JACID- Twinning with St. Joan of Arc Parish
Father Francis Ravi first came to the parish of St. Joan of Arc in Marlton, New Jersey in 1998 and was immediately welcomed by then Pastor Monsignor Armand Pedata and the parish community. Monsignor Pedata suggested a partnership between his parish and the St. Joseph’s Charity Institute in India, a place where Fr. Francis had previously ministered. The Charity Institute was already providing services to assist the elderly, mentally challenged and orphans in the region. The St. Joan of Arc parishioners became instantly devoted to assisting their brothers and sisters a world away. Fr. Francis was so moved by the outpouring, he wanted to do something to express his gratitude. Specifically, he was inspired to create something to carry the parish’s namesake. And so, with the overwhelming support of Monsignor Pedata, Fr. Francis began work on his vision to establish a charitable trust for the people in his home state of Tamil Nadu, India in the name of St. Joan of Arc Church. Thus, The St. Joan of Arc Center for Integral Development (J.A.C.I.D.) was founded on July 23, 2003. This twinning partnership would allow hundreds of underprivileged young men and women in Southern Region of Tamil Nadu, India the opportunity for educational, personal and professional development.
In July of 2005, Monsignor Pedata affirmed his and the church’s commitment to J.A.C.I.D. by traveling to India, with a group of parishioners to attend the dedication of the St. Joan of Arc Community College. The group was touched to see, first-hand, the difference the parish’s commitment was already making on the lives of these young students. On October 7, 2005, the feast day of the Holy Rosary, the Covenant was created between JACID and the St. Joan of Arc Parish Family and signed by Monsignor. Pedata and Fr. Francis Ravi. Today, the partnership with J.A.C.I.D. continues to flourish. Along with the St. Joan of Arc Community College, there are ongoing projects like St. Antony’s College of Education and Angel Special School for Mentally Challenged as Institution Based Programs. The Monsignor Armand Pedata Scholarship Program and other Health and Skilled community outreach initiatives serve as Community Based Programs at Angel Nagar, Mannarpuram. Members of the parish continue to visit the JACID to help with these programs. Following the passing of Monsignor Pedata in 2006, Fr. Richard LaVerghetta was assigned as Pastor of St. Joan of Arc Church and under his current leadership has renewed the Covenant. Monsignor LaVerghetta continues to encourage the involvement of the parish and with the generosity of the St. Joan of Arc parishioners this bond of Christian discipleship, extending across the many miles, remains strong.
Fr. Francis Ravi extends his heart felt gratitude to the Pastor, Staff, Religious Education, St. Joan of Arc School and all the generous parishioners of St. Joan of Arc and other generous friends for their continuous support for the development of JACID.