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Storefront was site of first Mass
The 225 worshippers who attended Our Lord Christ the King’s first Mass on December 5, 1926, embodied the essence of what it means to be “church.” With neither bricks nor mortar to call their own, this gathering of believers placed their faith in Providence and celebrated early liturgies in humble surroundings, Mt. Lookout Square’s Lin-Del Building at 3200 Linwood Road.
There was no electricity for the first Eucharist, so the room was illuminated by headlights beamed from parked cars. Pastor Father Edward J. Quinn, a former World War I chaplain, used his Army Mass kit.
Our Lord Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in November 1926. It was the first parish ever to be dedicated to Our Lord under the title of “King.”
“Temporary” church served community for over 30 years
Construction of a parish church was completed in 1927. Steadfast laborers, many of them parish volunteers, erected the “temporary” facility in only 25 days. This structure, located on the site of our current church, was intended to house the parish on a temporary basis. However, economic inflation following World War II delayed construction of a permanent home until the late 1950s.
The Indiana limestone structure which stands today was designed by architect Edward J. Schulte. The old building (pictured) was dismantled during “Operation Scramble”, a single-day event in which 100 Holy Name Society members moved furnishings to the school gym where Masses were celebrated while the existing church was being built.
Dedication of the new church took place on May 22, 1957. Two years later, the parish purchased an adjoining parcel of property, the rectory was eventually built. Construction crews would remain idle for the next three decades until ground was broken in 1992 for a multi-purpose parish center.
The archway connecting the tower and main church body separates a former baptistery and the main body of the church. The design supported early church doctrine which encouraged persons to enter church only after they have received the Sacrament of Baptism.
Parish school: The central jewel in our Catholic education mission
Cardinal Pacelli School, named to honor a Cardinal who blessed the building’s cornerstone, was established in 1927. First-year enrollment at the four-room parish school was 108 pupils. In less than a decade the student body nearly doubled, and plans for expansion were underway.
Major school renovations took place in 1936 (larger building), 1963 (second floor addition), 1993 (original school gym remodeled into offices, a new school library and a computer lab; music, art and physical education facilities opened in parish center) and 2003-2005 (new windows and HVAC system installed).
More than 370 kindergarteners-eighth graders are currently enrolled at Cardinal Pacelli.
The Cross and Crown Atrium is the new gathering space at Our Lord Christ the King
Church, connecting the school, parish and church into a unified whole. The building features a large gathering space and new school cafeteria, as well as new parish offices, meeting rooms, a bridal suite, handicap accessible bathrooms and catering kitchen. The Atrium is the result of The City on the Hill capital campaign that began in 2012. Ground broke on June 26, 2017 and construction was completed in August 2018.