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Father James Rasby

"Go west young man, go west," shares a unique relationship to Colorado. As the Denver suburbs pushed west, Arvada’s growth led to the establishment of St. Joan of Arc Parish on August 22, 1967. Its first pastor, Father James Rasby, was the youngest pastor in the Archdiocese when he was assigned to Shrine of St. Anne’s in Arvada. Some years later that young priest was a bit more seasoned.  With his deep devotion to France’s St. Joan, Father Rasby became the logical founding pastor when Archbishop Casey assigned him to the parish.

In those days while the new sanctuary was being built, daily Mass was held in the rectory chapel at 58th and Oak.  Sunday Masses were held at Arvada West High School, and special services and Holy Days found the new congregation gathered at King of Glory Lutheran Church. When the church was erected, following the guidelines of Vatican II, it was the most modern designed church in the Archdiocese.

Soon after the newly constructed church was dedicated on March 9, 1969, Father Rasby became the pastor of the Cathedral in Denver.  Father fondly remembers celebrating Christmas Masses for over 6,000 people in 1968 before he left.  Scores of people were moving west, and they were finding St. Joan of Arc Church.

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