UIW Celebrates Incarnate Word Week

March 25, 2022

Angela Lawson, Sr. Josetta Eveler, Michelle Rodriguez, Sr. Kathleen Coughlin, Erika Haskins, Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, Sr. Leticia DeJesus RodriguezLuke 1:38 Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Mary said “yes” to God’s call, and it is because of this moment that the Word became Incarnate and walked on earth. The University of the Incarnate Word celebrates this response through Incarnate Word Day, held annually on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation.

"We have so many reasons to celebrate at this time of year, and even more reasons to be grateful,” said UIW President Thomas M. Evans, PhD. “Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation and our founding congregation, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, on their feast day. At their roots, both are proof of all that is possible when we say ‘yes.’”

In 1869, three young French women also said “yes” when Bishop Claude Dubuis called them to serve the sick and the poor in San Antonio. Our founders changed the region forever, and today, UIW faculty, staff and students continue saying "yes" through their acts of service.

UIW held numerous events to prepare the hearts of its community for Incarnate Word Day. Incarnate Word Week began with a reconciliation service, a time of prayerful celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation. Attendees had the opportunity to spend time in prayer and reflection as they opened their hearts to God for reconciliation and healing.

Then, on Tuesday, the community was invited to participate in an ecumenical service of contemplative worship in the tradition of Taizé with singing, meditation, liturgical readings and more, at the Taizé Prayer Service.

On Thursday, the UIW community gathered to celebrate and give thanks for the ministries of the Covered wagon traveling in front of the Chapel of the Incarnate Word Sisters, CCVI associates, collaborators and students who have been part of the Incarnate Word mission since its founding in San Antonio in 1869. Auxiliary Bishop Gary Janak presided over the Incarnate Word Day Mass, marking his first visit to the Chapel of the Incarnate Word. In his remarks, Bishop Janak thanked the Sisters for saying "yes" and building the foundation of their ministries.

The UIW community was also able to experience a guided tour of the exhibit “A Life for God and a Heart for Others,” in the Heritage Center. This exhibit tells the story of the Congregation through the stories of the Sisters and their collaborators. Visitors were invited to take a journey to learn about the women pioneers who founded and grew the Congregation through its ministries of health care, education, and pastoral and social services.

The week concluded with Incarnate Word Day on the Feast of the Annunciation. Friday began with Traditional Morning Prayer, including the antiphonal recitation of the Psalms of the day.

In the afternoon, the University held the Incarnate Word Day Presentation and announced the 2022 CCVI Spirit Award winner, Angela Lawson, Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Academic Affairs/SWA. In memory of the three founders of UIW, several Sisters, the 2021 CCVI Spirit Award winner and the 2022 CCVI Spirit Award winner took a symbolic journey around campus in a covered wagon, ending at The Diane Bennack Concert Hall for the presentation.

Fr. David Muñoz, OMI, presented a speech titled “A charism is a gift of the spirit through a person or group for the good of the church.” UIW then honored Lawson as the 2022 CCVI Spirit Award winner. The 2022 Student CCVI Spirit Award winner, UIW Ph.D. student Erika Haskins, was also presented her award.