Search

Information


The Heart of UIW

Home  >  The Heart of UIW  >  Celebrating Incarnate Word History During SA300

Celebrating Incarnate Word History During SA300

Posted: February 16, 2018  |  by Margaret Garcia
Filed Under: Campus News

 

St. Johns Orphanage

St. John’s Orphanage for Boys in the early 1900’s. In the 1912 fire, five Sisters saved all but three of the boys who perished in the fire. Four of the five of the Sisters also perished in the fire.
(Photo: Archives of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word)

 

 

 

Compassion and Creativity
By Sister Martha Ann Kirk, CCVI

The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word came to San Antonio in 1869 at the request of the mayor’s urgent plea for health care. https://www.amormeus.org/en/who-are-we/#qs-timeline.  The Sisters, responding to that call, had no idea that patients would die leaving behind orphaned children in need of their care. Soon, people of San Antonio started bringing more children who needed care, some with no parents, others whose parents were not capable of caring for them, or were desperately poor.

While the Sisters were healing and feeding the physical bodies of the orphans, they recognized that art, music, drama and dance helped with their healing and served as nourishment for the spirit. The Sisters started including music in celebrations, dance and drama in schools, and promoted the arts in a beautiful chapel. The Sisters Heritage Center has a section on Music and Arts. https://www.ccviheritage.org/the-exhibit/music-and-art/  

Incarnate Word Drama

Students after a drama at the College and Academy of the Incarnate Word (now known as University of the Incarnate Word), c.1920, on the steps of the Chapel of the Incarnate Word. (Photo: Archives of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word)

Inscribed on the pavement in front of the old Bexar County Court House in downtown San Antonio is a description of drama and dance that was regularly performed in the public square in 1843. Parts of the Americas settled by the Spaniards had dynamic traditions of arts, which contrasted with Puritanical areas of the North East.

UIW carries forward this love of the arts through the Theatre Arts Department http://www.uiw.edu/hass/theatre/ by delighting audiences and winning several Globe Awards. The Music Department http://www.uiw.edu/music/  has a community of musicians including music therapists, music educators, composers, and performers. The Art Department “works with the Mission of UIW, using a global perspective to accord respect to all. The program fosters in students the need for active involvement in community service that will benefit humanity. Art opens hearts and minds to the creative forces present in the world, and leads students to effective ways of working toward social justice.”   http://www.uiw.edu/hass/art/   

St. John's Orphanage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The St. John’s Orphanage for Boys in the early 1900’s. In the 1912 fire, five Sisters saved all but three of the boys who perished in the fire. Four of the five of the Sisters also perished in the fire.
(Photo: Archives of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word)

 

As the University celebrates San Antonio’s Tricentennial, we look back on the challenges the Sisters faced. In the 1800's, when people were suffering, the Sisters compassionately and creatively responded. Education in Theatre Arts can be explored as a pathway to empathy. Theatre Arts promote imagination and creativity. In theatre, one does the impossible, one creates out of nothing, one is not confined by limits. UIW students, faculty, staff and alumni respond in the same compassionate and creative ways in the face of challenges presented today.  An example is the passionate care for foster children shown by students and faculty of the UIW Theatre Arts Department.  Shannon Ivey (UIW BA, 2000) and Shelly Chance (UIW BA, 1999), concerned about social justice issues, formally founded “Theatre for Change” in 2013 that has focused on adoption, childhood cancer, the foster system, and immigration http://www.theatreforchange.org/  Ivey is a faculty member at Texas Lutheran University and a mother of three children, two of whom are from the Texas Foster System. She is grateful to have a son through the foster care system. While Ivey and Chance were students at UIW, they were in contact with Margaret Mitchell, a Theatre Arts professor who was an early recipient of the UIW Edward Zlotkowski Faculty Service Learning Award a year after it was instituted in 2003.  http://uiw.edu/eccl/Faculty-Resources/facultyservicelearningawards.html  She is grateful to have a son through the foster care system.

UIW Alumni

UIW Graduates Renee Garvens, José Rubén De León, Shelly Chance, and Shannon Ivey at the premiere of  (re)Formation.

Chance invited Renee Garvens, who works with foster children in the Roy Mass Youth Alternatives program, http://www.rmya.org/  to speak to the China Grove Lions Club to which Chance belongs. With the support of the Lions Club, Chance got initial funds to do interior decoration for houses for foster children making them feel more like homes.    

Their work is featured in (re)Formation, a new documentary film tracing their concern for foster children. The film points out “There are 2.5 churches for every foster child in South Texas Region 8 foster system.” Why is there not more compassionate care?  The film begins remembering Martin Luther who about 500 years ago said that Christianity is always in need of reform. What reform is needed today? A recent Texas Public Radio story http://tpr.org/post/filmmaker-calls-new-reformation on the film asks why don’t Christians get out of church buildings into the streets and help people more. See a trailer of the film https://vimeo.com/241027881

The film will be shown Monday, February 19, 2018 from 6:30 - 8:15 pm, in the UIW Mabee Library Auditorium. Tommy Calvert, Bexar County Commissioner, Precinct 4, will share an introduction on the importance of service. After the film, there will be a discussion with Ivey, Chance, Garvens, and Mitchell. The presentation is part of the UIW Service Learning Showcase exploring the value of civic engagement in education. http://uiw.edu/eccl/Faculty-Resources/facultyservicelearningshowcase.html

Come and enjoy music, art, and drama in the free Tricentennial Festival, “Mi Casa Es Su Casa,” Sunday, April 15, 2018.  https://sa300ccvi.org/festival/ 

Incarnate Word Orchestra

College and Academy of the Incarnate Word Orchestra, c. 1910, in St. Cecilia’s Hall. (Photo: Archives of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word)

 
 

Below are important links to Incarnate Word events and information:

  • For more information about programs planned by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate during 2018, visit sa300ccvi.org.
  • A historical tour remembering the Incarnate Word Sisters history and the history of San Antonio is scheduled for March 24 and will be repeated October 6, 2018. The tour, scheduled for 9:30 a.m., will begin and end at the Chapel of the Incarnate Word (4503 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209.) The tour is free for those with their own transportation. Participants may purchase or bring their lunch. Please register by writing eccl@uiwtx.edu. For more information on the tour, visit CCVI Historical Tour.
  • To find out more about the history of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, visit the Heritage Center exhibit next to Chapel of the Incarnate Word. The exhibit is 2,300 square feet, presented through the stories of the hundreds of Incarnate Word Sisters and the lay collaborators who have served side-by-side in our ministries of healthcare, education, and social and pastoral services. For more information, call (210) 828-2224 or visit CCVI Heritage.
  • A Historical Timeline of the Congregation can be viewed at CCVI Timeline.

 

Cover photo caption:  St. John’s Orphanage for Boys in the early 1900’s. In the 1912 fire, five Sisters saved all but three of the boys who perished in the fire. Four of the five of the Sisters also perished in the fire.
(Photo: Archives of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word)

 

Browse Categories

Search UIW News

Archives