Historical Tour

An Historical Tour Remembering Incarnate Word Sisters History and San Antonio History, March 24 and repeated October 6, 2018.pilgrimage

For young people, for elders, and for all to learn, make friends, and be renewed as we visit historical treasures in our city.


pilgrimage2Let us recommit ourselves to service as we visit where Franciscan priests came in 1731 and where Incarnate Word Sisters came in 1869.

Enjoy two of the Missions which UNESCO has designated World Heritage Sites and San Fernando, the oldest cathedral sanctuary in the United States.

Reflect in the beautiful Chapel of the Incarnate Word, a contemplative space which has given Sisters strength for mission and see the new Sisters Heritage Center Museum. 

Explore San Francisco de la Espada Mission where Incarnate Word Sisters taught.

Visit the San Fernando Cathedral Museum which has the chalice of Bishop Claude M. Dubuis who wrote a letter with an invitation that brought French young women to Texas to care for those in need.  “Our Lord Jesus Christ suffering . . . seeks relief at your hands.” Learn of the Sisters orphanage and hospital down the street.

As the number of orphan children increased in the 1800’s,  the Sisters built the downtown St. John’s Orphanage. In 1912 a terrible fire broke out. Eighty-nine orphan boys were saved, but two boys were killed. Five Sisters who were searching for the children in the fire were killed.

pilgrimage4Seeking a place for the children, the Sisters build St. Peter’s  right across from Mission Concepcion in 1913. Children from the home, now called St. Peter-St. Joseph’s Home still attend worship in the mission.

Acclaimed Texas Historian and Chair of the initiative to document UIW’s role in San Antonio Tricentennial History, Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa will share information and insights.

Cecilia Elizondo Herrera, Global Service Coordinator in the UIW Ettling Center for Civic Engagement and a member of the San Antonio Mission Board invites you on this journey through time to open our hears to serve others. See and hear her at

Sister Martha Ann Kirk, University of the Incarnate Word Professor of Religious and Sister Marichui Bringas, Incarnate Word Sisters Vocation Director, invite you to learn more of the deep roots of the Incarnate Word Sisters because those can give us strength to grow, flower, and bring forth fruits of service today.pilgrimage5                             


For questions or additional information, please call the Ettling Center 210-283-6423. 


For more history of the IW Sisters, see and for current information and ministries, see







Sister Martha Ann Kirk, University of the Incarnate Word Professor of Religious Studies and Father David Garcia, Director of the SA Missions invite you.