Sister shares story of chapel as "God's Answer to a Bold Promise"
From the promise to build it (made by Mother Antonia Herb in 1865) to construction (from 1902 to 1906) and how tour guests marvel when they see it, Sister Malinda Gerke is fascinated by the stories of Mary of the Angels Chapel. She has collected these stories in the recently released “Mary of the Angels Chapel: God’s Answer to a Bold Promise.”
“Since I am a native of La Crosse, Wisconsin, I have heard stories about the chapel since I was very young,” noted Sister Malinda in the book’s preface. “I think I was three years old when I remember hearing my great grandfather say ‘Anything for the sisters’ as he remembered loading his horse-drawn cart with bricks from a local factory for delivery to the chapel construction site.”
Her accounts in the book are both mysteries and marvels. Mary of the Angels Chapel and the Adoration Chapel serve as “the powerhouse of our ministry as Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration,” said Sister Karen Lueck in the book’s introduction. “Sister Malinda takes readers inside the history … from architectural discoveries to stories she enjoys sharing with tourists. It is a delightful book showcasing God’s goodness and blessings.”
Sister Malinda began researching information for her book in May 2016. She gathered information from a variety of sources and created an amazing photo gallery of both archived and new photos. The result of her labor is a 350-page coffee table-style book released in December 2017.
“I was convinced that this project would benefit FSPA and all visitors who come to the chapel,” said Sister Malinda. “The most compelling argument is the one contained in the original promise made by Mother Antonia, ‘Dear Lord … if you will bless us … we will build you as beautiful a chapel as our means will allow.’ God kept the divine side of the covenant by guiding circumstances which led to this beautiful testament of God’s concern for all of us.”
To own a copy of “Mary of the Angels Chapel: God’s Answer to a Bold Promise,” visit our Gift Shop
Visit St. Rose Convent
The book is available for $50 in the St. Rose Convent Gift Shop or can be purchased from the reception staff daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. We ask that you use the 701 Franciscan Way entrance.
Order by mail
Send your check for $63 ($50 + $13 shipping), payable to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, attn: Sister Malinda Gerke, 701 Franciscan Way, La Crosse, WI 54601. Please include your name, full mailing address, phone number, email address (if applicable) and number of copies requested.