Christ the King Catholic Church is a parish of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, founded in 1933 to serve the area just north of South Bend. It was entrusted to the care of the Congregation of Holy Cross and has been faithfully served by Holy Cross priests, sisters, and brothers ever since.
Our faith-filled community seeks to take up the mission of Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, by making God known, loved, and served through the many vibrant parish ministries, liturgies, and community opportunities. Join us as we continue to answer the call of God, serving others, making God known in word and deed, and living as disciples of Christ.
The story of Christ the King Parish in South Bend began when the Diocese of Fort Wayne recognized the need to build a new parish to serve the growing population north of the city. In December of 1927, Fr. Edward Finnegan, C.S.C., pastor of Sacred Heart Parish at Notre Dame, began raising the $6,500 needed to purchase the land that would eventually become Christ the King. When the parish was authorized by Bishop John F. Noll in 1933, there were almost 150 charter families. The parish boundaries extended from the Michigan state line in the north to Douglas Road in the south, and from the German Township line in the west to Ironwood Road in the east.
The parish was entrusted to the Congregation of Holy Cross, and Fr. Peter Miner, C.S.C., was appointed the first pastor. This began a long tradition of Holy Cross religious serving at Christ the King, a tradition that continues to this day. The church set up its temporary quarters in a former dance hall and furniture warehouse at the corner of Dixie Highway and Auten Road, and Fr. Miner lived with a local family as they continued to raise money for the construction of the church and rectory. Under the guidance of the new pastor, Fr. Wendell Corcoran, C.S.C., Christ the King broke ground on their church building in October 1934. Members of the parish helped, and many of the hired workers volunteered to be paid every other day to offset the cost of the construction. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated by Fr. Corcoran in 1935. This "little white church" on Dixie Highway served the Christ the King community for the next twenty-five years.
As the parish and the surrounding neighborhoods grew, there was an increasing demand for Catholic education in the northern part of South Bend. In 1950, Christ the King joined with St. Joseph Farm Parish (now St. Pius X Parish), Little Flower, and the Sisters of the Holy Cross to establish the Campus School at St. Mary's College. This school quickly became overcrowded, and Christ the King commenced plans to begin a parish school. As plans for a school building were being drawn up, the parish bought several units from a federal housing project that had previously been used for wartime dwellings. These units were transported from downtown South Bend and converted to a classroom that welcomed Christ the King's first class of students, a group of twenty-seven first graders, in 1953. A new school building was opened in 1955 under Fr. Clement Funke, C.S.C., and by 1958 the school included grades 1–8, served by a dedicated group of laypeople and the six Holy Cross sisters who lived in the convent.
As the parish community continued to expand, it began to outgrow the little white church. The present church structure was dedicated in 1961, and the parish and school continued to grow with the pastorates of Fr. Stanley Rdzok, C.S.C., Fr. Ken Maley, C.S.C., and Fr. Joseph Fey, C.S.C. In the 1980s, the high altar and side altars were removed; the marble from them was used to construct the current altar, ambo, and tabernacle stand. In the 1990s, a new baptismal font was added near the church entrance, followed not long after by a sanctuary renovation with a new reredos backdrop. Two new additions to the school were opened in 2001 and 2020, respectively, and in the interim, stained glass windows were added to the church in 2011. These projects stemmed from the creative and far-reaching vision of dedicated pastors—Fr. Bob Epping, C.S.C., Fr. Tom Jones, C.S.C., Fr. Neil Wack, C.S.C., and Fr. Steve Lacroix, C.S.C.
Today Christ the King remains a vibrant and growing community with over 1,400 registered families and almost 500 students in the school, now Pre-K3 through eighth grade. The vitality of the parish can be seen in the enthusiastic involvement of parishioners in all facets of parish life, including a great diversity of parish ministries ranging from Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to our newly created St. Vincent de Paul Society. We thank God for the many blessings that he has given to our parish community over the past ninety years and pray that we may remain faithful to our call to make God known, loved, and served!
“We asked how we might follow, and we found many footprints on the road. A great band of men had passed this way, men who had made and lived by their vows, men who had walked side by side in their following of the Lord. They beckoned us to fall in step with them. We wanted to be part of the family they formed in order to share in their life and work.” —Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross (1.5)