 19 year old children are the alter servers, as was the case in this years Christmas Eve Mass. There are members of the church who come up and comment to me about how great a job they have done or how big they are getting. So many members of the church have watched my children grow up from birth. Father Chris has also become part of our family with his prayers, beautiful voice, humor and real life homilies. It was a wonderful experience to help decorate the church this year with beautiful Christmas carols playing and everyone pitching in with team work to make the holy day magnificant. We have finally settled into our new church and it's so rewarding to have it full with comfortable visitors as we move into the 2009 season. Come and raise your voice in song and prayer.

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My wife and I have lived in thirteen different places during our forty-two years of marriage and have worshipped in an equal number of Catholic churches during that time. St. Isabel is without question the most welcoming and friendly parish which we've ever attended. We were made to feel at home within days of our first attendance, and, thanks to the current priest, Father Christopher, we never leave the church after Mass without feeling spiritually uplifted.

2
★★★★★

My wife and I have lived in thirteen different places during our forty-two years of marriage and have worshipped in an equal number of Catholic churches during that time. St. Isabel is without question the most welcoming and friendly parish which we've ever attended. We were made to feel at home within days of our first attendance, and, thanks to the current priest, Father Christopher, we never leave the church after Mass without feeling spiritually uplifted.

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I am responding to the 08/03/2008 Post by clwmsbc

St. Isabel Church, the staff, volunteer's and parishoners are far from the word you described as "pompous." In truth, as a small parish, Hurricane Charley was devastating in rebuilding, financially and we were able to have our first Mass celebration in our church in March of 2008, 4 years later!
St. Isabel has touched many lives through out the years. Father Chris, the staff, volunteers and parishoners loving work hard to make everyone feel welcomed.

My husband and I were present on August 3, 2008 when the child became restless. The most beautiful important time of the celebration of the Mass is the consecration of the Eucharist and to hear a child crying, screaming or talking loudly is very distrubing to me. If children become restless, there is a cry room in every church for this reason. Attending Mass, is a time for inner reflecton of one self. This is a time for quietness and respect for others. Father Chris likes children and looks forward in blessing the children after communion. He respects and loves the family unit. I believe he grew up in a large family and are still very close. Many past parishioner's make a point to stop and visit him when they are visiting Sanibel.

Father Chris is far from pompous. He is a wonderful priest. Maybe you should of spoke to him directly after Mass when he stood there, extended his hand to everyone with great thanks for attending St. Isabel Church. You would have seen that your "quick to judge" maybe was wrong. You and your family are always welcomed to St. Isabel Church.

Connie Walters

1
★★★☆☆

I am responding to the 08/03/2008 Post by clwmsbc

St. Isabel Church, the staff, volunteer's and parishoners are far from the word you described as "pompous." In truth, as a small parish, Hurricane Charley was devastating in rebuilding, financially and we were able to have our first Mass celebration in our church in March of 2008, 4 years later!
St. Isabel has touched many lives through out the years. Father Chris, the staff, volunteers and parishoners loving work hard to make everyone feel welcomed.

My husband and I were present on August 3, 2008 when the child became restless. The most beautiful important time of the celebration of the Mass is the consecration of the Eucharist and to hear a child crying, screaming or talking loudly is very distrubing to me. If children become restless, there is a cry room in every church for this reason. Attending Mass, is a time for inner reflecton of one self. This is a time for quietness and respect for others. Father Chris likes children and looks forward in blessing the children after communion. He respects and loves the family unit. I believe he grew up in a large family and are still very close. Many past parishioner's make a point to stop and visit him when they are visiting Sanibel.

Father Chris is far from pompous. He is a wonderful priest. Maybe you should of spoke to him directly after Mass when he stood there, extended his hand to everyone with great thanks for attending St. Isabel Church. You would have seen that your "quick to judge" maybe was wrong. You and your family are always welcomed to St. Isabel Church.

Connie Walters

.

I can't disagree more with the review written on 8/3/2008. I have been a visitor for more than 5 years and each time I am greeted by the friendliest parishioners and a pastor to die for. This community knows what coming together and true "communion" really is. They have been through a very tough time with the rebuilding process and as a result these all-inclusive parishioners extend their arms wide open for all to enjoy their beautiful parish. The parish would not be what it is today without the leadership of one of the finest priests I have ever known. The statement from "Never again" beginning - "Unfortunately even thought they..." - Does not even make sense. Typo? "Ediface" - Misspelled? As far as "visitors" to the parish- The visitors are a large portion of what makes up the mass attendance and therefore serves as a wonderful compliment to the resident population. As a visitor - I look forward to my visits. They are uplifting, spirit filled, welcoming, and exemplify what today's church should be. If you come to the Sanibel area, by all means you MUST enjoy a mass with the people of the island - residents and visitors (side by side) in common union at the Eucharistic feast - breaking bread together.

2
★★★★★

I can't disagree more with the review written on 8/3/2008. I have been a visitor for more than 5 years and each time I am greeted by the friendliest parishioners and a pastor to die for. This community knows what coming together and true "communion" really is. They have been through a very tough time with the rebuilding process and as a result these all-inclusive parishioners extend their arms wide open for all to enjoy their beautiful parish. The parish would not be what it is today without the leadership of one of the finest priests I have ever known. The statement from "Never again" beginning - "Unfortunately even thought they..." - Does not even make sense. Typo? "Ediface" - Misspelled? As far as "visitors" to the parish- The visitors are a large portion of what makes up the mass attendance and therefore serves as a wonderful compliment to the resident population. As a visitor - I look forward to my visits. They are uplifting, spirit filled, welcoming, and exemplify what today's church should be. If you come to the Sanibel area, by all means you MUST enjoy a mass with the people of the island - residents and visitors (side by side) in common union at the Eucharistic feast - breaking bread together.

Pros: Pastor/Worship space

Cons: Too far from my home

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This church has a beautiful ediface and that is a good thing. The priest and congregation are very proud of their building which has been rebuilt four years after Hurricane Charley struck the island. Unfortunately even thought they hammer you from the pulpit to give to their rebuilding efforts, you get the very obvious and distinct impression that they don't like visitors at "their church". The priest even chided a young family to use the "crying room" for their child because sometimes "everyone needs a time out" and a young child's crying disturbed the other people in the congregation. As far as we could tell the only people ihe disturbed were too far removed from understanding a child's distress. As the mass wore on with the overly pompous participants parading their piety, I was tempted to give myself a "time out".

As a frequent travelers, we have had the opportunity to visit and celebrate mass in many different churches. It is always a joy to meet other Catholics who have different cultures but still share the universality of the Catholic religion. We surely did not find a welcoming home here. Instead we experienced an unfriendly group of people who like to hear how superior they are and thankfully have a priest who will tell them exactly that.

0
★☆☆☆☆

This church has a beautiful ediface and that is a good thing. The priest and congregation are very proud of their building which has been rebuilt four years after Hurricane Charley struck the island. Unfortunately even thought they hammer you from the pulpit to give to their rebuilding efforts, you get the very obvious and distinct impression that they don't like visitors at "their church". The priest even chided a young family to use the "crying room" for their child because sometimes "everyone needs a time out" and a young child's crying disturbed the other people in the congregation. As far as we could tell the only people ihe disturbed were too far removed from understanding a child's distress. As the mass wore on with the overly pompous participants parading their piety, I was tempted to give myself a "time out".

As a frequent travelers, we have had the opportunity to visit and celebrate mass in many different churches. It is always a joy to meet other Catholics who have different cultures but still share the universality of the Catholic religion. We surely did not find a welcoming home here. Instead we experienced an unfriendly group of people who like to hear how superior they are and thankfully have a priest who will tell them exactly that.

Pros: Beautiful bulding

Cons: As a leader of the congregation, the priest exemplifies what is wrong with this church

 

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