Saint Teresa’s Chapel was dedicated April 1, 1990, by Archbishop Ignatius Strecker. Through the sacrificial giving of Carl and Teresa Didde, their love of God and Church, they made the dream of the Catholic Church’s permanent presence on campus a reality.
The Didde Catholic Campus Center celebrated their 10th Anniversary on April 2, 2000. The Mass was led by Archbishop Keleher presiding.
This event was designated as a pilgrimage site and event for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Jubilee indulgences were granted for those who attended and met the other criteria necessary. A time of repentance and forgiveness of sins, this day also encouraged us to devote more of ourselves to the service of others. In the words of St. Teresa, “We can never have too much hope in our God.”
Mr. Didde was once asked why he wished to build a Catholic Campus Center, he replied,
“To provide for the sacramental life of the Catholic students with daily Masses and prayers; to provide a home away from home for Catholic students who attend ESU; to provide a Christian environment for studying, learning and entertainment, and to foster an ecumenical environment throughout the campus and community.”
Mr. and Mrs. Didde requested that the chapel be named in honor of St. Therese of Lisieux, known as the “Little Flower” (however the chapel is spelled St. Teresa after Mrs. Didde’s first name) and to include a “shower of roses“ theme, somewhere in the design. The windows by the main entrance doors to the Chapel vestibule were designed by Mr. and Mrs. Didde. The east vestibule window contains the Novena rose prayer of St. Therese . The west vestibule window contains the text of a definition of prayer from the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux.
The prayer reads….
“A Prayer is an aspiration of the heart, a simple glance directed to heaven, a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy. Something great, supernatural, which extends one’s soul and unites one to Jesus.”
How DCCC came to existence: The Emporia Newman Club was established in 1912 for the Catholic students going to secular colleges in the community. Originally, Sacred Heart Church and School were used for Newman Club meetings and Mass. In the 1950’s and 60’s the college experienced an increased enrollment that made it necessary to add a Mass just for college-age Catholics. In October of 1963, the archdiocese purchased a house on Merchant Street for a Newman Center. Father George Seuferling was assigned in 1970 as the first full-time minister appointed to the Newman Center. In 1987, Mr. & Mrs. Carl Didde commissioned the design project for the creation of our current Center. Didde Catholic Campus Center was dedicated on April 1, 1990.
O Glorious St. Therese, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and inspire the human family, I implore your Miraculous Intercession. You are so powerful in obtaining every need of body and spirit from the Heart of God. Holy Mother Church proclaims you “Prodigy of Miracles. . . the Greatest Saint of Modern Times.” Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition (mention here) and to carry out your promises of spending Heaven doing good upon earth. . . of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. Little Flower, give me your childlike faith, to see the Face of God in the people and experiences of my life, and to love God with full confidence. St. Therese, my Carmelite Sister, I will fulfill your plea, “to be made known everywhere” and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you.