Haddonfield was settled in 1682 by Frances Collins, a Quaker emigrant from England.  The founding of the village in 1701 is credited to 21-year-old Elizabeth Haddon.  The first Meeting House was built in 1760.  A second Meeting House – and the present one – was built in 1851.  The United Methodist Church was established in 1829.  The First Presbyterian Church had its first pastorate in 1873.

Long before the formation of Christ the King, a handful of Catholics lived in sternly religious Haddonfield, sacrificing Sunday after Sunday to worship at Holy Mass in Snow Hill, now Lawnside.  It was a two- and three-hour trudge through snowdrifts in winter to reach the unheated shack where a missionary would say Mass.  A handful of working people made up the congregation.


In June of 1897, the cornerstone for the Church of St. Rose of Lima was laid.  The small congregation from Snow Hill, with their sons and daughters, now began the trek to Haddon Heights.  As the congregants from Haddonfield increased, they began to wonder if there were not enough of them to warrant a church of their own in Haddonfield.

They found a place of their own at the Firehouse on Haddon Avenue near Kings Highway.  An arrangement was made for a priest to come each Sunday from the mother Church of St. Rose of Lima.  It was nothing to brag about, but it was in the town of Haddonfield.  Twenty-five to 30 people attended each Sunday morning, kneeling on hard wood floors and sitting on camp stools.

A short time later, the mission congregation moved again when the Odd Fellows Hall, next door to the firehouse, became available. They still hadn’t reached Kings Highway, where all of the other churches were located, but they were on their way.


Their next move was to Artisans Hall, or the Haddon Fortnightly.  Originally built as a Methodist church, it had lots of room, although the building was somewhat rundown and dilapidated.  The stairs creaked; on the other hand, the building had worn plush seats – a first for the congregants. Father Saxon, Father McIntyre and Father Parenti came often to help out over the weekend.


Christ the King Church was incorporated on September 13, 1927.  In 1928, land was acquired on Hopkins Avenue in Haddonfield and a church was erected. It was dedicated on October 14.  How the pastor of St. Rose negotiated for the land and how much he bought was a little tricky gesture of Divine Providence to reward the zeal, loyalty and faith that the people of this town had shown during the span of years that bridged the gap from Snowhill to Kings Highway.  In quick succession the Catholics of Runnemede, Oaklyn and Haddonfield found themselves the proud possessors of brick church buildings of the same architectural structure.  Today, this building is the front section of Christ the King School.

1935 … Christ the King Parish was created on June 29 by Bishop Moses E. Kiley of the Diocese of Trenton.  Father Joseph B. McIntyre was appointed pastor on July 5.  The parish was formally established on November 24.  The boundaries encompassed all of the Borough of Haddonfield, and Erlton, Ashland and Deer Park, which today are part of Cherry Hill Township.  The parish began with 360 Catholics.


1938 … St. Mary's Mission Church in Deer Park – the first mission church of Christ the King – was dedicated.  Prior to that time, Masses were said in a parishioner's home.  With the fast-paced development of Cherry Hill, the parish quickly outgrew the original church structure on Route 70.  St. Mary's Parish was relocated to nearby Springdale Road in 1961.


1939 … St. Mary Home for the Aged on Kresson Road in what is now Cherry Hill Township was opened.  Father McIntyre foresaw the diocesan need for the home and was instrumental in laying the groundwork for its construction within the confines of Christ the King Parish.  From its beginnings, the home has been staffed by the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.


Also in 1939, the first associate pastor was assigned to Christ the King: Reverend Patrick X. Flaherty, C.S.V.   Before the year was over, plans were made for a new church building and school.


1940 … Christ the King School opened.  It started with 150 children.  The upper floor of the church was used for classrooms. The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, New York, arrived in Haddonfield to staff the school.  Extensive remodeling has since taken place, converting the entire building into a school.  Before the year was over, ground was broken for a new church across the street.


1941 … On Mother's Day, the cornerstone was laid for the present Christ the King Church on the corner of Hopkins Avenue and Wood Lane.  On November 30, the new church was dedicated, with Most Reverend Bartholomew J. Eustace, first bishop of Camden, presiding.  The church serves as a place for worshippers from throughout the area to praise and thank God every day.


1945 … St. Mary of the Angels Academy, a high school for young women, opened on West Kings Highway in Haddonfield.  The school remained in existence until 1972.  The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany moved in to staff the school.  The students came from many parishes in the Diocese of Camden.  Liturgical functions took place in Christ the King Church.


1947 … The first telecast in history of a Roman Catholic Mass was broadcast from Christ the King Church on WFIL-TV.  It was the Christmas Eve Mass, celebrated by Monsignor McIntyre.


1949 … The Church of the Holy Rosary on Burnt Mill Road in Ashland – the second mission church of Christ the King – was dedicated.  Prior to that time, Masses were offered in a private home.  A school and auditorium were later added and the original church building was used for small liturgical functions.

1952 … Additional classrooms, along with a gymnasium-auditorium, were built at Christ the King School


1955 … Queen of Heaven Church on Route 70 in Erlton – the third mission church of Christ the King – was formed.  Services first were held in the Erlton Fire Hall across the highway from the church erected in 1955.  The parish grew to include a school


1958 … A new convent for the Franciscan Sisters staffing Christ the King School was dedicated by Most Reverend Justin J. McCarthy, second bishop of Camden.  The structure next to Christ the King School included residential accommodations and chapel for the Franciscan Sisters who, in addition to staffing the school, directed the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Program and a Ministry to the Handicapped.


1960 … Christ the King Parish celebrated its Silver Jubilee.  Many activities took place during the last week of October, starting with Masses for the living and deceased members of the parish, continuing with a 25th anniversary Mass with Most Reverend Celestine J. Damiano, third bishop of Camden, presiding, and climaxing with a civic banquet and dance attended by many parishioners and friends of the parish.  By 1960, the parish had grown to 5,400 members.


1964 … The Pope John XXIII Lounge Building was opened and the House of Charity of the Diocese of Camden was formed at Christ the King in the fall.  Located on Lake Street, the Pope John XXIII Lounge Building housed the school library and was used for meetings, religious education and socials.  The building was formally dedicated in 1965.


1965 … St. John of God School for Special Children was opened at Christ the King.  The Hospitaliers of St. John of God, who staff the school, arrived from Ireland and remained in Haddonfield for several years prior to moving to their permanent location in Westville Grove.


1968 … The Parish Council was formed and David J. Finn was elected to serve as the first president.  A steering committee was selected to set up committees to serve the needs of the parish.

1969 … Parish Council officers were formally installed on January 26.  The first official Parish Council meeting was held on May 20.  The Parish Council Constitution was ratified on October 14.  Since then, the Parish Council has collaborated with the pastor in providing leadership in the parish.

Also in 1969, Christ the King School became a regional school, its goal being to provide “a sound, superior education within a Catholic environment.”  A regional school board was initiated.  In addition to Christ the King Parish, students came from the surrounding parishes of St. Pius X, St. Mary's and St. Thomas More, all in Cherry Hill Township.

1970… On January 9, the diocese approved the construction of a new rectory on the corner of Windsor Avenue and Wood Lane.  On March 10, the Parish Council By-Laws were adopted.

1971 … The new rectory was completed and the priests of the parish moved in.

Also in 1971, a coordinator was hired to direct the work of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.  Sister Francis-Mary of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany became the first director of religious education at Christ the King.  Since then, catechists in the religious education program have provided religious instruction to children in kindergarten to eighth grade who attend schools other than Christ the King Regional School and have prepared them to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.  The program is now run by trained professional lay leader.

On November 29, 1971, Monsignor Charles P. Barth arrived to assist Monsignor McIntyre with the administrative duties of the parish.

1973 … On March 20, Monsignor McIntyre went to his eternal reward.  Ordained in 1926, Monsignor McIntyre devoted all his energies during his priestly life of 47 years to the spiritual benefit of all people entrusted by God to his care.  The fruits of his labors include the parish and school of Christ the King, which he founded and guided during his 38 years as pastor.  He also served as chancellor of the diocese, chairman of the Bishop's Building Fund for the construction of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, founder and first managing editor of the Catholic Star Herald and co-founder of the House of Charity.

In May of 1973, Terry Odien, the first deacon of the parish, was ordained at Christ the King Church.

1974 … On September 14, Monsignor Barth was installed as the second pastor of Christ the King.  The 1970s saw Christ the King changing in line with the dictates of the Second Vatican Council, with the development of a permanent deaconate, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, a New Rite of Reconciliation, an active CCD program, adult education programs and other initiatives.

1975 … The Monsignor McIntyre Memorial Park was dedicated on the first Sunday of October.  Located on the lot adjoining the school on Hopkins Avenue, it is a lasting memorial to his leadership and spiritual guidance.

1978 … In March, the parish bid adieu to its second pastor, Monsignor Barth, as he transferred to St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral in Camden.  In his seven years at Christ the King, Monsignor Barth served first as administrator and then as pastor, leading the parish through many changes in the Catholic church and guiding the parish to becoming free of debt for the first time.

Also in 1978, the parish welcomed its third pastor, Monsignor Edward F. Mullen, who came to Christ the King from St. Francis de Sales Parish in Barrington.  Immediately, the parish pledged its help to the inner-city parishes in Camden.

1980 … Plans were made for a parish renovation program.  Monsignor Mullen called meetings for complete parish involvement.  Architects’ drawings were reviewed, bids were scrutinized and discussions were conducted before the work began during the summer months.  On November 23, on the Feast of Christ the King, Most Reverend George H. Guilfoyle, fourth bishop of Camden, re-dedicated the renovated church.

1981 … The first youth minister, Karen Schetter, arrived at Christ the King in the fall and immediately went to work with the high school youth of the parish with many religious and social activities

1985 … The parish celebrated its 50th anniversary with many special events throughout the year.  The year began with Eucharistic Exposition.  It continued with a Golden Fair Day, parish communion breakfast and open house at the convent honoring present and former teaching nuns and present and former parishioners.  It culminated on the last week of November with special Masses, including a 50th anniversary Mass with Bishop Guilfoyle presiding, and a parish banquet.  The parish now had 4,000 members

1988 … A St. Valentine’s Day Mass was celebrated and a reception was held to honor all married couples in the parish.  The occasion, which evolved from a Mass to honor couples married 25 years or more, became an annual tradition in February.

1991 … The parish celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the church and the 25th anniversary of the episcopal ordination of Auxiliary Bishop James L. Schad at a Mass on the Feast of Christ the King on November 24.  The day also included a service, benediction and covered dish dinner.

1995 … The parish began a Renew program, encouraging parishioners to meet in small groups to renew their faith.  After five seasons of sessions, the program transitioned into the Small Christian Communities program at Christ the King.  Since 1995, small groups of parishioners have met regularly to help one another connect faith with everyday life.

1996 … In January, the parish said farewell to its third pastor, Monsignor Mullen, as he transferred to St. Augustine Parish in Ocean City.

Also in 1996, the parish welcomed its fourth pastor, Father Thomas J. Morgan, who came to Christ the King from Queen of the Apostles Parish in Pennsville. Most Reverend James T. McHugh, fifth bishop of Camden, installed Father Morgan as pastor on the Feast of Christ the King on November 24.

Also during Christ the King Weekend, a Healing Mass, a dinner dance, the first King’s Run 5-kilometer run and walk, a craft fair, a youth group homecoming hayride, exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, benediction, a spaghetti dinner and a theatrical production took place.

 1997 … The Adoration Chapel opened inside Christ the King Church.  Parishioners spend time in Eucharistic adoration in the chapel each day as a way to place themselves in God’s presence and join themselves with Christ and the world around them.
On April 16, 1997, the Christ the King School Alumni Association was founded as a way to connect the school, which serves students in pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, with its thousands of graduates.

1998 … The parish embarked upon its Mission, Vision, Renovation campaign to refurbish and improve school and parish facilities.  Monsignor Morgan called meetings for parishioners’ participation.  Architects’ drawings were examined, bids were scrutinized and discussions were held before the work began.
Over the next three years, improvements were made to Christ the King Church and Christ the King School, the rectory was converted into a Parish Center, a new priests’ residence on Hopkins Avenue was purchased, the lower level of the church was renovated into a parish hall and a plaza was installed next to the church.

2000 … The first Internet broadcast in history of a Roman Catholic Mass took place from Christ the King Church.  It was a wedding the groom’s parents could not attend because of illness on June 17.  Since then, the parish has broadcast baptisms, weddings, funerals, First Communion Masses, Confirmation Masses, and other regularly scheduled and special Masses and services on its Web site.


In September 2000, the Y2K Christ the King Community Playground in the corner of the schoolyard was dedicated.

 2001… On November 17, Most Reverend Nicholas A. DiMarzio, sixth bishop of Camden, presided at Mass and dedicated the parish hall.  Also, the Parish Library opened in the lower level of the church.  The library contains books, periodicals, recordings and videos that provide information, inspiration and guidance to individuals and ministries in the parish.


2002 … In June, the parish bid adieu to its fourth pastor, Monsignor Morgan, as he transferred to St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Gibbsboro.


Also in 2002, the parish welcomed its fifth pastor, Monsignor Joseph W. Pokusa, who came to Christ the King from St. Gregory Parish in Magnolia.  Monsignor Pokusa immediately encouraged parishioners to avail themselves of initiatives for social action and stewardship of time, talent and treasure for God, the parish, fellow parishioners and neighbors in need.
Also, Monsignor Pokusa established a reliquary on the altar of Christ the King Church.  The case contains relics from St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine Laboure, St. Mary Joseph Rossello, St. Francis Xavier, St. Germaine Cousin and a piece of the Cross of Jesus.

 2005 … In April, the parish said farewell to its fifth pastor, Monsignor Pokusa, as he joined the staff of the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.

Also in 2005, the parish welcomed its sixth pastor, Father Joseph D. Wallace, who came to Christ the King from Queen of Heaven Parish in Cherry Hill.

2006 … An Ecumenical Prayer Service was held at Christ the King Church on January 16.  Most Reverend Joseph A. Galante, seventh bishop of Camden, and leaders of other Christian denominations gathered at the service to pray for Christian unity.

2008 … A South Jersey Interfaith Passover Seder was held at Christ the King on April 7.  The gathering helped to foster understanding and appreciation for the faith traditions of Jewish and Catholic people.
Also in 2008, a prayer garden was dedicated outside the church.  The prayer garden was built as a memorial to parishioners’ loved ones and as a place for contemplation and prayer before the Blessed Mother.

2009 … In June, the parish said goodbye to its sixth pastor, Father Wallace, as he transferred to St. Ann Parish in Wildwood.

Also in 2009, the parish welcomed its seventh pastor, Monsignor William P. Brennan, who came to Christ the King from St. Pius X Parish in Cherry Hill. Monsignor Brennan embarked upon the revitalization and strengthening of liturgies, ministries and activities at Christ the King.

2010 … The parish celebrated its 75th anniversary with many special events throughout the year.  The year began with a series of lectures about Christian outreach, a women’s retreat, a one-man drama about St. Damien and a parish mission.  It continued with a parish family festival, a family faith festival, a Mass of Remembrance, a Mass of the Anointing of the Sick, a Christ the King Regional School Alumni Mass and the King’s Run 5-kilometer run, 1-kilometer children’s fun run and 1-mile walk.  It concluded with a 75th anniversary Mass with Bishop Galante presiding and an anniversary brunch on the Feast of Christ the King on November 21.

2012... In June, the parish said goodbye to its seventh pastor, Monsignor Brennan, and wished him many blessings in his retirement.

Also in 2012, the parish welcomed its eighth pastor, Father James T. Dever, OSFS.  In these years, the parish has grown into a vibrant community of Catholics, sharing their faith, hope, love, time, talent and treasure with one another and their neighbors. The parish now has over 4,000 members.

In 2013, King's Garden, an Eagle Scout project, was established adjacent to the school. Flowers, vegetables and herbs grow in the garden and Christ the King School teachers use it to educate students about nature and nutrition.

In 2015, the church initiated monthly Family Masses to encourage family members to participate in the Liturgies as lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, singers, musicians, altar servers, ushers and congregants together. The church also initiated family-based activities after those Masses ranging from preparing gifts for the poor to celebrating the end of the school year.

In 2016, the parish refurbished the church building as it celebrated the 75th anniversary of the building.  In these years, the parish has grown into a vibrant community of Catholics, sharing their faith, hope, love, time, talent and treasure with one another and their neighbors. The parish now has 5,400 members.