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Did you know? Our Lord Christ the King Church

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Written by Gail Finke Illustrated by Emma Cassani

Our Lord Christ the King Church, founded in 1926 in Cincinnati’s Mt. Lookout neighborhood, was the first parish named for Our Lord under the title “King.” Its school, Cardinal Pacelli, was named for a visitor who later became a pope.

The interior features include extensive use of white stone, modified art deco-type figures; distinctive wood elements; a ceiling covered in two colors of gold leaf, custom light fixtures shaped like three crowns, and a Lady Chapel. The wall above the altar features a tall, Venetian gold and glass mosaic representation of Christ dressed as priest and king.

The baptistry in the church’s distinctive tower (now used for storage) was designed to be separated from the main church by a covered walkway to symbolize that each person enters the Church through baptism.

The church’s tower topped with the crown, ball and cross symbolize Christ as King and Redeemer of the world. It includes a decorative portrait of Christ as King with a one hand blessing to all who pass. The crown and cross are made of stainless steel.

Pope Pius XI makes the Feast of Our Lord Christ the King on the final Sunday of October (the last major feast celebrating Christ in the liturgical year) to emphasize that Christ is our king here and now, not in the future.

DEC 5, 1926
First Mass at an office building on Linwood Road. Former WWI Army chaplain, Father Edward J. Quinn, celebrated with his Army Mass kit. Because there was no electricity, the room was lit with headlights from parked cars outside the windows.

SEPT 1927
School opened, staffed by Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

OCT 31, 1937
Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, then Vatican Secretary of State, visited the parish and blessed the cornerstone for a new school building

MAR 2, 1939
Cardinal Pacelli elected pope and chooses name Pius XII

MAY 22, 1957
Current church dedicated

As part of reordering the liturgical year, Pope Paul VI moved the feast to the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent.

Cardinal Pacelli School named a National Blue Ribbon School

Ghana Health Care Project launched to provide insurance for families in Ghana

NOV 25, 2018
Cross and Crown Atrium connecting all buildings dedicated. Construction required extensive work including hollowing a hill and building a 47-ft retaining wall

“The artistically unusual three-dimensional effects of the sanctuary mosaics…. [create] through the beauty of this ageless material, a ‘finale’ comparable to that of a great symphony, a perpetual prayer in devotion and dedication to ‘Our Lord Christ the King’ as a symbol of ‘The Eternal Unity in Truth, and Beauty in God.’”
Stained-glass window supervisor Erhard Stoettner

“The celebration of the Eucharist has been the most important part of our parish life for 94 years. Since 1926, Catholics have gathered to pray with and for one another day after day, and this has continued through the pandemic.”
Fr. Ed Smith, pastor

This article appeared in the January 2021 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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