We've always served in areas of greatest need.
Our sponsored spirituality centers, Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center and Franciscan Spirituality Center, have been our response to people's desire to grow in relationship to God, creation, others and self. They are an expression of FSPA's call to balance contemplation, ministry and creative ways of living community.
Global Awareness Through Experience, our sponsored cultural immersion program, is committed to providing open programs each year for individuals who want to discover how they can become informed friends of the people in Latin America.
A Historical Perspective
In 1883, our predecessors built and operated St. Francis Hospital in La Crosse, their first venture into health care and western Wisconsin’s first private hospital. Between 1883 and present day, numerous FSPA gave service as nurses, administrators, lab technicians, pastoral ministers, anesthesiologists, dietitians, laundry and housekeeping managers, x-ray technicians, office staff and volunteers. We were blessed to be able to provide much of this service gratis. Today, Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare is part of a network of community-focused hospitals and clinics that serve Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. FSPA transferred sponsorship of this organization Oct. 31, 2018.
Mayo Clinic Heritage Films tells the story this founding in the film Lighting the Flame: The Origins of Mayo Clinic Health System.
In 1890, what is now Viterbo University was founded to educate Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration to serve as teachers. FSPA served the organization in a variety of roles, from environmental care to faculty to administration. In the 1940s, lay women were accepted and in the 1970s, both lay women and men made up the student body. FSPA's influence has continued today in the programs incorporated into the university: Franciscan Tradition and Values classes, servant leadership masters program, Franciscan Friends and Assisi pilgrimages. The tradition of fine arts is strong today, dating back to the early history of the congregation to carry out our commitment to beauty and provide art, music and theatre for the La Crosse region. FSPA transferred sponsorship of this organization to Viterbo Ministry on Aug. 8, 2018.
In 1903, the second chapter in the FSPA’s hospital history began when we accepted mission of a new hospital in Carroll, Iowa. The cornerstone was laid on Aug. 2, 1903 and two years later St. Anthony Hospital was dedicated. Many FSPA ministered at St. Anthony throughout the years in clerical, domestic, nursing, records management and administrative roles. Today, St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home serves six counties, offers independent and assisted living services, operates seven clinics and offers advanced specialties including radiation/oncology and obstetrics. FSPA transferred sponsorship of this organization to St. Anthony Ministry on Aug. 14, 2018.
We honor and celebrate our years of service to the healing and education ministries of Jesus.