St. Rose Convent and Villa St. Joseph
FSPA Land Acknowledgement
FSPA acknowledges that St. Rose Convent occupies the unceded ancestral and traditional land of the Sauk and Meskwaki, the Ochethi Sakowin, and the Ho-Chunk peoples. We understand that our organization and our city were founded upon the exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples and we vow to work towards dismantling the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism. But we realize that saying this only has meaning when coupled with the development of authentic relationships and sustained action. We therefore pledge to move beyond mere words and to develop programs, policies and actions that fully embody our commitment to indigenous rights and cultural equity. We affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold ourselves accountable to the needs of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
St. Rose Convent - La Crosse, WI
St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin, serves as the spiritual heart and administrative center of FSPA, housing three chapels, more than 50 offices and providing a home for some of the congregation's retired sisters. Among the chapels is the Mary of the Angels Chapel (Maria Angelorum), which welcomes visitors from La Crosse and around the world, and the Adoration Chapel where the sisters have prayed daily since 1878. St. Rose Convent is a popular site on the list of historical sites in La Crosse.
St. Rose Convent is a place where God's presence is expressed in the ministries of hospitality, community living, spiritual formation, administration, and service. Its name is derived from St. Rose of Viterbo. The first St. Rose Convent building was erected in La Crosse in 1871. As the number of sisters increased, additions were constructed to meet the needs of the growing community.
The present Mary of the Angels Chapel (Maria Angelorum) took three years to build and was completed August 2, 1906. It serves Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration as the congregation's central place of prayer. The Ninth Street section of the St. Rose Convent building was reconstructed in 1924 after a fire had destroyed a major portion of the building in 1923. A part of the Market Street section that escaped the fire still stands. The chapel was not touched by the fire.
As the “motherhouse,” or home, for Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, St. Rose Convent serves as the location for perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (Adoration Chapel), the center for congregational administration, the center of formation, home for some retired sisters, and the site of the Franciscan Spirituality Center. St. Rose Convent is especially noted for its hospitality as sisters there share liturgical celebrations, prayers, tours, and meals with numerous guests.
Villa St. Joseph - St. Joseph Ridge, La Crosse, WI
Villa St. Joseph is a skilled-care retirement home owned by FSPA. The Villa is located on St. Joseph Ridge, 11 miles east of La Crosse on Highway 33. The land that surrounds the Villa was initially purchased as a farm to produce food for St. Rose Convent and St. Francis Hospital. Villa St. Joseph convent was dedicated in 1898. The present-day structure is comprised of three wings. The chapel, where Mass is celebrated daily, is located at the center of the complex.
Natural Burial Cemetery - FSPA land on St. Joseph Ridge
As Franciscans we recognize the beauty and oneness of all creation knowing that all we do affects everyone and everything. Natural burial is a way to honor the sacredness of our Sister Earth as well as the natural cycle of life and death.
Our sisters have the opportunity to choose a natural burial. Those who choose this option will be buried on FSPA land on St. Joseph Ridge, La Crosse, Wisconsin, in a designated cemetery site undergoing restoration to native prairie grasses and flowers. To help sisters discern this option and share information with their families, we created an informational brochure that includes links to additional resources for individuals interested in natural burial.