perpetual adoration - Related Content

Prayer anniversary sparks compassion

Thursday, August 3rd 2017 11:30 am
Amy Taylor

For centuries bells have called people of many different faiths to prayer. Long before watches or smartphones church bells marked the hours of the day and served as time keepers of life and routine. On Tuesday, we rang a bell 140 times at St. Rose Convent marking the beginning of our 140th year of perpetual adoration.

Each time the bell chimed, I reflected on the years of faithfulness to prayer of both those gathered in the room and the generations prior. I thought about the millions of prayers for courage, strength, healing, and guidance, for friends, family and strangers. I listened to our sister who shared the story of how years of preparation and sacrifice had finally come to fruition on August 1, 1878, and how that day would forever be a celebratory day in the life of the community. From the countryside of Bavaria, where dreams were first spoken aloud by a few pioneering souls, to the new frontier of the United States and eventually settlement in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the dream of perpetual adoration was finally attained. I imagine all the sisters who have died smiling down on us and celebrating in heaven what has knit us together as a community of prayer.

Adorers in the Adoration Chapel, circa 1906 Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration praying in the Adoration Chapel, circa 1906.  

Praying before the Blessed Sacrament for each intention, we encounter not only the humanity of others but our own as well. Like all ministries our hearts are shaped in the process. I know that my heart has been moved to compassion, empathy, joy and sorrow as I have prayed for each intention. My vision of the world has been widened as I have prayed for people around the globe. I have grown in my understanding of difficult choices and unforeseen circumstances that change individuals forever. We all live on this planet together, and sometimes, even with the best intentions, we fail to recognize the joy and sorrows many carry in their lives. It is a holy encounter each time I cross the chapel threshold whether it is praying on behalf of others or conversing with God about my own life and experiences in ministry.

Today's Franciscan Sisters praying in Adoration ChapelA look at today's Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration praying in the Adoration Chapel. 

As a Franciscan I am called to pray always and in all ways, both inside and outside of our chapel and to serve the needs of our time.

How is discernment leading you to find where your gifts and talents meet the world’s need at this time in history?

Is the practice of perpetual adoration something you feel called to try?  How has praying for others deepened your compassion for others?    

Doorways to celebration

Thursday, August 4th 2016 12:12 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


Like an ice cream cone in the sunshine the days of summer continue to melt, one after the other. It’s already the beginning of August and time teeters in the remaining liminal space of the season before we enter into the coolness of autumn.  

This week the FSPA community is celebrating two historical threshold crossings: 138 years of perpetual adoration and the 800th anniversary of the Feast of Pardon. Both events are guideposts and require faithfulness, perseverance, humility, conversion and the willingness to take the next step through the doorways of life. 


Sister Gertrude Daugherty rings in 138 years of FSPA perpetual adoration

Rejoicing in the 138th anniversary of FSPA perpetual adoration we are reminded of the very breath that sustains our congregation. Adoration is a holy exchange of the breathing of prayer and movement outward in ministry. Each year we renew the promise of perpetual adoration as we follow the legacy begun by Mother Antonia Herb. 

Eight hundred years ago in Assisi, Italy, long before our congregation came into existence, St. Francis procured from the pope pardon of sins for all who passed over the threshold of the church of Portiuncula. As pilgrimages were difficult and very expensive at that time such absolution extended to all Franciscan churches throughout the world, inviting focus of one’s heart not limited to those who could afford to take a journey. As a Franciscan congregation we invite that forgiveness through the doors of Mary of the Angels Chapel on August 2, the Feast of Portiuncula, every year. 


A Portiuncula procession into Mary of the Angels Chapel

And so this past Sunday, reflecting in the silence of our hearts, we processed to the chapel doorway in St. Rose Convent. The heavy, gilded doors swung open and with joy and song we stepped through them. We reveled in the deepening of our relationship with God and our commitment to this Franciscan way of life.  


Celebrating the Feast of the Pardon, FSPA process into Mary of the Angels Chapel 

Are you aware of thresholds—those symbolic of love and acceptance and forgiveness—in your life? Are you ready, in discernment, to cross them? How will you celebrate the deepening of your relationship with God in these moments?


Let's celebrate 139 years of perpetual adoration!

Tuesday, August 1st 2017 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


Today, FSPA celebrates 139 years of perpetual adoration. As we rejoice and ring in another year of continuous prayer, we invite you to pause, reflect and pray with us.

Sister Amy: grateful for the ways I'm inspired to pray

Tuesday, August 8th 2017 3:15 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


open hands

Hands open, ready to receive what God places in them

It is in the spirit of gratitude that I have invited my sisters to collaborate with me in this new series featuring original prayer by FSPA — Franciscan Way — as we celebrate our 140th year of round-the-clock prayer, perpetual adoration. The tradition of perpetual adoration has taught us many things; most of all that prayer has the power to transform our hearts. We become more like Jesus in what may appear to be silence but, just below the surface, is a world of intimate conversation and reverent listening.

We all pray in different ways. Sometimes prayer is communal and has a rhythm and flow to it; praying as an assembly at Mass, the liturgy of the hours or the rosary, and in other ways is spontaneous; a creative pouring forth of adoration like an overflowing faucet from the depths of one’s soul, finding expression in clay, paint, poetry, song or journaling. Prayer is not a one-size-fits-all experience: different pathways to prayer have the capacity to draw us closer to God in our own unique way. 

New ways to pray can be exciting for me, yet sometimes resting in the familiar words of the psalms or a prayer learned by heart refreshes my soul. I also engage in prayer while shaping clay on my potter’s wheel or expressing myself in some other artistic endeavor. I am grateful for all the ways I am inspired to pray.  

The image of prayer that comes to me is one of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1-13), each person hearing God in their own language. Their reactions are surprise and pure joy as they realize comprehension is happening in that moment. 

Have you experienced breakthroughs like this — feeling heard, listened to? Are you simultaneously trying to recall the conditions that helped you attain comprehension? 

A turning point came for me years ago when I was just beginning to discern religious life and desperately seeking a sign: proof that one way to pray or the other was right for my life. A wise, elder sister I knew challenged me, questioning "How are you listening?" Her words consumed my heart. She told me to go home, sit in my favorite prayer space, close my eyes and posture myself in a position of receiving by opening the palms of my hands—ready for what God would place in them. “It may take time, but wait for what you hear.” Doubtful, I went home and did just that. The answer I was seeking took months but the practice has become my pearl of great price ... my own treasure buried in a field (Matthew 13: 44-48).

Since then, I’ve discovered that even in conversation with others, I need to listen more than I speak. This is not my natural inclination as an extrovert who loves to talk; characteristically sharing my opinion without hesitation. I used to approach prayer the same way ... talk, talk, talk… thanks God for the chat … goodbye. Then I'd move on with my to-do list. Now I know that extreme chattiness can signal my stubbornness and resistance to listen. 

I have also learned in prayer to listen for council which, for me, means refraining from formulating an imagined response to a thought God has not yet spoken. Council also means that we make decisions together. I routinely sought council from family and friends, considering their thoughts in my decisions. But not always from God. I kept showing up to prayer and metaphorically sticking my fingers in my ears and complaining to others how God wasn't talking. But as I took in the advice I’d received those years ago I realized that the Holy Spirit is really good at getting my attention and inviting me to contemplation. It is powerful to sit in attentive silence — a practice I have incorporated into my life.

And so I ask you the same question I once received: how do you listen? How do you pray? What avenues to communication have you discovered in your journey? What would you like to share with your peers traveling the road of discernment?

Franciscan Way is a series featuring original prayer by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Sounding the bell for 140 years of 24/7 prayer [video]

Wednesday, August 1st 2018 1:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA



Sister Marguerite Bruening is one of several sisters and prayer partners at St. Rose Convent, ringing this bell in commemoration of 140 years of perpetual adoration.

Today we celebrate the beginning of our 141st year of perpetual adoration, ringing this bell 140 times for those full of unending prayer since Aug. 1, 1878, and once to commence a new year of round-the-clock adoration. May God continue to be the resounding bell in our hearts, guiding us in prayer and action in our world.


*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link,, and join the conversation.


The celebration continues! [video]

Thursday, August 1st 2019 3:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


Honoring discernment, jubilee and the 141st anniversary of perpetual adoration


Sister Laura Schreck, FSPA jubilarian celebrating 75 years

Show me a sign is honoring our 2019 jubilarians by sharing their stories of discernment and ministry. Today, four jubilarians, Sisters Rita Mae Fischer, Rosile Pernsteiner, Lorraine Forster and Laura Schreck, are [literally] ringing in FSPA’s 142nd year of perpetual adoration. Their celebration continues!


75-year jubilarian Sister Lorraine Forster

This year, Sisters Rita Mae, Rosile, Lorraine and Laura are among our wisdom sisters: those FSPA who have served the ministry of perpetual adoration the longest and who are invited to ring the bell during the annual anniversary celebration. Today, it sounded 141 times to commemorate the anniversary ... and one more to usher in the new year. FSPA prayer partners are also invited to sound the bell.

Curious about FSPA's sacred ministry of perpetual adoration, round-the-clock prayer that began on Aug. 1, 1878?

And, are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link,, and join the conversation.

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