Getting to Elberta is very relaxing, especially if you like the country. You won't find big buildings or city life for quite a few miles. There is a strong sense of spiritual peace. As you arrive you'll notice ample parking. Once through the two sets of double doors, you arrive on the left of church towards the middle. Upon entering, if you go straight you will run into the pews. If turn right instead and keep (Please click the "Read More" to continue. Thank you.)
Before you reach the adoration area, is the baptismal font that was used today for two little babies. Directly to the right of the font is the podium which was adorned with beautiful flowers and a green embroidered covering. If your eyes were to continue going right the next item would be the most important: the crucifix, tabernacle and altar. The tabernacle was the most ornate item in the whole church. It’s practically impossible to miss the exquisite golden ornate design. Now, going even further right, is the music area off to the corner. Because it is still Ordinary Time, the color used is green and you can see this in the photos below, that can be enlarged by clicking them with your mouse..
I was able to spend some time with Father Dave Bittmenn to get some insight on San Isidro Mission. This is what he had to say: "Elberta has come a long way. About 4 years ago they doubled the size of the church that was through a diocese extension of Chicago. After they doubled it, it filled right up again. They have several prayer groups down there, marriage preparation, classes for quinceañera and baptism. San Isidro also has a choir and they didn’t have any of that stuff before the expansion. The Castillo Family, Raul and Rojelia, take care of the mission and whatever San Isidro needs. So Elberta is in great shape."
Fr. Dave continued, "The only problem they have is that they started out as a mission from Payson. When they couldn’t find any Spanish speaking priests from Payson, the mission went to St. Francis. So there were English masses at Payson and Spanish masses at Elberta. Elberta became the place to go for Spanish mass. So, people would come from Santaquin, Payson and everywhere else including Nephi, to go to Spanish mass. The issue is now, what happens when they start Spanish masses in Payson? Will Elberta continue the way it is or slack off a little bit. That is the only issue they have. That congregation can easily fill the Payson church. When the Elberta mission was being expanded, Fr. Rooney let them use Payson and it was filled in the afternoons. So I think more people will return to Payson for Spanish masses."
I found the people very welcoming, as if I had arrived at their home and was given a hug. The music is fantastic and has an amazing and lively beat. Don't be surprised if you find yourself clapping your hands and saying hello to all your neighbors by the end of service. Speaking of the service, there was an undeniable sense of the Holy Spirit flowing freely throughout mass. Such a beautiful feeling of God's goodness and grace.
Many thanks to the parishioners of San Isidro , especially Rojelia, for making this pilgrim feel welcome. I also give thanks to Fr. Dave, for his assistance and speaking with me. May almighty God watch over all of you, give you strength and guide you always. Amen.