Parish History Staff

Our Parish History

In 1979, the Diocese of Oakland established the Danville/San Ramon Parish of St. Joan of Arc.  The parish was formed from the growing healthy Catholic communities of St. Isidore in Danville and  St. Raymond in Dublin.

Rev. Michael Joyce was assigned as pastor of St. Joan of Arc by the Bishop of Oakland, John S. Cummins.

For four years a trailer was used as the Parish and Religious Education headquarters at the church construction site.  In addition to programs that provided religious instruction for the children and youth of the parish, several key committees were put into place:  Liturgy, Social Concerns, Good Times and Finance.

The parish compiled a list of features wanted for the new church:

  • We want it to be bright and to have a flat and open area for the sanctuary
  • We want people to have a sense of closeness to the altar
  • We want a window so we can keep ourselves connected to this world of ours

This list was submitted to several architects, and a design by Aaron Green of San Francisco, a long-time associate of Frank Lloyd Wright, was selected as the favorite.

Mostrance And Candles

Before the church was built, Masses were held in the library of John Baldwin Elementary School in Danville. Each week volunteers would move chairs into the library on Saturday, then move them out again on Sunday after the Masses.  Baptisms and weddings were even held in the school library, popularly known by parishioners at the time as “St. John Baldwin”.

St. Joan’s was built on an eight-acre parcel originally part of a 20-acre ranch. The church sits on the site of the old farmhouse, looking out at Mt. Diablo.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 25, 1982, and the first Mass was held in the church on Saturday, October 16, 1983.  On December 11, 1983, Bishop Cummins consecrated the altar at the dedication ceremony.  The original church had a central seating area that seated 450. An accordion door separated the adjoining multipurpose room and kitchen from the church. The office was in a   separate room at the back of the church. The youth center was below the church.  Having a “place to call home” allowed the parish to expand its programs to better meet the needs of the parishioners as well as to extend its outreach to touch more effectively the community at large through food drives and other socially conscious efforts.

In 1985, the statue of St. Joan of Arc was commissioned through the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Arizona.  Sculptress Heloise Swaback spent 2-1/2 years creating the one ton, 13’9” bronze statue weighing 2,000 pounds. It was cast during an eight-month period at the Artworks Foundry in Berkeley. The bronze of St. Joan has her holding her sword by the blade instead of the hilt, not to   express battle, but to show the spirit of God through the hand guard raised to the heavens forming a perfect cross.  The statue was dedicated on June 9, 1985.  It is a significant contribution to Bay Area Art.

On September 8, 1991, a second groundbreaking was held to commence the construction of a Parish Center.  The Parish Center, also designed by Aaron Green as part of the master plan, consisted of six pastoral offices with a main office, lobby and workroom, two conference rooms, a religious  education office, a library, large gymnasium, four connecting classrooms and a multipurpose room with a connecting kitchen and lawn area for social events. At the time, it accommodated the clerical, educational and social programs of the parish. The church was also expanded to its present size at that time. The construction was completed in the Fall of 1993.

In May of 1994, the parish said good-bye to Fr. Mike and honored him by adding a plaque with his name to the Parish Center.  In June, the parish joined in welcoming our second pastor, Rev. Fred  Riccio.  Under Fr. Fred’s guidance, St. Joan of Arc Parish continued to expand its ministry to its members and to the community at large.  Before Fr. Fred’s departure in August of 2008, he saw our church renovated and rededicated on June 8, 2008 by Bishop Allen Vigneron. A plaque honoring Fr. Fred was placed on the frame of the Christos window behind the altar.  Fr. Fred was transferred to  St Joseph Basilica in Alameda in August 2008.  We welcomed Fr. Ray Zielezienski as our new pastor in August 2008 and Fr. Ian Mendoza in July 2010 as our parochial vicar. We were blessed for a short time with Father Jayson Landeza till our new parochial Vicar Fr. Derrick Oliveira came to us in 2014. Father Ray Zielezienski retired in 2015 which brought us Father Ray Sacca as our new Pastor. We received Father Joseph Le as our new Parochial Vicar in 2016. Father Ray Sacca retired in September of 2023 which brought us Father Johnson Abraham as our new Pastor. Father Johnson is our Pastor at present time. 

During the life of the parish, we have been fortunate to have “weekend visiting priests”. These included Fr. Tom Lucas, the artist who designed and coordinated the refurbishing of the church, Fr. Bob Niehoff, Fr. Peter Togni from the University of San Francisco, Fr. Tom Powers from Santa Clara University, and many more who have added to the richness of our liturgical and parish life. In addition to these priests, you may hear some parishioners who have been around a while talk about previous associates: Fr. Larry Stehling S.J.,  Fr. Declan Deane, Fr. Walter Borkowski, Fr. Herman Leong, Fr. Neal Clemens and Fr. Glenn  Naguit.  In addition, we have had three Deacons, Charlie Stanton, Ruben Gomez and Chuan Hock Oey, Charlie left in 2010, Ruben and Chuan retired in 2015. Our current Pastoral Ministers are Bob Cummings, previously Director of Youth Ministry from 1986 until 2015 when he was appointed as Pastoral Associate, Mary Machi, Director of Faith Formation and Youth Ministry, Rosemarie McKenney Porter,  Adult Faith Formation Director and Agatha Lee, Music Director.

The parish has over 3,300 registered families.  It is only through the tremendous generosity of time, talent, and financial contributions of the St. Joan of Arc parishioners, that the community has been able to accomplish so much and maintain its original goals of welcome, spiritual growth, and community outreach. Through the ongoing sharing of time, talents, and treasure, the parish community will continue to thrive and be able to meet the needs of our ever-growing Catholic community and work towards our mission statement “To be Christ to others, as Christ is to us”.

Our Parish Staff

Father Johnson Sized
Fr. Johnson Abraham
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Bob Cummings
Pastoral Associate
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John Cummings
Facilities Plant Manager
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Agatha Lee
Director of Music Ministry
Rosemarie McKenney
Director of Adult Faith Formation
Deacon John Durden
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Wendy Bankson
Office Administrator
Figueroa Raymond 1
Raymond Figueroa
Ministry & Communication Coordinator
Mary Machi
Director of Faith Formation & Evangelization
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Marie Pena
Children's Faith Formation Office Administrator
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Deacon Fred Seril
Gina Camp Background
Gina Camp
Edge & High school Confirmation Coordinator
Beverly Fung Staff
Beverly Fung
Light (High School)
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Janet Magtoto
Administrative Assistant
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Maureen Tiffany
Rite of Christian Initation Adult (RCIA)

Pastoral Council

  • Fr. Johnson Abraham (Pastor)
  • Bob Cummings (Pastoral Associate)
  • Lisa Roberts (Chair): lrr1@sbcglobal.net
  • Kathy Gyulai
  • Steve Kirnon
  • Mark Morelli
  • Gracie Neves
  • Marietta Ocampo
  • Barbara O’Connor
  • Vickie Souza

Finance Committee

  • Fr. Johnson Abraham (Pastor)
  • Wendy Bankson (Office Manager)
  • Bob Cummings (Pastoral Associate)
  • Ken Young (Chair): parishoffice@sjasr.org
  • Anna Bantug
  • Tricia Houston
  • Linda Martins
  • Chris Phillips
  • Ron Susa

Contact Us

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church

2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd

San Ramon, CA 94583

(925) 830-0600


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