Who We Are

“Dear Sisters, keep yourselves in strict accord with the rules and statutes. Live in meekness and obedience. Nurse the sick with the greatest care and love, then will God’s blessing be with you.”

Officially, we are The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, of East Peoria, Illinois.  We were founded in Peoria in 1877 by Mother M. Frances Krasse, O.S.F. and Bishop John Lancaster Spalding

We are:

  • Franciscan
  • Apostolic
  • A religious institute of pontifical right
  • Committed to caring for the sick and the poor

A few more details that may help you to understand us better.

  • We strive to remain ever faithful to the pope and the magisterium.
  • We live together in community with our Sisters.
  • We wear a distinctive religious habit.
  • We attend Holy Mass daily and pray together the Liturgy of the Hours (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer) and the Holy Rosary.
  • We are devoted to our Lord, present in the Blessed Sacrament, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our mother and model.

The Franciscan Shield, at the top left corner of this website, can show you a bit about what it means for us to be Franciscan.  The words "Deus meus et omnia" mean, "My God and my all."  That is the Francisan motto.  The Cross is in the center with rays extending from it.  In front of the Cross is the bare arm of our Lord Jesus Christ, with the wound from the nail in his hand.  Behind the Cross is the arm of Saint Francis of Assisi with the stigmata, the wound of Christ.  The arm of St. Francis mirrors the arm of Christ, because he strove to imitate Him in everything.  This is all in the clouds to represent how St. Francis now enjoys the glories of heaven with the Lord.

Our Charism

"The special and most outstanding spirit of our community is the loving simplicity which our holy father Saint Francis practiced to a very high degree."

from The Spirituality of our Pioneer Sisters

Our special purpose, our primary commitment, is to serve the sick and the poor with the greatest care and love and to not turn away anyone who comes to us for care. (Exchange of promises.)

What is a Charism?

Definition: A charism is a gift of the Holy Spirit, given to an individual or group for the purpose of serving the Church, in which God is at work.


"There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit."

1 Cor 12:4-7


What is the Charism of a Religious Community?

Each religious community has its own particular spirit, purpose and character, this is what we refer to as its charism.

Loyal recognition and safekeeping should be accorded to the spirit of the founders as also to all the particular goals and wholesome traditions which constitute the heritage of each community. It serves the best interest of the Church for communities to have their own special character and purpose.

Perfectae Caritatis, #2

Where do we get our Charism?

Our charism is given to us through our founders and is made visible in the way they lived, in their words, in the way they viewed things and in the rule and constitutions they have left us to follow. When we are faithful to these things we know that our charism is alive and active.

We strive to follow St. Francis, Mother Frances and Archbishop Spalding in our daily life, especially as it is shown to us in our rule and constitutions. That manifests itself in our interior life, our community life and our apostolic works.

Learn more about our charism through our history.  (This section is being developed.  More to come later.)