The mission of our Rosebush Society is to provide education and formation for future Priests and Brothers through the Carmelite seminaries and to support the work of the Missions. Ste. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who is known as The Little Flower, as well as Patron Saint of the Missions, is the spiritual inspiration and patroness of the Society. The Society began with the simple idea of interested people donating just 25¢ a month – and this basic concept is still the heart of fundraising. In the past 90 years, since the original founding, the society in the United States has sent over $10,000,000 dollars to missions of foreign lands, established over 4,000 scholarships, and contributed to the seminary education of over 3,000 priests. Among these are 6 bishops and 2 archbishops ordained! Learn about the particulars of our Society at St. John the Baptist at the bottom of this page.
Who Is Ste. Thérèse?
Born to a loving family in 1873 (which does happen to be the year of our parish founding) Thérèse Martin was a Carmelite nun in Lisieux, France for only nine years. She never went to the missions or seemed to do anything extraordinary, dying at the age of 24 – yet, she is the Patron of Missions, a Doctor of the Church, and a most beloved Saint. Her autobiography “The Story of a Soul” shows her childlike and profound love for Jesus, her humble recognition of her simplicity and littleness, her devotion to love God through all things (known as her “Little Way”) and her desire to share God’s love with others. Her passion for the Missionary work of the Church and her support of priests through prayers and letters is the inspiration behind the Mission Rosebushes. (To read or listen to The Story of Soul for free, please click HERE.)
What is the Significance of a Rosebush?
As she was dying in the convent infirmary of tuberculosis, Thérèse could look out of the window and see the rosebushes blossoming. She loved roses. She had thrown rose petals as a child before the Blessed Sacrament. As she reflected on her quiet, hidden, and gentle life ending, she faithfully believed that God had great things in store for her. She believed that her mission was only beginning as she entered the fullness of life with God. She explained: "After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved...". (Except taken from the website www.littleflower.org)
Who Founded the Missionary Rosebushes?
It was a lay woman of Manchester NH, Irene Farley, who began The Missionary Rosebushes of Sainte Thérèse in 1922, one year before the founding of The Society of the Little Flower. She had wanted to be a nun herself and serve in the missionary lands, but had been too weakened by tuberculosis to do so. Attributing a recovery from near-death to the intervention of Ste. Thérèse, Irene’s devotion to the Little Flower grew along with her desire to, like the Saint, share God’s love by helping priests in missions. She wrote, “If I cannot go to the missions myself, I can work to send others.” Simply starting by asking family and friends to contribute 25¢ a month, the quarters soon became dollars and, beginning with her home parish of St. Anthony of Padua in Manchester, the Missionary Rosebushes spread, from New Hampshire to as far away as Canada and California. Since 1972, the Sisters, Adorers of the Precious Blood, headquartered in Manchester, have dispersed the funds raised by the Mission Rosebushes where they are most needed.
About Our Parish's Mission Rosebush Society:
Our 5th Pastor (1907–1930) Rev. Noel Plante gave his permission and support in May 1925 for the Missionary Rosebush of Sainte Thérèse in St. Jean-Baptiste Parish, here in Suncook. The Society continues to be active in our parish after 90 years! Membership is now at approximately 85 members. This total includes members currently in nursing homes, as well as our lifetime members. New memberships are very much needed to continue the good work and provide ongoing scholarship assistance to our future missionary Priests. The annual membership dues remain at just $8 per person, per year (dues waived for those in nursing homes). Members of the Rosebush Society experience a special closeness through devotion to Ste. Thérèse and commitment to the Missions in sharing the love of God.
The Society meets three times a year, at 7 PM, on the 4th Thursday of April, September, and December, in the Upper Hall of the Parish Center. Come, stop by! For more information, we encourage you to contact Melaine Boisvert, current president, at 485-7554.
Some members of the Society, 2015