Corpus Christi Church

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Corpus Christi Church

Corpus Christi History

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 la Paz.

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 a home.

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 a reality.