By Sister Stephanie McReynolds, OSF
Colorado Springs, CO
The year 2013 is an important and blessed year for the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration, Saint Joseph Province, Colorado Springs, CO. It is the year of their founding by Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel in Olpe, Germany, on July 20, 1863, where their General Motherhouse is still located. Six German Sisters first came to the United States in 1875 and settled in Lafayette, IN. They established schools and hospitals in several areas throughout the United States. As the Order grew in the U.S., in 1932, it was divided into two provinces: The Western Province headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO and the Eastern Province headquartered in Mishawaka Indiana.
In the Diocese of Gallup, NM, the Sisters ministered in schools and hospitals in the following cities: GALLUP: Sacred Heart Cathedral School (1913-1986); Saint Mary Hospital (1917-1969); CUBA: Immaculate Conception School (1916-1995); LUMBERTON: Saint Francis School (1920-1981); SAN FIDEL: Saint Joseph School (1921-1956); PENA BLANCA: Our Lady of Guadalupe (1904-1957); ZUNI: Saint Anthony School (1923-1996);. The Sisters’ Community was blessed with women who responded to God’s Call and entered the Community of the Sisters of Saint Francis from the Gallup Diocese. The Franciscan Sisters continue to keep the people from these areas in their hearts and prayers.
A special blessing was received on March 27, 2013, when the Sisters received word that Venerable Mother Maria Theresia would be beatified on November 10, 2013, in Paderborn, Germany. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints issued a decree confirming that a miracle which had occurred in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1999, occurred through the intercession of Mother Maria Theresia. Two Sisters of Saint Francis prayed a novena to Mother Maria Theresia asking for a cure for a 4-year old boy who had been suffering from severe gastrointestinal symptoms for weeks. Suddenly, his illness stopped and the doctors could not explain the reasons for the sudden change. The doctors explained that if his return to health had been from purely natural causes, healing would have been more gradual.
The Sisters continue their Mission of serving God’s people in the following states: California, Colorado, Nebraska and New Mexico. The Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration currently have two provinces in the United States, one province in the Philippines, one province in Germany, one mission in Brazil and the generalate in Olpe, Germany.
Venerable Mother Maria Theresia was born on September 17, 1830 and died on February 6, 1905. Requests for prayers may be made to: [email protected] or Sister Margaret Mary Preister/Mount Saint Francis/7665 Assisi Heights/Colorado Springs, CO/80919.
A Eucharistic Liturgy, at 3:00pm, followed by an Open House in the convent, will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Parish/Mount Saint Francis in Colorado Springs, on July 14th, 2013. The public is invited.