Discerning FSPA Life
As women religious, we seek to follow the universal call to holiness by our public profession of vows. As women in a Vatican II church, we wear contemporary clothes and live in small groups or individually, usually near our ministry sites. A community medal and ring are signs of our FSPA commitment.
We center our lives in prayer. This includes meditation, contemplation, Scripture reflection, liturgy of the Hours, and liturgy of the Eucharist. Shared prayer and faith are balanced with private and public prayer.
We commit ourselves to witness our love for God in service to others. We strive to bring new life, meaning and hope to a suffering and searching humanity. We seek to bring healing with compassion and forgiveness. We do this through ministries of spirituality, education, healthcare, church ministry, social ministry and advocacy.
In our vocation as vowed women religious we are grounded in the observance of these vows:
Poverty: Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have vowed to live simply in the spirit of the Beatitudes. We reverence all of God's gifts and rejoice in the goodness of creation. We hold all things in common which allows us to devote our community resources to serving others.
Celibacy: Sisters also commit to living and sharing a community lifestyle within this vow. Community life frees us to cultivate and enjoy personal relationships-both within and outside the congregation.
Obedience: Members of the FSPA community find that we can accomplish great things when we are united in our efforts. Through this vow, we commit ourselves to the congregation's mission to serve God, the church and society. Listening to the voice of the Spirit in our community, ourselves and the world enables us to discern how our unique gifts foster our mission.
Steps to FSPA Life
The first step is one of obtaining information, both for the candidate and FSPA, and seeking vocation direction. It includes communicating with an FSPA member or vocation minister by telephone, mail, or personal contact; attending a community living experience and being prayed for in the FSPA Adoration Chapel.
Membership is open to women who:
- desire a deeper relationship with God and a life of Gospel service,
- are generally 21-45 years old with at least one year of college or work experience,
- are active members in the Catholic Church,
- are free from marriage vows and responsibility for minor children,
- are physically and mentally healthy, and
- wish to live in community and to minister according to the FSPA mission.
To begin your initial discernment and discuss community living experiences, connect with Sister Amy Taylor, 888-683-3772 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her address is Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601.
A companion sister is appointed to help the candidate get to know religious life. They share prayer and personal and spiritual values, participate in community gatherings, and discern a call to FSPA community.
After the application process is completed, formal entrance takes in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It includes continuing to develop personal spirituality; learning FSPA history, traditions, and Franciscan spirituality and values; and working within and experiencing community life.
Novitiate (two years)
The novitiate phase is two years. During the canonical year, which can be either year one or two, the novice learns more about the Church, the community's constitution, the vows of celibacy, obedience, and poverty and spends time integrating Franciscan values. The apostolic year, again, either year one or two, is a time of continued study of the vows and integration into ministry.
Temporary Vows (six years)
During temporary vows, a sister lives her vows in the FSPA community and grows in a Franciscan way of life. Careful attention is given to balancing ministry, prayer, community life, and personal enrichment and preparing for permanent commitment.
After the preparation described above and mutual discernment with the FSPA community, a sister publicly affirms her commitment for life. After pronouncing her perpetual vows, she receives a ring, which identifies her as a full participant in the FSPA community for the rest of her life.
Transferring to FSPA
For Catholic Sisters discerning transfer from another religious congregation, the first step is connecting with the FSPA president who invites the sister to a time of initial relationship. If you're a Catholic Sister looking for transfer information, visit our transfer resource page.
Ready to learn more? Connect with Sister Amy.