The Little Flower Crèche
“A Community Christmas Story”
A small Catholic community tucked away in the Blue Hills Neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri has long been a beacon of light for the poor, the disenfranchised and those seeking to worship their God in spirit and truth. This parish family seems to have this “specialness” that sometimes is hard to describe, hard to quantify. But special it is! So it is no small wonder that from this community sprang a Nativity Crèche that embodies the prayerful spirit of all who call St. Therese Little Flower Parish, home.
In December 1992, a time of preparation to celebrate the birth of Christ, this little community was rocked with the disappearance of a beautiful young woman, Resa Luther. Resa was the daughter of Elvera Hysten, sister of Shazada Ivy, and aunt to Cerise Woods, all St. Therese members. The heart of the community poured out in their search for Resa who went missing a few days before Christmas. Although the outcome was the loss of another beautiful soul, the spirit of St. Therese surrounded the family with as much love and compassion as any human being could consume.
Next, was Fred Brown in choir robe with African print sash, the only figure modeled from a living member of the community. It was time to show life and devotion in the Crèche and not just the memories of those who were gone on to glory. In Fred, we see the spirit of St. Therese, the faithfulness, the prayerfulness, the diversity that lives and walks among us.
Tom Bartimus, wearing his green John Deere cap carrying a basket of groceries, was one of the staunch anchors of the Food Pantry. He was here creating that legacy that continues of volunteers in service to those in need. With wife, Virginia, they were true servants in the community, in the pantry, the kitchen, the church, God’s people, serving God’s people.
There’s Marie Meyer, kneeling, wearing her apron, a symbol of how she served St. Therese, through prayer, service to others and faithfulness always. With her husband Ed, they were part of the legacy on whose shoulders we stand.
The little children, bearing gifts were symbols of St. Therese School, the commitment to education and our mission to help form young minds and hearts for our children and youth.
The remaining figures, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, our Patron Saint and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Preacher, Civil Rights Leader, Drum Major for Justice complete the Crèche (for now) with messages of love, peace and faithfulness, that speak clearly of this little community known as St. Therese Little Flower.
The following year, the parish commissioned the very first figure to create a new manger scene reflecting the diversity of the St. Therese worshiping community. A gifted artist, Ann Harvey undertook the task of creating the figure that would become, Resa, the Angel of the St. Therese Crèche.
Over the next several years, various figures were created to display the Nativity of a blessed and blessing community, beginning with Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus to complete the foundation for the Christmas story.
Then came the gentleman in the plaid shirt and green hat, Harold Minges, the carpenter. Harold and wife, Janet were among those who worshipped in the school basement before the church was completed. They were part of the life blood of the community and symbols of perseverance through good times and tough times. Harold served
quietly in ways that others couldn’t. He made the candle holders for the altar, the ambo and the Easter candle and the frame for the baptismal font. Several of the fine wood pieces in the parish are the giftedness of the carpenter, Harold Minges.