(this information was issued by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of La Crosse, Wis. on November 21, 2017)
La Crosse, Wisconsin—Since 1849, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have served in areas of greatest need. In its early years, that meant establishing health care and addressing education needs, ultimately leading to the creation of what are now Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare and Viterbo University, both in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home in Carroll, Iowa—organizations that are firmly established and thriving through the day-to-day care of lay partners.
In order to remain true to its calling to address the evolving needs of humankind, FSPA today announced it intends to transfer complete oversight of those organizations to lay leaders for each organization. This action removes FSPA from sponsorship of the ministries allowing it to more fully focus on people in the margins of society.
Viterbo University and St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home will maintain their Catholic identities. Mayo Clinic – Franciscan Healthcare will be fully transitioned to Mayo Clinic Health System and move forward as a faith-based, non-Catholic organization.
FSPA Vice President Sister Helen Elsbernd said, “We recognize these organizations are well staffed, well led and have a solid foundation for the future. We know the leaders will make the decisions they see fit in order to provide quality education and health care in the Coulee Region and Carroll, Iowa, and the surrounding communities. We also recognize that as our demographics change, we must honor the focus of our sisters in ministry today—sisters who are being called to address the social justice issues now facing our society.”
“FSPA is actively collaborating with partners who are innovating to care for the environment, eliminate the homelessness crisis, end modern-day slavery, work with our broken immigration system and provide spiritual havens for those seeking wholeness,” added Karen Lueck, FSPA president. “Entrusting full responsibility of Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare, Viterbo University and St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home to our lay partners allows FSPA to serve where today’s needs are greatest.”
FSPA and representatives from each organization, in consultation with La Crosse Diocese Bishop Callahan and Sioux City Diocese Bishop Nickless, are working to complete the transition plans whereby these organizations will continue to serve the educational and health care needs of the communities. The goal for completion of the transfer is July 1, 2018. Viterbo University and St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home will maintain their Catholic identity, Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare will not.
FSPA’s next steps include:
- finalizing development of St. Anthony Ministries, the entity that enables the organization to relate directly to the church and maintain its Catholic identity. St. Anthony Ministries will assume sponsorship of St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home and St. Anthony Foundation.
- finalizing development of Viterbo Ministries, the entity that enables the University to relate directly to the church and maintain its Catholic identity. Viterbo Ministries will assume sponsorship.
- finalizing the complete transition of Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare to Mayo Clinic.
- preparing requests for Vatican approval of the intended sponsorship transfer.
The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are proud to have served the healing and education missions of Christ among and with the people of Wisconsin’s Coulee Region and the Carroll, Iowa-area and surrounding areas since the late 1800s. Hundreds of sisters have dedicated their lives and ministered in these organizations, demonstrating Christ’s love.
As the ministries of the FSPA evolve with the needs of the times, the sisters will continue its support in prayer and grateful memory of the missions served so generously for more than a century.
Press ContactRick Thiesse