Bishop Thomas Daily, the first bishop of the newly created Diocese of Palm Beach, requested that a parish be established to serve the Juno Beach area. St. Patrick Parish was formed to serve that need, and Father Frank Guinan was named the first pastor.
John and Marilyn McCarthy, owners of the Fireside Inn Restaurant in the Bluffs, offered the use of their restaurant for Mass. On October 24, 1987, 250 people gathered for Mass. Two years later, 800 people attended. On the cover of the first church bulletin was pictured a stork carrying a drawing of a church building with the heading, “A Beautiful Beginning.” The rectory was established on Hope Lane and the house was used for the office, meetings and daily Mass.
Frenchman’s Creek Country Club Community had portable buildings that were being used as its clubhouse. Once the community’s new clubhouse was built, Derek Carroll, a parishioner and resident of Frenchman’s Creek, was able to obtain those portable buildings. These became the first church building on the site on Prosperity Farms Road. The building now serves as the parish offices and activity building. The first Mass was celebrated on Christmas Day in 1988. Bishop Daily blessed the building December 10, 1989.
In 1991, a building committee was formed. They visited several churches in the region and met with architects before selecting Richard SanGiovanni to design St. Patrick Catholic Church. In the spring of 1994, a building fund campaign was started to raise the required $3.5 million to build the church. In March 1997, the groundbreaking ceremony took place.
St. Patrick Catholic Church was officially consecrated on January 23, 2000.
The current pastor is Father Aiden Lacy, assisted by pastor emeritus Father Brian Flanagan. Father John D’Mello is the parochial vicar, Msgr. Walter Birkle is a priest in residence and Father Phillip Joly serves on the weekends. Deacon Joe Pollock serves the parish.
St. Patrick Parish is involved with social justice through its PEACE (People Engaged in Active Community Effort) program. Included among various community projects is the parish’s work with the homeless. On June 18th, Palm Beach County unanimously voted to move forward with a second Homeless Resource Center after a 3-year campaign by PEACE. The social justice group successfully secured for the county to protect $10.5 million of the Penny Sales Tax money for housing units for low income families. This year PEACE will work on a third homeless resource center and affordable housing for the homeless in the Glades.
St. Patrick Catholic Church is located at 13591 Prosperity Farms Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.