As November invites the start of a season of cold for many, the month similarly reminds one of warm homes, fireplaces, Thanksgiving and family gatherings. While the current pandemic has brought families together or created new avenues by which to gather, we remember fondly being together with family members, the memories shared and the places that hold them.
For the KLIK USA family business, the closeness of our family often found a home in Christ King Parish. Within the suburb of Wauwatosa, WI, the church and its grade school served as a place of celebration, joy and remembrance. Whether it be in the form of wedding ceremonies, eighth grade graduations, the treasured Christmas Mass or in commemoration of the life of loved ones, the space managed to pull not only our family, but many people of all walks of life together. Of course, Sunday masses were attended weekly, meaning family brunch afterward and commonly enjoying hot ham, rolls, German potato salad and a donut or two. Through the parish, the family found support, guidance and strength coming from the bond of family.
The project to light the handrails upon entering the church, therefore, was one close to the heart of KLIK USA. Featuring the KLIK USA LEDpodTM, the lights help guide families and friends into the church in the darker winter months. The project, involving custom railings coinciding with the lights from our close partner in Milwaukee, Badger Railing,, was surely one as special and unique as the times shared.
Christ King was built slowly throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, with what started as a small community, including a small school, boiler house and permanent rectory for the church. Christ King school began with four classrooms, the Parish Chapel and a meeting hall and small kitchen. In the early days of the community, mass was held in the small chapel on the second floor of the school building. Amidst a war and other worldly happenings, in 1947, a larger new chapel, as well as four additional classrooms were added to the parish. In 1953, the growth continued, with more classrooms added, as well as the inception of the church building.
The architecture of the new church was, and still remains, exceptional, holding seating for over 1,000, family rooms, a bridal suite, parish office, storage and plenty of access to and from the school. The newspapers at the time referred to Christ King Parish as “beauty in simplicity,” with a strong, dramatic structure, filled with marble beams, walls and detailing throughout the interior. Natural light was abundant through large windows on all sides of the church. As the community continued to grow and evolve, the school and church structures continued to grow with it, which led to the involvement of KLIK USA and our fixtures leading the way for generations of community members to come.
The memories of Christ King and the joy that came with it remind our family of how fortunate we are and an eager hope to be all-together soon.
Photographer: Charlie Webb