Each year, the University sets aside a week for special celebrations of the mission. Incarnate Word Week falls in March, during the week of March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation which is the major feast of the Congregation of Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word as well as of the University.
Incarnate Word Day celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation, Mary's "Yes" to God's call. At the Annunciation, an angel sent by God brought the message to Mary that God was asking her to be the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God. When Mary accepted God's offer, the Word (God) became one of us. God became "incarnate," with a body like ours; hence the name Incarnate Word. Because of His resurrection, the Incarnate Word continues to dwell among us.
The program for the week varies. A special liturgy is always part of the week as is the awarding of the CCVI Spirit Award to a member of the faculty, staff, or administration. The CCVI Spirit Award was inaugurated in 1993 to recognize a member of the faculty, administration, or staff who has demonstrated in service to the University and/or to the broader civic community, the spirit of the founders, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The mission of the University flows directly from this spirit.
The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word founded this university and gave it the mission of service to others.
The Sisters originally came to San Antonio in 1869. They came from France in response to a request from the Catholic Bishop of Texas, Claude M. Dubuis, to care for those stricken by a cholera epidemic by establishing the city's first hospital, Santa Rosa Infirmary.
Shortly thereafter, they were asked to meet another critical need - founding an orphanage. Taking care of children led them to open elementary and high schools, the first in San Antonio and other cities in Texas, then in Louisiana, Illinois, and Missouri, and eventually in Mexico. In recent years, they established schools, hospitals, and other service centers in Peru and Zambia.
To train teachers for the schools and nurses for the Santa Rosa Hospital, the Sisters added college courses to the curriculum of College and Academy of Incarnate Word.
In 1881 the Sisters obtained a charter to operate schools and to confer baccalaureate degrees, and in 1957 a Board of Trustees was formed to govern Incarnate Word College, which in 1996 was recognized as a university.
The Sisters and all who have joined them in their schools, hospitals, and the university carry out God's work recognizing everyone served the presence of God dwelling among us - the Word made incarnate.