Chapel of St. Theresa–the Little Flower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Chapel of St. Theresa–the Little Flower
Chapel of St Theresa St Patrick Church - Detroit Michigan.jpg
Location58 Parsons Street
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates42°20′54″N 83°3′36″W / 42.34833°N 83.06000°W / 42.34833; -83.06000Coordinates: 42°20′54″N 83°3′36″W / 42.34833°N 83.06000°W / 42.34833; -83.06000
ArchitectDonaldson and Meier
Architectural styleLate 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian, Romanesque Revival
MPSCass Farm MPS
NRHP reference #97001099[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 22, 1997

The Chapel of St. Theresa–the Little Flower is a church located at 58 Parsons Street in Midtown Detroit, Michigan. It is currently known as St. Patrick Church. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.[1]


St. Patrick Parish began in 1862 in response to the influx of Irish Catholics into Detroit. The parish built a chapel on Adelaide near John R. Street, which was eventually expanded into a church. St. Patrick's became one of Detroit's largest and wealthiest parishes, although the church was never one of Detroit's largest or most impressive. In 1890, the church was named the cathedral of the diocese and was renamed in honor of Sts. Peter and Paul as the prior cathedral church on East Jefferson had been. Bishop Caspar Borgess gave the old Sts. Peter and Paul to the Jesuits in 1877 after he moved to the new cathedral. In 1892, to serve the children of the community, the Sts. Peter and Paul Academy was built on Parsons west of Woodward, which was some distance away from the main church.[2]

By the 1920s the streets in the area had become so busy that the trek from church to school was considered unsafe for children going to school Masses. As a remedy, the parish constructed the Chapel of St. Theresa, the Little Flower in 1927,[2] naming the chapel after Thérèse de Lisieux.[3] In 1938, the cathedral function was transferred to Blessed Sacrament parish and St. Patrick's reverted to its original name. As the years passed, the area around the original St. Patrick church steadily declined, and more activities were held in the chapel and school. All activities were moved to Parsons Street in the 1980s and the old church was given to a community group. Essentially abandoned for a number of years, it was then vandalized and eventually burned in 1992.[2]

Due to declining membership, Archbishop Allen Vigneron announced May 8, 2015, that the parish would dissolve May 25.[4] The archdiocese said it will retain the structure in the hope that the parish can be reactivated at a future date due to revitalization of the area.[5]


The chapel is in the Romanesque Revival style with a basilica floorplan. It is constructed of red brick with limestone accents and a red tile roof. The entrance is recessed in twin arches framed by square bays. The bays are each topped by a limestone portico consisting of a barrel vault supported by four Corinthian columns. The gabled roofs of the porticoes are covered with red tile matching the other portions of the roof. Above the entry doors on the clerestory level are small arched windows and above the clerestory is a small rose window. Above the porticos are two small campanario each holding a bell.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Chapel of St. Theresa, the Little Flower from the city of Detroit Archived September 26, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "Chapel of Saint Theresa–the Little Flower/St. Patrick's Church". 16 March 2009. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  4. ^ "St. Patrick Parish in Detroit to be dissolved". The Michigan Catholic. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  5. ^ Montemurri, Patricia (22 May 2015). "Detroit St. Patrick Catholic Church holds last mass Sunday". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2015-05-23.

Further reading[edit]

  • Godzak, Roman (2000). Archdiocese of Detroit (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-0797-2.
  • Godzak, Roman (2004). Catholic Churches of Detroit (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738532355.
  • Godzak, Roman (2000). Make Straight the Path: A 300 Year Pilgrimage Archdiocese of Detroit. Editions du Signe. ISBN 2746801450.
  • Tentler, Leslie Woodcock with foreword by Edmund Cardinal Szoka (1992). Seasons of Grace: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0814321062.
  • Tutag, Nola Huse with Lucy Hamilton (1988). Discovering Stained Glass in Detroit. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1875-4.

External links[edit]