About Our Parish
Saint Theresa was born Theresa Martin to Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin on January 2, 1873. At the age of 15, she entered the Carmelite convent at Lisieux, France. With the religious name of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus and Holy Face, she lived a hidden life of prayer. She was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and darkness, she remained faithful, rooted in God's powerful love. She died on Sepbember 30, 1897, at the age of 24.The world came to know her through her autobiography. "The Story of a Soul." She described her life as "a little way of spiritual childhood" She lived each day with unshakable confidence in God's love. What matters in life is "not good deeds, but great love."
The inspiration of her life and her powerful presence from heaven touched so many people so quickly that she was solemny canonized on May 7, 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Had she lived she would have only been 52 years old at the time of her canonization."My mission - to make god loved = will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses." Countless lives have been touched by her intercession, and millions have imitated her "little way." She has been acclaimed the "greatest saint of modern times." Everywhere in the world, her roses continue to fall.
The first church of St. Theresa's parish was blessed on April 22, 1928. A new church was built and blessed on June 3, 1958. The Catholic community in Kihei numbered about 75 families .
In the Beginning:
The growth was steady and a new church was again needed. The present church was dedicated on April 27, 1985. This church has a capacity for over 600. This semi-rotund house of worship is designed in contemporary style. It has a bell tower and besides the church proper, there are other rooms, all under one roof. The other rooms are the sacristy, chapel, reconciliation room and book store. There is a hospitality room for receptions and other functions. At the entrance to the church is a painting on the tile wall of the patroness of the church, St. Theresa, known as the "Little Flower of Jesus".
The Growing Years:
The interior of the church is semi-circular to create the idea of community and allow the congregation to be closer to one another and to the altar. The floor is slanted theatre style to allow maximum visibility. Natural light, ventilation and natural materials (wood, tile, stone) were used to create a unique setting. Besides planters and skylights, the stained glass windows along the sides depict profiles of the Hawaiian Islands and the windows on either side of the sanctuary depict the glory of God the Father and the Holy Spirit, as a white dove. The motif of the Trinity is completed by Jesus on the cross that dominates the sanctuary.The Corpus (body) was carved by Sam Kaai, an Hawaiian sculptor and activist. Christ's head is tilted upward as though our Lord were in conversation with the Father. His features are Polynesian. The inscription on the crucifix is written in Hawaiian and means "Jesus of Nazareth - King of the Jews". The massive Ohia log for the crucifix was brought over from the Big Island. The furnishings in the sanctuary are made of Koa wood.
There are two statues at either extremity of the church, one of St. Mary and one of St. Joseph. These also have Polynesian Features and were carved by Louis Benanto, Jr.In keeping with the liturgical reform the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a tabernacle in a separate chapel at the right of the church. The chapel is open for prayer all day long. The holy water fonts are appropriately giant clam shells. The simple Stations of the cross have tiles noting the number of the Station. The crosses are made from 14 different kinds of wood.