The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration will receive $37 million in cash, real property and other services over a 20-year period under the order’s agreement to transfer sponsorship of Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare to Mayo Clinic Health System.
The transfer from the La Crosse-based order to Mayo in Rochester, Minn., which the La Crosse-based order announced a year ago, originally was scheduled for July 1 but became effective when papers were signed on Oct. 31.
Details of the pact remained confidential but the value of the agreement was revealed in part Tuesday when Mayo released its unaudited and condensed financial statements for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.
“The Clinic released a third party from the affiliation with a consolidated affiliate” on Sept. 30, the statement to bondholders said, adding that the agreement committed Mayo to $37 million in liabilities, including $15 million currently and $22 million long-term.
The third party is the FSPA congregation, which issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying, in part, “FSPA moves forward continuing to address the evolving needs in our world. The sponsorship transfer agreement … allows FSPA to more fully focus its resources, both time and financial, on people in the margins of society.”
Property considerations include the fact that the congregation, which owns the parking lot at Ninth and Market streets, will retain use of the lot for visitors to the FSPA motherhouse, St. Rose Convent and the Franciscan Spirituality Center, said a spokeswoman for the congregation.
Services in the agreement include Mayo’s providing full health care services for FSPA members, the spokeswoman said.
In addition to transferring Mayo-Franciscan and its network of hospitals and clinics in southwest Wisconsin to Mayo, the order also announced on Nov. 21, 2017, that it would transfer control of Viterbo University in La Crosse and St. Anthony Regional Hospital and Nursing Home in Carroll, Iowa, to lay leadership.
The Viterbo transfer took place during the summer with the formation of Viterbo Ministries to sponsor the University and development of St. Anthony Ministries to sponsor St. Anthony Regional Hospital and Nursing Home and the St. Anthony Foundation.
At the time that then-FSPA President Sister Karen Lueck announced the overall plan, she said the order remains committed to “praying for everyone, as we always have done, and collaborating with all of these new partners” to pursue social justice on issues such as homelessness, human trafficking, immigration and care for the environment.
In recent years, the FSPAs have become increasingly involved in initiatives to alleviate homelessness, including being one of the key players in establishing the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness and the Franciscan Hospitality House.
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In June, the FSPAs launched what they call “A Revolution of Goodness” to help them and their lay affiliates develop new ministries.
Sister Eileen McKenzie, who became FSPA president on Nov. 1, cited during her inaugural address the impact the revolution will have on the congregation's resolve to continue advance positive changes.
The sisters recognize that their next mission is to build bridges and strive to correct injustices — “especially with people who are different from us,” McKenzie said.
“Now is the time to be blessed by our choices that are for the healing, not the suffering of the earth and its people, for joyful gospel living and to share your goodness — here, now and all of the time, share your goodness,” McKenzie said.
“This is the way our sisters are moving now,” the new president said, adding that affiliates and prayer partners also are adapting to changing needs.
“All of us are moving forward to do things we’ve never done before,” she said, adding that they will work to end injustice, particularly racial injustice.
Members of the order and its affiliates have been praying perpetually, as the name suggests — with at least two people praying at a time 24/7 — in their chapel for more than 140 years.
The financial and other details of the agreement were worked out under the pact the sisters signed with Mayo officials when they became partners in 1995, officials said. That agreement was based on the assumption that changes such as this might be in the offing at some point.
In August, the FSPAs announced a $22 million, two-year project to renovate and update the FSPA administrative offices, sisters’ living quarters and the Franciscan Spirituality Center to meet members’ needs into the future.