Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
In 2007, then-Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke approached the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to request their direction of pastoral care and spiritual assistance at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On July 13, 2008, three Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate arrived in La Crosse to begin their residence at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Friary is dedicated to Franciscan theologian Blessed John Duns Scotus.
The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate provide spiritual assistance and pastoral care for pilgrims in the form of preaching, celebration of the Sacraments, and delivering talks to groups of pilgrims upon request. The Friars also assist in the spiritual and doctrinal formation of members of the Marian Catechist Apostolate, a catechetical association headquartered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Father Peter Damian M. Fehlner was the first Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He is joined at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Father Jacinto M. Chapin (current Rector) and Friar Joseph M. Schmitzer.
The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate were founded by two Franciscan friars, Father Stefano Maria Manelli and Father Gabriel Maria Pellettieri. Together they outlined a form of life for the friars, sisters and the laity after the example of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, giving the fullest expression to the Marian dimension of Saint Francis‘ ideal and Rule.
The Franciscans of the Immaculate was established by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1990 as a diocesan institute. The Institute was erected as a pontifical institute of religious life by Blessed Pope John Paul II on January 1, 1998, the Solemnity of the Mother of God.
Like the Seraphic Father Saint Francis, the Franciscans of the Immaculate strive to be perfectly conformed to the poor, humble, crucified Jesus through a life of obedience, supernatural charity and poverty. They are totally consecrated to the Immaculate Virgin after the recent example offered by Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe.
For more information about the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, please visit www.marymediatrix.com.