Art, Beauty and Joy

The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have cultivated art, beauty and joy through leadership, encouragement and support of the fine arts. Many women with natural ability for the arts joined the community and offered their talents to the students and others they encountered in schools and parishes.

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Clara Leinfelder and Silveria Goetzmann
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Clara Leinfelder and
Silveria Goetzmann

black-white-photo-Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration procession on Centennial Day
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration process from Viterbo College (now known as Viterbo University) to Maria Angelorem Chapel.

The arts have a way of inspiring a love for learning and creating communities committed to collaboration rather than competition. Below is a glimpse into the the vast array of talents surrounding the FSPA community. Help us honor the history of these dedicated hearts and minds and share in the art, beauty and joy of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration artists with paintings
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Verena Dauser, Merietta Hackner, Kiliana Burghauser and Gervina Schilling

FSPA Visual Art Experience


"With every stroke of the paintbrush, every stitch in fabric, every handful of clay, every iconography workshop and every shaving of wood that falls away, the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration is told through the art and fine arts created over the years by the sisters themselves," Perspectives magazine shares in the story "FSPA Shares 'Love of Creation," Franciscan tradition of art."

"Art has always played an essential role in the lives of the sisters — an outlet to express their love of creation, a celebration of the beauty of the world and a means to live out their Franciscan values. The Franciscan tradition of art is often encapsulated in the legendary story of Mother Antonia Herb, who went out to buy food for the community and purchased a painting instead. As she explained it, the sisters needed food for their souls as well as their bodies."

For 175 years, FSPA has worked to enrich the lives of others. They are a talented group of individuals, working past retirement to serve and inspire. The creativity they possess spans a reach that not only touches their immediate community but spans worldwide. 

Now it is critical that we preserve the legacy of “every brush stroke” and share the beauty and joy of FSPA art in this visual collection. A selection of FSPA artists and their galleries of work are to be featured here,  in celebration of both 175 years of prayer, witness and service, and their legacies will live on in this visual gallery for generations to come.

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration-history-wataercolor-images"FSPA History Timeline," by Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Maryam Gossling, created for FSPA's 150th jubilee.
The images are on display in the Gathering Room at St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Celebrating Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Antona Schedlo

Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Antona Schedlo watercolor painting flowers leaves

Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Antona Scheldo, born in 1936, grew up in Halder, Wisconsin. Sister Antona spent a large portion of her life doing mission work in El Salvador. For 31 years, she served as a religious leader, community advocate, youth leader and FSPA coordinator as an international presence. She first went to serve in El Salvador in 1981 and lived there until the killings of Monsignor Oscar Romero and other Catholic priests and sisters that followed the country’s eruption into civil war. Sister Antona served a Hispanic community in Oregon for six years before — despite the ongoing war — returning to El Salvador. In 1988 she began working for Christians for Peace, assigned to serve inside the war zone in a camp of 3,000 refugees. In 2010 she settled in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and began working at Centro Latino, an organization that aims to support Spanish-speaking immigrants adjust to their new lives in the area. In her free time, she has taken on a number of creative hobbies that include painting watercolors and Ukrainian eggs. Sister Antona also creates cards for loved ones that are currently sold in the St. Rose Convent gift shop.

View Sister Antona's Gallery

Click the images below to experience more FSPA artists, their stories and their galleries.

Sister Pauline Wittry

Sister Maryam Gossling

Sister Betty Bradley

Sister Shirley Wagner

Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Karen Kappell blue watercolor waterfall image


Sister Malinda Gerke's Harp Collection




FSPA Christmas Music Collection

Featuring Sisters Rosemary Desmond (piano) and
Rochelle Potaracke (vocals)

Featuring Partners in Mission Josiah Dix (vocals),
Marcus Eber (viola) and Oliver Nicks (guitar)

Featuring Sister Malinda Gerke (harp)

Featuring Sister Nina Shephard (violin) and
Partner in Mission Carolyn Scott (piano)

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