By Silvia Aldredge, Special to Rhode Island Catholic
NASONVILLE — St. Thérèse Church and Shrine of the Little Flower, a mission of Our Lady of Good Help Parish, celebrated the birthday of Thérèse of Lisieux on January 2 with Holy Mass, a community meal, a talk on the Eucharist and Christmas carols.
Parishioners and friends of the shrine gathered for Mass in the morning. Father Jose Parathanal C.M.I., pastor of Our Lady of Good Help, the Shrine and nearby St. Patrick Church, celebrated. Following the Mass, the Shrine’s relic of St. Thérèse was venerated and the litany of St. Thérèse was chanted, led by Father Parathanal.
After Mass, attendees enjoyed a festive breakfast, and celebrated another very special birthday. Millie LaFay, a lifetime member of St. Thérèse Church, turned 95 on this day. LaFay received a special blessing from Father Parathanal and a bouquet of roses. Among her many contributions to the parish and shrine are a statue and garden in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, annual donations of beautiful handmade knitwear to the Christmas Bazaar, and many years of her prayers and smiling presence at daily Mass.
Following the breakfast, Sister Grace Coffey, longtime resident of the Shrine Convent, presented a talk entitled “The Eucharistic Miracle of Christmas with St. Thérèse and St. Faustina,” connecting the philosophies of these two great saints with Christmas and the Eucharist. The morning ended with caroling in the church. Parishioners sang some favorite carols along with hymns dedicated to St. Thérèse.
Beverly M., longtime member of the Shrine parish said, “I think it’s a wonderful way to start the year with this celebration for St. Thérèse, we’ve been coming to this for many years.”
The Shrine of the Little Flower is located at 35 Dion Drive in the Nasonville section of Burrillville, 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 an outdoor chapel of St. Thérèse, Holy Stairs, Stations of the Cross, and more. The Shrine is open 356 days a year from sunrise to sunset. To plan your visit see the Shrine’s website at burrillvillecatholic.org/shrine-home.
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