Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA)

Modern Lives. Sacred Traditions.

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Dee Paque


Rosalie Hooper Thomas

Rosalie Hooper ThomasAs I walked down the steps of the lower basilica into the crypt, a profound sense of peace came over me.  I looked up and saw the sarcophagus of  Francis of Assisi.  “This is real,” I whispered to no one but my heart.

After working with FSPA for several years, I had the privilege of going on a leadership pilgrimage to Assisi.  During my years at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, I worked with the sisters, observing their wisdom and courage at living out the Gospel message.  Indeed, through their Franciscan lives, I discovered a new way to experience the Gospel stories as a way of divine connection rather than institutional mandate.

I felt more and more called to a Franciscan life but resisted getting trapped in an institution.  I experienced the love that called these women to serve the poor and those on the margins, but always hesitated when the topic of my affiliation came up.

And then I walked into the crypt.  During the following days, which included the programmed trip to the basilica, I carried a calm energy throughout the days. We then went to the Basilica of St. Clare.  During the liturgy, I watched the softness surrounding Clare’s effigy.   I said, “I guess it’s time.”

I realized that formally affiliating with the FSPA completed a long process of stepping back from hesitation and opening my heart to that love that connects us all.  What a joy to be in community with others who truly care about all who are the faces of the Creator!


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