Alumna Mary Jane Hardy BS '63, author and retired educator, has taught numerous lessons to many students over the years. When she speaks, you can't help but start taking notes. Hardy graduated from Incarnate Word in 1963 with a degree in Education and a passion for teaching. Recently, Hardy stopped by the alumni office with Sr. Margaret Patrice Slattery CCVI '52 BA for a quick tour of the Brackenridge Villa with some friends. As the conversation quickly turned to local history, Hardy shared that she had just completed a new book about the history of some of the local churches downtown. Spiritual Treasures of Downtown San Antonio explores numerous churches downtown that often go unnoticed to many San Antonians.
In learning more about Hardy, I learned more about Incarnate Word and her personal faith journey during a very difficult time. Her renewed interest in the downtown churches came after a visit to a downtown church while her husband was receiving treatment in a downtown hospital. It was then that she rekindled her love for the downtown churches that she would always see as a young student taking the bus downtown. Her mission to complete this book became clear over time. Her journey with researching and publishing this book took 15 years to put together through the trials and tribulations of her husband's passing and her own struggle with breast cancer. As she started researching, she started to reflect on how her own children had missed out on these treasures and planned to write about them to share these unique stories with future generations.
When asked to share insight on the lengthy process, she shared a quote from Rev. Mother Pierre Cinquin CCVI noted in Promises to Keep: "In all of our works, the glory should be for God, the utility for others and the trouble for ourselves." Indeed, even her book follows that advice. All of the proceeds benefit the Down Syndrome Foundation in honor of an anonymous donor who helped to make this project a reality. We should all heed this timeless advice of Rev. Mother Pierre Cinquin CCVI that has blessed Incarnate Word for well over 130 years.