Mary Ann Gschwind, FSPA, will present “The Story of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 19 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.
The FSPA established St. Rose of Viterbo Convent in La Crosse in 1871 when 65 Sisters, 12 novices, and 12 postulants moved to the city from Milwaukee. In 1878, they began the practice of perpetual adoration (praying), which they continued without interruption for 141 years, until Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. They now pray every day from 6 a.m.–10 p.m.
Sr. Gschwind, who serves as the archivist for her religious order, will share the history of the FSPA from their humble beginnings, to establishing enduring institutions in health care, education, and spirituality, to their present ministries.
The presentation will include information on the FSPA’s visionary leaders, national and global missions, and the hardships overcome by the Sisters who served at ministries overseas. It will also cover the FSPA’s current efforts to fight human trafficking, promote social justice, operate three spirituality centers, and provide time and financial support to many La Crosse organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, Catholic Charities, Mobile Meals of La Crosse, and the La Crosse County Jail Ministry.
A question and answer session will conclude the event. This lecture is being held in conjunction with Founders Day at Viterbo, which honors the FSPA for founding the university.
This presentation is part of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s fall lecture series and is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary, but seating is limited. For a full schedule of D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership events, visit www.viterbo.edu/ethics.