Since 1930, our Catholic community has followed the example of our patron, the French Jesuit missionary Isaac Jogues, in bringing the light of Christ to this new world. The original families of Hinsdale are now joined with people of Burr Ridge, Oakbrook, and Willowbrook – communities that were open prairie when our parish began.
Fr. Thomas Tormey was appointed to start a new parish serving Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills and the surrounding areas by George Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago. At the time, there were about 150 families in the parish. On June 29, 1930, St. Isaac Jogues was canonized as a saint, and the new parish had its first mass in the Hinsdale Theatre in his honor. For the next two years, Sunday masses were held in the theatre and later on, in a rented store. Daily masses were held in the Rectory Chapel, which at the time was located in the basement of a home at 33 S. Garfield.
In 1931 property at Fourth and Clay and Vine streets was purchased, along with a home at 434 S. Clay for the Rectory. In October, Cardinal Mundelein approved plans for a combination church and school, and ground was broken at the new site. Over the years, the SIJ community continued to grow and by 1953 a new church, convent, and rectory were built. The school expanded as well and in 1964 ground was broken for the Parish Center, which included a gymnasium, science laboratory, multi-purpose room, and garage space. By the mid 90’s expansion of both the school and Parish Center was needed, and in 1997 renovation began on the rectory and the convent building. 2004 brought the parish wide endorsement of renovation plans for SIJ’s worship space with the completion finished by the summer of 2007.
After our founding pastor, Fr. Tormey left, SIJ had six other pastors and many associate pastors. The Sisters of St. Joseph guided the school over the years with 10 different principals and in 1978; the school saw its first lay principal. In 2003, John Sebastian was ordained to diaconate and became the permanent deacon sponsored by and assigned to SIJ by Bishop Imesch.
Over the years with the growth of St. Isaac’s came additions of men and women’s organizations, the first Parish Council, Religious Education programs, the Parent-School Association, the Senior group, CCW and more. Ministries grew, RCIA started, a Mission Statement was drafted, and Perpetual Adoration began.
We are Church, people of God called to journey together to discover God and to share the presence of God within us and all creation. We strive to follow Jesus, prayerfully seeking God’s help, as we struggle in life through death to new life. We are graced by the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We offer ourselves, our stories, and our resources to our fellow travelers and we share our joys and sorrows. When we are separated, we are lovingly called and welcomed back. We give thanks to God for the wondrous gift of the journey and for those with whom we share it.