IWA anniversary in Corpus Christi

Over the years, Incarnate Word Academy graduates have had stellar careers in public service, healthcare, and education.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – This year marks a very special anniversary for one of the oldest schools in Coastal Bend. The Sisters of the Incarnated Word and Blessed Sacrament are celebrating their centenary with 150 years of experience educating students in South Texas and sharing the Word of God.

The organization is said to be older than the Catholic diocese of Corpus Christi, founded in 1912.

“That was Claude Dubuis, he was the second Bishop of Galveston and he was the one who came to France and asked that our sisters come to Corpus Christi and Brownsville,” said Sister Brenda Thompson.

Sister Thompson is the Heritage Director at Incarnate Word Monastery. Your job is to digitize the stories in order to preserve their story.

The fonts are stored in folders, with each page and photo protected in an acid-free sheet so visitors can flip through to learn more about the origins of the organization.

Sister Annette Wagner is currently Superior General and said it was shortly after the French Revolution when the Bishop of Texas, Claude Dubuis, went to France to look for a group of sisters who could start a school in Texas.

Since the sisters were in the monastery at the time, they could not walk. During the conversation the bishop mentioned that he would meet the Pope soon.

After arriving in Brownsville in 1853, the sisters founded a school and then made their way to Victoria, and finally to Corpus Christi in 1871.

Over the years, Incarnate Word Academy graduates have had stellar careers in public service, healthcare, and education.

Although the IWA sisters started out in the classrooms, much of their work is focused on helping in hospitals and working in adult education.

Many things have changed over the years, from the way they teach to the way they dress. Only 50 years ago the Catholic Church decided that the traditional habit could be replaced with something less common.

The IWA sisters have since spread around the world, including South America, Africa, and Europe, but although times have changed their overall mission remains the same.

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