A Parish History

 

Christ the King Parish is the youngest Catholic parish in the Illinois Quad Cities. On September 7, 1967, the Most Reverend John B. Franz, D.D., Bishop of Peoria, issued a decree establishing Christ the King Parish, and on October 1, 1967 Reverend Sylvester E. Jesiolowski was appointed its first pastor. Our parish began with approximately 450 families who attended Sunday Mass at Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. 

 

Under the leadership of Father Jesiolowski, things began to move very rapidly. Trustees were appointed, a new parish board was formed, and an architectural firm employed. In February 1968, the board approved plans for a new liturgical center. May 12, 1968, ground was broken for the center on a 9 1/2 acre site on 60th street in Moline. Mass was offered in the newly constructed parish liturgical center for the first time on February 16, 1969. 

 

On October 7, 1969 ground was broken for the rectory that was completed in May 1970. With a new worship center, educational facility, and rectory completed, our new parish began planning for the future goals and growth. 

 

Father Jesiolowski was reassigned to St. Anthony's parish in Spring Valley in 1979 and Father Dick Bresnahan was named Pastor. 

 

Because of our continued growth and increased demand for offices and meeting space, the rectory was converted to a parish center in January 1988. It was also becoming evident that we would soon be in need of additional worship space as well. 

 

In June 1991, the worship area was moved to the Parish Hall and in August, ground was broken for the new worship space. The long awaited Transition Mass took place November 1, 1992, on the Feast of All Saints with a procession from our temporaty worship area in the Parish Hall into the new permanent worship center. 

Three weeks later, on the Feast of Chist the King,

the Most Reverend John Myers, Bishop of Peoria,

 celebrated the opening and dedication of the new worship center. 

 

Father Richard Barclift was assigned as pastor in 1994.

On June 10, 1998, he was reassigned to St. Patrick's in Andalusia. 

 

Father Donald Levitt, pastor as of June 10, 1998, was reassigned

 from St. Mary's in East Moline. Many changes have taken place

 at Christ the King, under the leadership of Father Don. 

 

In the Fall of 1999, Fr. Duane Jack, Cursillo's Spiritual Director,

approached Fr. Don about the parish's plans to expand it's facilities.

These discussions soon led to the joint effort between Christ the King,

TEC and Cursillo to build a joint community center that would meet the

growing needs of our faith community. 

 

A feasibility study was conducted, and a capital compaign soon followed and resulted in the formation of the Believers Together Communtiy Center. The project cost $3.5 million. We were able to begin use of the building in August of 2002. The debt was paid in full before our tenth anniversary, which was August 2012.

 

After 50 years, a parish membership of nearly 1500 families, and a strong faith commitment of both the parish staff and our parishioners, Christ the King has a promising future. All are welcome to be believers together in this place.