Shrine of St Therese Juneau, Alaska

Shrine of St Therese, 21425 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, Aljaska, Združene države Amerike

Website of the Sanctuary

+1 907-586-2227

Every day: 8:30 am – 10:00 pm (8.00 pm Winter)

The Shrine of St Therese is a ministry of the Diocese of Juneau and is located approximately 22 miles north of downtown Juneau. The Shrine of St Therese has welcomed people of all faiths and all corners of the world for over 75 years.

The Shrine of St Therese

The Shrine of St Therese began as the dream of Fr. William G. LeVasseur, S.J. (Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits). Fr. LeVasseur saw the need for a retreat center in Alaska.

He approached Bishop Crimont, the first Bishop of Alaska, and asked for permission to build the retreat center. Bishop Crimont had a deep devotion to St. Therese and knew members of her family. He wanted the retreat center to be dedicated to St. Therese.

Shrine of St Therese Juneau, Alaska

Famous book, the one she wrote herself: Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St Therese of Lisieux

And something else for you, selection of: St Therese of Lisieux rosary, medals, images & posters and statues.

See other shrines of St Therese de Lisieux:

The goal of every shrine is to bring the faithful closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You are invited to explore these holy grounds to pray and meditate on the gracious love and goodness of God.

See more Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages in North America.

See top 15 Catholic shrines around the world

Shrine of St Therese Juneau, Alaska

Shrine chapel

The Shrine Chapel, constructed of Shrine-site beach stone, was built in the late 1930’s. Fr. William LeVasseur, a Jesuit priest from New Brunswick, Canada had the idea and vision to create a retreat center in Alaska.

Bishop Joseph Raphael Crimont, S.J., the first bishop of Alaska, gave his consent and blessing to the establishment of the Shrine of St. Therese.

Stations of the cross 

The stone structures sheltering scenes of Christ’s final hours of human life are a Catholic devotional practice called the Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross).

Each of the Stations describes a scene from the passion, death, or resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Station rock structures were built about 1940. However, new sculptures were created by the artist R.D. Robinson and installed April 1989.

Shrine of St Therese Juneau, Alaska

Good Shepherd Rosary trail

Located just across Shrine Creek is a walking path called the Good Shepherd Rosary Trail which is wheelchair navigable.

This path begins with a bronze plaque of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who reaches out and cares especially for those who are less fortunate in the “eyes of the world”.

Pieta statue

At the end of the Good Shepherd Rosary Trail is a replica of Michelangelo’s famous statue “The Pieta.”

The statue depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary cradling in her arms the body of her beloved son, Jesus, after he was removed from the Cross.

Shrine of St Therese Juneau, Alaska

Merciful love labyrinth

The Merciful Love Labyrinth was constructed in the spring of 2001. Just as the Chapel builders had done in the 1930’s to provide rocks for the Shrine Chapel.

Stations of the Cross and other building foundations as a labor of love, volunteers of all ages carried stones from the beach nearby for constructing the Merciful Love Labyrinth.

Columbarium and gardens

The Shrine Columbarium was constructed on Shrine property overlooking Pearl Harbor in 1998. The Columbarium is a final resting place for ashes of many Catholics and non-Catholic.

Shrine of St Therese Juneau, Alaska

Shrine causeway

The Shrine causeway, limited to foot traffic, provides access to Shrine Island. The original causeway, set in place before the Chapel was constructed, was built with logs, rocks and fill.

The body of water north of the causeway is called Pearl Harbor, and it opens up to the Inside Passage waterway known as Lynn Canal. On clear days, the craggy, snow-covered Chilkat Mountains can be seen in the distance.

Caretakers’ cabin

The Caretaker’s Home has seen many additions over the years. It began as a one-room log cabin with chapel in 1938.

Although originally used as a retreat master’s cabin and even considered as a convent site, it is now used to house the Shrine caretakers.

It has been home for more than eleven different families. The Caretakers reside on-site year round and are responsible maintaining the Shrine and greeting visitors from around the world.

The Shrine of Saint Thérèse is located in Tongass National Forest, approximately 22 miles “out the road” north of downtown Juneau. Address is 21425 Glacier Highway, Juneau, Alaska 99801.

Holy grunds

The goal of every shrine is to bring the faithful closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You are invited to explore these holy grounds to pray and meditate on the gracious love and goodness of God.

SHRINE CHAPEL
The Shrine Chapel, constructed of Shrine-site beach stone, was built in the late 1930’s. Fr. William LeVasseur, a Jesuit priest from New Brunswick, Canada had the idea and vision to create a retreat center in Alaska. Bishop Joseph Raphael Crimont, S.J., the first bishop of Alaska, gave his consent and blessing to the establishment of the Shrine of St. Therese.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS
The stone structures sheltering scenes of Christ’s final hours of human life are a Catholic devotional practice called the Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross). Each of the Stations describes a scene from the passion, death, or resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Station rock structures were built about 1940. However, new sculptures were created by the artist R.D. Robinson and installed April 1989.

GOOD SHEPHERD ROSARY TRAIL
Located just across Shrine Creek is a walking path called the Good Shepherd Rosary Trail which is wheelchair navigable. This path begins with a bronze plaque of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who reaches out and cares especially for those who are less fortunate in the “eyes of the world”.

PIETA STATUE
At the end of the Good Shepherd Rosary Trail is a replica of Michelangelo’s famous statue “The Pieta.” The statue depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary cradling in her arms the body of her beloved son, Jesus, after he was removed from the Cross.

MERCIFUL LOVE LABYRINTH
The Merciful Love Labyrinth was constructed in the spring of 2001. Just as the Chapel builders had done in the 1930’s to provide rocks for the Shrine Chapel, Stations of the Cross and other building foundations as a labor of love, volunteers of all ages carried stones from the beach nearby for constructing the Merciful Love Labyrinth.

COLUMBARIUM AND GARDENS
The Shrine Columbarium was constructed on Shrine property overlooking Pearl Harbor in 1998. The Columbarium is a final resting place for ashes of many Catholics and non-Catholic.

SHRINE CAUSEWAY
The Shrine causeway, limited to foot traffic, provides access to Shrine Island. The original causeway, set in place before the Chapel was constructed, was built with logs, rocks and fill. The body of water north of the causeway is called Pearl Harbor, and it opens up to the Inside Passage waterway known as Lynn Canal. On clear days, the craggy, snow-covered Chilkat Mountains can be seen in the distance.

CARETAKERS’ CABIN
The Caretaker’s Home has seen many additions over the years. It began as a one-room log cabin with chapel in 1938. Although originally used as a retreat master’s cabin and even considered as a convent site, it is now used to house the Shrine caretakers. It has been home for more than eleven different families. The Caretakers reside on-site year round and are responsible maintaining the Shrine and greeting visitors from around the world.

Brief timeline of the Shrine:

  • 1932 – 5 acres of forest reserve land secured from the federal government
  • 1932 – Lodge was built to house the workers
  • 1934 – Building of the Causeway to Shrine Island begins
  • 1935 – An additional 5 acres of land secured by Fr. LeVasseur
  • 1937 – Work on the Chapel begins
  • 1938 – Caretaker’s Cabin built, over the years several additions are added
  • 1938 – Cornerstone of the Chapel laid on October 30 by Bishop Crimont
  • 1938-46 – US Post Office at “St. Terese” in operation
  • 1940’s – Hermitage Cabin built
  • 1941 – First Mass celebrated on October 28
  • 1945 – Bishop Crimont died on May 20 and is buried in the Chapel Crypt
  • 1945 – Special act of the U.S. Congress on September 24 (H.R. Bill 1992) secured the sale of the 46.61 acres from the government to the Catholic Bishop of Alaska.
  • 1946 – On July 16 a payment of $116.25 was paid to the District Land Office in Anchorage from Bishop Fitzgerald for the Shrine property.
  • 1953 – Bishop O’Flanagan initiated The League of the Little Flower to help make the Shrine more self-sufficient
  • 1962 – Retreats stop being held at the Shrine and the buildings deteriorate because the Diocese does not have the money to maintain the facility.
  • 1968-9 – Major renovations take place under the leadership of Fr. James Manske, Director of the Shrine.
  • Early 1970’s – Central heating added to buildings which extends the use of the facilities into the winter.
  • 1972-3 – Shrine is staffed during the summers
  • 1985 – Due to financial drain the Shrine is forced to close in Spring 1985
  • 1985 – On July 24 a small group of local people come together to save the Shrine.
  • 1986 – The Shrine reopens in March
  • 1989 – New engravings of the Stations of the Cross installed in April
  • 1998 – The Columbarium and Gardens built
  • 2000 – Jubilee Cabin built
  • 2001 – Little Flower Retreat Cabin built
  • 2001 – Merciful Love Labyrinth built
  • 2013 – Major renovation of the Lodge began in May

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