Who We Are
We, the Colorado Springs Franciscans, are the Saint Joseph Province of an international congregation, the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Our Congregation was founded in Olpe, Westphalia, Germany, in 1863, by Maria Theresia Bonzel. The life vision and charisma of Saints Francis and Clare so inspired Maria Theresia that she founded her new community as a Third Order Franciscan Congregation.
Francis’ and Clare’s passionate love for God and all of God’s creatures has had a profound impact on our world and continues to motivate contemporary women and men to embrace the Franciscan dream. Led by a vision of faith, Francis, Clare and Maria Theresia stood in solidarity with the poor, the powerless, the outcast—as did Jesus—and embraced the Gospel as their rule of life.
In 1875, six German Sisters traveled from Olpe, Germany, to the United States and settled in Indiana. The Congregation grew rapidly in the United States as generous and loving women responded to God’s call to embrace the charism of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. They chose to live the Gospel in the spirit of Saint Francis, Saint Clare, and now Venerable Maria Theresia Bonzel. Today, the provinces of our Congregation are located in Olpe, Germany; Mishawaka, Indiana; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Leyte, the Philippines. Sisters of our Congregation also live and minister in various rural areas of Brazil.
Venerable Maria Theresia Bonzel’s unique gift to the Church of a deep, personal, and faith-filled love for Jesus found expression in her Franciscan Congregational charism of “All-Embracing, Lived Adoration.” We continue to enflesh this charism as we worship Christ in the Eucharist and celebrate the image of God in each other and in all of creation. Throughout the day and night across the globe, our Sisters are praying before the Blessed Sacrament, giving glory to God and petitioning for the needs of all peoples.
The essence of our Franciscan life is our relationship with God, who calls us to a new worldview that proclaims the goodness of God in all of life and creation. We seek to bring the love of Christ to each other and to all we encounter through our ministries. We strive to become ever more contemplative and compassionate women endeavoring to address the unmet needs of our times.