St. Rose Convent - Related Content

Jesus under wraps

Thursday, July 14th 2016 10:11 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA



Sacred Heart of Jesus statue "under wraps"

St. Rose Convent is undergoing minor renovations: new carpet installation is underway and some of the walls are soaking up fresh coats of paint. Walking down the hall to my office one day I noticed our large statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was covered in protective plastic wrap as painters prepped the surrounding stairwell.

To see the statue sheathed, covered up, prompted me to discern the question “When do I freely share about my relationship with Jesus and when do I protect it—keep it under wraps?  

It’s easy to share about my relationship with Jesus and my faith when I am with others who have similar views; when I feel engaging in that conversation is safe. Yet the call of the Gospel is challenging as it beckons us to the next-step of discussion; requires each of us to live boldly our faith. 

Is your relationship with Jesus and your discernment journey under wraps?

What would happen if your belief in Jesus was unbound?  

Would your life be different? 

How will you uncover it? 

Impart it to others?


Love beyond measure

Thursday, February 16th 2017 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


This week I have witnessed traditional signs of love with Valentine’s Day as flowers were delivered to St. Rose Convent for employees; their spouses taking time from their busy lives to pause and send a symbol of their love. From my office window I’ve seen many women, fighting the strong breeze with smiles on their faces, carrying blowing balloons and other gifts from their jobs at the hospital where every day they show their love and care for each patient in pain. Viterbo University students have also drifted by, proudly toting tokens from their significant others (or those who long to be).

Image courtesy of

It is the time we are reminded, especially commercially, by the idea of love in our world. But this impression must also exist beyond the gifts, outside these celebrations, in the reality of everyday life. From moments of elation to those heavy with grief, love is present always.

Do we see it in all its forms?

Today I sit from another vantage point inside our convent—the Adoration Chapel—watching as adorers (who pray forward the FSPA ministry of 24/7 adoration that began in 1878) offer their love to a hurting world. Each one allows the intention to move beyond their earnest eyes and folded hands into the recess of their hearts. The love poured out desires healing over injury, common ground over fighting, friendship over division. This kind of love requires laying down one’s own preconceived notions and personal agendas to allow the heart to awake to needs far beyond the doorway of the chapel.


A candle, made by FSPA hands with lard, lights perpetual adoration in the chapel. 

It is this Gospel love for others that is at the very heart of discernment. Are you willing to allow the needs of others to enter your heart? Are you willing to choose to be an advocate for your brothers and sisters who are in need? Are you willing to allow the encounter to stretch your heart, open your eyes and grant you new vision? These are the transformational questions at the core of discernment. 

There is a story from the Gospel of John that is circling in my heart as I write this post; just as it did when I imagined what my own religious life could feel like. It is the pinnacle of Jesus’ parable of the vine and the branches; Jesus’ request to love others. Love is what it is all about. It’s also what discernment—and religious life—are all about.  

What is in your heart this week full of Valentines?

Who, or what, are you in love with?


On the road of discernment?

Thursday, April 28th 2016 2:07 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

woman traveling in tour bus

Photo courtesy of


Are you willing to go where discernment takes you?

Recently, St. Rose Convent was the unexpected destination for about 100 people traveling on a mystery tour. They arrived for Mass and were given a tour of Mary of the Angels Chapel.

Pondering their presence I began to wonder: “Would I get on a bus with people I don't know and go wherever it stops?"

Discernment can sometimes feel like taking a mystery tour. When I am discerning I’m not always sure where I’m going, and often times someone else is driving. That someone else may be God, driving me along as I listen in prayer, as community members invite me to new opportunity, as family and friends reflect what they have noticed in me. We are all traveling the mysterious journey of life as it unfolds.

As you reflect on your life ... what is your level of trust in situations when you feel like you are not totally in control, or when you can't see around the next bend in the road? Are you finding yourself on a mystery tour of discernment?

It's where I pray

Thursday, January 25th 2018 10:00 am
Sister Maris Kerwin, FSPA



Image by Sister Amy Taylor

One of my favorite places to pray is in my recliner in my room at St. Rose Convent. It sits in front of a window from which I can see the Adoration Chapel behind a variety of trees. The chapel mirrors stability in my life, and the trees as well as the shifting seasons remind me of change. All are important, and God helps to remind me that I need both. The occasional bird flying from one place to the other helps me to see that connection.

Franciscan Way is a series featuring prayerful reflection by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Sister Clarone to discerners: '... listen to your heart.'

Thursday, September 19th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


‘God called: I listened and followed’


Sister Clarone Brill celebrated her 70th jubilee on April 26, 2019, at St. Rose Convent.

Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Clarone Brill has ministered in Wisconsin and Iowa, spreading Franciscan joy to each person she’s encountered. She began serving as a teacher and later in her life found excitement and fulfillment through her ministry of pastoral care for the elderly. In celebration of her 70th jublilee, Show me a sign asked Sister Clarone to reflect on some of the experiences she has had over the last seven decades as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.  

Show me a sign:
How did you know that you wanted to be a religious sister?

Sister Clarone:
My older sister, Clara, entered St. Rose Convent around the time I was in first grade. We had FSPA sisters at our parish. I loved my eighth-grade teacher. I felt the spirit calling me to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. God called: I listened and followed.

Show me a sign:
How did your family and friends react when you first told them of your desire to become a sister?

Sister Clarone:
I think they were very supportive and happy for me. My dad said he would not stand in the way of my calling.


Sister Clarone is a member of the Class of 1949.

Show me a sign:
As you reflect on your jubilee, what facets of serving as an FSPA first come to mind?

Sister Clarone:
My delight has been being spirit led to an ever-deepening relationship with God, especially
through prayer, retreats and ministering to others.

Show me a sign:
What has been your favorite ministry, and why?

Sister Clarone:
My two main ministries have been teaching and pastoral care. It’s hard to choose one over the other because, in both, I ministered to many with love, care, and support  — touching lives in ways I may never know and hopefully leading all to a deeper relationship with our loving God.

Show me a sign:
What advice would you give to a woman discerning religious life today?

Sister Clarone:
I would say listen to your heart. Pray to the Holy Spirit to help you discern where God is calling you.

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


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?


Crisis reveals goodness

Thursday, September 14th 2017 3:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


I have been captivated by the power of wind and water as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have battered the southern coastline of the U.S. The destructive combination forces of wind and water hammered homes and businesses; cars were smashed into deadly chunks of metal and inches of water swelled to several, dangerous feet. Entire communities were engulfed. People were swept away by the current. 

It is difficult — in the wake of such devastation — to find light underneath the rubble.

But God has created resiliency in the human spirit. It seems for every crushing story I’m also finding one overflowing with compassion and care, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances reaching out to help each other. Communities are rallying around one another for survival and living what it means to lose everything not as individuals, but as neighbors.

These stories don't end in loss: resurrection follows, new communities take shape through sharing values; people put aside self-interest and commit to the common good.


In December, 1923, the community gathered at the scene of the St. Rose Convent fire

Walking together — and sticking together — takes courage and conviction but also generates power to shape the future. I am reminded of the stories I‘ve heard, images I’ve seen, of a fire that burned a section of FSPA’s St. Rose Convent to the ground in 1923. Many people flocked to the scene and helped not only rescue sisters but also to provide comfort, food and shelter. The goodness of people prevailed and the convent was rebuilt by 1925. (And there is so much more to know about FSPA history!)


Photo courtesy of "La Crosse Tribune"

And as a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, I know that my sisters will be here for me and I too will support them, not only in the significant life trials like death and ill health and transition of ministry but also in the day-to-day ups and downs.

This week, ponder how you have or might react when life changes in an instant. Do you reach out to help others or do you pull away and retreat?

How has your discernment revealed who is firmly by your side, committed to helping you create new beginnings during hurricane moments?

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

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