FSPA History

Community

1849 - Foundresses travel from Bavaria to Milwaukee 1849 - Sisters teach immigrant children Mother Aemiliana Dirr (Zahler), Mother General 1849 - 1860 1850 The foundresses become sisters Bishop Michael Heiss Sister Paulina Fiebig with wheelbarrow 1850 Sisters care for the land and perform household duties 1853 Sisters Take Vows 1855 Sisters care for and teach orphans 1860-1862 Mother Seraphine Sanders Mother General 1860 Sisters diverted from ministry; founders leave community Mother Crescentia Nondorf, Mother General 1862-1863 Mother Antonia Herb (Zimmer), Mother General 1863-1882 1864 Motherhouse transfers to Jefferson, WI 1864 Sisters teach in parochial schools 1865 Mother Antonia promises chapel and perpetual adoration Sister with children 1871 Motherhouse transfers to La Crosse, Wi Sister with Sparta graduates 1871 FSPA builds high schools and domestic academies 1873 The community separates 1874 Maria Angelorum Chapel The first Maria Angelorum Chapel is dedicated on August 2. 1875 St. Michaels Orphanage, La Crosse, WI Sister playing outside with orphans 1878 Perpetual adoration begins Mother Ludovica Keller, Mother General 1882-1928 1883 La Crosse sisters become Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration 1883 FSPA builds St. Francis Hospital Sister in St. Francis pharmacy 1883 St. Mary's Boarding School, Chippewa Indian Reservation, Odanah, WI Sister teaching in Odanah classroom 1890 St. Rose Normal School receives accreditation. 1895 FSPA purchases a farm on St. Joseph's Ridge 1901 FSPA opens St. Francis School of Nursing. St. Francis ambulance in Levee park 1905 St. Fransis School of Nursing graduates its first class 1905 Sisters build St. Anthony Hospital St. Anthony Hospital 1906 Bishop consecrates new Maria Angelorum chapel First adorers 1908 School of Nursing established at St. Anthony School of Nursing St. Rose 1914 Construction of St. Rose Convent is completed. 1915 St. Mary's Hospital opens in Sparta St. Mary's Hospital opens in Sparta Education ministry expands to western states 1917 FSPA receives papal approval 1923 Fire destroys much of St. Rose Onlookers watch as St. Rose burns 1926 Sisters staff St. Joseph Home for the Aged 1928 St. Rose on the Yangtze, China FSPA in China Mother Seraphine Kraus, Mother General 1928 - 1940 1937 St. Rose becomes Viterbo College 1934 St. Rose Normal School is accredited by the University of Wisconsin Mother Engelberta Kamp, Mother General 1940 - 1946 1941 FSPA builds Idaho hospital 1943 Viterbo College expands to admit laywomen. Mother Rose Kreibich, Mother General 1946 - 1952  FSPA teaching at Holy Child Jesus Parish for Blacks in Canton, MI 1948 Holy Child Jesus Parish for Blacks in Canton, MS Mother Joan Cramer, Mother General 1952 - 1964 1954 Viterbo College receives full accreditation as a liberal arts college FSPA comforting a crying child in Guam 1954 Education and health care in Guam 1956 FSPA takes over Hillsboro hospital and nursing home St. Joseph nursing home dedication in Hillsboro 1960 Sisters minister at second Idaho hospital FSPA teaching 1st grade at Fatima School 1962 Number of sisters teaching in parish schools peaks 1962 Mission schools in Central America FSPA with students at mission school in Central America Sister Corona Rohlik at St. Anthony 1969 1963 Sisters establish St. Anthony Nursing Home in Carroll, Iowa Mother Ann Marie Kerper, Mother General 1964 – 1970 1967 Viterbo begins the four-year baccalaureate program in nursing 1968 Catholic Relief Services in Vietnam and Cambodia 1969 FSPA begins adapting to Vatican II Sister Grace McDonald, President 1970 - 1978 1971 Viterbo College becomes coeducational. 1971 Viterbo College becomes coeducational. 1971 Taiwan and China 1971 FSPA adds Fine Arts Center to Viterbo campus FSPA breaking ground for Viterbo 1973 Sisters in provisional province form new community Sister Thea Bowman speaking at Viterbo 1973 1973 FSPA opens its Justice and Peace office. Sister Laurette Sprosty with African Students 1975 Higher education in West Africa 1976 Shared Horizons in U.S. 1978 FSPA celebrates 100 years of perpetual adoration Sister Lucille Winnike, President 1978 - 1982 1979 Hospital becomes medical center 1982 FSPA accepts first affiliates 1982 St. Michael's transitions to treat behavioral health Sister Paula Ripple, President 1982 - Nov. 1983 1982 Zimbabwe, Africa Sister Paulynn Instenes with students in Zimbabwe 1983 Woman Well forerunner is established in St. Paul, MN 1983 St. Francis Medical Center becomes Franciscan Health System Sister Patricia Alden, President 1983 - 1990 1984 Franciscan Spirituality Center opens in La Crosse 1984 Sisters establish St. Clare Health Mission 1984 Health and education in Majuro, Marshall Islands Sister Leclare Beres at Indochinese clinic with a baby in 1990 1987 Sisters transfer to FSPA from other communities 1987 FSPA supports Christine Center 1989 Vatican approves FSPA Constitutions 1989 Ministry grants for use worldwide Sister Antona Schedlo with 1st communion group in El Salvador 1988 1989 FSPA establishes Mission Effectiveness Office Sister Alice Kaiser, President 1990 - 1994 1990 GATE in Central America FSPA staff Marywood in 1991 1992 The sisters establish Marywook Spirituality Center in Arbor Vitae, WI 1993 Clare Spirituality Center opens 1995 Franciscan Health System affiliates with Mayo Clinic Health System Sister Marla Lang, President 1994 - 2002 1996 Prairiewoods Spirituality Center opens Members of Prairiewoods Spirituality Center first staff 1996 English education in Prague and Olomouc, Czech Republic Sister and lay adorers in Adoration Chapel 1997 Lay people join sisters in perpetual adoration 1999 FSPA celebrates sesquicentennial 1999 FSPA celebrates sesquicentennial 1999 Common Venture in Cameroon, West Africa, and U.S. Sister Georgia Christensen in Cameroon, Africa 2000 Viterbo College becomes Viterbo University Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, President 2002 - 2010 2007 Hispanic ministry in La Crosse, WI 2007 FSPA appoints ecological advocate Sister Lucy Slinger in organic garden at Villa St. Joseph with volunteers Sister Marlene Weisenbeck 2008 FSPA sister elected president of LCWR 2008 Sisters transfer ownership of St. Joseph Community Health Services 2010 Sisters perform first natural burial FSPA Natural Cemetery Sister Linda Mershon, President 2010 - 2014 2011 Viterbo opens new nursing center 2011 Collaborative to End Homelessness in La Crosse, WI La Crosse Warming Center in La Crosse, WI 2011 La Crosse Warming Center in La Crosse, WI 2012 Modern slavery and human trafficking in U.S. and abroad Sisters begin planning for future of La Crosse facilities 2014 Sisters begin planning for future of La Crosse facilities Sister Karen Lueck, President 2014 - 2018 2015 Franciscan Hospitality House in La Crosse, WI Sister Thea Bowman 2018 Canonization of Sister Thea Bowman moves forward Sister Eileen McKenzie, President 2018 - 2022 2018 FSPA transfers oversight of Viterbo University Sisters and board members of sponsored ministries exchange hugs during the sponsored ministries commissioning ceremony 2018 FSPA transfers oversight of health care services 2020 Perpetual Adoration Hours Change Sisters gather in Adoration Chapel during perpetual adoration final ritual And Continuing...


Tour Chapels
Explore our Ministries