Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA)

Modern Lives. Sacred Traditions.

Mayo Clinic Health System

Sisters announce sponsorship transfer

In order to remain true to its calling to address the evolving needs of humankind, FSPA announced it intends to transfer complete oversight of its three organizations, including Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare, to lay leaders for each organization. This action removes FSPA from sponsorship of the ministries allowing it to more fully focus on people in the margins of society. Pending Vatican approval, the sisters expect to transition oversight by Nov. 1, 2018.

Learn more about the sisters' sponsorship announcement

A historical context of partnering in health care ministry

In 1883, in response to the need of the maritime trade on the Mississippi River and the growing population in the western part of the state, the Franciscan Sisters built and operated St. Francis Hospital in La Crosse, their first venture into health care and western Wisconsin's first hospital. Seeing the need to enhance the technical and patient care skill of the sisters, they opened St. Francis School of Nursing in 1901.

Having established themselves as competent health care providers in nursing, medical technology, medical records and nurse anesthesiology, the sisters continued to expand their health care services. In 1905, the sisters built St. Anthony Hospital in Carroll, Iowa, at the request of Rev. Joseph Kuemper. The St. Anthony School of Nursing soon followed. In 1916, St. Mary's Hospital was built in Sparta, Wis., with a School of Nursing added in 1921. In 1926, the sisters staffed St. Joseph Home for the Aged which was built by the Diocese of La Crosse. In 1941, the sisters assumed ownership and staffing of Sacred Heart Hospital, Idaho Falls, Idaho, and managed Lost Rivers Hospital, Arco, Idaho, for the county. In 1956, FSPA assumed ownership and staffing of St. Joseph Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home in Hillsboro, Wis.

Changes in the delivery of health care necessitated some organizational changes leading to the incorporation of the Franciscan Health System in 1982 consisting of St. Francis Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, and related health corporations. Later, in 1983, St. Joseph Hospital, Arcadia, Wis., was incorporated into the system. In 1995, the Franciscan Health System merged with Skemp Clinic, becoming Franciscan Skemp Healthcare and part of Mayo Health System. The organization later became Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare.

Our healthcare partners today - Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare
Our partners in ministry at Mayo Clinic Health System- Franciscan Healthcare have designed a strong and vital link with Mayo Clinic. Dr. Timothy Johnson, chief executive officer, works continuously to ensure world-class quality medical care while preserving the values from the organization's religious heritage.

Mayo Clinic Health System–Franciscan Healthcare offers integrative therapies in the beautiful healing environment of the Center for Health and Healing within its Onalaska Clinic. The Center for Advanced Medicine and Surgery on the La Crosse Campus provides state-of-the-art surgical suites and cancer care.

Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare also provides specialists, technical support, supplies, and educational opportunities to several locations, as well as access to air medical transportation for receiving emergency patients and transferring patients to Rochester. The system supports a nursing home, clinic and home care operations in Arcadia, Wis., and a hospital and clinic in Sparta, Wis., ensuring quality medical services in geographically isolated areas.


Sisters Joyce Bantle (1922-2015) and Leclare Beres (1926-2014) share their Gratifying Memories.

Sisters Joyce Bantle (1922-2015) and Leclare Beres (1926-2014) discuss Caring for the Poor and Underserved.

Sisters Joyce Bantle (1922-2015) and Leclare Beres (1926-2014) discuss Changing in Health Care/Blending with the Mayo Culture.

Sisters Joyce Bantle (1922-2015) and Leclare Beres (1926-2014) discuss Living the Values and Wishes for the Future.

Videos courtesy of Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare.

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