St. Therese Of The Little Child Jesus Catholic Church at 624 W Lennox Street, Midvale, UT 84047-7228 US -
1917- 1925 - St. Joseph Church, Mission of St. Ann's - In 1917 Bishop Joseph S. Glass established St. Ann's Parish with headquarters at the orphanage and declared Murray and Midvale missions to be attended regularly by the pastor of St. Ann's, Father Timothy O'Brien (1868-1919). The CATHOLIC DIRECTORIES of 1917-1925 list the church in Midvale as St. Joseph's. Mass was first offered in the parlor of a private home on Main Street; then in larger quarters at the Woodsmen of America/Oddfellows Hall located above a local tavern. The next location was the second story of Goff Mortuary, then located at Center and Main Streets. Before services, a faithful parishioner had to arrive early to build a fire in the potbelly stove.
1924- 1926 - The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul traveled from their elementary school at 650 South Eleventh East to teach Sunday School in Murray and Midvale each week.
1925- 1934 – St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, Mission of St. Vincent de Paul Parish -
In September 1925 the parish of St. Vincent de Paul was established in Murray with Father (later Msgr.) Patrick A. Maguire (1890-1966) as pastor. In Midvale, a one-acre lot was purchased in 1926 for a church site and the small church built in 1927. It was dedicated September 8, 1928 by Bishop John J. Mitty. Father Maguire served St. Teresa of the Child Jesus as a mission of St. Vincent's from 1925-1934.
1934 – 1942 – Saint Theresa of the Little Flower – No longer a mission, in 1934 Bishop James E. Kearney appointed Father (later Msgr.) Joseph I. Gosselin pastor of St. Teresa's Parish. The name St. Teresa of the Little Flower appeared in the CATHOLIC DIRECTORIES for the years 1935 through 1947. Father Gosselin resided at 65 First Street. He cared also for Sandy and Draper as stations of the parish.
Father James T. Torsney served as administrator from 1939 through 1942. He built the rectory at 112 Allen Street. (Presently this is the site of the parish offices – 7832 Allen Street.) During this time Father Cornelius E. Reardon served as an assistant pastor from 1937-1942.
1942 – 1952- Appointed pastor in 1942 the death of Father John A. Finneral in 1943 led Bishop Duane G. Hunt to reluctantly decide to close Saint Theresa Parish for want of a priest to serve. However, Father Francis J. Sloan (1894-1969) offered to become pastor and remained as such for eight years.
1952 – 1962 – The expansion of the parish property – As the parish grew; a hall was built on property purchased from the city. Pastor from 1952 to 1961 Msgr.Joseph P. Moreton (1899-1970) asked each parishioner to set aside a dime to pay for the facility; the social hall was dedicated in June 1957. From 1953 to 1956 Father Lawrence M. Spellen was assistant pastor. In 1956 there were two assistant pastors – Father Thomas J. Meersman and Father Rudolph A. Daz (Msgr. 2001). Father Walter F. Higgins served as assistant pastor from 1961 to 1962.
1962-1969 – A new house is added - During the pastorate 1962-1969 of Father (later Msgr.) James T. Kenny (1919-2009) the house to the south of the rectory was purchased in 1968 for The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine center. In 1982 this became the site of the Food Pantry and Clothing Pantry. Father Walter Higgins returned to the parish to serve as an assistant pastor from 1964 to 1970.
1969 – 1974 – Moving to a new church – The small church on Allen Street became too cramped for the parishioners. During the pastorate of Father (later Msgr.) Robert C. Pollock in addition to the parish social events Sunday Masses were now celebrated in the social hall. Father Glen M. Shrope, pastor from 1972 to 1982, saw to the construction and opening of the new church of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus in 1974.
1974 – 2008 – From new church to new parish – The succession of pastors and parochial vicars, the addition of the house on Lennox Street which first housed the Sisters of the Holy Cross and now the parochial vicars, are a testament to the development of the parish as a center of welcome to all people. Already mentioned is the Food Pantry and Clothing Pantry which have served the needy for over 25 years. In 1999 construction began on Religious Education center which presently serves the needs of our English speaking and Spanish speaking families not only for classes for the children but as meeting space for the many and varied ministries of the parish.
The Pastors and Parochial Vicars assisted by Deacon Stan Stott and Bea McBride, director of Religious Education, guided the parish from serving working class families who immigrated from Europe: Croatia, Slovenia, Ireland, Italy and the like to serving families that immigrated from Latin America: Mexico, Columbia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and the like. The pastors were: Father William M. Mobley 1982-1984, Father James Semple 1984-1989, Father (Msgr. 2009) Matthew O. Wixted 1989-1996, Father Stanislaw Herba 1996-2003, and Father Franisco Pires 2003-2006. The parochial vicars were: Father Hernando Diaz, Father Javier Virgen, and Father Samuel Dinsdale.
2008 – Present – Rebuilding and Renovating – January 4, 2008 saw the destruction of the parish church from smoke damage caused by an Advent – Christmas candle left burning the night before at the end of the evening Mass. The parish bounced back immediately as plans were made to celebrate Masses that weekend in the social hall as had been done so many years previously. In February Bishop John Wester decided to expand the church building rather than rebuild the church as it had been. The Mass of Dedication of the new church is scheduled for September 27, 2009.
Along with the rebuilding of the church the parish is restoring the little church into a daily Mass chapel which too will be useful for small weddings and Quinceañera Masses. The kitchen in the social hall long in need of renovation is scheduled for a complete makeover. The present administrator of the parish is Father Martin Diaz appointed in 2006. Deacon Mel Sanchez came to serve primarily the Spanish speaking in the parish in 2008. The parochial vicars were Father Hernan Juarez 2006-2008 and Father Jose Fidel Barrera 2008-2009. The present parochial vicar is Father Denis Reilly, OP appointed in 2009.