FAQs

 

1. Q: Who was St. Therese of Lisieux?

A: Therese, born in 1873 to Louis and Zelie Martin, and the youngest of the Martin family, became the saint of the Little Way, a way that is often totally not recognized by societal standards, yet the way that is essential for the human person to experience time and again to grow in the greatest of wholeness and holiness. Therese experienced what it was like to journey through the joys and sorrows of life, yet she never lost her vision of what was truly important as she made her way through the ordinariness of daily life. Therese died at a young age of 24, yet her message has been written up in over 900 biographies and at least 50 different languages. By all standards of the world, her message should never have been heard. Yet, that is not the way it happened, and to receive the full benefit of her life-giving words, you will do well to read her autobiography, A Story of a Soul and other fine writings about her.

2. Q: Why was the Shrine named after St. Therese of Lisieux?

A: In the Catholic tradition, it is often customary to name shrines after one if those people who have lived a good life and have been recognized by the Catholic Church as having achieved holiness and wholeness (sainthood) in their relationship with their Lord by loving God and their fellow humans. We, in the Catholic faith, believe that those who have loved well during their life on earth, can through the chosen design of God, continue interceding for those of us still on the journey back to Abba. St. Therese of Lisieux was especially appreciated by Bishop Raphael Crimont, S.J., who saw in her a living example of one who could truly love as Christ loved. Her message focused on the love of God rather than the wrath of God, and Bishop Crimont, a man of love himself, came to know this was truth early on in his awareness of St. Therese. St. Therese is known for her Little Way to sainthood; anyone can love in the "little ways" with a kind remark, a smile, a prayer, and the multitude of other simple but very important ways that we all show active love. Using St. Therese and her living example as a fresh sign in the midst of a troubled world, Bishop Crimont placed all of the Alaskan territory under her patronage and intercessory prayers. St. Therese shared that when she was taken to heaven, she would let fall a shower of roses upon this earth; many have experienced the showering from her special loving intercession.

3. Q: Do you need to be Catholic to come to the Shrine of St. Therese? to stay at one of the Shrine facilities?

A: No, you do not need to be Catholic to come to the Shrine of St. Therese or to stay at the Shrine of St. Therese. The mission statement of the Shrine states this about the Shrine: Located in an area of exceptional beauty and solitude, the Shrine will be a place of spiritual refuge and retreat for the Diocese of Juneau, other religious groups, and when possible, for others utilizing it with reverence and care.
Therefore, any person or any couple, family, or families, group, religious or business, who honors the mission of the Shrine and who the Shrine Board truly believes respects and reverences what the Shrine of St. Therese stands for, will be encouraged to come and spend time at the Shrine. This time may be for a short duration or it may entail renting one of the Shrine facilities to stay for the length of the time that one has available. See also Lodge and Cabin Rentals.

4. Q: Does the Shrine have visiting hours for the public? If so, what are
these hours during the year?

A: The visiting hours for the public are from 8:30 am to 10 pm April - September and from 8:30 am to 8 pm October - March.

5. Q: I am arriving by plane or ferry and would like to travel to the Shrine. How can I get there?

A: At present, there is no public bus service to the Shrine so one will need to rent a vehicle, take a taxi, or have a friend or acquaintance provide you passage. 

Road directions to the Shrine

The Shrine is located at approximately Mile 23 Glacier Highway. This means that the Shrine is about 23 miles from downtown Juneau. If you are traveling from Juneau to the Shrine, take the Egan Expressway out of Juneau northwest as far as you can go (Approximately Mile 10, Brotherhood Bridge crossing Mendenhall River). The Expressway then runs into a two lane, called Glacier Highway, which you will continue driving toward the Shrine. You will drive out to the Auke Bay area (this highway can also be called Veterans Memorial Highway), continue on past the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal (at about Mile 14), and stay on this road until approximately Mile 22 ½. You will come across a sign along the highway on the right shoulder that says SHRINE OF ST. THERESE. Turn left shortly after passing this sign onto the gravel Shrine drive. Go slowly on this road, watch for cars and people, and note the wooden information sign posted on the right side of the Shrine drive with the names of the facilities and Shrine sites identified and directional arrows pointing the way.

If you are going to the Little Flower Retreat or the Jubilee Cabin, you will take the first road to the left, across a bridge and circle left, start up the grade, drive past parking lot #2 (sometimes in the winter people park in this parking lot if it is real icy or if one does not have all-wheel drive). If you are going to the Jubilee Cabin you should see a sign with an arrow directing you to the Jubilee Cabin. Take a sharp right at that sign and up the short hill to the Jubilee Cabin and parking lot. If you are going to the Little Flower Retreat, you will not turn at the Jubilee Sign but follow the arrow pointing you to continue up the grade three hundred feet, past the Water Tank Shed, and then down hill six hundred feet to the Little Flower Retreat and parking lot.

If you are going to the Shrine Chapel, Lodge, Post Office Cabin, Gift Shop, Columbarium, Labyrinth, Public Toilets, The Gap, or the Caretakers House, you will follow the wooden information sign with arrows that directs you not to turn to cross the bridge but to go to **Parking Lot #1 where you can park and walk the short foot trail to the lower area. Again, signs will direct you to the various sites and facilities as needed. Hopefully you can spend considerable time at the Shrine enjoying this peace-filled place of refuge and retreat.

**Handicap parking spots can be found near the Caretakers House in the Lower Area.

If you have arrived by air at the Juneau International Airport and will be renting a car, drive the vehicle from the Airport by taking a left onto Yandukin Dr.(if you take a right turn on Yandukin Dr., you will be heading for the city of Juneau about 9 miles away) which runs into Shell Simmons Drive. At the stoplight take a left onto Old Glacier Highway. Continue to Egan Expressway or Glacier Highway and take a left and continue to Auke Bay and beyond (See info above for the rest of the way to the Shrine).

6. Q: I would like to stay at one of the facilities at the Shrine for an individual retreat and also to have my friends stay with me in a facility. What accommodations are available and what would the costs be?

A: Check out the Lodge and Cabin Rentals; if further questions contact:

Shrine of St. Therese
415 Sixth St. , Juneau , Alaska 99801
Phone: (907) 780-6112 — FAX: (907) 463-3237
Email: juneaushrine@gci.net

(Remember: When it is 8 am on the East Coast, it is 4 am in Juneau; when it is 8 am in Minneapolis, it is 5 am in Juneau; when it is 8 am in Seattle, it is 7 am in Juneau; please adjust calling to fit regular 8-5 office hours)

7. Q: I understand that you have a unique stone Shrine Chapel and would like to find out if my future spouse and I can have our wedding there?

A: Weddings are held at times at the Shrine Chapel, but because it is a Catholic oratory and place of worship, there are some specific requirements that need to be met for a couple to be married at the Shrine.

Please contact the Shrine reservations office (see contact info above) to discuss your desires. See also Wedding Planning at the Shrine.

8. Q: You said that some couples can get married at the Shrine if they fit the requirements for a Catholic oratory and place of worship. Does that mean that we have to be Catholic to be married at the Shrine?

A: No, baptized Christians who are active members of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches may also be married at the Shrine Chapel provided they meet basic requirements. Again, if you are interested in possibly holding your wedding at the Shrine, be sure to contact the Director to find out the particulars. See also Wedding Planning at the Shrine.

9. Q: I have been told that you have a beautiful outdoor Shrine Columbarium where one can Purchase the Rights of Interment for the placement of a loved one's cremains (cremated ashes) or for my own when my time comes to die. Does one need to be Catholic to have one's cremains placed in the Columbarium niche? How can I go about finding out more about the possibility of choosing to have the cremains of my loved one who has died or of purchasing the Rights of Interment for a niche for future needs?

A: Catholics and non-Catholics who believe in the Resurrection of the body according to Christian belief, may choose to be interred at the Shrine Columbarium unless there would be some grave reason for not allowing this to happen. There are columbariums (burial or cremain storage niches in a column--side by side) that hold the urns containing the cremains of the deceased. Two columns contain niches or cubes that are for single urns (one person's cremains) and are referred to as single niches; two columns contain niches that hold two urns (if they are of the correct size to both fit) and these are called doubles and are for the cremains of two persons of the same family or husband and wife. To find out more details about being interred at the Shrine Columbarium, contact:

Shrine of St. Therese
415 Sixth St. , Juneau , Alaska 99801
Phone: (907) 780-6112 — FAX: (907) 463-3237
Email: juneaushrine@gci.net
www.shrineofsainttherese.org

See also Shrine Columbarium & Gardens.

10. Q: Do you offer Mass at the Shrine Chapel?

A: Yes, we have been offering Mass at the Shrine during the summer season at 1:30 pm. Mass is offered on Memorial Day and each Sunday following Memorial Day through the first Sunday of September. Mass is offered on other special occasions of celebration during the year.

11. Q: I understand that there has been many improvements in the Shrine surroundings and some new buildings constructed at the Shrine over the past few years. Will I have trouble knowing where to go to a particular facility or to the Shrine Chapel once I visit the Shrine?

A: There has been a lot of changes at the Shrine over the past few years. New signs directing people where the facilities are as well as to the Columbarium and Labyrinth have been erected and one should not experience problems. If in doubt, do check with the Caretakers at the Caretakers House on arrival for direction.

12. Q: According to reports, there is a Merciful Love Prayer Labyrinth at the Shrine in front of the Post Office and LeVasseur Cabins. What is the difference between a maze and a labyrinth?

A: Mazes have false starts and dead ends to confuse those who proceed along its winding path. A labyrinth consists of a single path that leads from the entrance to the center and back out again. Labyrinth walkers do not get lost in the labyrinth; maze walkers find many paths, some with dead ends made to stump and fool the maze journeyer and one can get "lost". See also Merciful Love Prayer Labyrinth.

13. Q: Where does the Shrine of St. Therese get its revenue to operate? How can I donate to the Shrine?

A: The Shrine has no regular congregation as churches do, and therefore it needs to depend on finances from other sources. One of the ways that the Shrine of St. Therese receives revenue is from renting out its facilities (see #5 above) to people partaking in different retreats or gatherings. The sale of the Rights of Purchase of Columbarium niches also helps fund the Shrine. A small annual amount comes from summer Sunday collections and from the Shrine Gift Shop. Another source of revenue is through donations of service, material goods, or monetary gifts from people who make such donations to the Shrine. If you are interested in donating monetarily, you can send it to the Shrine of St. Therese, 415 Sixth St., Ste 300, Juneau, AK 99801. If you have service gifts or material gifts to offer, please contact:

Shrine of St. Therese
415 Sixth St. , Juneau , Alaska 99801
Phone: (907) 780-6112 — FAX: (907) 463-3237
Email: juneaushrine@gci.net
www.shrineofsainttherese.org

14. Q: It appears that all the finances that are received by the Shrine Office are put back into use by renovating, improving, and constructing. Is this so?

A: You are correct in observing this; continuously we are upgrading and making improvements at the Shrine of St. Therese. Any help is most appreciated! See also Donations.