Pax Christi is Latin for the Peace of Christ. The name of our community is a constant reminder of the need for a Christian presence in the world and the commission for all Christians to make real the peace of Christ. Of course, it is impossible to give what one does not have. And so in order to bring the peace of Christ to the world, we must receive it ourselves through our sacramental, liturgical, prayer, and communal life. The Eucharist is the source from which our identity springs and to which our labors return.
In 1987, Bishop Richard C. Hanifen of the newly formed Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs identified a clear need for a parish to be established in the rapidly growing northern portion of Douglas County. In a mission diocese with a limited number of priests, Pax Christi was founded and a lay Parish Director was appointed with the role of mission organizer to serve the pastoral and administrative needs of the growing community. On June 6, 1988, forty families gathered to celebrate Mass in the gym of Northridge Elementary School, which was to be our home for 10 years. Our parish was served by Jesuit priests from the Sacred Heart Retreat House in Sedalia and Regis University, as well as other priests in the area who joined us each weekend to preside at Mass and who also made themselves available for our other sacramental needs.
The Archdiocese of Denver gave the fifteen acres of land to the newly formed Diocese of Colorado Springs which now forms our Pax Christi Campus. After ten years of celebrating Mass in a gym our parish of 700 families moved to our new home. In May of 1999, Bishop Hanifen blessed our new chapel and multi-use building.
On July 27, 2000, we welcomed our first resident Pastor, Father Ken Przybyla. At that time, 800 families were registered. Fr. Ken served as pastor until August 31, 2011. During his tenure, the final phase of construction was completed with the building of our dedicated worship space. On September 29, 2002, Bishop Hanifen dedicated our new church building, followed by a parish-wide celebration. Also in 2002, we retrofitted our multi-purpose building into an educational, social and office facility known as the Christi Center. The space was remodeled in summer 2009.
Our previous pastor, Fr. Brian Mohan, began his ministry here on September 3, 2011. He led the parish to break ground on the parish’s first rectory in the spring of 2012. Shortly afterward, Fr. Jim Baron came to the parish on August 1, 2012 as Parochial Vicar. In 2013 the parish opened a Catholic preschool, St. Katharine Drexel. The school serves primarily Pax Christi parishioner’s children ages 3-5, but is open to children from surrounding parishes and the community. The curriculum is faith-based and classical. Students participate in daily religion class, monthly mass, service projects and a strong academic program infused with Catholic values.
From January 2014 through June 2015, Fr. Jim also served as Pax Christi’s Parochial Administrator. In July of 2014, Fr. Mike Buckley joined the parish as Parochial Vicar. Our current Pastor, Fr. Marek Krol, was reassigned from Our Lady of the Visitation and joined us in July 2015, with Fr. Greg Bierbaum arriving as Parochial Vicar July 1, 2016.
In addition, the parish staff includes our Business Manager, Administrative Assistant, Music Director, Director of Youth, Director of Discipleship, Religious Education staff, and Maintenance Supervisor. Our slogan describes the litmus test of our entire parish life: “Encountering Christ,” “Forming Disciples.” From our intergenerational faith formation to our growing youth program, from our liturgical life to our outreach, Pax Christi is a parish family that is growing in the Lord Jesus and wants to share this with the entire community. The humble beginnings of our 28-year history have been a great foundation to continue our labors for the Kingdom of God right here in Highlands Ranch!