AMOR MEUS, Magazine Winter 2023

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Contents 01

Welcome Sr. Yolanda Tarango


A Newly Professed Sister: Sr. Carmen Ramirez Sr. Dorothy Batto


The Brackenridge Villa Sr. Mary Henry


The Collaboration in Ministry Rocio DeHoyos & Sr. Bertha Flores


University of the Incarnate Word Margaret Garcia


Honor Roll of Donor

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Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word


e are an apostolic, international, intercultural Congregation founded by Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis in 1869. The mystery of the Incarnation is the foundation of our lives and at the heart of our ministries. Dedicated to our mission “to make real and tangible the saving and healing love of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, by promoting human dignity,” we serve God’s people, especially those who are economically poor and vulnerable, through health care, education, pastoral and social services. In each ministry, we use our energy, expertise and resources to respond to urgent and evolving needs in society and we strive to promote human dignity, peace, justice and the integrity of creation. We currently serve in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and the United States.

AMORMEUS Magazine Issue 03 / Winter 2023

This is the third issue of the AMOR MEUS Magazine. It serves the CCVI family by providing readers with insight and information about the Congregation’s plans and how the Sisters continue to live the Mission. The magazine is published four times a year; twice printed and all four times sent electronically.

General Leadership Team

The seal of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word is the crown of thorns, pierced heart, cross and nails (at the top of the heart) which are symbols associated with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word. The name Jesus, shown in the first three Greek letters of that name, IHS, symbolizes Jesus’ presence in the hearts of those who are His presence to others in the world. Amor Meus, the name of our magazine is Latin for My Love, and represents God’s love for us and love for God.

Sr. Yolanda Tarango, CCVI

Contact Us

General Councilors

Congregational Leader

Sr. Margaret Bonnot, CCVI Sr. Cecilia Zavala, CCVI Sr. Emilia Gracia, CCVI Sr. Leticia de Jesus Rodriguez, CCVI

To update your mailing or email address send to Give to CCVI


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Sr. Yolanda Tarango, CCVI Congregational Leader


s we welcome the crisp (or crispy in Texas) embrace of winter and the spirit of the Christmas season, it is with great joy that I share with you the Winter edition of the Amormeus magazine. In this issue, we delve into the history of the Brackenridge Villa, celebrate the profound work of our ministry, the University of the Incarnate Word, introduce our newest Sister, share the outstanding programs we have established with a grant from the Hilton Foundation, and announce the creation of the CCVI Legacy Endowment Fund, marking a remarkable 155 years of our Mission and Ministries. In this edition, Sr. Mary Henry gives us the rich history and enduring legacy of the Brackenridge Villa, a place where the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word established our Congregation. The Brackenridge Villa is situated on our beautiful campus, which is home to three of our ministries, The Headwaters at Incarnate Word, The Village at Incarnate Word and The University of the Incarnate Word. We shine a spotlight on the remarkable history and latest initiatives of UIW. With its unwavering dedication to students in the United States and abroad, the University has touched the lives of many successful women and men. We are delighted to introduce Sr. Carmen Ramirez, who has responded to the call to dedicate her life to God and our Mission. Her journey of faith, dedication, and the transformative power of this commitment will inspire and warm your hearts. We are deeply grateful for the wonderful work

we have initiated through the support of a $1.8 million grant from the Conrad Hilton Foundation. With this financial assistance, we have been able to impact many lives. This Winter edition marks a historic moment for us. As we enter 2024, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word will mark our 155th anniversary. We are excited to announce the establishment of the CCVI LEGACY ENDOWMENT FUND. This endowment will ensure that our Mission endures for generations into the future, carrying forward the legacy of our founders and the spirit of our Congregation. I invite you to read, reflect on and enjoy the stories in this issue. I hope they will serve as a beacon of inspiration, gratitude and reflection during this special time of the year. Thank you for being a cherished part of our community. We look forward to continuing this remarkable journey with you. May the Christmas season bring peace and joy to you, your family and our world. Be assured of a remembrance in our prayers. Praised be the Incarnate Word! Sincerely, Sister Yolanda Tarango, CCVI Congregational Leader

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A Newly Professed Sister: W

Sr. Carmen Ramirez

ith a strong and joyful voice, Carmen proclaimed her religious vows surrounded by family, friends and the Incarnate Word community on the morning of August 15, 2023, in the beautiful Chapel of the Incarnate Word. After professing her vows, she was presented with a cross to remind her daily of her commitment to the Incarnate Word and her dedication to the loving service of God’s people.

What motivated this young woman, now in her early 30’s, to opt for such a non-traditional lifestyle? Carmen says that from her youth she had thought of entering religious life. She felt attracted to the way Sisters live, their prayer life, the service they provide, and their vows. She felt her own desire to grow in God and in community. Believing God had planted this desire in her heart and mind for good reason, Carmen said yes. She entrusted family, work, and future into God’s hands. She consciously chose to walk the pathway that God had cleared for her.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR SISTER CARMEN? None of us knows with certainty what the future has in store for us. When she looks back, Carmen recognizes the presence and action of God at work throughout her life. Born in Nuevo Laredo, she moved to the United States with her parents, who were searching for a better life. The oldest of five siblings, she grew up with her family in Laredo, Texas. Here, she continually worked through many personal difficulties, which required her to develop strengths and abilities she never knew she had but today serve her well. Carmen graduated from high school in the top 10% of her class and later became the first in her family to graduate from university. In unique ways, she cultivated a strong sense of responsibility for herself and of generous service toward others. Currently, Sister Carmen is serving in campus ministry at Incarnate Word High School, a congregational ministry in San Antonio. Who knows how and where she will use all her gifts as a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word (CCVI), serving God’s mission for years to come? I invite you to listen and draw inspiration from Sister Carmen’s own words as she reflects on this topic:


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“In a spirit of charity, simplicity, and dependence, I, Maria del Carmen Ramirez, dedicate my life to the INCARNATE WORD in the service of his church, and vow consecrated celibacy, evangelical poverty and religious obedience, lived in community, in accord with the constitutions of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, for three years…..”

Srs.Carmen Ramirez, Marylou Rodriguez & Christi Sanchez

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future is a work in progress, and I cannot envision “My it without reflecting on my past. When I was eight years

old, my mom was pregnant, and she wanted a better future and education for her children, so she decided it was time for us to move to Laredo, Tx. I was confused by all the changes happening around me, and I adjusted the best way that I could with the help of music, literature, and writing. I wrote to my future self about how I wanted to be the best flutist and be in the top three chairs in the band. My younger self would be disappointed to know I did not become the best flutist, but I did become second chair for three years in high school. Reflecting on my younger self, I could not stop myself from laughing. I found myself amazed at the dreams I had. I am not surprised because I am a dreamer. My mom would tell me, “Be happy and free, Carmen.” And dreaming made me feel happy. I knew that she was talking about my future, and I am taking “be happy and free” to the future with me. I envision myself being happy and free and finding joy in the little things in life, like every morning when I get excited about the cardinals, who wake me up with their singing. I envision myself growing in the grace and wisdom of God as I bring people together by being a bridge builder. I envision myself standing on sacred ground by being rooted firmly in the charism and mission of the Congregation. I envision myself responding to God’s call wherever I am and at whatever time. I envision myself advocating for those who do not have a voice and helping them find it. I envision myself doing everything with love because the world needs people who love what they do.

I do not know what the future holds for me, but I do know that I will be happy and free.

On August 15, Sr. Christi Sanchez renewed her vows and Sr. Carmen Ramirez professed her first vows.

Srs. Christi Sanchez and Carmen Ramirez



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The Brackenridge Villa T

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” -John Keats-

he oldest historical structure on the campus of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word is what we name the “Brackenridge Villa.” The Sisters acquired the Villa when, in 1897, they purchased nearly 300 acres from Colonel George Brackenridge, a philanthropist, businessman, and prominent citizen of

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San Antonio. Mother Madeleine was in search of an area outside of the City, where a quiet place could be constructed for women in formation, students, and the governing offices of the growing Congregation. What she found was the land holdings of Colonel Brackenridge which at that time included the property at the headwaters of the San Antonio River, all of the area that is now Brackenridge Park, and Fort Sam Houston. (Colonel Brackenridge called his land holdings Alamo Heights. Mother Madeleine wanted to purchase 40 acres in the area that is now Katherine Court. The Colonel agreed to sell, but only if the Sisters purchased his home, then named “Fernridge,” all of its contents, and the 280 acres surrounding his home. (These 280 acres were bound by New Braunfels Avenue on the east, Hildebrand on the south, Devine Road on the west, and Patterson Avenue on the north.) In nine days, the Sisters consented to his terms, and agreed to pay $120,000 for his estate. According to the deed of sale, they were to turn over to Brackenridge 20 promissory notes, each note being for the sum of five thousand dollars, payable to the bearer in gold coin, with five percent interest per year. It took 25 years for the Sisters to pay this debt, the last note dated 1922. Shortly after the transaction was confirmed, a dispute arose between the two parties. The contract, signed by both parties, specified that the only things excluded from the sale would be Colonel Brackenridge’s personal belongings and the Aeolian Vocalin and Piano. Evidently, Brackenridge intended to exclude his extensive library as well. The Sisters understood that they had purchased the collection as part of the sale, and when the Colonel came to retrieve his library, he was told as much by the Sisters. The Sisters determined that the library should not be divided, and offered to sell the complete library back to Colonel Brackenridge for the sum of $2,000.00. The sale of the library was contingent on Brackenridge also purchasing back an organ-piano, music, and scientific instruments for an additional $3,800.00. After consulting with his attorney, and finding no grounds for redress,


an exasperated Brackenridge withdrew his claim. Completely frustrated, the next day Colonel Brackenridge announced at his bank that “those old maids stole my library.” The library was safeguarded at the Villa for many years and some years later was placed in the Special Collections Room in the library at the University of the Incarnate Word. Brackenridge immediately changed the name of the newly purchased estate from “Sweet Homestead” to “Fernridge”. (“Bracken” is Scottish for “fern.”) In 1880, to provide a proper home for his mother, (to whom he was famously devoted) Brackenridge began work on an addition to the Sweet house, a three-story Victorian structure connected to the original house with a solarium. He filled the house with furnishing and appointments that reflected his world travels: Dutch tile floors, French mirrors, Oriental chandeliers, Persian rugs, medieval English furniture, and walls and ceilings made of three Texas woods. Colonel Brackenridge lived here with his mother and his sister Eleanor* until his mother’s death, and the sale of the estate to the Sisters. Purchase of the estate was a significant step taken by the Sisters, and the news was recorded by Sr. Alphonse Brollier, Assistant to Mother Madeleine:


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“We have just acquired a magnificent piece of property for the establishment of our motherhouse. It is about 40 minutes from town. It is truly an overindulgence by Divine Providence, although the property is very expensive. We would never have been able to buy it except for the fact that we have 25-30 years to pay for it… we have about 283 acres of land, 90,000 gallons of water per day, and a magnificent river which passes through our land; so, there is nothing to worry about. Now we have enough land for our dear mothers of Lyon if Madame Republic of France expels them.” Upon possession of their new home, the Sisters renamed the mansion BRACKENRIDGE VILLA in honor of its former owner. For the first three years that the Sisters owned the Villa, it served as novitiate and school, as well as the administrative offices for the growing Congregation. Almost immediately, planning began for a larger structure, and in 1900, the Motherhouse was completed and occupied. The Villa then became home for their chaplain, visiting clergy, and dignitaries. During the Mexican Revolution, members of the Mexican clergy and our own Sisters were forced into exile

to escape persecution, and found a home at the Villa. Thankfully, many descriptions exist of what the Villa looked like when the Sisters purchased it. Lumber used in the building of Fernridge was imported from different parts of the world. Woodwork on the second and third floors was of natural pine. Doors were made of birds-eye maple. Furniture was made of exotic woods - olive and mahogany. Carpenters worked on site and cut everything by hand. Stained glass windows adorned many rooms. A highlight in the room was a mirror 10 feet in height, reaching from floor to ceiling. It was brought from New Orleans to San Antonio by ox cart. One room contained an organ. Fireplaces were decorated with hand-carved mantels, Dutch tile, and brass andirons in the form of serpents. The dining room was described as the “gem of the house.” It was modeled after one of Emperor Maximillian’s in Mexico City, and was built and furnished at a cost of $39,000. The ceiling was made of elephant hide. A heavy brass chandelier hung from mahogany beams. A table that seats 10 resides in the dining room. Portieres (heavy curtains) graced all the doorways in the house. A curving staircase led one from the entry of the addition to the second and third floors, the living quarters of the Colonel, his mother, and his sister. It is constructed of interlacing hand-carved mahogany. On each landing sat a handsome mahog-

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any chair where Mrs. Brackenridge could sit and the library, a butler’s pantry, and a small kitchen rest after walking up a flight of steps. Other rooms from which the Colonel often prepared meals for in the Victorian structure were a coffee room and guests.

For human beings this is “impossible, but for God all things

are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Eleanor Brackenridge was an influential suffragette. In 1912, she was elected president of the newly organized San Antonio Equal Franchise Society which stimulated enough interest throughout the state that the Texas Woman Suffrage Association was formed in April 1913. When the Texas legislature granted primary suffrage to women in 1918, Eleanor Brackenridge was the first woman in Bexar County to register to vote.)

Colonel George Brackenridge and Eleanor Brackenridge


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he Villa was undergoing restoration and stabilization, and it is believed that cleaning rags left in the solarium and exposed to the sun caused the fire. While there was extensive damage to the house and the furnishing, thankfully, no lives were lost. The Congregation’s beloved chaplain, Monsignor Thomas French, was in his room on the second floor when the fire broke out, and he was alerted by students from Incarnate Word College. Their prompt reaction to what they saw enabled him to escape the fast-moving fire. The structure of the building was not damaged; however, the roof of the Villa, the solarium, and the front hallway, including the carved wooden staircase were completely destroyed. All of the decorative stained-glass windows were lost, and much of the furniture. The entire house was damaged by smoke and water. There was no question that the house would be restored, but the cost was prohibitive and beyond what the Congregation was able to undertake. The Leadership Team reached out to Sr. Margaret Patrice Slattery, then President of the College, and proposed that she direct efforts to gather interest among the local community and foundations for the restoration. The College would take over the use and responsibility of the building, while the Congregation maintained ownership. The Villa was successfully restored to its former grandeur through skilled architects and designers, and with the generous contributions of college and community benefactors. It was ready for occupancy by the College in 1985. The Villa was converted to use as offices for college administrators and for official entertainment of alumni and benefactors. It served these purposes for the College, now Uni-

Photo from the devastating fire

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versity, until 2014 when it and its care reverted to the Sisters. At that time, under the leadership of Sr. Yolanda Tarango, restorative work was undertaken to convert the house back from office spaces that occupied most of both buildings (the Sweet House and the Victorian Villa). The first floor of the structure that Brackenridge built was always maintained as an area for entertaining guests, while the majority of the upper floors, and the Sweet House, were used for offices. Today, the rooms of the Sweet House are furnished as they may have been at the time Brackenridge and then the Sisters occupied its spaces. The upper floors of the Victorian structure are currently used for offices for the General Leadership Team of the Congregation, while many pieces of period furniture grace the common areas, as well as the four offices. The first floor of the Villa, and the entirety of the Sweet House are used to welcome guests and visitors. A simple question around the Brackenridge Villa remains:

Why is a historic structure important? Why do we care for, preserve, and protect historic structures? Historic structures help us transmit our reverence and understanding of the past to future generations. Historic buildings help preserve our culture and heritage. At the same time, we work to preserve and protect the land around the Villa. The first permanent settlement on the San Antonio River was made here; tribes of indigenous people lived and farmed on this land. This was the appeal to Colonel Brackenridge who was a naturalist. One account shares that “rather than cut down a tree that stood in the middle of the road, he would have a path made around it.” To this day, trees


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in Brackenridge Park appear to occupy such a position. The Congregation shares the same regard of nature with the previous owner of our campus. In 2020, the last remaining, undeveloped acreage of Brackenridge’s estate was placed in an easement by the Congregation, thus preserving an urban forest within the confines of the second most populous city in the State of Texas. The Brackenridge Villa is a significant part of the Congregation’s legacy, rooted in our her-

itage. By preserving the structure, we honor all of the lives of the men and women who contributed to the growth of the City of San Antonio and to the care for her citizens. The purchase was only one of the many “leaps of faith” taken by the Sisters, relying on Divine Providence. There were many times when difficult decisions were made, always on behalf of the mission of the Congregation. The Villa remains as a reminder of our past to embolden those who are a part of our future:


A Collaboration in Ministry


The CCVI-CSI Hilton Project’s mission is to develop effective and sustainable capacities at the inter-congregational and inter-ministerial levels to respond to the urgent and emerging needs of impoverished communities in both countries.

rad N. Hilton Foundation, expressed her concern for the migratory crisis to Sister Teresa Maya, our Congregational Leader. Based on this conversation, the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, through its development team, developed a project focused on aiding several ministries and congregations working on the border, including vulnerable communities of youth, families, and indigenous populations. The key was to work on this goal inter-congregationally and inter-ministerially so that these congregations and ministries might work together and expand the scope of their missions. The project was presented to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. It was approved and was awarded a three-year grant for $1.8 million.

This project was initiated in 2019, when Sister Jane Wakahiu, Associate Vice President of Program Operations and Head of Catholic Sisters of the Con-

The project was initiated on June 1, 2021. The first six months were devoted to preparation, and operations began in January 2022. It will end on May 31, 2024.

he Inter-Congregational Network of Catholic Sisters in Support of Migrants and the Economic Empowering of Youth and Families, better known as the CCVI-CSI** Hilton Project, was born in response to the initiative of the Catholic Sisters of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Its goal is to fortify and support the vibrancy, strength, and sustainability of religious Congregations of Sisters to respond effectively to the needs of communities served by their ministries in Mexico and the United States.


he CCVI Sisters acknowledge the energy, creativity and capacity that young women and men have to influence our environment and transform the realities around us.

They encourage and invite us to join with them as part of a culture of encounter that enriches our lives by sharing with young people from different cultures and countries. Together with them, we seek an experience that will enhance our faith and encourage us to make God's love real and tangible in others with transforming actions that will inspire other young people. We seek to create new opportunities for fellowship SURGE has facilitated this process. The SURGE team had its first International Encounter in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, July 25-28, 2023. Aurelio Navarrete (UIW Campus Bajío) shares this account: "I had the opportunity to witness something genuinely inspiring at this encounter. It was an experience that filled my heart with hope. We began to form a strong community and weave networks among young people to feel accompanied in creating our own lives. It is a project that accompanies us constantly, inspires us to carry out transforming actions in society, and allows us to be part of the building up of a church where young people feel fully included and loved. The most impressive thing was how, despite coming from different realities and contexts, we shared the same heart. The close relationship/ kinship that emerged in every conversation, every workshop, and every moment together was evident. CONTINUE

**CCVI-Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word ; CSI- Catholic Sisters Initiative

We participated A m o r Min e u sdeep dialogues, 16 enriching dynamics, inspiring workshops, exciting games, and moments of fellowship that nourished our spirit. Through these activities, we came closer to making the spirituality of the Incarnation part of our lives, becoming fundamental elements in constructing a more humane world.”




As part of this process, we continue to walk with young men and women of the world. Twelve representatives of our youth movement had the opportunity to experience "being pilgrims" at World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal.


We left with high expectations, excited to continue learning different realities and adding experiences that nourish our faith. It was impressive to feel the affection among each other, walking, singing, shouting in the streets, "This is the Pope's youth!", and being part of different spiritual and cultural activities. The Pope told us, "Jesus does not point his finger but opens his arms. He embraces us all. Jesus never closes the door, but invites us in; Jesus receives, Jesus welcomes".

• The curriculum incorporates subjects requested by the Sisters and laypersons with whom they work through six modules over 1 year.

During these days, each one of us conveyed Jesus' language of love, and that is what we as young people seek: to feel part of a community and to be a testimony of life for others. That is what we felt during our experience in which we joined our voices with that of thousands of other young people to shout

he goal is to develop operational skills in the Sisters through a Social Leadership Certification Course designed and implemented by the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) in Mexico, which is given via Zoom.

• Certification requires 100% completion of 120 virtual study hours and homework assignments. • Participants include Sisters from different congregations and laypersons who work with them. • Enthusiasm for the course has grown since it began. The number of congregations enrolled in the first year increased from 68 to 90 in the second. • Sisters comprise the majority of those benefitting from the teaching and learning experience.

There were 111 participants in the first year’s class, and 102 graduated in February 2023.

The second year had 234 requests for enrollment by February of 2023, and 190 were accepted. Communication amongst Congregations has extended the course to Latin America. Participants in Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Cuba, and even Italy have joined their Mexican and U.S. Sisters to learn about ministries’ administrative and fiduciary management.



his consists of providing the necessary resources to strengthen communities of indigenous peoples, migrants, families, and youth. Collaborating ministries request funds through an application process that describes the use of the funds, the number of beneficiaries, and the staff involved in implementing and supervising the proposed project. The Advisory Council meets quarterly to review and award funds. The Advisory Council is composed of 9 members (8 Sisters from different Congregations and 1 layperson). In addition, there are two CCVI Sister Coordinators, Sr. Maria Elena Corripio in Mexico, and Sr. Bertha Elena Flores ivn the U.S., who act as the Project’s ambassadors. They invite ministries that have fulfilled the required criteria to participate in the Project, and then do follow-up visits to the ministries in both countries. On the Project’s work, Sr. Bertha Elena Flores shared the following:

“It’s surprising to see the significant impact the project has on immigrants’ daily lives once they cross the border, and a relief for the communities where they integrate, reducing tensions and creating hope. There’s no doubt that accompanying our impoverished sisters and brothers, who come from their place of origin to look for a more dignified life, is a call from ‘our Lord Jesus Christ, suffering in the persons of a multitude of the poor, seeks relief at our hands’. (Bishop C.M. Dubuis) The response has been given by seeking to work in a network with different congregations, each according to it’s capacities, in various services. This fact alone is now part of the positive impact on the lives of religious communities.” To date, 52 projects have been supported by a total of approximately $600,000.

Amor Meus 17 that youth is life, creativity, and love.

Throughout these summer activities, it was crucial to count on the presence, closeness, and accompaniment of our CCVI Sisters. Relying on their prayers fills us with hope and strengthens us to move forward. The older Sisters offer us their tenderness and trust in our project, and they are a great inspiration. We closed these activities with a strengthened heart and have always experienced the presence of Jesus among us. We returned to our cities and countries with the openness to continue learning, accompanying each other in the community, and with the commitment to give our gifts for the transformation of our environment.

We returned home happy! By: Rosario Salas Paredes and Aurelio Navarrete Cristo


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he goal is to aid communities and ministries by Learning through Service, which provides students from the University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio and Bajio, Mexico) and Universidad de Monterrey productive experiences for training committed and informed future leaders, professionals, and citizens.

CURRENTLY, 16 STUDENT SERVICE LEARNING (SSL) PROJECTS ARE ONGOING IN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO AT DIFFERENT STAGES. One of them is a bi-national project. SSL projects are intentionally designed to intertwine academic theory with social application in the real world, beyond geographical borders, and to introduce students to the charism of different religious Congregations and their ministries with vulnerable populations. Thus, the Sisters’ ability to serve

poor communities is multiplied and carried forward into the future. With less than one year remaining in the project, the learnings have been extraordinary and enriching. As we reflect on what we have learned, how we have overcome challenges, and the success we have achieved, our dream is to expand these inter-ministerial and inter-congregational efforts as a model of best practices to develop leadership in disadvantaged communities.

WE WISH TO EXTEND OUR MISSION, CONTINUE OUR WORK, AND CARRY IT FORWARD. We have begun conversations with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation on our desire to continue the project in the coming years, and expanding it to additional Congregations and ministries in need, not only in the United States and Mexico but throughout Central and South America.

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The University of the Incarnate Word

Lord Jesus Christ, suffering in the persons of “ Our a multitude of the sick and infirm of every kind,


seeks relief at your hands.

n response to that call from Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis in 1866, three young French women, after a short period of preparation, left for Galveston, Texas. Succeeding groups of volunteers for the Texas mission joined them. In March 1869, Bishop Dubuis chose from the Galveston community three Sisters -- Sister St. Madeleine Chollet, Sister St. Pierre Cinquin, and Sister Agnes Buisson -- to come to San Antonio to care for those stricken by a cholera epidemic. The Sisters established the city’s first hospital, Santa Rosa Infirmary. Just a few years later, they were asked to respond to another critical need – caring for orphaned children. The sisters founded an orphanage, which led to establishing an elementary school, then a high school, followed by a college. That college is now known as the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), with a mission of service to others. The University and the people who make up its community continue the Catholic tradition of reflection on the wonders of human knowledge and of advancing it through individual

contributions. In each ministry, the Sisters live “a life for God and a heart for others.” UIW and all its sister ministries are the living legacy of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. As a leader in Catholic higher education, the University of the Incarnate Word forges new roads for students to reach their full potential and create positive change in the world. With 11 schools offering more than 90 undergraduate majors, minors and concentrations and 20 graduate and doctoral programs, students embark on journeys of professional preparation and the development of the whole person, not only academically, but also spiritually, physically and mentally. Since its founding in 1881, UIW has grown to become the largest Catholic university and the fourth largest private university in Texas. UIW is based in San Antonio, but has locations in South and Central Texas, two campuses in Mexico and a European Study Center in Strasbourg, France.


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In a sure sign that the desire for a higher education is still the dream of many, in the Fall 2023 semester, UIW welcomed its largest First-Time in College class in its more than 140-year history. The class of 1,067 students is nearly 9% larger than that of Fall 2022 and surpasses the previous First-Time in College class record set more than a decade ago.

for commitment to their communities, servant leadership and impact on the greater good. UIW prioritizes community service as a pillar of the well-rounded education promised by the institution, in the hopes that graduates will continue this legacy of service as concerned and enlightened citizens of our world.

The incoming class shows a strong interest in health professions with 251 students declaring Nursing as their major and another 150 opting to study Healthcare Sciences. Other majors that have gained attention are Biology, Animation and Game Design, Pre-Pharmacy and Engineering.

The graduating Spring Class of 2023 alone completed an inspiring 32,473 hours of community service, providing an economic impact of nearly $1 million.

UIW’s commitment to shaping concerned and enlightened citizens, its rich traditions steeped in service to others and to God and its strong bonds have given rise to more than 40,000 alumni around the world. Graduates extend the UIW Mission in their fields, displaying exemplary contributions in arts, sciences, civic service, leadership, healthcare and more. UIW graduates are also known

Just as its graduates respond to the needs of the world, so does the University as a whole. UIW is now home to five health professions schools, from its oldest – the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions to its newest – the School of Osteopathic Medicine. The University and its health professions programs aim to provide relief in the growing health-

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care worker shortage by educating future healthcare professionals with a heart for others, who are well prepared to treat patients with compassion and medical expertise. Service-learning opportunities such as the University’s mission trips, allow students to gain valuable real-world experience while serving underserved communities in areas including Oaxaca, Mexico and Peru, providing much needed medical and nutritional services.

As a Yellow Ribbon School and HispanicServing Institution, UIW also ranks among the top schools for veterans, consistently earns accolades for its programs, and ranks No. 1 in the nation among faith-based universities graduating Hispanic students with bachelor’s degrees. In addition, UIW’s athletics program – the only Catholic NCAA Division 1 athletics program in the South – has grown to include 23 men’s and women’s teams in 14 sports. UIW women compete on 11 NCAA teams as well as in Cheer and


Dance, for a total of 13 athletic teams available for UIW’s women student-athletes. UIW is currently expanding its physical presence at the Broadway campus through the renovation of an eight-story building located at 4119 Broadway called Founders Hall. The building, as well as the 10 acres on which it sits, was purchased by the University in the summer of 2019. The 350,000 square feet of office space, adjacent parking garage and surrounding land will increase the UIW footprint at the corner of Broadway and Hildebrand by 20 percent, allowing the University to serve the needs of current and future students more efficiently. Once completed, Founders Hall will house the Liza and Jack Lewis Center of the Americas as well as additional classrooms, labs and offices. In Promises to Keep, which outlines the history of what is now the University of the Incarnate Word, the author, Sr. Margaret Patrice Slattery, CCVI notes.


Amor Meus

What Incarnate Word College is today is not the result of any single development in any single period of its history…rather it is the sum total of all of the contributions of all of the students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and friends…Each one has been part of the development of the spirit and the continuity of mission. Each one has helped to fulfill Rev. Mother Pierre’s directive, ‘The glory should be for God, the service for others, the trouble for ourselves.


Amor Meus

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