Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration do all day?
A: While sisters' days are varied, prayer, ministry, community and recreation are all necessary for a balanced, happy life. Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are engaged in all - with days that begin and end with prayer, through ministries that are tailored to each sister's individual gifts, and through a community lifestyle that fosters close relationships, recreation and meaningful interaction with other sisters and lay people.
Q: Why do some sisters wear habits?
A: There are many symbols that women religious use to indicate their faith in God and commitment to Christianity. Some congregations choose a habit to be their sign. They believe it helps them live out their vows, and some say it is also a sign of penitence and a separate lifestyle.
Most FSPA opt to wear street clothes instead of habits, believing that it helps us build bridges of understanding with lay people and that it makes us more personally accessible to the people we serve. Although we wear a medal, either as a pendant or pin, as our FSPA symbol, we strive to make our Christian lifestyle the most obvious sign of our commitment.
Q: How do congregations or orders differ from one another?
A: Differences among religious communities are found in their emphasis on prayer and community life. In contemplative communities, for example, all members live at the motherhouse with their primary ministry being one of prayer. Their only other work is for the purpose of providing for their basic needs of life. Most members of monastic communities also tend to live and work together at the motherhouse, though they work in a variety of ministries. They gather together frequently for prayer, usually several times a day. FSPA is an evangelical community, where the sisters are united through prayer yet work among people wherever needed in the world and serve in various ministries.
Q: What ministries are FSPA involved in?
A: Our strength as Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration is found in our commitment to God and in the unique gifts of each sister. We are encouraged to use our diverse and unique talents as we strive to bring new life, meaning and hope to a world in need of compassion and healing. We minister as teachers, nurses, pastoral workers, spiritual directors, counselors and in many other capacities as directed by the Spirit, community needs and our own talents.
Q: How often do you pray?
A: As our name (perpetual adoration) suggests, prayer has a central role in our lives. As with any individuals working together for the same cause, we must stay in constant communication with God as we seek union with God and to spread God's love, and prayer is that communication. FSPA pray alone, in small groups and with the larger community. Our prayer takes different forms, including liturgy, Divine Office, reading and quiet meditation. We tend to pray more in the morning and the evening since our day usually is spent in ministry, but we carry prayer in our hearts at all times.
Q: Is prayer always easy for you?
A: Prayer is our way of communicating with God. Like any relationship, there are times when we need to act on motives deeper than feelings and trust in God's presence and unconditional love.
Q: Do sisters have free time, and if so, what do they do in their free time?
A: We have about the same amount of leisure time as most other adults and may spend that time as we choose. Some sisters enjoy sports and athletic activities, others enjoy the arts. We also spend our free time watching television or movies, reading, sharing with friends or visiting family. While the activities are as diverse as our members and this diversity is encouraged, we at all times and places remain true to our vows and commitment to Christian living.
Q: How often do you gather as a congregation?
A: We meet annually to make community decisions and to reconnect with one another in the midst of busy ministries.
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