The Little Way
Dear Friend of the Little Flower,
For over twenty years, I have been the Director of the Society of the Little Flower. At age 71, St. Therese still overwhelms and inspires me every day with her boundless enthusiasm and trust in God. She is the bright light of my daily life, and I know this is true for you, too.
As I enter the twilight of my career here, I would like to do something very special for St. Therese. I want to carry on her inspiring legacy for future generations. And I am looking for support from my most loyal and faithful friends.
The National Shrine of St. Therese, here on our campus in Darien, Illinois, is a unique facility that is both holy and educational. It houses the largest collection of St. Therese's relics and memorabilia in North America, and serves as both a holy place for spiritual devotion and renewal, and a museum for public display. Within the Shrine is a re-creation of St. Therese's monastic cell, which includes the floor tiles she walked on, the entry door to her room, and the window she looked out of. These sacred antiques were donated by the Carmelite Nuns of Lisieux, France.
The Shrine was built in 1983, and it is too small to accommodate the ever-increasing crowds. Faithful from all over the world visit the Shrine every year, and the basic building facilities need renovation and expansion. We want to construct a new Chapel and to provide a renovated museum area and educational place for the St. Therese faithful.
We also want to renovate the adjacent Carmelite Spiritual Center which provides retreat space for hundreds of people every year. Our most popular scheduled retreat is the Kairos retreat for students who attend our local high schools. The Center also provides retreat space for spiritual groups seeking quiet reflection, prayer, and retreat throughout the year.
We are very grateful to be such a popular destination for the faithful! We want to grow our capabilities to reach and touch many more. If you have not visited this place, it is so very uplifting to see the faces of those who make the pilgrimage to the Shrine and campus for private prayer and communion with the Little Flower.St. Therese indeed continues to inspire!
Please help us prepare for the future. Phase 1 will entail a groundbreaking, reorganization of space, and construction of a new Chapel building. This project requires an investment of approximately $1 million dollars. We are confident that our most generous friends will help us to realize this important goal.
I ask you to pray for us, to realize this important project, and consider how you might best help us to make it happen. Consider the young who are brimming with faith and are inspired by St. Therese as we are. Together – in her name – we can make this happen. May your heart lead you in your important decision. We offer a variety of opportunities that meet the giving needs of our friends.
We have chosen this for our inspirational Mission Statement:
I believe that our dear friend and mentor, Therese, is prompting us to prepare: prepare for the future, filled with increased faith and devotion to our Father in Heaven, and His unconditional love for us. I appreciate the time you have taken to read about our exciting plans and goals. I hope to hear from you soon.
Your Friend in St. Therese,
Fr. Bob Colaresi, O. Carm.