German pilgrims visit St. Rose Convent
During 2019, we're celebrating 170 years since our founding. This anniversary also holds special meaning for FSPA friends in Bavaria, Germany. And on Aug. 29, FSPA welcomed 11 German pilgrims—FSPA friends—to St. Rose Convent. During their visit, the pilgrims shared in a special Mass where they recognized the 170th anniversary of the congregation’s founding, enjoyed meals and a toured Mary of the Angels Chapel.
FSPA’s roots and the tradition of perpetual adoration are in Bavaria, Germany. An early founding mother of the congregation, Ottilie Dirr (known as Mother Aemiliana) migrated to Wisconsin in 1849 with a band of 12 women and men, and two priests. These women founded the first community of Third Order Franciscan women in the United States. For many years all of the prayers said in the FSPA Adoration Chapel were spoken in German.
Over the years, more than 50 FSPA along with two other congregations of Catholic Sisters who trace their founding to Ottilie Dirr, have returned to Bavaria to reconnect with their origins. And, several reciprocal pilgrimages have taken place between the U.S. Franciscans and Ettenbeuren Pilgrims. A deep and lasting bond has been created.
“The courage, vision and faith Mother Aemiliana brought with her when she migrated to Wisconsin inspires us to this day. Cultivating our connection to the homeland of our founder has brought many blessings to the congregation,” says Sister Eileen McKenzie, FSPA president.