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12/1/2011 3:00:00 AM
Christ the King Parish, Milwaukie, marks 50 years
Archbishop John Vlazny celebrated Christ the King Parish's 50th anniversary Mass.
Archbishop John Vlazny celebrated Christ the King Parish's 50th anniversary Mass.
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Christ the King Church in 1980

ust in time for the feast of its patron saint on Nov. 20, Christ the King Parish celebrated half a century since its start 50 years ago.

To celebrate, Archbishop John Vlazny celebrated Mass, and then parishioners gathered for a Hawaiian-style luncheon.

“It was a blessing to see many friendship that have been formed over many years, coming together after 50 years of being a parish,” said Father David Shaw, pastor. “As the new priest at the church, it was a encouraging and enlightening to see how strong the relationships are at the parish.”

Parishioners Dennis Mayer and Bob Steiner designed multi-color banners to commemorate the landmark year. Priests who had served previously at Christ the King were in attendance, Fathers Dennis Kriz, Don Buxman, Augustus Kulbis and Theodore Weber, and Msgr. Richard Hunegar, as well as Deacon Jim Myers.

In 1958, in response to tremendous population growth in Clackamas County, Archbishop Edward Howard started a mission church, administered by St. John the Baptist Church, also in Milwaukie.

At first, Catholics who were part of this parish attended church in an old school on Fuller and Harmony roads, leased for $15 per month. Soon, the mission was established as a parish and construction began on a new church in 1959, with plans to build a school later. By 1960, that church was ready to use, and soon a simple wood-framed rectory was built to house the pastor, which is now used as the parish office.

In 1963, a new school was completed, where Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon taught. To house the Sisters who taught at Christ the King and also at La Salle School in Milwaukie, the Archdiocese of Portland built a convent. Over the years that convent has been used as a parish center for Christ the King, as a residence for Archbishop Howard and as a home for the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. Currently it has been renamed the Griffin Center and is used as the Archdiocese of Portland’s ministry formation center.

Construction for a permanent church started in 1979, and the building was dedicated in 1980.

The parish’s mission is to be “centered in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve and to build God’s kingdom through prayer, stewardship, education and evangelization.”

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