I'm pretty sure this is the shrine before which Thomas Merton was praying when he received the message that he was to join the Trappists.
Update: This is from a brochure showing the Merton places on the St. Bonaventure campus:
And there is an error in that entry. The Trappist monastery which Merton joined is not in Louisville. Our Lady of Gethsemani monastery is in Nelson County, Kentucky, at least 45 miles from Louisville. I think that the official post office for Gethsemani is Nerinx, Ky. The nearest towns are New Haven and Bardstown KY.St. Therese’s shrine is also known as the shrine of the “Little Flower.” It was at this shrine that Thomas Merton prayed for guidance one evening. “You show me what to do. If I get into the monastery, I will be your monk. Now show me what to do.” It was then he imagined he heard the Trappist bells of Gethsemani monastery which he had visited the previous Easter. Soon afterward he left St. Bonaventure and joined the Trappists in Louisville, Kentucky.
Update 2, 8/24/2010 from Gabrielle's comments:
... It's November 28, 1941. Merton is anxious and experiencing many conflicts in his mind. He finally decides to go and talk to Fr. Philotheus, but he can't get up the courage to go see him right away. "So I pray to Saint Theresa, in the grove. While I am praying to her the question becomes clear: all I want to know is, do I have a chance to be a priest after all. I don't want him to argue for or against the Trappists. I know I want to be a Trappist... I want to be a priest - but I am told there is an impediment [note: what the Franciscans told him, re his having a child]. While I am praying to her, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, it is like hearing the bells in the tower, ringing for Matins in the middle of the night. I walk through the grove saying she will help me to be her Trappist - Theresa's Trappist, at Gethsemani."
He finally got up the courage to talk to Fr. Philotheus who gave his opinion immediately that canonically there was no impediment to Merton's being a priest, and advised him to take a retreat at Gethsemani during the upcoming Christmas vacation.
He truly loved St. Therese (he was "knocked out" by the story of her life), but not so much the typical statues of her: "...the scandal of cheap, molasses-art and gorgonzola angels that surrounds the cultus of this great saint." [Oct. 8, 1941]
I took this info from "Run to the Mountain. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Vol. 1"