St. Joan of Arc Church was a mission of St. Peter Church in Reserve until 1947. On September 21, 1947, the Archdiocese of New Orleans established St. Joan of Arc as an independent parish. The first pastor was Father Henry Neubig, the Dominican Sisters from Reserve taught catechism classes, and Mr. Peter J. Brady and Mr. Armand Montz, Jr., were the first Lay Directors. St. Joan of Arc, in turn, served the Mission Chapel in Montz.
Father Charles Speaker became the second pastor in September of 1950. During his pastorate the church was enlarged from seating capacity of 273 to 400. Monsignor Edward L. Boudreaux became the third pastor in July of 1959. During his patorship, the school opened. He served for four years.
Monsignor Dennis J. Bergeron (known universally as "Father Pete") became pastor in August of 1963. By 1979 the parish had become large enough to divide, and Ascension of Our Lord Parish was established that year. The new church was dedicated on January 31, 1980. He served the parish until his death on February 14, 1989.
Monsignor Robert G. Vincent, who had been Co-Pastor of St. Joan of Arc since 1985, was appointed pastor in 1989.
Father Wayne Paysse succeeded Monsignor Vincent in 2001. When he left in August 2003, Father Joseph Dau Nguyen assumed temporary pastorship until a new pastor could be appointed.
Father William "Billy" O'Riordan became pastor in February 2004 and served until 2007. In October 2007, Father John-Nhan Tran became pastor and served until July 1, 2014 at which time Fr. Patrick "Pat" Collum became Pastor.
In 1959 the parish began work on a new school. The school opened in 1961 with 136 students (grades 1-4). Sister Mary Edmund, O.P., was the first principal. The first lay teachers were Marjorie St. Martin, Lizette St. Martin, Cecile Cambre and Faye Lasseigne. In 1965 Sr. Mary Corrine, O.P., became the second principal, followed by Sr. Mary Dianna, O.P., Sr. Mary DePores, O.P., Sr. Mary Margaret and Sister Mary Germain Roussel, O.P. In 1999 Mr. Larry Bourgeois became principal.
As the school grew, additions became necessary. In 1985 the East Wing was finished and later expanded in 1990. Additional expansion in 1995 provided the Father Pete Memorial Family Life Center. It provides a gym, additional classrooms, meeting rooms and offices.
State of the Parish