For nearly a century and a half, for every hour of every day, 24/7, members of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have said prayers in their chapel in La Crosse.
Next month, that will change.
The sisters have announced that after a dozen years of study and reflection, they will begin to cut back their prayer ritual to 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.
“FSPA remains devoted to the spirit of our longstanding tradition. Our thoughtful study over the years has included a growing understanding of a modern way to live in adoration through our prayer lives and actions, no matter where we are,” FSPA President Eileen McKenzie said.
“Our congregation name will remain Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Per discussions with the Vatican and review of the FSPA constitutions, the name will not change due to the longevity of the tradition and the fact that the sisters and prayer partners will continue adoration in the Adoration Chapel to the extent possible, and by definition of perpetual, repeated continuously even though interrupted for portions of time,” McKenzie said.
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For the past 12 years, the sisters have invited partners to join them in prayer, and that practice will be expanded.
In addition, the sisters will continue to accept prayer requests through the FSPA website, text line or phone.
The FSPA also announced that the domes atop Mary of the Angels Chapel and the Adoration Chapel will remain lit as a sign of the congregation’s continued prayer for the city of La Crosse and the world.
“We started adoration in 1878 after Mother Antonia Herb’s promise to begin the 24/7 practice came to fruition,” Sister Eileen said. “In 1997, prayer partners were invited to help continue the promise, primarily taking daytime hours while sisters living at St. Rose Convent continued the night hours. As demographics continued changing in the early 2000s, we began studying the future of the practice and growing in our understanding of how we can move forward tending to the spirit of perpetual adoration while recognizing it becoming necessary to discontinue night hours.”
The sisters and prayer partners now prepare to enter into the next phase of perpetual adoration. “We’re inviting all Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, our current partners in mission and future partners, to pray and live in adoration from any location at any time,” Sister Eileen said.