- The Building of a School
The Building of a School
Although Fr. Corcoran had to delay construction of a school for twenty years, he began preparations while he was waiting. He had obtained permission and encouragement from Archbishop Cantwell, and again from his successor, Archbishop James Francis McIntyre. Slowly he had been able to acquire the lots immediately adjacent to the church building, starting with the triangular lot north of the building which he purchased from the editor of the Los Angeles Herald Express, Mr. Frank Barham in 1942; then the duplex on the west side, which he turned into the new rectory; and finally three houses on the southeast side facing Arden Boulevard. By 1954, during Cardinal McIntyre’s great drive for Catholic education, Father Corcoran proudly announced to his congregation that they could begin a fund drive to start construction of the school building.
At about the same time, the parish took additional pride in the news that Father Corcoran had been made a Monsignor. On December 29th, 1954 the Holy Father Pope Pius XII honored Christ the King parish and recognized the long and arduous work of its founding pastor by granting him the title of Domestic Prelate (Right Reverend Monsignor). The ceremony of his installation took place the next month with the new Monsignor renewing his profession of faith before Bishop Timothy Manning, representing Cardinal McIntyre, in the presence of many of the former assistant pastors and the joyful parishioners.
Construction of the school building did not begin until 1958, but as work progressed there was a general feeling of enthusiasm and anticipation.
Classes actually began in 1958 under the direction of Mother Adrian and four sisters of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary and one lay teacher. Initially, there were only five grades with an enrollment of 116 students. Classes were held in the church owned apartment building which was located on what is now the lower lot of the school.. However, there were only half-day sessions because not all of the pupils could be accommodated at one time in such a small “school building.”
In his financial report for January of 1959, Monsignor Cocoran announced that registration was open for children who wished to enter the new school in September, but the pace of construction exceeded that estimate.
By Spring of 1959, half of the new school was ready for use, and the school moved in. In September of 1959, the new school was opened with five grades; and the school grew to a full eight grades in the subsequent years.
Much time, effort and sacrifice had paid off in a school that the parishioners were and are proud of, as seen by the continued and varied use of the school buildings of Christ the King.