Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration

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The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration is a papal congregation of the Roman Catholic Church, founded on July 20, 1863 by Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel in Olpe, Germany.


Main article: Maria Theresia Bonzel

Regina Christine Wilhelmine ("Aline") was born on September 17, 1830. In 1851 she became a member of the Third Order Secular of St. Francis, taking the name Maria Theresia. On July 20, 1863, the community at Olpe was approved by the Bishop Konrad Martin of Paderborn as an independent motherhouse. This date is observed as the founding day of the Congregation.[1]

Their first apostolate was the care of orphans. During the war years of 1870-71, the sisters from Olpe cared for eight hundred wounded soldiers. Nonetheless, the Kulturkampf, an anticlerical reaction against the Catholic Church, placed convents under government control, and in 1876 the orphanage was closed.[1]

At the invitation of Bishop Joseph Dwenger of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Mother Maria Theresia sent missionary Sisters to work in his diocese. An American branch was established by six pioneer nuns who emigrated to Lafayette, Indiana in 1875. During the years that followed, the congregation grew and the sisters opened many new hospitals and schools.[1]

The sisters minister in the United States, Germany, the Philippines and Brazil.


In 1886 the congregation was formally divided into two provinces, the German and the American. The American has since divided into eastern and western provinces, and another has been established in the Philippines.

  • St. Elizabeth of Hungary Province, centered in Germany.
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Province, centered at Mount Alverno provincial house in Mishawaka, Indiana
  • Mount Saint Francis educational and skilled nursing facilities in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • St. Joseph Province, centered at Mount Saint Joseph provincial house in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Immaculate Conception Province, centered in the Philippines.

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