The Shrine Of The Little Flower

History of Our Parish


  The first Mass celebrated at the Shrine of the Little Flower was on Sunday, October 24, 1926.  This first Mass was in a simple wooden chapel at the corner of  Belair Road and Brendan Avenue.  The parish's Golden Jubilee book in 1976 describes the modest structure this way: " It's one center isle was flanked by rows of attached chairs - six to a side.  Plain glass globes ensconced ceiling fixtures that supplemented the natural light streaming in through the rows of plain glass windows lining the side walls.  Between the paired windows were simply framed pictures of the Stations of the Cross.

  Father Thomas Jenkins Wheeler, Little Flower's founding pastor, had been ordained to the priesthood in 1913 by his Eminence, James Cardinal Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore.  Fr. Wheeler came to Little Flower after completing his first pastorate assignment at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Thurmont.

  Archbishop Michael J. Curley appointed Fr. Wheeler as Little Flower's pastor in 1926.  It was Archbishop Curley who preferred to name the new parish in honor of St. Brendan.  It was Fr. Wheeler's request that the newly canonized St. Therese of Lisieux be so honored instead.  Brendan Avenue was named in honor of St. Brendan.

  On April 9,1942, four years after celebrating his Silver Jubilee, Fr Wheeler was stricken with a heart attack and died.

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