Christ the King Roman Catholic School boasts a rich history as a staple in the community since its establishment in 1947. Get to know some key dates and events from our archives.
July 3, 1947 – Christ the King Parish is officially established and Father John W. Scannell is appointed as pastor. World War II has ended and Americans are anxious to have children and build communities. The Denver metro area is beginning a long period of incredible growth, from 322,000 in 1940 to over a million by the 1960s.
August 18, 1949 – Five sisters of the Most Precious Blood order arrive in Denver with their Mother Superior and attend the church’s dedication that morning. They will become the school’s first teachers.
September 6, 1949 – Christ the King Roman Catholic School opens with approximately 175 students enrolled in kindergarten through the 6th grade.
1950 – 7th grade added to the school curriculum. A total of 237 students enroll. Due to the proximity to Lowry Air Force Base, the children come from 35 states and numerous foreign countries.
1951 – 8th grade added to the school curriculum. Approximately 300 children attend the school.
May 29, 1952 – 19 students receive the first diplomas from Christ the King, graduating on to high school.
October 13, 1954 – Nine Sisters of the Precious Blood take residence in the newly completed convent, which will eventually house a total of 18 sisters.
November 1956 – Christ the King parishioner Stephen McNichols becomes the first Catholic governor of Colorado. His sons Bobby, Billy and Steve attend Christ the King School.
1960s & 1970s
May 4, 1961 – Groundbreaking ceremony is held for a new Christ the King Church building.
April 2, 1963 – The new church is dedicated. The structure seats 900 people and features five large bronze entrance doors and an 80-foot bell tower.
January 1967 – A large-capacity gymnasium/auditorium is completed. This will greatly benefit the school and parish youth groups.
August 1970 – One month into his successful eight years as pastor of Christ the King, Father Robert Syrianey writes in the school bulletin: “I can only pledge to work with you and for you to make our school the finest in the Archdiocese.”
August 26, 1978 – Cardinal Albino Luciani becomes Pope John Paul I, but reigns just 34 days before passing away. His successor Cardinal Karol Wojtyla from Poland becomes John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope since 1523.
1980s & 1990s
1986 – Now with 950 families, Christ the King Parish celebrates its 40th anniversary. Father Robert Amundsen tells the Register: “People who were in our parish grade school when the parish started are grandparents now…This is one occasion where there are no ulterior motives except to get together and have a good time. We hope it will be the best party we’ve thrown in 40 years.”
August 1993 – Pope John Paul II comes to Denver for four days to celebrate World Youth Day as well as to meet with President Clinton and numerous cardinals and bishops. His Mass at Cherry Creek State Park draws 375,000 people, the largest crowd in Colorado history.
July 12, 1995 – Denver Mayor Wellington Webb declares July 12 – July 18 “Christ the King Youth Group Week in Denver” in honor of the group’s admirable work with homeless people of all ages.
November 23, 1995 – Hundreds of past and present parishioners join Pastor J. Darrell Schaffer in celebrating the parish’s golden anniversary party. In recognition of the many ethnic origins of the church family, the festivities begin with a procession of flags and culminate with a social hour and an ethnic potluck in the school gym.
1995 – Nine Sisters of Mercy move into the convent, which had been vacant for years. When Mercy Medical Center closes later in the year, the sisters leave Denver for other pursuits and the building is turned into administrative offices.
2004 – Ballard Parish Hall constructed to serve both as the school’s cafeteria and a center for parishioner social activities.
2013-14 - Playground improvements are completed, including installation of a turf field and a natural outdoor classroom.
2014 - Christ the King School hosts its first alumni reunion on August 17th. iPads are also added to each classroom, K-8.
2016 – There are approximately 1,100 families in the parish and 240 students attending Christ the King Catholic School. The Denver metro area is now home to 2.7 million residents.
2022 - There are 203 students enrolled at Christ the King from Preschool through 8th grade.