Parish History

The Early History of Christ the King Parish

Christ the King Parish was established on June 17, 1963.  The booming community of Morrell Park was in great need of a parish they could call their own.  The Reverend Arthur J. Woods was the founding pastor.  He moved into a temporary rectory at 3622-24 Morrell Avenue in September 1963.

Until our church was completed, Father Woods offered Sunday Masses for parishioners at St. Michael’s Chapel on the grounds of what is known today as Aria Torresdale Hospital.  Weekday Masses were celebrated at the rectory.


  • Christ the King Parish – established by Archbishop John Krol Archbishop of Philadelphia – June 17, 1963
  • First Pastor – Rev Arthur Woods
  • First Parish Sunday Mass – St Michael Chapel, Shrine of the True Cross – June 23, 1963
  • Groundbreaking for Parish Buildings – September 13, 1964
  • Opening of School Building – September 13, 1965 – Mother Rita Bernadette SSJ – School Principal
  • First Mass in Parish Church – Christmas Midnight Mass December 1965
  • Dedication of Parish Buildings – May 15, 1966 – Archbishop John Krol
  • Father Woods succeeding Pastors – Rev Robert Magee, Rev Henry Birkkhead, Rev James A Callahan
  • Presently our Parish has 1900 families and 5500 members

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Highlights of Christ the King School

Gifts made to the Catholic Charities Appeal support close to 180 ministries and programs.