UIW Community Comes Together for Welcome Mass

August 26, 2022

Reflection by Lorena Gutierrez, University Mission and Ministry media intern

The 2022 Welcome Mass for University of the Incarnate Word students and community members was held on Sunday, Aug. 21, in the Chapel of the Incarnate Word, before the first week of the new semester. “Dame Tu Paz, Senor” was the prelude song sung before Mass began. The words of the song translated from Spanish, “comfort me and heal me, O Lord,” were a reminder of the theme of the Mass: to welcome Christ to our hearts at the beginning of this new school year, now and forever.

This song was a prayer for our University community, for our schoolwork and our souls. It was a prayer of the constant necessity to be open to asking for and receiving the grace of God. The song especially touches on the things concealed, those things in the silence of our hearts: our troubles, hurts and wounds, doubts and fears that may plague us. Christ, truly present in the Eucharist and in our lives each day, remains steadfast in love and mercy. This gift He offers us of love never changes. No matter the challenges that continue to fall in our path, we are never alone. President Evans also shared encouragement about the new semester, the blessing of the Sisters, and their mission as it has carried into the present University.

The concluding song at Mass was “Hymn to the Incarnate Word.” This song bears and reflects great history of the faith of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. The hymn is for Christ, who is King and the Word Incarnate. He is who we choose to live for and give praise to. By doing so, we offer a beacon of hope to our community and become a light of God’s love. Sharing this light of Christ is each person’s calling. This light and love being shared is important in big and small ways. This theme again was alluded to in the Psalm, “Go out to all the world and tell the good news, tell the good news.” Father Hector also shared how this faith and the Word of God are for all, and the call to strive to be a welcoming light to others.

Dr. Javier Clavere, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and his wife, Dr. Lindsay Clavere, share this message of their first Welcome Mass at UIW.

"Our family extends deep gratitude to all those who created a space of sacred hospitality during the Welcome Mass on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022. It was a privilege to celebrate the Eucharist with our new community at the University of the Incarnate Word. Beginning the new academic year, together in liturgy, was a divine invitation to renew our commitment to Christ and to consecrate our lives to serving one another. The glory of the space, the music, and the liturgy conjoined in creating a sacred beginning. We are thankful."