Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration has been a cherished practice of FSPA since August 1, 1878—hence our name: Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Through February 25, 2020, at least two people prayed before the Blessed Sacrament every hour of the day and night in our Adoration Chapel. Today, we continue this prayer daily. It is a way of maintaining awareness of God's presence in our lives and praying for the community, the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin, the church and the world.
Through perpetual eucharistic adoration, we offer to God continuous praise and thanksgiving before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar. Nurtured and strengthened by Jesus' presence, we live out this adoration in our daily lives as we strive to help those in need.
History of our Adoration
Since 1878, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have been praying in the Adoration Chapel inside St. Rose Convent, La Crosse, Wisconsin.The practice began after Mother Antonia Herb, then-leader of the congregation, made several requests to the local bishop for permission to begin perpetual adoration. Concerned it would impose too great a burden on the sisters, he refused.
Determined to establish perpetual adoration, the sisters tested its potential effect on the community by praying in pairs in two-hour shifts. After demonstrating it was possible, the congregation, then called the Sisters of St. Francis, began praying 24 hours a day with the bishop's blessing on August 1, 1878, at 11 a.m. Soon thereafter, they became the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.
From that long-ago beginning, at least two people prayed before the Blessed Sacrament all day and through the night until Feb. 25, 2020. Today, the daily tradition—and enduring promise—of perpetual adoration reminds us, God is present in our lives at any location and at all times.
The Lard Light Story
For FSPA, there is great significance associated with the lard light. As shown in the photos above, the candle is set within a deep dish and made with lard. Making the lard light during the Vigil of St. Joseph and during a variety of ceremonies is an FSPA sacred tradition.
Here's an excerpt from our lard light story: "Only as the candles were being extinguished and the fragrance of the burning incense diffused in the night air, did the sacristan and Mother Antonia recall that in the hasty preparation for this event, so eagerly anticipated and so unexpectedly realized, no provision had been made for a sanctuary lamp. Their embarrassment was greatly relieved when Sister Alphonsa Head, then a novice, explained how she had seen the Sisters of Mercy at a Detroit hospital produce a satisfactory night lamp by putting a wick of twisted tissue paper into a deep saucer filled with lard. Mother Antonia agreed that, as poor as such a light would be, to use it would be more appropriate than to leave the Lord without the symbol of His Eucharistic Presence."
Prayer Requests from around the world
Each marker represents international prayer requests received (click or tap marker to see city name).