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 fitting 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.
The edifice of the Shrine of St. Therese is a beautiful, prayerful sacred space set
aside for the worship of God. The building is a Romanesque-mission style structure of reinforced steel and concrete with a mission tile roof. The architect was Vincent Buckley of San Francisco, and the construction was carried out by the company of Long and Needham. An interior designer from Los Angeles, Richard W. Jung employed an artist from New York to plan the church interior. The structure has a seating capacity of 700 and additional seating for 200 persons is obtained by combining the areas of the two side chapels and the gallery situated over the main doors of the shrine.