Sister Eileen McKenzie has been elected to a four-year term as president of the La Crosse-based Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.
McKenzie, an acupuncturist at FSPA Community Acupuncture at La Crosse Integrative Therapies, will replace Sister Karen Lueck when the newly elected officers assume their roles on Nov. 1
Elected vice president during the 99-member FSPA General Assembly Thursday through Saturday in La Crosse was Sister Sue Ernster, who has been serving as the FSPA treasurer.
Three members of the order of about 200 sisters were elected as mission councilors. They, along with the president and vice president, constitute the FSPA leadership team.
Chosen mission councilors were Sister Karen Kappell, who was re-elected to serve a second four-year term; Sister Dawn Kutt, who is co-coordinator of resident life and nursing at Villa St. Joseph, the FSPA skilled nursing facility near La Crosse; and Sister Lucy Slinger, who is the order’s ecological advocate and adjunct professor at Viterbo University in La Crosse.
The election assembly was the congregation’s 24th since 1910.
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The leadership team fosters the life and mission in the church and in the world, promoting the congregation’s goals and providing for continual renewal to serve contemporary society.
Overall Mary of the Angels Chapel
Some facets of Mary of the Angels Chapel are almost inside jokes that only the most observant will get. For example, the steps on which St. Francis kneels before Jesus and Mary in the painting above the altar are the same as the steps below.
Marble pillar top Mary of the Angels Chapel
Although pillars in Mary of the Angels Chapel look like marble, most actually were painted in a 19-step process to look like marble, and cherubs and other decorations at their tops also were hand carved.
Altar cherubs Mary of the Angels Chapel
The semicircle recessed above the main altar in Mary of the Angels Chapel once had electric lights, but the Vatican decreed that there should not be lights on altars, so the lights were replaced with the heads of nine cherubs.
Dome window of Mary of the Angels Chapel
The sanctuary skylight in Mary of the Angels Chapel portrays the Holy Spirit descending in a stream of light surrounded by heads of winged cherubs. The stained-glass dome windows presented one of the most difficult restoration challenges for Old Hickory Stained Glass Studio in Onalaska, said owner Bob Johnstone, whose company has been restoring the chapel for 14 years.
Dome 2 Mary of the Angels Chapel
Stained-glass windows throughout Mary of the Angels Chapel, which artisans in Germany crafted in the early 1900s, are unmatched by any that can be created today.
Stations Mary of the Angels Chapel
Mary of the Angels Chapel features hand-carved stations above stained-glass windows.
St. Gregory the Great Mary of the Angels Chapel
St. Gregory the Great, situated on the northeast pillar supporting the dome in Mary of the Angels Chapel, was the son of a wealthy patrician who became a Benedictine monk. He is called 'the Great" because is is considered the Father of the Medieval Papacy.
Three panels with Jesus Mary of the Angels Chapel
This panel of three stained-glass windows in the north transept of Mary of the Angels Chapel depict Christ the bridegroom with wise and foolish virgins on either side. The FSPAs had bulletproof glass installed outside all of the stained-glass windows after someone shot a BB pellet through the window of Jesus near his hand.
Mary legend in Mary of the Angels Chapel
This painting on the ceiling near the main entrance of Mary of the Angels Chapel depicts a legend surrounding Mary's death and St. Thomas, who doubted that she had ascended into heaven. As he lingered near her empty tomb, she appeared to him, according to the legend.
Cherubs in Mary of the Angels Chapel
Each of the cherubs high in Mary of the Angels Chapel was hand carved.
Agatha statue in Mary of the Angels Chapel
The statue of St. Agatha in Mary of the Angels Chapel holds the palm of martyrdom in the left hand. It originally had a pair of pincers in the right hand, but the pincers, signifying her torturous death, are missing.
Latin Mary of the Angels Chapel
Mary of the Angels Chapel features many biblical verses in Latin.
Sacred Heart statue Mary of the Angels Chapel
The tabernacle on this altar, under a Carrara marble statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, holds the sacred oil of the sick.
St. Francis kneeling in Mary of the Angels Chapel
The steps in this painting above the main altar in Mary of the Angels Chapel, with St. Francis kneeling before Jesus and Mary, were fashioned in replicate the steps to the altar. The altar steps once had a red carpet like those in the painting.
Angel statue Mary of the Angels Chapel
Mary of the Angels Chapel was thought to have 165 angels before FSPA Sister Malinda Gerke's headcount tallied three more.
Wing for Mary of the Angels Chapel
This is one of two wings on either side of the main altar where seating also is available. Viewed from above, the nave, the sanctuary and the two wings form a cross.
Pew carvings in Mary of the Angels Chapel
Even though the carvings on the ends of the pews in Mary of the Angels Chapel look like duplicates, each was hand-carved and, as a result, each is unique.
Malinda and book in Mary of the Angels Chapel
FSPA Sister Malinda Gerke holds her coffee-table book, titled "Mary of the Angels Chapel: God's Answer to a Bold Promise," which outlines the history, artwork and architectural elements of the chapel of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse.