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Formation of St. Theresa

  With the dedication of a new rectory on September 19, 1954,  years ago, St Theresa Mission became St. Theresa Church. Even though the parish has celebrated its 50th anniversary, its history actually goes back to the year 1947. In September of that year the founding members of the parish met with then Bishop Fletcher to discuss the possibility of establishing a Catholic Mission church in the Geyer Springs area of Little Rock. In October 1950 ground was broken for the new Church which was dedicated in April of 1951. The naming of the mission as St. Theresa is an interesting aspect of its history. Father Burke, mission chaplain during its early years and also its first pastor, tells of how while he was saying Mass for the Carmelite Sisters, he mentioned to the Mother Superior that the name of the new mission would probably be St. Henry since a large donation was made by a man named Henry. Mother simply said the only acceptable name would be St. Theresa. End of story! The big day of course was Sunday, September 19, 1954 when Bishop Fletcher dedicated the new rectory and renamed the mission St. Theresa Church with Father William Burke as its first pastor.

    By the mid 60's the parish was thriving. Under the leadership of Father Rudolph Maus, its third pastor, the parish continued to work together to meet it's ever demanding needs. Mass was moved to the Parish Hall to house the growing congregation. A convent was built to house the Benedictine Sisters who came to staff the school in 1959. He pulled the people together to continue to work for the common good of this ever growing parish. This beloved pastor who spent 15 years at St. Theresa from 1960 to 1975 was responsible for the building of the present church building. Dedicated in 1973, its original cost of $500,000 was completely paid off before he was transferred in 1975.

    The parish grew in the 1980's to about 600 families. During these years, the school was expanded to accommodate the ever increasing enrollment. Father Leo Riedmueller and Father Tom Keller followed in Father Maus' footsteps to meet the demands of this Southwest Little Rock community . In the 90's, the school addition was completed to its present footprint. 

      The Church was remodeled and rededicated in 1996. The parish grew to about 750 families with 2000 members. In 2001, we completed the Parish Center. It has been a blessing to its members. In the past 20 years, St Theresa has become a true multi-cultural and multi-racial parish. We now have 4 Masses in Spanish and 2 in English every weekend. 

    Father Mark Wood served as pastor from 2010-2022, facilitating the growth of many associate pastors, which have included Father Tony Robbins, Father Mario Jacobo, Father Mauricio Carrasco, Father Stephen Hart, and Father Nelson Rubio Villalobos. Under the pastoral care of Father Mark Wood, the parish community journeyed through the COVID pandemic. In June of 2022, Deacon Juan Mares was ordained to the permanent diaconate for the service to our parish. From 2018-2022, additional projects included installation of a sign on Baseline Road, the repainting of the interior of the Parish Center, renovation of flooring and pews in the church, the renovation of the storage building into St. Joseph Hall, the renovation of Little Flower Hall, and an outdoor space dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

     The history of St. Theresa Church is a rich one, and we endeavor to hold fast to our faith in the Lord as we do our best to evangelize in our area of Little Rock.   
19 de septiembre de 1954: con la dedicación de una nueva rectoría en ese día hace 53 años, la Misión de Santa Teresa se convirtió en la Iglesia de Santa Teresa. La parroquia celebró su 50 aniversario en 2004 con una maravillosa cena / baile el viernes 17 de septiembre y una misa de aniversario el domingo 19 de septiembre con el obispo Sartain como celebrante principal. Aunque la parroquia ha celebrado su 50 aniversario, su historia se remonta al año 1947. En septiembre de ese año, los miembros fundadores de la parroquia se reunieron con el obispo Fletcher para discutir la posibilidad de establecer una iglesia de la Misión Católica en el área de Geyer Springs. de Little Rock Después de un par de reuniones, el obispo aceptó el terreno donado por el Sr. y la Sra. Paul DeLeuil. Pronto, los miembros fundadores estaban ocupados recaudando fondos para construir su primera Iglesia en la recién diseñada Misión de San Andrés. Los miembros fundadores trabajaron muy duro durante varios años para recaudar los fondos necesarios para construir la Iglesia. En octubre de 1950 se abrió el camino para la nueva Iglesia que se dedicó en abril de 1951. Continuaron las campañas de recaudación de fondos porque la Iglesia de la Misión también necesitaba una rectoría, un salón parroquial y una escuela. En ese momento, los niños todavía asistían a la escuela de San Andrés. El nombramiento de la misión como Santa Teresa es un aspecto interesante de su historia. El padre Burke, capellán de la misión durante sus primeros años y también su primer pastor, cuenta cómo, mientras decía Misa por las Hermanas Carmelitas, le mencionó a la Madre Superiora que el nombre de la nueva misión probablemente sería San Enrique desde hace mucho tiempo. La donación fue hecha por un hombre llamado Henry. Madre simplemente dijo que el único nombre aceptable sería Santa Teresa. ¡Fin de la historia! El gran día, por supuesto, fue el domingo 19 de septiembre de 1954 cuando el obispo Fletcher dedicó la nueva rectoría y renombró la misión Iglesia de Santa Teresa con el padre William Burke como su primer pastor.