In January of 1950, Cardinal James Francis McIntyre
established Corpus Christi Parish. He appointed Father Richard Cotter,
the well-known Director of the Catholic Youth Organization, as the
founding pastor for this parish in Pacific Palisades. Father Cotter,
young, energetic, with true Irish wit and humor, was ready to lead.
On April 3, 1950 one hundred parishioners attended
the first parish meeting. The meeting was small but what it lacked
in numbers was easily made up by spirit and enthusiasm. Father Cotter
selected the name Corpus Christ or “Body of Christ,”
to symbolize the sacramental center of parish life. The first Mass
was celebrated on June 25th at the New Horizons Theater on Via de
Within three years, the parish had purchased a two-acre
parcel of land at the corner of Carey and Sunset to construct a
school, hall and eventually a church. In 1951 the Parish Hall was
built, which was to serve as a temporary church for nearly fifteen
years. The new Hall also served as a school gym and headquarters
for the ministries and organizations that served the growing needs
of the parish. These early organizations have evolved over the years
as the needs of the parish have expanded and changed. Corpus Christi
has a noble tradition of service that is the backbone of our faith.
As the parish continued to grow, the need for a permanent
church became apparent. The new church’s design with a unique
parabolic shape was an expression of the time in which it was built,
focusing on people participating in the liturgy.
The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on
September 20, 1964 and Cardinal McIntyre officially dedicated the
church on January 30, 1966. Corpus Christi Parish now truly had
In 1976, Father Cotter was honored with the title
of Monsignor. The following year, after 47 years of priestly service,
30 of them at Corpus Christi, Monsignor Cotter retired. As Pastor
Emeritus, he continued to reside as the rectory and support his
successor, Father Neville Rucker.
In 1987 Cardinal Mahony appointed Monsignor John A.
Mihan to become pastor of Corpus Christi, and after completing his
12-year term as pastor in June 1999, Monsignor Mihan retired.
In July, 1999, Cardinal Mahony appointed Father
Liam Kidney as our new pastor, and in November of that year Father
Kidney was honored with the title of Monsignor. At Corpus Christi,
Monsignor Kidney’s mission is to listen to the dreams of the
parishioners and encourage their participation to make their dreams