Since 1849, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have served in areas of greatest need. In its early years, that meant establishing health care and addressing education needs, ultimately leading to the creation of what are now Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare and Viterbo University, both in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home in Carroll, Iowa—organizations that are firmly established and thriving through the day-to-day care of lay partners.
In order to remain true to its calling to address the evolving needs of humankind, FSPA announced it intends to transfer complete oversight of those organizations to lay leaders for each organization. This action removes FSPA from sponsorship of the ministries allowing it to more fully focus on people in the margins of society. The sponsorship transfer is pending Vatican approval and expected to be complete by fall 2018.
A Historical Perspective
In 1883, our predecessors built and operated St. Francis Hospital in La Crosse, their first venture into health care and western Wisconsin’s first private hospital. Between 1883 and present day, numerous FSPA gave service as nurses, administrators, lab technicians, pastoral ministers, anesthesiologists, dietitians, laundry and housekeeping managers, x-ray technicians, office staff and volunteers. We were blessed to be able to provide much of this service gratis. Today, Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare is part of a network of community-focused hospitals and clinics that serve Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
In 1890, what is now Viterbo University was founded to educate Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration to serve as teachers. FSPA served the organization in a variety of roles, from environmental care to faculty to administration. In the 1940s, lay women were accepted and in the 1970s, both lay women and men made up the student body. The FSPA influence has continued today in the programs incorporated into the university: Franciscan Tradition and Values classes, servant leadership masters program, Franciscan Friends and Assisi pilgrimages. The tradition of fine arts is strong today, dating back to the early history of the congregation to carry out our commitment to beauty and provide art, music and theatre for the La Crosse region.
In 1903, the second chapter in the FSPA’s hospital history began when we accepted mission of a new hospital in Carroll, Iowa. The cornerstone was laid on Aug. 2, 1903 and two years later St. Anthony Hospital was dedicated. Many FSPA ministered at St. Anthony throughout the years in clerical, domestic, nursing, records management and administrative roles. Today, St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home serves six counties, offers independent and assisted living services, operates seven clinics and offers advanced specialties including radiation/oncology and obstetrics.
We honor and celebrate our years of service to the healing and education ministries of Jesus.
Care of the Earth
Ministry Grant Program
Global Awareness Through Experience
Show me a sign
Mental Health Awareness
Franciscan Intellectual Tradition Education
Messy Jesus Business: contemplating Gospel living
Mary of the Angels Chapel