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Our History

Following World War II, increasing numbers of people were moving to Manville to find work in the expanding Johns-Manville Plant. In recognition of the need for a second Catholic church in Manville, Bishop William Griffin established the Church of Christ the King on April 22, 1948 and appointed Father Eugene B. Kelly as the founding Pastor. The first Mass for the new parish was celebrated in Fire Company #3 on Louis Street and North 8th Avenue on May 23, 1948. Excavation for the new church and rectory was begun on February 22, 1949 and construction was completed later that year. The newly installed bishop of Trenton, Bishop George W. Ahr, dedicated the Christ the King Church on June 25, 1950.

In 1956, Father William J. Wrinn was appointed pastor. Fr. Wrinn acknowledged the need of a parochial school and initiated the plans for its construction. Christ the King Parish School was completed by the parish’s 3rd pastor, Father James E. Coley, and opened on September 6, 1968 under the guidance of Sr. Marie of the Bernadine Sisters of Maryview, the school’s 1st Principal. While early enrollment was slow, the school began to flourish during the tenure of the next pastor, Father John J. McGovern.

Father Evasio De Marcellis became pastor in 1977, and he organized the Parish Council in 1979 to serve as an advisory body to the pastor. In the 1980’s, Father Charles Kelly began a renovation project to install stained glass windows in the church and remodel the interior of the building. The renovation was completed by Fr. Kelly’s successor, Father Raymond Attanasio, and the church was rededicated by Edward T. Hughes on May 16, 1987. The Rectory Office was also constructed during Fr. Attanasio’s pastorate.

Christ the King celebrated its golden Anniversary under
its current pastor, Father Daniel Sloan, who was appointed in 1993. Fr. Sloan was also responsible for the reinstitution of the Parish Council, minor renovations to the church and the installation of new church lighting. Fr. Sloan has also had to deal with the devastating effects of two of the five major floods that have inflicted damage on the church building and members of its congregation.

What is not reflected in this brief history of Christ the King Church is the tireless dedication and efforts of these pastors who, with the aid of their curates, associate pastors, parochial vicars, along with deacons, religious and lay volunteers, strove and continue to strive to make Jesus present in Word and Sacrament and to preach, by word and example, the message of Jesus.
Sacred Heart Church Christ the King Diocese of Metuchen Redemptorists
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