History of the Society of the Little Flower

Just six years after the cause for sainthood of Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was introduced in Rome, the Carmelites in Chicago conducted the first Little Flower Novena service at St. Cyril Church. This was in 1912.

Perhaps the greatest apostle of St. Therese in the new world was Fr. Albert Dolan, O. Carm.  A gifted preacher and prolific writer, he introduced the Little Flower to millions. To ensure that his work would continue, he founded the Society of the Little Flower in 1923.

One hundred years later it has become the largest organization in the world promoting devotion to St. Therese and teaching her “little way of spiritual childhood.”  The message of St. Therese’s life is timeless. She is a powerful messenger of God’s love to the modern world.

The principal charitable work of the Society is aiding Carmelite seminarians. Hundreds of young men are priests and religious because of the generosity of the friends of the Society. These Carmelite brothers of the Little Flower are touching many hearts and lives with Christ’s love.  From college campuses to military chapels, and from high school teaching to psychotherapy, Carmelite friars live out their commitment in a wide variety of services.

The Society’s Canadian office is located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, at the Mount Carmel Monastery campus by the falls.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long has the Society been in existence?

The Society of the Little Flower was founded in 1923 by Fr. Albert Dolan, O. Carm. Fr. Albert was a gifted preacher and prolific writer, and has been credited with introducing St. Therese to millions of people. From its humble beginning, the Society has grown to a membership of almost 300,000 devoted supporters.

How are my donations to Society of the Little Flower used?

Donations to the Society go directly to support the Carmelites of the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Through your donations, the work of the Carmelites can continue in many areas, these include:

The formation and education of future Priests and Brothers through our seminaries.

This is both an expensive and essential requirement for those that are called to serve the Catholic Church of the future. The Carmelites currently have seminarians in Washington, D.C.; Torreon, Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Lima, Peru. Special emphasis is being placed in attracting quality candidates with minority backgrounds, so that the diversity of the Catholic Church population may be better served.

Serving the poor in parishes and ministries that are not self-supporting.

Many times in our economy, money only flows into those areas where the “Return On Investment” can be measured on a short-term basis. As a result, those people that need to know of God’s Love the most are often ignored. Through ministries of the Carmelites, these often neglected Children of God receive important life-lines, and become self-initiating and self-sustaining.

Providing retreat houses for spiritual ministry to people hungering for God and meaning in their life.

Spiritual retreat houses are not self-sustaining. However, without this important ministry, many lives could not be changed, and the spiritual lives of the participants would not be sustained either. The Carmelites believe that everyone should be able to develop their spiritual growth to their fullest potential, and they continually strive to do this in the most economical way possible.

Caring for the elderly within the Carmelite Community.

When a man becomes a Carmelite Priest or a Brother, he takes the evangelical vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. There are no pension plans. They live their life serving the people of God. They don’t complain, and they don’t regret it. But, when they can no longer minister to God’s people, they also do not have a bank account to rely upon, for paying life’s continuing expenses. These senior Carmelites are treated with dignity and respect, and their continued care is made possible through your donations.

The needs are endless, but so is the wonderful generosity of the friends of St. Therese and the Society of the Little Flower. St. Therese wanted to go to the ends of the world to make God’s love known. Through your generous offerings and sacrificial donations, the Carmelites are able to fulfill her missionary dream and preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Is the Society a tax-exempt organization?

The Monastery of Mount Carmel (the Carmelites) a tax-exempt registered charity in the Province of Ontario operates the Society of the Little Flower.

Where is the Society located?

The Society of the Little Flower has offices in the Canada and the United States.

In Canada, our address is:

Society of the Little Flower
7020 Stanley Avenue
Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 7B7

If you would like to visit us, we are located on the Mt. Carmel Monastery campus. From the QEW, follow the signs for 420 to Stanley Ave, and turn left. Once on Stanley, drive through several sets of lights, past the Sheraton, Loretto Christian life center, and Our Lady of Peace Shrine (which is located next to the Mt. Carmel Monastery). The Mt. Carmel Monastery is situated at the edge of the Promontory, overlooking the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, and is a 5 minute walk from the Falls.

In the United States, our address is:

Society of the Little Flower
1313 N. Frontage Road
Darien, Illinois 60561-5340

If you would like to visit the Society’s office, we are located adjacent to the Stevenson Expressway (I-55), in the western suburbs of Chicago. From the Stevenson Expressway exit at Cass Avenue -North (exit #274) then turn left at the 1st stoplight (Frontage Road). The Society’s office will be the 2nd building on the left, with the visitors parking area located right next to the building.

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How can I reach the Society?

United States


1313 N. Frontage Road 7020 Stanley Avenue
Darien, Illinois 60561 Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7B7
800-621-2806 (within the US) 800-922-7622 (within Canada)
1-630-968-9400 (outside the US) 1-905-356-5029 (outside Canada)
littleflower.org ca.littleflower.org
webmaster@littleflower.org caweb@littleflower.org


I have changed my address. How should I update my records with the Society?

You may do one of two things to keep current in our database:

1) email caweb@littleflower.org, or
2) let us know using our Contact form

Whichever you choose, clearly indicate your old and new address.

How do I remove myself from SLF mailing lists and e-mail lists?

In this case, the person submitting the request should e-mail their full name and address in their e-mail correspondence to caweb@littleflower.org so the Society can correctly update its database information.  Addresses are typically removed within 24 hours and email should stop almost immediately.  Postal mail can take 8 -12 weeks to cease as selected mailings are done months in advance.

Can I use the photos or written information from the SLF website?

We frequently get requests for permission to reuse the photos and images we have of St. Therese on our website.  These images are used by the Society with the permission of the Carmel of Lisieux, St. Therese’s monastery in France, who hold the copyright on all images.  Permission for reuse must come from the sisters at Carmel.  All written information on our site is copyrighted.

Explore the Mount Carmel Monastery

Mount Carmel Monastery – Spiritual Centre

Mount Carmel Monastery offers hospitality and the use of our conference facilities to many groups so that they may pursue their own spiritual and educational programs.

Monastery Gift Shop

Located adjacent to the beautiful chapel, the Monastery Store captures the original charm of the building.

Shrine of St. Therese

The Canadian Shrine of St. Therese is located within the Monastery Chapel.