- Installation of Rev. Alexander George
- Teresa Casaus, 1st Lay Business Manager
- Dcn. Arthur Carr: 1st Deacon at CTK
- Prelate of honor: Msgr. Alex George
MSGR. ALEXANDER GEORGE
Rev. Alexander George came to Christ the King as an Associate Pastor in 1977. He had previously been Associate Pastor at St. Agnes parish and prior to that, at Mary Star of the Sea in San Pedro. He had formed such great bonds with his parishioners at his former parishes that some of them came to see Rev. George with their problems even after he moved to Christ the King.
When the pastor of a parish dies on the job or terminates his pastorate for health reasons, an administrator is frequently appointed on an interim basis before a new Pastor is selected. However, when Msgr. Alker died, no administrator was appointed at Christ the King. On November 1, 1979, Cardinal Timothy Manning appointed Fr. George, Pastor of the parish, a position he held for the next 20 years.
Fr. George continued with what Msgr. Alker had created at Christ the King: a parish community of spirituality, a parish to which people wanted to belong. He always had a meaningful message in his homilies. He counseled people with all kinds of problems. He fed homeless people who knocked at the Rectory door. He helped parishioners in need to find housing, legal aid, and financial assistance. He provided help and guidance to several newly ordained priests who were appointed to Christ the King for their first assignments
While Fr. George was Pastor, he received assistance from the parish’s first Deacon, Arthur Carr. Art was loved by the people of the parish, many of whom remember his heartfelt homilies about devotion and God’s mercy. They also remember his long struggle with cancer that eventually took his life.
Ms. Teresa Casaus, known to the parish as “Terry”, also provided invaluable assistance to Fr. George and the Parish. She began her work for the parish by directing the religious education program. She then became the wedding coordinator, and subsequently her responsibilities were expanded to include managing the parish office and records.
Terry had the title of business manager, but her duties were broader than that. She took the responsibility for the parish facilities and coordinated construction projects. She scheduled lectors and Eucharistic ministers and organized liturgical events, among other things.
After 25 years during which she had maintained a full time position in advertising sales, she retired as business manager on March 31, 2000. The parish community as a whole expressed their gratitude for her years of service at a moving Liturgy celebrated on the Sunday preceding her retirement.
Among the memorable celebrations that took place while Fr. George was pastor was the 60th anniversary of the founding of the parish in 1986. It was celebrated with the first of what would be many outdoor liturgies. Bishop John Ward presided at this mass and neighboring priests concelebrated.
In May 1990, a special liturgy in honor of Fr. George’s 25th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood was also celebrated in the school yard. Bishop Ward presided. Concelebrants were Fr. George’s younger brother, Msgr. Joseph George, and former associates and neighboring parish priests. Among those who participated was Antonio Cacciapuoti, who served as a transitional deacon (his ordination to the priesthood would not take place for another year)
Fr. George was delighted to have his mother and father, his five brothers, his sister, and many out of town relatives and friends join the festivities. A reception was held for everyone in attendance and school children performed special skits for Fr. George and his special guests.
In 1999, Fr. George announced to a stunned congregation that he was going to retire as Pastor of Christ the King due to his health. To the sadness of the entire parish community who loved Fr. George dearly, his pastorate came to an end on July 1, 1999. Fr. George celebrated his last mass as pastor at a moving ceremony, with many tributes from laity and fellow priests. It was followed by a reception at which parishioners stood in a long and slow moving line to say their farewells to Fr. George.
Fr. George’s retirement was not the final chapter in his long association with the Parish. He returned once again to Christ the King Parish to participate in another special liturgy.
The Holy Father, John Paul II, bestowed the title of prelate of honor (Monsignor) on Fr. George in April 2000.
On September 24th, 2000, his investure ceremony was held a a Sunday 10:30am Liturgy.
Msgr. Lloyd Torgeson, Episcopal Vicar, Our Lady of Angels Region, presided and the Most Reverend Bishop Gerald Wilkerson, Regional Bishop of the San Fernando Pastoral Region, read the Papal proclamation that bestowed this honor.
Msgr. Torgeson, Msgr. George and Bishop Wilkerson were classmates at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, and all three were ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1965 by Cardinal McIntyre at St. Viviana’s Cathedral.