Christ the King is the largest and oldest church in the Sudbury region for English-speaking Roman Catholics.
Eglise Ste. Anne des Pins was erected in 1883 at its present site, on land that would one day be shared with the church of Christ the King. On September 16, 1904, the Holy See erected the Diocese of Sault Ste Marie, appointing Bishop David Scollard as the first Bishop. Eleven years later St. Joseph’s Church was erected.
On August 15, 1915, English speaking parishioners of Ste. Anne des Pins Parish signed an agreement that would see the building of an English speaking catholic church in Sudbury. The parish was declared under the title of St. Joseph’s Church by Bishop Scollard.
St. Joseph’s Church was officially opened on September 23, 1917. Masses were held in the newly renovated Jubilee Hall next to Ste. Anne’s while the construction of the present building was beginning. Reverend Dean Crowley was the first pastor for the new church.
The opening of a new English –speaking parish saw many ‘firsts’ including St. Joseph’s Church’s first sacrament on July 29, 1917, with the baptism of Mary Lilian Grace Maloney, and on October 22, 1917, Patrick Gowan and Charlotte Agnes O’Connor had the honour of being the first couple married in the church.
Construction of a rectory for St. Joseph’s Church began in July of 1920 and was completed by the fall of 1921.
Also in 1920, the Catholic Women’s League was organized for the parish.
Construction on the Church basement began in the summer of 1923. This basement served as a temporary site for St. Joseph’s Church while funds were being raised to complete the entire structure. By the end of January 1924, this basement was blessed and was opened for Masses.
Pope Pius XI instituted The Feast of Christ the King in 1925 in his encyclical Quas Primas. At the time of Quas Primas, many Christians (including Catholics) began to doubt Christ’s authority and existence, as well as the Church’s power to continue Christ’s authority. This feast drew much needed attention to the all-embracing authority of Christ as King and Lord of all things.
Construction was delayed numerous times due to the First World War, but on June 17, 1928 the cornerstone of St. Joseph’s Church was laid. During the building of this church, the right wall blew out during a high windstorm that hit Sudbury.
In time for Christmas celebrations, on December 23rd, the first Mass was held in the newly completed church. The architect for the church was P.J. O’Gorman.
St. Joseph’s Church ordained its first priest in the basement of the church. Reverend J.A. Mulligan was ordained on June 28, 1928.
On September 25, 1928, the new church bell was blessed by Bishop Scollard during a large ceremony. The bell was inscribed on one side with the names of the Bishop, Pastor and curate, as well as the date of the donation, and on the other was an inscription that read, “This bell was presented to St. Joseph’s Parish, Sudbury, Ontario, by David B. Mulligan, Esq., Montreal, Canada.” During the ceremony, the bell was rung for the first time by Dr. W.H. Mulligan, brother of David B. Mulligan.
On September 29, 1929, St. Joseph’s Church was officially dedicated and blessed by Bishop Scollard.
When the much loved Bishop Scollard died in 1934, Bishop Ralph Dignan was appointed second Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie on December 22, 1934.
In 1935, to avoid conflict with another church in the diocese Bishop R.H. Dignan officially changed the name of the parish from St. Joseph’s to the Church of Christ the King.
Entering the church of Christ the King in the white dress of a bride, Gertrude Dillon, received the habit of the Srs of St. Joseph in a solemn ceremony, the first of its kind in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie in 1938. At this time she became known as Sr. Mary Catherine.
On July 7, 1939, the First Diocesan Eucharistic Congress was held at the Church of Christ the King.
The Catholic Youth Organization of Christ the King church started in the fall of 1946, serving the social and faith needs of young people in Sudbury.
On October 30, 1947 the church was completely gutted by fire resulting in a financial loss of over $200,000.00. Through the efforts of the parishioners and the Father Humphrey, the building was restored. The rebuild architect was L.N. Fabbro. The Church of Christ the King was reopened in 1948. The first mass was celebrated on July 19.
Christ the King has inspired the development of additional parishes in the community, including
- Clement in the West End of Sudbury in 1936. In 2002, St. Clement’s Church amalgamated with Our Lady of Perpetual Help to become Our Lady of Hope.
- Holy Trinity in the Donovan area of Sudbury in 1937. In 2011, Holy Trinity Parish was reunited with the Church of Christ the King and closed the doors of the Burton Street site in 2013
- All Saints’ Church in Minnow Lake in 1938.
- Anthony’s in 1953, serving the Italian community.
- Patrick’s in 1953, which serves the spiritual needs of Catholics in the South End of Sudbury.
- Andrew the Apostle in 1955, which currently serves the spiritual needs of Catholics in New Sudbury.
In 1951, through the vision and dedication of Father Humphrey and support of parishioners from the Church of Christ the King, the Basilian Fathers purchased the former Children’s Aid Home on Pine Street and proceeded to establish St. Charles College; a new Catholic high school for boys. In 1958, through financial support of all of the Catholic parishes in Sudbury a new private school for girls, Marymount College, opened on September 22.
Due to Bishop Dignan’s failing health, Bishop Alexander Carter was appointed coadjutor in 1956. In 1957, upon the death of Bishop Dignan, Bishop Alexander Carter was consecrated the third Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.
1970 – 1979
On January 31, 1970, the church underwent renovations to upgrade the building. These renovations took three months to complete and on April 24, 1970, the newly renovated church was blessed by Bishop Carter.
During the Holy Year in 1974, the church of Christ the King was designated a Pilgrim Church in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.
The parish’s first Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, Sr. Catherine Crawford, Bob Hammond, Terry Shannon and Ted Szilva were installed in 1975.
1990 – 1999
In 1999, through the vision of Catherine Anzil and the guidance of Fr. Creswell, the Liturgy of the Word with Children program began the basement of our parish.
2010 – 2017
When Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe retired in 2015, Bishop Marcel Damphousse was consecrated Bishop January 20, 2016.
100th Anniversary Celebrations began November 2016 and concluded November 26, 2017 with a fundraising dinner and special Mass followed by brunch at the Radisson Hotel.