150th Anniversary

150 Years of Jubilee Grace

Columbarium in Colorado SpringsThe Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration celebrate 150 years as an International Congregation founded in Olpe, Germany, in 1863.

Rejoice with us!  150 years ago our foundress, Maria Theresia Bonzel, of Olpe, Germany, trustingly prayed: “He leads; I follow.”  In these days and times, her Sisters continue to pray that prayer through all embracing lived adoration across the globe: – Yes, God leads and we follow. With boundless trust in Divine Providence, the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration joyfully remember and honor the past, enthusiastically celebrate the present, and confidently embrace the future. Beginning on February 6, the death anniversary of our foundress, Venerable Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, we will honor, celebrate and embrace who we are as Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.

For 150 years our international congregation has placed the whole of our lives, our community living and our ministry into the open hands of  our loving God.  The Holy One has gently held us…our concerns, cares, hopes, dreams and joys for these 150 years.

We offer a prayer of thanksgiving for all those who have blazed the path of our journey to this day.  For all the blessings, opportunities and yes, the challenges too, that facilitated our growth and increased our strength of resolve, we give thanks!  In humble gratitude we bow to this Holy God who dwells within and among us as we step forward with expectancy into a future full of hope.

Sister Nadine Heimann, osf
January 1, 2013



150 Years Of Faithful Service

Colorado Springs ReceptionsThe Congregation of The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration was founded in Olpe, Germany, in 1863, by Maria Theresia Bonzel, now Venerable Mother Maria Theresia.  The primary purposes and/or ministries of the Congregation at that time, which continue today, are:  Living the Gospel; Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; Caring for the sick, elderly, poor and powerless; Education; Responding to unmet needs of others.

In 1875, the political unrest in Germany made the further growth of the Congregation impossible, curbing many of the activities essential to the religious life of the Sisters.  Therefore, at the invitation of Bishop Joseph Dwenger of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Mother Maria Theresia sent six sisters to the United States.  They arrived in Lafayette, Indiana on December 14, 1875, penniless and illiterate of the English language and the American way of life.  Undaunted by these challenges, they soon built a hospital and a school.  The Congregation’s ministries flourished throughout several States and membership increased in great numbers.

By 1932, it became necessary to divide the Sisters and ministries into two Provinces; one with its administrative headquarters in Lafayette, Indiana, and the other in Denver, Colorado.  The Colorado Province chose as its patron, Saint Joseph, and was named Saint Joseph Province, and on a more familiar basis, the Western Province.

Saint Joseph Province was blessed with a large estate (formerly The Modern Woodmen of the World Tuberculosis Sanatorium) in Colorado Springs, through the benevolence of Blevins and Marguerite Davis, and the sisters moved to Colorado Springs in 1954 and named their campus, Mount Saint Francis.

Saint Joseph Province initially sponsored ministries in healthcare and education in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.  In later years, the sisters additionally ministered in Arizona, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and overseas in Barbados and Brazil.  Currently, the sisters minister in California, Colorado, Nebraska and New Mexico.

Mount Saint Francis is “home” to all the Sisters of Saint Francis, and particularly to the sisters who live and minister here.  In addition to being their home, Mount St. Francis is also the location of their following ministries:  Mount Saint Francis Nursing Center; Franciscan Community Counseling; Franciscan Retreat Center; Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation; and leased property to Saint Francis of Assisi Parish.  They also sponsor Women Partnering, located downtown.

Along with its Provinces in Germany and the United States, the Congregation also has a Province in the Philippines and a Mission in Brazil.


150th Anniversary Events

February 6, 2013
The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration and OSF Companions will have an opening celebration of the 150th Congregational Anniversary and 25th Anniversary of Companion Relationship with a Eucharistic Celebration of Thanksgiving and Festive Noon Meal.  February 6, 1905, is the anniversary date of the death of our foundress, Venerable Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel.

Stonehaven Event CenterApril 21, 2013
A celebration with St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Colorado Springs, at Mount Saint Francis, will mark the 25th Anniversary of the Parish, the 50th Anniversary of the Parish Church building, and the 150th Congregational Anniversary of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.

April 28, 2013
Woman’s Story, a program of Women Partnering (one of the OSF sponsored ministries) will host an enactment of the life of Venerable Mother Maria Theresia.  All our invited and welcome to attend.

May 2, 2013
The 150th Congregational Anniversary will be highlighted during Mount St. Francis Annual Employee Recognition Day which acknowledges the long-term years of service of OSF employees who partner with us in our ministries. Highlights from the life of Venerable Mother Maria Theresia, along with interesting facts of our various ministries, will be presented.

May 27, 2013
A Memorial Service honoring all the deceased Sisters of Saint Joseph Province will begin in Canticle Chapel followed by prayers at the grave sites in the Mount Saint Francis Cemetery.

June 15-21, 2013
Retreat – Rev. Michael Crosby, OFMcap
Wherever we are, let us confidently make our needs known.
This retreat is open to other women religious.

June 23, 2013
Jubilee – Sister Ethel Widhalm, 75th Anniversary

StonehavenJuly 14, 2013
This day marks our Saint Joseph Province Special 150th Anniversary Celebration.  Bishop Michael Sheridan and other invited bishops and priests, will be the celebrants for the Liturgy of the Eucharist at 3:00pm at Saint Francis of Assisi Church at Mount Saint Francis.  An Open House will follow in the convent and guest dining rooms.  All are invited to come and celebrate with the Sisters.

July 16-25, 2013
Four of the Sisters from our Province will travel to Olpe, Germany for the 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 20th which marks our Foundation Day.  Sisters from the other Provinces will also be gathering in Olpe for this joyous occasion.

July 20, 2013
At Mount St. Francis, the Sisters will have a simple and meaningful celebration to mark our Foundation Day as a Congregation.

August 2-12, 2013
Four young women from Germany, together with two other adults, will visit St. Joseph Province to interview and video the Sisters.  It is an opportunity for these young women, who will produce a documentary, to experience the daily lives and activities of the sisters of our province.

September 17, 2013
This date commemorates the birth date of Venerable Mother Maria Theresia. All Sisters and Companions will close out the Anniversary year with a recap of our 150th Anniversary celebrations in conjunction with our annual Fall Community Days.