LITTLE FLOWER CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY
Three priests of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, expelled from Mexico during the Carranza persecutions, came to the Catholic Diocese of Oklahoma in 1914 and were given charge of parishes in the vicinity of Hartshorne. To extend their activities among the Mexicans residing in different parts of the state they were authorized by Bishop Theophile Meerschaert in 1921 to establish a church and a residence in the section of Oklahoma City south of the North Canadian River, where Mexicans were living in large numbers. The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Thérèse was built in the 1100 block of South Walker Avenue in 1926. It was the seventh Catholic parish in Oklahoma City.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun who died in 1897, was canonized in 1925; she was popularly known as the Little Flower of Jesus. As one of the altars in the Oklahoma City church had been dedicated in her honor, in 1932 the church was designated the Shrine of the Little Flower. From 1936 to 1984 the monastery attached to Our Lady of Mount Carmel was the headquarters of the Discalced Carmelite Province of St. Thérèse.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Archives of the Carmelite Province of St. Thérèse, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Urban De Hasque, Catholic Churches That Were (Perry, Okla.: St. Rose of Lima Parish, Vol. 6, No. 11, February 1938).
James D. White
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