Prayer, Witness and Service: FSPA celebrates 175 years

01/04/2024 1:20 pm

FSPA logo next to a 175th celebratory logo that features a 8-pt cross and rose

The year 2024 marks a milestone in the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration history. We’re celebrating our 175th anniversary. 
FSPA was established in May 1849 in Wisconsin by Ottilie Dirr, later known as Mother Aemiliana Dirr. The FSPA story begins in Ettenbeuren, Bavaria (part of modern-day Germany) in the late 1840s. With German society in disturbance, a pastor, his associate, and 12 lay Franciscans, five men and seven women, decided to travel to America to provide Christian education to immigrants. Six of the women desired to start a religious community. Despite this humble and uncertain beginning, this small group grew into the FSPA, who for the past 175 years lived their vows of prayer, witness and service.

FSPA, then and now, follows the Franciscan tradition, inspired by the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, emphasizing poverty, humility and service to others.  Throughout 2024, we’ll share our sacred traditions and modern lives through events and storytelling. We’ll continue to build our website of events and opportunities to celebrate with us.

Visit our 175th Events Calendar

About our celebratory graphic

Our celebratory graphic, pictured above, to the left of FSPA's logo, incorporates the design of the medal worn by all Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration upon profession of first vows and the rose from the FSPA logo. The medal is an eight-point Maltese cross, with each point representing the eight Beatitudes. The rose represents moments of invitation, intimacy, gratitude, reconciliation, partnership – those “aha” moments along the way. The spiraling action in the rose represents the FSPA mission taken into our deepest selves and in turn, given forth freely as a gift.

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