‘A sense of community’ felt at the Shrine of the Little Flower after parishes come together for joy-filled feast


BURILLVILLE — In early June, the Shrine of the Little Flower shared the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi with St. Mary Church on Broadway in Providence. Founded in 1923, the Shrine of the Little Flower is the only shrine in the Ocean State — and the first shrine dedicated to St. Thérèse of Liseux in the entire world.
The day began with Mass in the extraordinary form at the shrine’s outdoor chapel with Father Zachary Akers, of the Fraternity of St. Peter, serving as the celebrant. Following the Mass, the Holy Name Society and the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary led a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the first of two altars set up on the shrine campus.
Sister Grace Coffey, of St. Theresa Convent, said she and the residents of the shrine convent were honored to have the first altar on their front stairs.
Flower bearers scattered rose petals along the processional route ahead of the crucifix and the Blessed Sacrament itself, sheltered under a baldachin. Father Akers and the baldachin bearers mounted the steps of the shrine’s Scala Sancta for the second veneration of the sacrament.
“I’ve never seen this kind of procession before — it was really cool,” said Mike D. who took the bus to the shrine from Cranston for the event. “It’s nice that the shrine is here. This is a great place.”
Following the devotions, the shrine hosted a picnic where families gathered at their own tables with their own food, but the sense of community and coming together of the two parishes was unmistakable. Father McMahon, pastor of Our Lady of Good Help and the Shrine of the Little Flower said, “It was wonderful to celebrate the solemnity of Corpus Christi at the shrine in the form of the Mass that nurtured St. Thérèse’s extraordinary theology.”
Father John Berg, FSSP, pastor of St. Mary Church said, “As a parish, we are so grateful to the shrine for hosting us for the Feast of Corpus Christi. I cannot think of a better setting in Rhode Island for the day. The grounds lend themselves to prayer and adoration. It was the perfect place for the procession in honor of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, especially with the altar at the top of the Holy Steps.”
The Shrine of the Little Flower is located at 35 Dion Drive in Harrisville, Rhode Island, just off Route 102. The shrine, a mission church of Our Lady of Good Help Parish, has much to offer. Holy sites include the outdoor church of St. Thérèse, the Holy Stairs, Stations of the Cross, Rosary Walk and much more. The shrine church offers daily Mass at 8:30 a.m., Monday – Thursday, with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Tuesdays. The outdoor shrine is open every day, from sunrise to sunset. For schedule updates and special events visit burrillvillecatholic.org/shrine-home.