Chapel of St. Theresa-the Little Flower

Chapel of St. Theresa-the Little Flower
Chapel of St. Theresa - the Little Flower (St. Patrick Church)
St. Patrick Church

58 Parsons Street

Detroit, Michigan 48201  United States
Coordinates: 42°20′54″N 83°3′36″W / 42.34833°N 83.06°W / 42.34833; -83.06Coordinates: 42°20′54″N 83°3′36″W / 42.34833°N 83.06°W / 42.34833; -83.06
Built: 1926
Architect: Donaldson and Meier
Architectural style: Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian, Romanesque
Governing body: Private
MPS: Cass Farm MPS
NRHP Reference#: 97001099[1]
Added to NRHP: September 22, 1997

The Chapel of St. Theresa-the Little Flower is a church located at 58 Parsons Street in 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.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2] 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]


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 campanarios each holding a bell.[3]

See also

  • Archdiocese of Detroit


Further reading

  • Godzak, Roman (2000). Archdiocese of Detroit (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738507972. 
  • 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 forward 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. 

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