Christ the King Parish was established under the Diocese of Tucson on September 19, 1959. The parish boundaries stretched from the eastern part of Mesa and included the developing areas east of the city, including Apache Junction. Christ the King Parish became part of the Diocese of Phoenix when it was established in 1969.
Father John Cullinan, the parish’s founding pastor, was appointed on September 21, 1959. Sunday mass was held in the cafeteria of East Junior High School, and in 1960, it moved to the Mesa Knights of Columbus Hall on Broadway (now the Community Center).
In December of 1960, Father Cullinan opened four rooms for Religious Education classes. The Most Rev. Francis J. Green D.D. dedicated the new church, which is now the Ministry Building and four classrooms, on Sunday, January 22, 1961. A year later, two more classrooms and a parish hall were added. In September 1964, space was made available for a school to open with grades one through six. Father Cullinan invited four Presentation Sisters from Ireland to staff the school. Two years later, students for grades seven and eight were recruited. Christ the King School had its first graduating class in May 1967. Kindergarten was added to the school in 1979 with one half-day session. From 1986 to 2007, the school had two half-day kindergarten sessions. The Presentation Sisters continued to teach and staff Christ the King School until 1988. Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, Kindergarten was expanded to a full day class and in 2009 the first preschoolers started at Christ the King!
Christ the King Parish community has experienced continuous growth and now has a large facility servicing many functions. Today, Christ the King Parish has approximately 2,000 families with over 900 parishioners active in ministry and organizations. With a current enrollment of 230 students, it is a vital and important ministry of our parish community. The parish school is accredited and continually receives favorable routine accreditation.
During the school day, Presentation Hall is used as a cafeteria and for school assemblies, and St. Joseph’s Hall is used for special school meetings, band practice and special projects by individual classes. There are eleven classrooms, a library, a science lab, a health room and a technology lab. The grounds also include an athletic field, baseball field, two basketball courts and a shaded playground.
The St. Peregrine Shrine for perpetual adoration provides additional opportunity for prayer, and for the students to participate in outreach through the Cancer Ministry of the Shrine.
Improvements continue with new lighting in school buildings, a modular library building, a computer lab, a science lab, a two-way intercom system throughout the school, audio/video in each classroom, and a computer network with internet capabilities in all classrooms. All classrooms have Smart Boards and document cameras. There is a rolling cart of 30 laptops that are used by the 5th grade. 6, 7 and 8th grade have 1:1 iPads. Perimeter fencing and security gates provide protection for the facilities and the students. The roof has recently been replaced, the parking lots have been rebuilt, all the windows in the school have been replaced, and new air conditioning units have been installed in the classrooms.