NASONVILLE — The Shrine of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus was established as a parish in the Nasonville section of Burrillville on August 23, 1923, by then-Bishop William Hickey. For the past 100 years, it has served the Catholic faithful from far and near. In July of 2019, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish merged with Our Lady of Good Help Parish in Mapleville and is now known as Our Lady of Good Help Parish and St. Theresa’s Shrine.
St. Therese of Lisieux was born in 1873 and is popularly known as “The Little Flower.” Together with St. Francis of Assisi, she is one of the most popular saints in the history of the Church.
This being the centennial year of celebration, the parish is working to improve the grounds with a new Rosary Walk, beautify the campus and continue to spread the message of love which is at the center of St. Theresa’s unique contributions to theology and faith.
The shrine gratefully appreciates the Vatican’s grant of a plenary indulgence to those who visit the Shrine during the centennial year. A plenary indulgence remits any temporal punishment due for sin, either on earth or in purgatory. In addition to visiting the Shrine, the following conditions must be met: Confess your sins in the Sacrament of Penance, receive Holy Communion, pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, and “have the interior disposition of the sense of holiness with a complete detachment from sin, including venial sin.”
The centennial celebrations began with a solemn Mass celebrated on the 99th anniversary of the Shrine on August 21, 2022, by Bishop Robert C. Evans, then-Auxiliary Bishop of Providence. Continuing the celebration, the shrine welcomed Bishop Richard G. Henning, the new Bishop of Providence, on the Solemnity of the Ascension on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
Upcoming events include a Mass, with a reception following on July 23, celebrated by Bishop Salvatore R. Matano, Bishop of Rochester, New York, and a talk on the Life and Theology of St. Therese of Lisieux on August 4 by Bishop Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts. Both bishops were ordained priests for the Diocese of Providence and served at the parish level, as well as in diocesan administration.
Many events are scheduled throughout the period running from May 2023 through May 2024. As additional events are planned, they will be published on the parish website: www.burrillvillecatholic.org.
As devoted pilgrims are aware, the Shrine holds a major celebration every year on the third Sunday in August. This year, the Centennial Celebration Mass and dedication of the newly-built Rosary Walk will be held on August 20 beginning at noon with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Evans. Confessions will be available in the afternoon, the gift shop will be open and food and beverages will be available as those gathered will enjoy the honor of being present at the celebration of the first Shrine in North America and the world built in honor of “The Little Flower.”
The Shrine is located at 35 Dion Drive, Harrisville, and is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Visitors may stroll among the beautiful Church of the Little Flower, the newly-built Rosary Walk, the outdoor Chapel, Holy Stairs, Stations of the Cross, Garden of the Saints, and the Shrines of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Fatima. Picnic tables are available outdoors and the hall can be used for meals during periods of inclement weather. Reverend Jose Parathanal, C.M.I., serves as pastor; Reverend Cyriac Kalampatt, C.M.I; serves as parochial vicar; and Reverend Mr. Richard J. Lapierre serves as the deacon assistant.