Shrine of St Therese Fresno, California

St. Therese Catholic Church, 1410 N Wishon Ave, Fresno, Kalifornija, Združene države Amerike

Website of the Sanctuary

+1 559 268 6388

Every day from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm

The Shrine of St. Therese is not only a fit monument to the Presence of God in our midst and a commemoration of a great woman whose very being sang God’s song of love to us once more.

But it is also an enduring tribute to the lives of quiet heroism among Christians of our own time and place striving to set aside a space dedicated to the sacred in their world.

The Shrine of St. Therese is a shrine built on a foundation of reverence and joy for the reality of God incarnate in our times.

The most famous book, that one she wrote herself: Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St Therese of Lisieux

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St Therese of Lisieux rosary, medals, images & posters and statues.

Windows in the Shrine of St Therese

The glass mosaic windows showing events in the life of Jesus and representation of Old and New Testament Saints, were made by the family of Gabriel Loire in Chartres, France.

Shrine of St Therese Fresno, California

Only eight of the windows were delivered and installed at the time of the building’s first Mass; the other windows were aboard ships delayed in 1956 through the Suez Canal.


Unlike ordinary stained glass, the windows are made of pieces of glass one and one half inches thick, cut like gems to give depth and a variety of shades to the colors as sunlight moves through the panes.

Bariel Loire designed the windows himself, and the largest of them is the beautiful rose window over the main entrance of the church.

Inside the Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help are three windows depicting various apparitions of the Virgin Mary, including, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (also patroness of the Carmelites, St Therese’s religious community), Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady of Fatima.

In the Blessed Sacrament Chapel there are three windows:

  • Abraham, Father of the Old Covenant contemplating the sacrifice of his son Isaac;
  • Melchizek, symbol of the king and high priest, offering sacrifice of bread and wine at the gates of Jerusalem; and
  • Jesus Christ, The Sacrament of the New Covenant, Our Bread of Life.

Shrine of St Therese Fresno, California

See more Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages in North America.

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There are two windows in the choir loft, St. Peter, first visible head of the Christian Church and St. Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles.

The subjects of the windows in the main body or nave of the Church highlight the major mysteries in the life of Christ and his Church along with depictions of two Saints representing the Shrine as well as the Diocese of Fresno.

Beginning on the right of the church, as one looks toward the altar:

  • (In the sanctuary) St. Therese of the Child Jesus
  • The Annunciation
  • The Birth of Christ
  • The Presentation in the Temple
  • Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple at the age of twelve
  • The Wedding Feast at Cana
  • Jesus with Peter in his fishing boat
  • The Institution of the Eucharist

Shrine of St Therese Fresno, California

On the left hand side of the church, named from the main entrance and working forward towards the altar:

  • The Last Supper and twelve Apostles
  • The Agony in the Garden
  • The Crucifixion
  • The Resurrection
  • The Ascension
  • Pentecost
  • The great rose window is in the extreme center of the Church’s main entrance wall, and unites with color and size the entire collection of windows.

In the vestibule on the south side is depicted St. Columba, Co-patron of the diocese with St. Therese and St. John the Evangelist, with the Eagle which symbolizes the spiritual heights to which his Gospel attains.

Shrine of St Therese Fresno, California

Behind the statue of the Pieta are instruments from the story of the Passion of Christ. In what was once the Baptismal area, the three windows depict:

  • St. John the Baptist and Jesus at the Jordan River for the baptism of Christ;
  • the Holy Spirit, represented as a dove above the waters of Baptism in which a fish swims, symbol of the Christian alive in the Spirit; and
  • the three great theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Windows

The glass mosaic windows showing events in the life of Jesus and representation of Old and New Testament Saints, were made by the family of Gabriel Loire in Chartres, France. Only eight of the windows were delivered and installed at the time of the building’s first Mass; the other windows were aboard ships delayed in 1956 through the Suez Canal. Unlike ordinary stained glass, the windows are made of pieces of glass one and one half inches thick, cut like gems to give depth and a variety of shades to the colors as sunlight moves through the panes. Bariel Loire designed the windows himself, and the largest of them is the beautiful rose window over the main entrance of the church.

Inside the Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help are three windows depicting various apparitions of the Virgin Mary, including, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (also patroness of the Carmelites, St Therese’s religious community),Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady of Fatima.

In the Blessed Sacrament Chapel there are three windows: Abraham, Father of the Old Covenant contemplating the sacrifice of his son Isaac; Melchizek, symbol of the king and high priest, offering sacrifice of bread and wine at the gates of Jerusalem; and, Jesus Christ, The Sacrament of the New Covenant, Our Bread of Life.

There are two windows in the choir loft, St. Peter, first visible head of the Christian Church and St. Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles.

The subjects of the windows in the main body or nave of the Church highlight the major mysteries in the life of Christ and his Church along with depictions of two Saints representing the Shrine as well as the Diocese of Fresno.

Beginning on the right of the church,as one looks toward the altar: 

  • (In the sanctuary) St. Therese of the Child Jesus
  • The Annunciation
  • The Birth of Christ
  • The Presentation in the Temple
  • Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple at the age of twelve
  • The Wedding Feast at Cana
  • Jesus with Peter in his fishing boat
  • The Institution of the Eucharist

On the left hand side of the church, named from the main entrance and working forward towards the altar:

  • The Last Supper and twelve Apostles
  • The Agony in the Garden
  • The Crucifixion
  • The Resurrection
  • The Ascension
  • Pentecost
  • The great rose window is in the extreme center of the Church’s main entrance wall, and unites with color and size the entire collection of windows.

In the vestibule on the south side is depicted St. Columba, Co-patron of the diocese with St. Therese and St. John the Evangelist, with the Eagle which symbolizes the spiritual heights to which his Gospel attains.

Behind the statue of the Pieta are instruments from the story of the Passion of Christ. In what was once the Baptismal area, the three windows depict St. John the Baptist and Jesus at the Jordan River for the baptism of Christ; the Holy Spirit, represented as a dove above the waters of Baptism in which a fish swims, symbol of the Christian alive in the Spirit; and, the three great theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

The Shrine of St. Therese

A church is first and foremost a place where the community of the faithful gathers to worship the Father through participation in the saving actions of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection celebrated in the Eucharistic Liturgy. A church tells the story of how a people feel about themselves and their God, how they view this action in their lives and in the history of their world. It is a lasting tribute to their faith and desire that things beautiful and precious surround their celebration of his mysteries, and that fitting remembrance be made of all those saints of God, known and unknown, who have preceded us in our journey to the eternal kingdom.

The Shrine of St. Therese is not only a fit monument to the Presence of God in our midst and a commemoration of a great woman whose very being sang God’s song of love to us once more, but it is also an enduring tribute to the lives of quiet heroism among Christians of our own time and place striving to set aside a space dedicated to the sacred in their world. The Shrine of St. Therese is a shrine built on a foundation of reverence and joy for the reality of God incarnate in our times.

The church building, regardless of its beauty and perfection, is never the most important reality in a parish; we,the people,are the Church’s greatest treasure. Yet, from the earliest times, we have attempted to express our love, respect, and devotion to the Eucharist,by adorning places where the Liturgy will be celebrated and where God will be uniquely honored; so it is in the parish of St. Therese.

St. Therese’s Parish

St. Therese’s Parish was established in Fresno in 1919 as Our Lady of Victory Parish. The first pastor, Father Martin Cody Keating, took over in June 1919, shortly after the completion of his duties as a Chaplain during World War I. It is said that Father Keating chose the name “Our Lady of Victory” in thanksgiving for our victory in that war.

The first Mass in the parish was celebrated June 29, 1919 in the Dan C. Desmond home at 845 Echo Avenue. Records list 30 parishioners in attendance, including Margaret Regan Limes and her brother Edmund Regan. According to Margaret, as Father Keating drove by and saw the American flag flying he said “This is the place!” The altar boy serving at  Mass that day was young Harry A. Clinch, who later served as the Bishop of Monterey.

Marie Frances Therese Martin — Sister Therese of the Child Jesus — was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1925. Devotion to the holy Carmelite Sister with her “little way” to sanctity was widespread. Bishop MacGinley, in Rome at the time of her canonization, asked the Pope to name St. Therese principal patroness of the Monterey-Fresno Diocese. Pope Pius granted the request on condition that one church and parish in the diocese be named after her.

The parish had now grown to over 1,000 families. Bishop Scher of Monterey-Fresno Diocese, purchased a quarter block at Pine and Wishon for $5,000 and leased it to the parish so that construction of the new school could begin. The old rectory (two doors south of Floradora on Wishon) was sold and a new rectory was completed on the corner of Floradora and Maroa Avenue in 1941. The first rooms of the new grammar school opened in September 1942. The long-standing parish debt was slowly reduced until in 1944, it was completely paid off. Monsignor’s five year plan was completed in 1945 with the addition of the Anderson home at 727 Pine Avenue as a permanent convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Construction of the church was halted momentarily when Monsignor Dowling suffered a heart attack while saying Mass on St. Therese’s feast day, October 3, 1955. During Monsignor’s illness and period of recuperation, the parish was placed under the administration of Father James C. O’Doherty, pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Lemoore. Monsignor Dowling returned in February of 1956, and the cornerstone was placed and blessed on November 1, 1956.

After a group of volunteers cleaned the interior of the new church, parishioners attended Mass for the first time at midnight on Christmas Day. That Christmas, St. Therese parishioners contributed almost $40,000 to help pay the quickly accumulating bills for the new church. The old church building became Sullivan Hall. Two months later, on February 27, 1957, the man who had been the altar boy at the first parish Mass in 1919 became Auxiliary Bishop of Monterey-Fresno Harry A. Clinch in the Shrine of St. Therese.

Posted in North America and United States