Although originally intended to be a log church, the Chapel, constructed of Shrine-site beach stone, was built in the late 1930’s. Fr. William LeVasseur, a Jesuit priest from New Brunswick, Canada had the idea and vision to create a retreat center in Alaska. Bishop Joseph Raphael Crimont, S.J., the first bishop of Alaska, gave his consent and blessing to the establishment of the Shrine of St. Therese. The inaugural Mass was celebrated in the Chapel on the Feast of Christ the King, October 26, 1941. As a lasting memorial, following his death in 1945, Bishop Crimont was buried in a crypt under the Chapel altar area. In May of 1988, after nearly 50 years without a bell, one was installed in the tower and named “Raphael”, (Bishop Crimont’s middle name), which means “God Heals”.
The Shrine of St. Therese is owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Juneau. It is our pleasure and joy to share this holy place of spiritual worship with individuals, couples, and groups who maintain the spirit of the Shrine.
The Chapel is open daily, and people are invited to enter this holy place and experience the peaceful presence of God. The Chapel is also available for weddings, funerals/memorials, retreats, and worship services.
Shrine Chapel Weddings
The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been formed and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament. Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1660
The Sacrament of Marriage is a sacred, joyous event where a man and a woman establish a lifelong covenant with each other before God and the community. Only Catholic weddings are conducted at the Shrine and the expectation is that either the bride or groom (or both) is a baptized, active Catholic. No wedding may be celebrated at the Shrine if one or both of the persons being married was previously married to another person who is still alive, unless that previous marriage has first been declared null or dissolved in accordance with the procedures of the Catholic Church.
Outdoor weddings are not allowed on the Shrine grounds. Church teaching states that marriage should only be celebrated within the church building. The Shrine Chapel is not a parish church, therefore all weddings celebrated at the Shrine are officially registered at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Juneau.
Before submitting a wedding reservation request for the Shrine Chapel, please contact Joe Sehnert, Executive Director of the Shrine at 907-586-2227 ext 24.
Marriage preparation is typically a 6 month process.
Shrine Chapel Rental Guidelines
- Special arrangements can be made for a rehearsal and/or decorating prior to the ceremony.
- Because of liability, very cramped space for maneuvering automobiles, electrical pedestal lights and the continued physical erosion damage, vehicles are not allowed to be driven across the causeway. This includes transporting flowers, photographers equipment, brides, etc. A rubber tire pull cart is available for use. A wheelchair is available at the end of the Lodge for those in need.
- A changing room is available and is kept locked until ready for use. The controls for lighting are also in this room and should only be adjusted by Shrine staff.
- The Altar is not to be moved.
- Birdseed, rice and confetti are not allowed to be thrown
- Candles: Two white iron candlelabras are available from the Shrine on request. You will need to provide your own dripless candles. Each candlelabrum hold nine 1 inch in diameter candles.
- Wedding Photo: The Shrine of St. Therese would appreciate receiving a donated photo for the Shrine Wedding Album. Please send a photo to: Shrine of St. Therese, 415 6th St, Ste 300, Juneau, Alaska 99801
- Parking: There is a parking lot above the Caretakers House. Vehicles may drive to the lower area only to unload and return to parking lot.
Rates: Wedding rental fees are $250