History

1924-1927

Parishioners begin raising the $93,047.40 it will take to build the parish’s first church. They hold chicken dinners, raffles, rummage sales, dances and pledge drives. The Albert Riedy family donates six lots for the new building.

1925

On August 29, the cornerstone is laid with hundreds of clergy, parishioners and friends attending.

1927

On June 25, the original St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church opens. The first Mass is the Joseph Miller – Bertha Long wedding. The building includes a three-room school, a church seating 500 and a convent.

In the fall, the parish grade school opens. Classes are led by two Benedictine Sisters from Sacred Heart Monastery – Sister Mary Dolores Janota and Sister Mary Clarissa Ruda. The next year, Sister Mary Bonaventure Kovalcik arrives.

history church exterior

1928

On June 17, three girls and two boys are the first graduating class from St. Joan of Arc school. The second graduating class would have 12 students.

1929

On November 24, St. Joan of Arc’s building is dedicated. The Reverend B.J. Sheil, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, officiates.

1949

The Diocese of Joliet is created and includes St. Joan of Arc Parish.

1955

In the summer, construction begins on the elementary school.

1957

The new school building on Columbia Avenue opens with 320 pupils.

1963

The junior high addition is constructed. The addition includes a large gymnasium, the basement of which also serves as the Parish’s Chapel, where additional Sunday Masses are eventually held, since the original church building can no longer accommodate the larger congregation.

1973

On February 19, the parish holds a farewell Mass in its original red brick building. The building is razed in August after it is condemned for being structurally unsound.

The same year, the parish begins a $1 million fund-raising drive to build a new church.

history church interior 2

1975

On July 25, ground is broken for the new church.history bells exterior

1976

On Christmas Eve, the parish celebrates its first Mass in the new church.

history church interior new

1977

On March 13, the church is officially dedicated.

1985

In the spring, the Benedictine Sisters return to live at Sacred Heart Monastery, and the convent is converted into parish administrative offices. The rectory is relocated to a house on Front Street, and the former rectory building is sold.

This year also sees the completion of an addition linking the elementary and junior high buildings, as well as the addition of more classrooms and offices.

history monastery exterior

1985-1986

St.Joan of Arc School wins the Elementary school Recognition Award received by only 34 outstanding Catholic Elementary Exemplary Schools in the nation.

1996

In September, the parish launches a fund-raising drive to build a parish center housing adult religious education classes and other programs. The first kindergarten classes are held in the school.

history parish center exterior

1999

St. Joan of Arc Parish celebrates its 75th anniversary. The new parish center is dedicated on June 13.

history church interior

2003

Preschool program for three and four year old students opens.

2011

US Department of Education recognizes SJA as a National Blue Ribbon School.

2014

The PAR is renovated to create a updated multipurpose area for school and parish activities.