St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church
768 Asbury Rd, Candler, NC 28715
Our Journey in Faith -- 1926-1940
Our Journey in Faith -- 1940-1962
Our Journey in Faith -- 1962-Present
Our Journey in Faith -- 1926-1940

 

1926 . . . St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Asheville . . . purchased property in W Asheville as chapel for parishioners across French Broad River . . . St. Lawrence parishioners pledge $11,192 . . . March 1927 . . . Gardner house purchased at corner of Blue Ridge Avenue and Haywood Road . . . 12-room house with separate garage . . . chauffeur or servants quarters situated on these lots . . . house renovated . . . one room for chapel and rest for first parochial school in Asheville and Western NC . . . chapel and school named St. Joan of Arc . . . St. Lawrence parish paid $27,942 until 1929 . . . Mother Mary Gannon -- principal . . . three sisters of the RCE order (Mother Gannon, Mother Muller, and Mother Leible) . . . school opened with 60 students in grades one to seven . . . three classrooms with multi-level grades . . . Father Louis J. Bour’s plans included drawings of new church . . . parishioners donated altar linens, chalice, ciborium, candlesticks, crucifix, statues, pews, organ . . . total purchase price $38,000 . . . Altar Society held bridge parties and dinners to raise funds for altar linens, priest’s vestments, flowers and more . . . March 1928 Bishop William Joseph Hafey (Bishop of Raleigh 1925-1937) appointed Father Francis Gallagher (1928-June 1931) first resident pastor of new parish . . . Fr Gallagher dies suddenly at Belmont Abbey in 1932 . . . Father Bernard McDevitt (June 1931-1932) named pastor . . . new parish debt of $14,250 . . . by 1932 balance shown as $590.86 . . . 92 children (both Catholic and non-catholic) in school . . . parish souls number 180 . . . school usually opened after Labor Day . . . rectory purchased from Thomas Byrd estate . . . 1933 . . . big green shingled building now known as St. Joan of Arc Church and School . . . nuns in black habits . . . Mother Muller . . . pulp paper workbooks and wax paper cut-out projects . . . altar and tabernacle on west side . . . corner room converted to sacristy . . . above the kitchen “hiding place” for nuns as a retreat . . . under stairs “candy store” converted to lost and found storage and later the “pound” . . . mislaid articles = working on windows, sweeping, or cleaning erasers . . . Mother Monk served as principal from 1933-1955 . . . one of seven sisters who founded St. Genevieve of the Pines in 1908 . . . lowered her voice when students were noisy . . . rewards were “holy cards” . . . desks with real steel ink nibs and interchangeable handles for pens in ink wells . . . many grades combined for size . . . only seven years of grammar school and four years of high school . . . opening windows on hot days . . . outside areas for discipline, religion and sport . . grotto in northeast corner for May rosary recitation . . . often outdoor Mass . . . Little House on the north rear of property used as first rectory . . . parishioner B A Barrosse bought house and moved it . . . Mrs. Bessie Prime endowed money and bequeathed home to parish . . . endowment used as convent for sister teachers then later as the office of Catholic Social Services . . . Father Francis J. McCourt (summer 1932-Nov 1936) purchased rectory for $7,000 . . . playground had merry go round, swings, and sand box . . . sisters sometimes sneaked time on the “Flying Jenny” . . . bean bags made from flour sacks and dried navy white beans used instead of balls . . . front steps used for pictures: First Communion, Easter Egg Contest, more . . . reconstruction of one room to function as a chapel . . . Father Arthur J. Racette (Nov 1936-June 1940) built what was to be the school auditorium ( 40 X 80 feet) . . . used as new church in 1936 . . . school enrollment 163 students . . . music classes held in sacristy annex . . . instruments consisted of triangles and wax paper comb hummers . . . Mother Geoffrion held eighth grade in glassed-in porch in 1937 . . . Father John Patrick Manley (June 1940-Jan 1946) secured donations for the diocese . . . remodeled rectory . . . adoration of the Blessed Sacrament . . . Stations of the Cross every Friday afternoon during Lent . . . no school on Holy Thursday . . . white veils and a procession . . . Good Friday services from 1:00 to 3:00 PM followed by the Stations of the Cross . . . prayer groups . . . inquiry classes . . . Father Manley later named Monsignor . . . Mother Emily Hanney shared stories in Irish brogue of “Dick, Jane, Judy, and their dog, Spot” . . .
 
  (source: Saint Joan of Arc Church and School,
65th Anniversary, 1993 Celebration: 65 Years of
Faith in Service
, 1993, Ms. Joan Mulvaney Johnson,
Chairman of the Saint Joan of Arc Historical Commission)
 
             

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