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2014 IWC Jubilarians
Honored
2014
Chezard Awards
Easter
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Amor Meus
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        Progress Continues on Amor Meus Prayer Sites

                            
                            
                            
 

IWBS Sisters Celebrate Jubilees

 On Sunday, July 13, 2014, three.Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrated the anniversaries of their professions at Incarnate Word Convent. The Most Reverend David Fellhauer, Bishop of the Victoria Diocese, officiated at the 2:00 p.m. Mass. Also present and co-celebrating was Father Phi Nguyen,Father Clemente Barron, C. P., Father Gary Janak, and Father Eric Ritter. Father Clemente, Sister Leonita’s brother, was the homilist.

Those honored were Sister M. Pauline Marie Ermis (75 years) and Sister M. Leonita Barron (50 years), Sister M. Maureen Sprencel (50 Years). Together they will have contributed 175 years of service to the Church in ministries of education, health care, administration and pastoral services.

Sister Pauline Marie Ermis, one of nine children, is the daughter of the late Ignac and Annie Vaclavik Ermis of Plum, Texas. Sister Pauline Marie completed grammar school at St. Jerome School in Plum and attended height school at St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner.

She entered St. Ludmila Convent on September 15, 1937 and pronounced first vows on June 5, 1939. She received her BA degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio with a major in history and a minor in social science, and held a teacher’s permanent elementary certificate.

During the 75 years of her religious profession, Sister Pauline Marie taught in the primary, elementary, and junior high grades at the following schools: Immaculate Conception School in Sealy, Holy Trinity School in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, St. Mary School in Nada, Holy Cross School in East Bernard, St. John School in San Marcos, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, St. Michael School in Weimar, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Holy Trinity School in Corn Hill, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner and Blessed Sacrament Parish School in San Antonio.

Sister Pauline Marie retired from full-time active classroom duties in 1995 to reside at Incarnate Word Convent where she assisted in various household duties. She now resides in the infirmary where her cheerful presence is an inspiration to all as she engages in the apostolate of prayer and suffering.



Sister M. Leonita Barron, the daughter of the late Ysabel and Rafaela (Gomez) Barron, was born in Palacios, Texas. She was the youngest of three boys and two girls.

Sister Leonita received her elementary schooling at Stephen F. Austin School and San Houston Junior High School in Edna, Texas. She then entered Nazareth Convent on August 15, 1959 and attended Nazareth Academy from which she graduated. She became a postulant during her senior year in 1962, entered the novitiate in 1963 and pronounced her first vows on August 6, 1964.

Sister Leonita initially studied at Annunciation College and then continued her studies at Incarnate College where she received her BA degree with a major in Elementary Education and minor in History with a Provincial Teaching Certificate for Life. She received her M. Ed. Degree from Southwest Texas State University.

During her 50 years as a member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Leonita has ministered as kindergarten teacher at IWC and as a teacher/principal at Nazareth Academy, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Our Lady of Victory in Victoria, and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. She has been serving as Pastoral Associate in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Selma for the last three years.



Sister M. Maureen Sprencel, the daughter of the late Joe and Justine Moczygemba Sprencel was born in Falls City, Texas. She is from a family of three boys and two girls.

Sister Maureen attended grammar school in Karnes City, Texas. She entered Nazareth Convent in 1959 and attended Nazareth Academy from which she graduated. She became a postulant in 1962 and entered the novitiate on August 5, 1963; on August 6, 1964 she pronounced her first vows.

Sister Maureen initially studied at Annunciation College for two years and then was trained as a Licensed Vocational Nurse. She received a BS in Nursing and became an RN from Marillac College in St. Louis, Missouri.

During her 50 years as a member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Maureen has ministered as a nurse/staff nursing/supervisor at Mercy Hospital in Jourdanton; Director of Education/Staff Nursing and Head Nurse at Huth Memorial in Yoakum; IWC Health Care Director in Victoria; Santa Rosa Home Health Services and Santa Rosa Hospice Services in San Antonio; Field Nurse for Hospice of South Texas in Victoria; and Christus VNA Hospice in San Antonio where she is currently reaching out to those in need.



 

Sisters Honored with 2014 Jeanne de Matel "Chezard" Awards

             
Sister Agatha Shimek, Sister Callista Mares, Sister Marietta Hajdik, and Sister Charlene Machala
receive prestigious Chezard Awards for outstanding fidelity in service.

The Chezard Award is given each year to Sisters who exemplify to others their God-given talents and skills in their service of the Incarnate Word. They are chosen each year by members of the Community who detect these special qualities in the Sisters who are named.


Former Chezard Award Recipients

2002 Sister Andrea Hubnik, Sister Colette Kouba,Sister Doloretta Leopold

2003 Sister Frances Cabrini Janvier, Sister Paschaline Kutac, Sister Rachel Gomez

2004 Sister George Vasek, Sister Alfreda Leopold, Sister Lucilla Donnelly

2005 Sister Theresa Marie Miller, Sister Carmelita Casso, Sister Patrice Schorp

2006 Sister Mary Ann Martinka, Sister Annunciata Shumbera, Sister Claudia Klesel

2007 Sisters John and Jeanne de Matel Hayden, Sister Pauline Ermis,
Sister Alberta Novosad, Sister Rebecca Janacek

2008 Sister Elaine Braden, Sister Adele Marie Machala, and Sister Emiliana Grafe

2009 Sister Emilie Eilers, Sister Rosalyn Henke, Sister Stephana Marbach

2010 Sister Adelaide Popp, Sister Amata Hollas, Sister Rosemary Leopold, and Sister Anna Marie Popp

2011 Sister Ronalda Peltier, Sister Mary Virginia Sheblak

2012 Sister Gregoria Berger, Sister Adriana Cernoch, Sister Evelyn Korenek

2013 Sister Geraldine Pavlik, Sister Stephanie Marie Martinez, and Sister Faustina Orsak



 

Blessing of the Amor Meus Stations of the Cross, the Rosary Path, and the Garden of Gethsemane

   
  Sister Stephana welcomes an overflow crowd in the Incarnate Word Convent Auditorium (left) Knights of Columbus assemble for procession (right)
 
   
  Singers sing "Lord, Let me Walk", "Queen of the Holy Rosary", and "Were You there?". (left) The crowd processes to the site. (right)
 
   
  Our Bishop blesses the Rosary Path, the Stations of the Cross, and the Garden of Gethsemane. (left) People continue along the Rosary Path. (right)  
 

IWBS Sisters Celebrate Jubilees

 On Saturday, July 13, 2013, five Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrated the anniversaries of their professions at Incarnate Word Convent. The Most Reverend David Fellhauer, Bishop of the Victoria Diocese, officiated at the 2:00 p.m. Mass. Those celebrating 75 years were Sister Jeanne de Matel Hayden (see picture below), Sister M. Annunciata Shumbera, and Sister M. Callista Mares. Celebrating 70 years were Sister M.Alberta Novosad and Sister Marcella Srubar.

Then on Sunday, July 14, 2013, three more Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrated the anniversaries of their professions at Incarnate Word Convent. Again, the Most Reverend David Fellhauer officiated at the 2:00 p.m. Mass. Those celebrating 60 years were Sister M. Emilie Eilers and Sister Raphael Rose Stewart. Sister Clare Underbrink celebrated 25 years.

Together these eight Sisters have contributed 510 years of service to the Church in ministries of education, administration and pastoral services.

Sister Jeanne de Matel Hayden, daughter of the late Robert Joseph and Emma (Nocker) Hayden, was born in San Antonio, Texas. She attended St. Leo School in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Blessed Sacrament Academy. Sister Jeanne de Matel entered the Postulancy at Blessed Sacrament Convent on August 17, 1936, received the habit on June 10, 1937, and pronounced first vows on June 11, 1938. She received a BA degree from Incarnate Word College (now University) in San Antonio with a major in English and a minor in Spanish and her MA degree with a major in Education and a minor in History.

During 75 years as a professed member of the congregation, Sister Jeanne de Matel taught at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, St. Leo School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, St. Mary School in Praha, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ganado, St. Michael School in Weimar, Sacred Heart School in Crosby and Holy Cross School in East Bernard. Sister Jeanne de Matel also served 15 years as principal in four of the schools.

When she retired from full-time classroom duty, she served the Congregation as an assistant to the Treasurer General. She also used her “green thumb” by tending the many plants and flowers at Incarnate Word Convent. She also made rosaries for the missions. Sister now resides in the Congregation’s Healthcare where she ministers in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering and spends time with her beloved sister, Sister John.



Sister M. Annunciata Shumbera, daughter of the late John and Frances (Macha) Shumbera, was born in Weimar, Texas. She completed her grammar grades at Bois D’Arc School and St. Michael School in Weimar and high school at Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. She entered the Postulancy at Blessed Sacrament Convent on August 30, 1936 and received the habit on June 10, 1937. On June 11, 1938, she made her first profession of vows. She received her BA degree from Incarnate Word College (now University) in San Antonio with a major in English and a minor in Spanish. Sister Annunciata received her M.Ed. from Our Lady of the Lake College (now University) in San Antonio with a major in education and a minor in library science.

During the 75 years of her religious profession, Sister Annunciata taught on the elementary, junior high and high school levels at St. Leo School, St. Agnes School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, and St. Michael School in Cuero. Sister Annunciata also served as principal and librarian in some of the schools for many years.

During her retirement at Incarnate Word Convent, Sister Annunciata has continued to use her gifts as a librarian in the convent library and the congregation’s archives as she also ministers in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.



Sister M. Callista Mares, daughter of the late Cyril and Augusta (Otahal) Mares was born in Cistern, Texas. She completed elementary school at St. Wenceslaus School in Cistern and graduated from Nazareth Academy in Victoria. She entered the Blessed Sacrament Convent in San Antonio as a postulant on May 10, 1937 and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on December 18, 1937. Sister made her first profession of vows on December 19, 1938. She received her B.A. degree from Incarnate Word College (now University) in San Antonio with a major in history and a minor in philosophy.

During the 75 years of her religious profession, Sister Callista taught on the primary, elementary and junior high levels at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Ammannsville Public School in Ammannsville, Sealy Public School in Sealy, Falls City Public School in Falls City and St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner.

After retiring from full-time classroom duty, Sister Callista continued in various ministries at Incarnate Word Convent; she was sacristan, visited nursing homes, and pursued her hobbies of crocheting and needlepoint and is now ministering in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.



Sister M. Alberta Novosad (Bernadette), daughter of the late Paul and Mary Novosad, was originally from Fayetteville, Texas. Her early education began at St. John School in Fayetteville, Texas. The family moved in the early 1930’s when she continued her education at St. Jerome School in Plum, Texas.

She completed her high school education at Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Texas and officially began her novitiate training in December, 1941 with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Victoria, Texas.

After Profession in 1943, Sister studied at Victoria College in preparation for her teaching ministry and continued at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas, obtaining a degree in English. Later, she studied at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, obtaining a Master’s degree in Counseling. To further her education for administrative duties, she obtained a Master’s in Administration from the University of Houston/Victoria.

Sister was assigned to teach at various schools, staffed by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament: Sacred Heart School in Floresville; Nazareth Academy in Victoria, teaching first grade boys for eleven years and later teaching high school English and Latin; Annunciation College, teaching English; Sacred Heart School in La Grange; St. Joseph High School in Victoria as Principal (the first women Principal of the all-boys’ high school at the time); Principal at Mary Immaculate School in Dallas; Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio as Principal; Principal of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Queen of Peace School in Houston. In the early days to supplement the low teaching salaries of the Sisters, Sister taught piano lessons before and after school hours at many of the schools.

After retiring from the teaching ministry, Sister continued to serve at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish in Houston until 2008, when she retired to Incarnate Word Convent in Victoria, where she devoted her time in research and writing “TEXAS FOOTPRINTS IN THE SANDS OF TIME,” a history of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament coming to Texas, and their contribution to the Church, not only in Texas, but also in Illinois and Pennsylvania. She continues to enjoy her hobbies of making rosaries and doing embroidery and crocheting.



Sister M. Marcella Srubar is the daughter of the late Charles and Mary Rose Vecera Srubar of Plum, Texas. She attended St. Jerome School in Plum and received her high school education at Nazareth Academy in Victoria. She entered the Postulancy at Nazareth Convent on December 8, 1941. On July 27, 1942 she received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament and was given the name of Sister M. Marcella. She pronounced her first vows on July 28, 1943 and pronounced her final vows on September 1, 1946.

Sister Marcella was awarded a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish and a M.Ed. with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in English and history from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

Sister Marcella’s years of ministry included being an educator in the following schools: Holy Cross School in Bay City; St. Wenceslaus School in Cistern, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Falls City Public School, Mary Immaculate School in Dallas, St. Leo School in San Antonio, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner; and St. Joseph School in Yoakum. After school hours Sisters Marcella taught piano lessons. After leaving active ministry in the schools, she served the Congregation as local superior at Incarnate Word Convent for nine years. She continued to capture memorable events with her camera and enjoy her hobbies of making Christmas ornaments, etc. Sister now resides in the Congregation’s Healthcare where she ministers in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.



Sister M. Emilie Eilers is the daughter of the late Joseph and Elizabeth Grafe Eilers of Hallettsville, Texas. She completed grade school and one year of high school at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. She entered the Postulancy at Nazareth Convent on December 2, 1951 and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on June 2, 1952, and pronounced her first vows on June 3, 1953 and her final vows on August 5, 1956.

Sister Emilie earned a BA degree with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry at Incarnate Word College (University) in San Antonio and a MA degree with a major in administration and a minor in psychology/sociology from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. She also attended Oblate School of theology pursuing a degree in Sacred Studies.

During her 60 years of ministry, Sister taught at Holy Cross School in Bay City, Assumption School in Ganado, Our Lady of Victory in Victoria, St. Leo School in San Antonio, and St. Michael School in Cuero. Sister served as principal at St. Michael School in Cuero, Our Lady of Victory School and at St. Joseph High School and was on the Congregational Leadership Team for 18 years.

After a year’s sabbatical at Berakah in New Hampshire, Sister received certification in Spiritual Direction and is currently serving as Ongoing Formation Director for the Sisters. She served in the IWC Healthcare as Director of Spiritual and Recreational Activities and is presently serving as Dietary Director. Currently Sister Emilie also serves as president on the Amor Meus Spirituality Board which she helped to organize over the last 6 years.



Sister Raphael Rose Stewart, the daughter of the late Alexander and Winona Sweeney Stewart, was born in Rockport, Texas. Sister received her education at Sacred Heart School in Rockport, Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi, Rockport High School and joined the first graduating class from Sacred Heart High School in Hallettsville (1948).

She entered the Postulancy at Nazareth Convent on December 2, 1951 and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on June 2, 1952; she pronounced her first vows on June 3, 1953 and her final vows on August 5, 1956. She attended Incarnate Word College (now a University), from which she received a BA Degree with a major in Math and a minor in Chemistry. She received a Master of Science in Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Theological Studies from the Oblate School of Theology. She also pursued studies in Clinical Pastoral Education at M.D. Anderson and became a Certified Chaplain Advanced.

During her 60 years of profession, Sister Raphael Rose ministered as a teacher at Sacred Heart School in La Grange, St. Michael School in Weimar, St. Leo School in San Antonio, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. Sister served as principal at St. Paul High School in Shiner and Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. After serving as administrator of Huth Memorial Hospital and studying to become a certified chaplain, Sister ministered as Director of the Spiritual Care Department at Christus St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur, Texas and Corpus Christi.

In her retirement she took a Sarah Sabbatical to advance her spirituality and spent time at the Manna House of Prayer in Concordia, Kansas. She is presently serving as chaplain in the Health Care for her Sisters. These past few years Sister Raphael Rose has also been ministering in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.

Sister Mary Clare Underbrink, the daughter of George and Rosemary Underbrink of Dallas was born in Garland, Texas. She attended St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School in Dallas and graduated from Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas. Sister Clare earned a B.A. in Math and Special Education from William Woods College in Fulton, MO and an M.A.T in Math from the University of Texas at Dallas. Then for the next four years she taught and coached at Skyline High School in Dallas. Sister entered the Postulancy at Incarnate Word Convent on September 8, 1986 and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on August 6, 1987; she made her first profession of vows on August 6, 1988

. Sister Clare taught at Nazareth Academy and at St. Joseph High School in Victoria and then began pursuing advanced studies in Theology at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. She continued teaching at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville and then spent 7 ½ years in France as she delved into studies in Incarnational Spirituality and 17th Century History and received 2 PhDs in her studies. Her residence in Lyon, France has deeply enriched her in the heritage of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.

Sister Clare is presently residing at Incarnate Word Convent and serving on the General Council of the Congregation as she teaches theology at St. Joseph High School in Victoria.



 

Behind the Scene Preparation

Sisters Work Together to Prepare for Special Events

 






Sisters Honored with 2013 Jeanne de Matel "Chezard" Awards

     

Sister Geraldine Pavlik, Sister Stephanie Marie Martinez, and Sister Faustina Orsak
receive prestigious Chezard Awards for outstanding fidelity in service.

The Chezard Award is given each year to Sisters who exemplify to others their God-given talents and skills in their service of the Incarnate Word. They are chosen each year by members of the Community who detect these special qualities in the Sisters who are named.

The first recipient of the 2013 Chezard award goes to one among us who is seen in the eyes of her sisters to be prayerful, generous, self-giving and very dedicated to the community. She exhibits an optimistic spirit and runs in the mode likened to the energizing bunny with full force ahead in all her endeavors. Her past years of service in this Incarnate Word congregation includes that of teacher and principal. Today she can be found cooking, cleaning, switch-boarding, scheduling and planning parties. Truly her days can be capped with the words of Mother de Matel, “Love never says enough.” This award goes to Sister Geraldine Pavlik.

For our second Chezard award we recognize our Sister who demonstrates a creative and fun spirit. In the remote past one of her notable successes has been her self-giving and ingenious style in organizing the Sister-Act awards of which we all were enlightened. For years this event paved the way to an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie during our annual Fun Day gatherings. This Chezard award goes to Sister Stephanie Marie Martinez.

Our third Sister chosen to receive a 2013 Chezard award is one whose life was dedicated to the service of teaching little children, especially the once little ones of Victoria. Generations have come under this Sister’s influence and the world is better for it. Her quiet, soft spoken wishes and patient endurance is what sustains her today as she now patiently basks in the school of God’s love. This award goes to Sister Faustina Orsak.

Former Chezard Award Recipients

2002 Sister Andrea Hubnik, Sister Colette Kouba,Sister Doloretta Leopold

2003 Sister Frances Cabrini Janvier, Sister Paschaline Kutac, Sister Rachel Gomez

2004 Sister George Vasek, Sister Alfreda Leopold, Sister Lucilla Donnelly

2005 Sister Theresa Marie Miller, Sister Carmelita Casso, Sister Patrice Schorp

2006 Sister Mary Ann Martinka, Sister Annunciata Shumbera, Sister Claudia Klesel

2007 Sisters John and Jeanne de Matel Hayden, Sister Pauline Ermis,
Sister Alberta Novosad, Sister Rebecca Janacek

2008 Sister Elaine Braden, Sister Adele Marie Machala, and Sister Emiliana Grafe

2009 Sister Emilie Eilers, Sister Rosalyn Henke, Sister Stephana Marbach

2010 Sister Adelaide Popp, Sister Amata Hollas, Sister Rosemary Leopold, and Sister Anna Marie Popp

2011 Sister Ronalda Peltier, Sister Mary Virginia Sheblak
2012 Sister Gregoria Berger, Sister Adriana Cernoch, Sister Evelyn Korenek

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We Crown Mary as Our Queen

During the Month of May, the Sisters honor Mary,
the mother of the Incarnate Word.

           

           

                    




We Honor St. Joseph the Worker

On May 1, the Sisters pray in a special outdoor ceremony.

  


Amor Meus Spirituality Center

"Amor Meus" (My Love -Jesus is my Love)

For more information, click on Amor Meus Spirituality Center

Days of Prayer and Reflection

9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

December 13, 2014

January 24, 2015

February 28, 2015

March 28, 2015

April 25, 2015

These retreats and prayer experiences are open to men and women.
Come and enjoy God's nature and experience peace and quiet.
Lunch may be purchased for $5.00 or bring your own. Drinks will be provided.
A love offering is accepted for the day.
Park in front of Incarnate Word Convent and follow the signs to the auditorium.


Join Us for Vespers on Sundays during Advent and Lent at 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Vespers (Evening Prayer) finds its base in the prayers of the Psalms. This prayer calls us to give praise and thanksgiving to our loving God. This prayer can prepare us for their great events of Christmas and Easter.


Join us for an evening of Taize Prayer from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

This special prayer experience is held in an atmosphere of quiet and candle light. Taize Prayer originated in Taize, France, near the birthplace of our Foundress, Jeanne Chezard de Matel. The prayer consists of sacred chants, songs, scripture readings, meditations and prayers of praise and petition.

February 10, 2015

April 14, 2015

August ll, 2015

Incarnate Word Convent

1101 NE Water Street
Victoria, Texas 77901

         

      

      
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            Sisters at Incarnate Word Convent Celebrate Anniversaries!

On April 19 the Sisters who are celebrating anniversaries this year who live at Incarnate Word Convent were honored with a special Mass and meal followed by a short program.
 
  
Sisters process into chapel for a special Jubilee Mass; Sisters renew their vows during the Liturgy.

      
Sister Callista(75 years) listens as Sister Geraldine, IWC Superior, introduces the prayer; Sisters pray before the meal, Suster Annunciata (75 years) enjoys the meal; Sister Alberta (70 years) poses with Sister Marcella (also 70 years)

    
Sister Alberta poses with Sister Clare (25 years) and Sister Rose Raphael (60 years); Sister Emilie shares a toast with Father Phi, our Chaplain; Sister Jeanne who could not be present.(75 years)

CONGRATULATIONS, JUBILARIANS!
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Sisters Celebrate Holy Days

       
The Easter Fire burned brightly ahead of time; Father prepared the Easter Candle and then lighted it from the coals from the fire.

                            
Sisters held their burning candles; holy water was blessed during the Easter Vigil service; on Easter Sunday morning Father Phi celebrated Mass in the IWC Health Care Chapel.
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Sisters Host 5th Grade Vocation Awareness Days

                  
On January 15 and 16, 2013, some 220 fifth graders from the Catholic Schools in the diocese attended Church Vocation Awareness Days at Incarnate Word Convent in Victoria. They were welcomed by (Pictured above) Sister Donna,Coordinator;Sister Stephana, our General Superior; Sister Geraldine our Local Superior; and Mr. Quary, Diocese of Victoria Catholic Schools Superintendent.

                                      
The students heard a number of talks about religious life and the priesthood.(Pictured at left: Father Phi, IWC Chaplain) They visited the Gift Shop and the Hall of Memories at the convent. The day culminated in a Prayer Service that highlights the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Pictured above)
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Sisters Participate in Chapter Activities

                        
During our Chapter 2012, we remembered our heritage and envisioned our call to extend the Incarnate Word in the world of today and tomorrow.
Above left: Sister Stephana Marbach, our newly installed General Superior, and Sister Evelyn Korenek, our former General Superior announce our individual ministries for the coming year.
Above center: Our Foundress, Mother Jeanne Chezard de Matel, portrayed by our Sister Clare, responds to challenges facing religious life today.
Above right: Sisters Frances Cabrini, Liliane, Emiliana and Louise Marie portray the first Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters who came to Texas.

                             
Our closing ceremony used the symbolism of a river to be crossed on the way to transformation.
Above left: Sister Leonita chooses a small "suitcase" symbolizing the baggage she wants to leave behind before crossing the river.
Above center: Sister Mary crosses the river.
Above right: Sister Louise Marie chooses a heart to symbolize the prayer for a spiritual gift that she is seeking.

                               
Above Left: Sister Evelyn places her prayer heart on the prayer tree.
Above right: Sisters wait their turn to symbolically leave baggage behind, cross the river, and pray for special gifts to further the mission of the Congregation.

  
All of us join in the ceremony marking the closure of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Chapter 2012.

               
Above left: As we close the Chapter we look forward to strengthening our mission to adore the Incarnate Word and take Him into the world.
Above right: We were ably let by fervent musicians during our Liturgical Celebrations.
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Five Sisters Celebrate Jubilees

On Sunday, July 8, 2012, five Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrated the anniversaries of their professions at Incarnate Word Convent. The Most Reverend David Fellhauer, Bishop of the Victoria Diocese, officiated at the 2:00 p.m. Mass. Also present and co-celebrating were Bishop Michael Duca of Shreveport, LA and other Clergy Guests. Father David Garcia was homilist. Those honored were Sister M. Michael Kopecky (75 years) and Sister Mary Juroske, Sister M. Laura Toman, Sister Marian Sturm and Sister M. Digna Vela (50 years). Together they have contributed 275 years of service to the Church in ministries of education, administration and pastoral services.

Sister M. Michael Kopecky, daughter of the late Joseph and Frances (Strauss) Kopecky, was born in Hallettsville, Texas. Sister Michael received her elementary education at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville and graduated from Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. She entered Blessed Sacrament Convent and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on February 23, 1936. She made first profession of vows on June 10, 1937. Sister received a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a MA degree with a major in history and a minor in education from the Catholic University of America.

During the 75 years as a professed member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Michel taught on the elementary, junior high, high school and college levels. She also served as local superior at Incarnate Word Convent in Victoria. She served as teacher and/or principal in the following schools: Sacred Heart School in Floresville, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Sacred Heart School in La Grange, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Holy Cross School and St. Patrick Schools in Dallas, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, and Holy Trinity School in Duquesne, PA.

Though Sister Michael retired from full-time teaching in 1988, she remained active at Incarnate Word Convent where she assisted in chauffeuring and community shopping and served in music ministry. During her spare time Sister Michael liked to make flower arrangements and engage in arts and crafts. Due to ill health, Sister Michael has resided in the IWC Infirmary.

Sister Mary Juroske, daughter of the late Eddie and Olga Pratka Juroske, was born in Angleton, Texas. Sister Mary attended Industrial Elementary School and Lolita Junior High School before entering Nazareth Academy for her high school education. She entered Incarnate Word Convent and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on July 30, 1961 and made her first profession of vows on August 6, 1962. Sister Mary attended Annunciation College where she took Sacred Scripture classes as well as Dogmatic and Moral Theology Courses. When her aptitude for art was perceived, she attended classes in oil painting, charcoal, water color, ceramics and other classes connected with the arts.

Sister Mary’s culinary abilities and dietary knowledge were put to use at Incarnate Word Convent for a number of years. She was assigned to Nazareth Academy where she developed a clientele for private art lessons and assisted in the N.A. Pre-School Day Care with religion classes. At this time, Sister Mary assists as a volunteer aide at Nazareth Academy and teaches private art lessons. Sister Mary is involved in the IWBS Spirituality Center’s activities. She also enjoys arts and crafts which she shares as gifts and contributes to the IWC Gift Shop.

Sister M. Laura Toman, daughter of the late Raymond and Anne Rose (Sablatura) Toman, was born in Houston, Texas. After attending Ganado Public School the first four years of elementary school and Assumption School for the upper grades, Sister Laura attended Nazareth Academy. She entered Nazareth convent and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on July 30, 1961. She made her first Profession of Vows on August 6, 1962. Sister earned her early credits from Annunciation College in Victoria and Incarnate Word College in San Antonio. She attended Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio from which she was awarded a B.A. degree with a major in English and a minor in history. She attended Southwest Texas State College in San Marcos and earned a M. Ed. with a major in Administration and a minor in Psychology/Sociology.

During the 50 years as a professed member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Laura taught at St. Michael School in Cuero. She served as principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, St. Michael School in Cuero, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, St. Patrick School in Dallas, St. Michael School in Weimar and Our Lady of Victory School in Victoria. During Sister Laura’s 23-year leadership as principal of St. Michael School in Weimar, the school received numerous academic awards, culminating in its designation as a nationally recognized “Blue Ribbon School, 2006” by the U.S. Department of Education.

Sister Laura also served as Councilor in the Leadership of the Congregation from 1988 – 2000 along with work in the school. Presently, she has been elected as a Councilor for the Congregational Leadership for a six-year term along with being principal at Our Lady of Victory School in Victoria.

Sister Marian Sturm, daughter of the late Arnold and Mary (Kaptiza) Sturm, was born in Falls City, Texas. She completed grades one through eight in Falls City Elementary School and then did her high school studies at Nazareth Academy in Victoria. Sister then entered Nazareth Convent and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on July 30, 1961 and made her first profession of vows on August 6, 1962. She began her college education at Annunciation College in Victoria and then transferred to Incarnate Word College in San Antonio from which she received a B.A. degree with a major in Biology and a minor in Math. Sister then attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where she achieved a Master of Arts degree with a major in theology. Also, she received her certification as a Spiritual Director from The Center for Spiritual Growth and the Contemplative Life in 2001.

During the 50 years as a professed member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Marian taught in the elementary grades of St. Leo School in San Antonio, St Michael School in Weimar, and Nazareth Academy in Victoria and in Jr. High in St. Michael's in Cuero. She continued with teaching on the high school level at St. Paul High School in Shiner, St. Joseph High School in Victoria and Sacred Heart High School in Hallettsville. Sister was the DRE at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Huntsville. After the Diocese of Victoria was created, Sister Marian served as the Director of the Reflection Process of the Diocese for a number of years. Afterward she served as a chaplain at Hermann Hospital and M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston. She has also served as Director of Religious Education in St. Philip of Jesus Parish in San Antonio, Director of Faith Formation in St. Anthony Claret Parish in San Antonio, and Adult Faith Formation Director in St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in San Antonio. Sister enjoys playing Scrabble, dancing and reading mystery novels.

Sister M Digna Vela, daughter of the late Emilio and Bertha (Cantu) Vela, was born in Port Lavaca, Texas. Sister Digna’s early education was at Jefferson Elementary School and Travis Junior High School in Port Lavaca before she transferred to Nazareth Academy from where she obtained her high school diploma. She received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on July 30, 1971, and pronounced her first vows on August 6, 1962. She began her college education at Annunciation College in Victoria and then transferred to Incarnate Word College in San Antonio from which she received a B.A. degree with a major in Spanish and a minor in English. Sister then attended St. Mary’s University where she earned a M.A. degree with a major in theology. In August of 2011, Sister Digna completed a program for Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreat at Creighton University in Omaha, NB.

During her 50 years of service as a professed member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Digna taught in the elementary and junior high schools at Our Lady of Victory School in Victoria, Immaculate Conception School in Sealy, St. Mary School in Nada, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Selma, and Holy Cross School in Bay City. Sister also ministered in the following high schools: Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio and St. Joseph High School in Victoria. In 1990 Sister began ministry for the Diocese of Victoria as Director of Catechetical Ministry, serving in that capacity for 22 years. She is also presently involved in the IWBS Amor Meus Spirituality Center’s activities.
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Sisters Celebrate Third "King" Feast

        
On the Feast of the Three Kings the Sisters had checked their breakfast muffins for the three beans that are hidden in them. The lucky three each prepared a special "Bean Feast" for the Sisters. The third of the three Kings arrived at noon with a mouth-watering meal.
(Left picture: Sister Clare, our third "King" had made an announcement of the King's arrival.) Later a series of original Royal Games were enjoyed by all. (Center Picture: Sister Clare helps Sister Agatha prepare her "IWBS Bingo" card. Right Picture: Sisters are prepared to start playing.)


Sisters Honored with 2012 Jeanne de Matel "Chezard" Awards

                         

Sister Gregoria Berger, Sister Adriana Cernoch, and Sister Evelyn Korenek
receive prestigious Chezard Awards for outstanding fidelity in service.

The Chezard Award is given each year to Sisters who exemplify to others their God-given talents and skills in their service of the Incarnate Word. They are chosen each year by members of the Community who detect these special qualities in the Sisters who are named.

Our first recipient is known for her availability and for going the extra mile as a good steward of community property. Her diligence in accommodating the people of the city and the surrounding areas as well as opening shop for mission-sisters when community days are held, is evidence of her dedication and service to all God’s people. Despite her chronic illness which she patiently and quietly bears, she is a faithful and efficient manager and when incapacitated, she entrusts to her very capable and dedicated sales staff, the continued success of the Gift Shop on our behalf. The recipient of our first award goes to Sister Gregoria Berger.

The second recipient is known as a dedicated and cheerful religious. She is known to give of herself especially to those who have special needs and of understanding math. She is seen as a jovial person, traveling to and fro as well as receiving those locally who are presented to her for assistance, for she is known as a math whiz. Generally speaking, her joyful attitude and witness in and out of community is remembered by many. We happily present the Chezard Award to Sister Adriana Cernoch.

Our third recipient is one who is known for her dedicated service to the Incarnate Word and for her love, care and concern for each sister. She has persevered in leadership in this community for the past eighteen years. Her courageous choices in steps to help us refound have stretched and challenged all of us to grow as a community during her years of service. In the distant past she has been a teacher and a principal and she is welcomed as she returns to these positions. The award to goes to Sister Evelyn Korenek.

Former Chezard Award Recipients

2002 Sister Andrea Hubnik, Sister Colette Kouba,Sister Doloretta Leopold

2003 Sister Frances Cabrini Janvier, Sister Paschaline Kutac, Sister Rachel Gomez

2004 Sister George Vasek, Sister Alfreda Leopold, Sister Lucilla Donnelly

2005 Sister Theresa Marie Miller, Sister Carmelita Casso, Sister Patrice Schorp

2006 Sister Mary Ann Martinka, Sister Annunciata Shumbera, Sister Claudia Klesel

2007 Sisters John and Jeanne de Matel Hayden, Sister Pauline Ermis,
Sister Alberta Novosad, Sister Rebecca Janacek

2008 Sister Elaine Braden, Sister Adele Marie Machala, and Sister Emiliana Grafe

2009 Sister Emilie Eilers, Sister Rosalyn Henke, Sister Stephana Marbach

2010 Sister Adelaide Popp, Sister Amata Hollas, Sister Rosemary Leopold, and Sister Anna Marie Popp

2011 Sister Ronalda Peltier, Sister Mary Virginia Sheblak
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Serrans Honor Religious of the Diocese

   

      

    
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                 Mary is Crowned as Our Queen at Incarnate Word Convent!

           
 
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Sisters Celebrate Second "King" Feast

                      
On the Feast of the Three Kings the Sisters checked their breakfast muffins for the three beans that are hidden in them. The lucky three each prepare a special "Bean Feast" for the Sisters.
(Left picture: Veronica performs while everyone enjoys her dancing and the music. Center Picture: Sisters wait for grace before a special "Cinco de Mayo" breakfast; Right Picture: The King -Sister Kathleen makes a royal proclamation.)
There is one more "King" to come; I wonder if Sister Clare (who had a bean) has any inkling of when the third "King" is coming. See "Sister Carmelita's King Arrives" below for an account of the first King's arrival.
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Sisters Celebrate Holy Week Events

In picture at left: Sisters pray as our devotional "seder meal" begins on Holy Thursday. Veronica (dark blouse), our postulant, as the youngest person present, asked the questions about the significance of the various foods that were served during the ceremony.
In picture at right, our chaplain Father Phi lights the taper in order to light the Easter candle which is held by Sister Evelyn, our General Superior. Assisting them are sacristans Sister Carola and Sister Louise Marie.       



Sisters Celebrate "Feast of Three Kings"

On the Feast of the Three Kings the Sisters check their muffins for the three beans that are hidden in them. The lucky three will each prepare a special "Bean Feast" for the Sisters. On a more serious note, the house is blessed on this feast.
In the picture (left) is the tray of muffins with the hidden beans. Sister Carmelita (center) and Sister Clare (right) were two of the "winners"; Sister Kathleen who won the third bean by proxy was absent. Will she be surprised when she gets home!
 

Sister Carmelita's King Arrives

Tasty treats, multible bingo winners, and lots of door prizes made the king's arrival a joyful event!
                             
 
                           
 
                     
 
                       
 
                        
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  Fifteen Victoria IWBS Sisters Joyfully Celebrate Special Jubilees in 2011!

On Saturday, July 9. 2011, seven Sisters celebrated their 50th anniversaries of their religious profession with a Mass and special reception. Then on Sunday, July 10, 2011, eight Sisters celebrated 75, 70, or 60 year anniversaries in the same manner. Pictured at left are (standing in back, left to right) Sisters M. Gregoria Berger, M. Colette Kouba, M. Charlene Machala, Lois Marie Etzler, M. Andrea Hubnik, M. Clementine Henke, Marietta Hajdik, Anna Marie Popp, (standing in center row) M.Adriana Cernoch, M.Paschaline Kutac, M. Carmelita Casso, Rosemary Leopold, (seated in front) M. Ronalda Peltier, M. John Hayden, and Mary Grace Korenek.

Celebrating 75 years was Sister M. John Hayden who was born in San Antonio, Texas, and attended St. Leo School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. She made first vows at Blessed Sacrament Convent in 1936.

She earned a BA at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and ministered as a teacher and/or principal at Blessed Sacrament Academy, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville and Immaculate Conception School in Sealy. When she retired from full-time active teaching, she assisted in the IWC Gift Shop and helped with household chores. Sister John now resides in the IWC Healthcare Center where she ministers in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering and spends time with here beloved sister, Sister Jeanne de Matel.

Sister Mary Grace Korenek was born in Plum, Texas. She attended St. Jerome Grade School, public highschools and graduated from St. Ludmila Academy. She made first vows in 1941; she received a BA from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

She taught at Nazareth Academy, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, St. Edward School in Dubina, and St. Mary School in Nada. She also did library work in shiner and taught religion classes in Moulton, Flatonia, and Praha, and served in Ganado. She now resides in the IWC Healthcare Center, ministering in the Apostolate of Prayer and Suffering.

Sister M. Carmelita Casso was born in San Antonio, Texas, and attended Blessed Sacrament Academy. She pronounced her first vows in 1941.She received a BA from Incarnate Word College, a MA from the University of Houston, and a MA in Theology from St. Mary's University in San Antonio.

During the early years of her ministry, Sister Carmelita taught in Shiner, Loire, San Marcos, Weimar, Selma, Cuero, Nazareth Academy, and Blessed Sacrament Academy. Then she was appointed Secretary General of the Congregation for six years. From 1982 until 2010, She lived in Rome, Italy, and Lyons, France, while translating the French Writings of our Foundress, Mother Jeanne Chezard de Matel, into English and working on the Cause toward the Cononization fo our Mother Foundress. Presently, Sister resides at IWC and is translating, from Spanish into English, studies on the Matelian Spirituality included at the Pontifical University of Mexico.

Sister M. Adriana Cernochwas born in Holman, Texas. Sister attended Pecan Public Grade School and graduated from Nazareth Academy. She then entered Nazareth Convent and pronounced her first vows on September 4, 1951. She received a BA from Incarnate Word College.

During her years of ministry, Sister was a teacher and/or principal at Sacred Heart School in Crosby, Assumption School in Ganado, St. Leo and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, St. Mary School in Nada, Our Lady of Victory in Victoria, Sacred Heart School in La Grangeand St. Patrick School in Dallas. At present Sister Adriana lives at IWC and assists in answering the phone and various household duties. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading and playing cards.

Sister Marietta Hajdik, was born in Sealy. She is one of seven children and her sister, Sister Carola, followed her into the IWBS Congregation. Sister Marietta attended public schools and Immaculate Conception School in Sealy and graduated from Nazareth Academy. She entered Nazareth Convent; she pronounced her first vows in 1951. She received a BS degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a M Ed. Degree in Educational Administration from Southwest Texas State University.

Sister Marietta’s years of ministry included being a teacher and/or principal at St. Michael School in Weimar, Sacred Heart School in La Grange, St. Agnes School and Blessed Sacrament School in San Antonio, St. Ludmila Academy and St. Paul High School in Shiner, Our Lady of Victory School and Nazareth Academy in Victoria, and Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. Sister assisted in parish ministry at St. Leo’s Church in San Antonio and served as Director of Religious Education and the RCIA Program at Assumption of the BVM Church in Ganado for eighteen years. Presently Sister lives at IWC and is director of Sisters in the Annual Vows program.

Sister Rosemary Leopolddaughter of the late Leo and Otillia Gerbermann Leopold, was born in Nada, Texas. Sister attended St. Mary School in Nada, Garwood Public School and graduated from Nazareth Academy. Sister Rosemary followed Sister Alfreda, her sister who is now deceased, when she entered Nazareth Convent in 1949 and made first profession of vows in 1951. Sister earned a BA degree and a MA degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

Sister Rosemary ministered as teacher and/or principal in Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Selma, St. Leo School in San Antonio, Sacred Heart School in La Grange, Holy Cross School and St. Patrick School in Dallas, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Sacred Heart School in Crosby, and St. Michael School in Cuero.

Sister Anna Marie Poppwas born in Nada, Texas. Sister attended school in Nada, Texas, before entering Nazareth Convent in 1949. She pronounced her first vows in 1951. Sister was awarded a BA degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a MS degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Sister Anna Marie ministered as teacher and/or principal at Immaculate Conception School in Sealy, St. Michael School in Weimar, Holy Cross School in East Bernard, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Falls City Public School, Sacred Heart School in Floresville and St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner. She has served as assistant in the treasurer’s office of the congregation for the last 25 years.

Sister Anna Marie’s brother, Bishop Bernard Popp of San Antonio, and her sister, Sister Adelaide at IWC, joined other family members in celebrating the occasion.

Sister M. Ronalda Peltier was born in Danbury, Texas. She attended Danbury Public School in the grades and graduated from Nazareth Academy. Sister entered Nazareth Convent in 1949 and pronounced her first vows in 1951. Sister Ronalda was awarded a BS degree of Science in Nursing from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas. She received her certification as a RN shortly after that.

In her early years of ministry after profession, Sister Ronalda taught at Sacred Heart School in Crosby, Holy Cross School in East Bernard, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, St. Michael School in Cuero and Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Selma. After eight years of teaching, Sister entered the Nursing Program at Incarnate Word College. Sister Ronalda ministered at Huth Memorial Hospital in Yoakum and Mercy Hospital in Jourdanton; as administrator in Cuero Community Hospital and then in Huth Memorial Hospital in Yoakum. She was Health Care Director at IWC for 2 years before returning to Jourdanton where she became the Director and Instructor of the LVN School. She later served as Director and Instructor of the Victoria College LVN Program in Gonzalez at Warm Springs Hospital.

From 1989 – 2006 Sister served on the General Council of the Congregation and assisted in various duties at IWC. In recent years she has assisted in the Health Care and now resides there, still using her gifts in nursing as a consultant.

Sister M. Colette Kouba was born in Hallettsville, Texas. She attended Thompson Public School and Sacred Heart Grade Schooland Nazareth Academy from which she graduated. Sister Colette entered Nazareth Convent and and then pronounced her first vows in 1961. Sister received a BA degree and certification in Library Science from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas.

During her years as a professed Sister of the Congregation, Sister Colette ministered as an elementary teacher in Sacred Heart School in Crosby, St. Agnes School and St. Leo School in San Antonio, Our Lady of Victory School in Victoria and Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Selma. After receiving certification in library science, Sister became a part-time librarian when she was stationed at St. Ludmila School in Shiner. Presently, Sister ministers at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville where she is the Elementary Librarian and is involved in the Title I Reading Program.

Sister M. Charlene Machala was born in Baytown, Texas. She attended Sacred Heart School in Crosby and received her high school education at Nazareth Academy. Sister entered Nazareth Convent in 1959, and pronounced her first vows in 1961. Sister Charlene received a BA degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

She then attended St. Thomas University in Houston and was awarded a MRE degree (Master of Religious Education). During her years as a professed member of the Congregation, Sister Charlene ministered at St. Agnes School and St. Leo School in San Antonio, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, Our Lady of Victory School and Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Falls City public School, Mary Immaculate School in Dallas, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Selma, and St. Michael School in Weimar. For the past two years, Sister Charlene has been assigned to Incarnate Word Convent where she ministers as chauffeur for those in the health care and others, and assists in the IWC Gift Shop. She enjoys planning outings for the Sisters, especially during vacation times.

Sister M. Gregoria Bergerwas born in Garwood, Texas. She received her grade school education at St. Mary School in Nada and then attended Nazareth Academy. Sister entered Nazareth Convent where she made first profession of vows in 1961. Sister received a BA degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio. She also took courses to become a certified librarian.

During her 50 years of profession, Sister Gregoria ministered at St. Michael School in Weimar, St. Leo School in San Antonio, Nazareth Academy and Our Lady of Victory School in Victoria, and St. Michael School in Cuero. In 1985, Sister was appointed treasurer for Nazareth Academy and Convent, a position she held until 2004. After taking a semester Sabbatical, Sister took on the management of the IWC Gift Shop. Some of Sister Gregoria’s favorite pass time activities are sewing and arts and crafts.

Sister M. Clementine Henke was born in Hallettsville, Texas. She attended Sacred Heart Grade School in Hallettsville and then attended Nazareth Academy. She entered Nazareth Convent where she made her first vows in 1961. Sister attended Incarnate Word College in San Antonio where she earned a BA degree. Sister later attended St. Thomas University in Houston where she received a MRE degree (Master Degree in Religious Education).

During her 50 years of religious profession, Sister Clementine taught in Holy Cross School in Bay City, Our Lady of Victory School in Victoria, Sacred Heart School in Crosby, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, St. Michael School in Weimar, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma where she presently is teaching second grade.

Sister Lois Marie Etzler was born in Hallettsville, Texas. She attended Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville for all twelve grades. Sister entered Nazareth Convent where she pronounced her first vows in 1961. Sister earned a BA degree from Sacred Heart Dominican College in Houston, Texas. She earned additional college credits at Southwest Texas State University and Oblate School of Theology.

During her years of ministry in the classroom, Sister was a teacher and/or principal at Sacred Heart School in La Grange, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, St. Mary School in Nada, St. John School in San Antonio, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Sacred Heart School in Crosby, St. Michael School in Cuero and Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. She also was Director of Religious Education at St. Agnes Church in Edna for two years and served as superior of Incarnate Word Convent for seven and a half years. Sister is presently ministering at Nazareth Academy as office manager.

Sister M. Paschaline Kutac was born in Shiner, Texas. She went to Beasley Public School and Shiner Public School before transferring to St. Ludmila Academy for the 8th grade and high school. After doing clerical work at Burns Hospital in Cuero for a year, She entered Nazareth Academy, where she pronounced her first vows in 1961. Sister earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

During her years of ministry Sister served at the Community Hospital in Cuero as surgical and medical nurse and Director of Nurses. Sister was assigned to Huth Memorial Hospital in Yoakum where she continued nursing and Director of nurses for three years. Then she was appointed Director and Instructor of the LVN Program affiliated with The Victoria College. Sister Paschaline has been Director of the Health Care Center of Incarnate Word Convent for the past fifteen years. When she finds the time, Sister loves to work with the flowers that she grows to enhance the altars in the Health Care.

Sister M. Andrea Hubnik was born in Buckholts, Texas. Sister attended the Marak Public School and St. Mary Catholic School in Marak. She completed the 8th grade at Ada Henderson School and earned her high school diploma from C.H.Yoe High School in Cameron, Texas. She entered Nazareth Convent in 1959 and pronounced her first vows in 1961. Sister received her BA Degree in Business Education from Sacred Heart Dominican College in Houston and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston at Victoria.

Sister Andrea ministered in the elementary grades at Holy Cross School in East Bernard and Holy Cross School in Bay City. She then taught business courses on the high school level at Sacred Heart High School in Hallettsville, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, and Falls City High School in Falls City. Sister assisted the Treasurer of the Congregation for 3 years and served as Directress of Formation for 2 years before being appointed Secretary General for 18 years. She has served in the Business Office of the Congregation as Treasurer General for the past 11 years. Go to Top




Sisters Honored with 2011 Jeanne de Matel "Chezard" Awards

                                                                                      

Sister Ronalda Peltier and Sister Mary Virginia Sheblak
receive prestigious Chezard Awards for outstanding fidelity in service.

The Chezard Award is given each year to Sisters who exemplify to others their God-given talents and skills in their service of the Incarnate Word. They are chosen each year by members of the Community who detect these special qualities in the Sisters who are named.

Our first recipient, Sister M. Ronalda Peltier, is one whose smiling and patient endurance of suffering without complaint is evident to all who visist her. One sees that spirit of generosity and willingness to help in spite of her many challenges. She served the community for a number of years as counselor, hospital administrator, and Directress of LVN School, teaching many of the classes. Sister Ronalda continues to be a consultant in health matters.

Our next recipient, Sister Mary Virginia Sheblak, is very persevering and devoted to her duties. She uses her gifts to enhance the richness of our prayer services. She takes her duties of secretary and liturgist very seriously - not only that - she spends time in beautifying the chapel, flower beds and other areas of the convent.

Her way of communicating on the telephone is very pleasant, inviting one to be at ease and not rush the conversation. Her willingness to be of service on short notice encourages the Sisters not to hesitate to ask her for assistance.


Former Chezard Award Recipients

2002 Sister Andrea Hubnik, Sister Colette Kouba,Sister Doloretta Leopold

2003 Sister Frances Cabrini Janvier, Sister Paschaline Kutac, Sister Rachel Gomez

2004 Sister George Vasek, Sister Alfreda Leopold, Sister Lucilla Donnelly

2005 Sister Theresa Marie Miller, Sister Carmelita Casso, Sister Patrice Schorp

2006 Sister Mary Ann Martinka, Sister Annunciata Shumbera, Sister Claudia Klesel

2007 Sisters John and Jeanne de Matel Hayden, Sister Pauline Ermis,
Sister Alberta Novosad, Sister Rebecca Janacek

2008 Sister Elaine Braden, Sister Adele Marie Machala, and Sister Emiliana Grafe

2009 Sister Emilie Eilers, Sister Rosalyn Henke, Sister Stephana Marbach

2010 Sister Adelaide Popp, Sister Amata Hollas, Sister Rosemary Leopold, and Sister Anna Marie Popp

2011 Sister Ronalda Peltier, Sister Mary Virginia Sheblak
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Serrans Honor Religious of the Diocese

         

     

      
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                 Mary is Crowned as Our Queen at Incarnate Word Convent!

  Left: Sisters process in with flowers

Right: Sister Rachel crowns Mary as Sister Maria Estefana watches.
 
 

                 Sisters Living at Incarnate Word Convent Celebrate Anniversaries!

  On April 26 the Sisters who are celebrating anniversaries this year who live at Incarnate Word Convent were honored with a special Mass and meal followed by a short program. Sister John Hayden (left) is celebrating 75 years as a vowed Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. Sister Mary Grace Korenek and Sister Carmelita Casso are celebrating 70 years. Sister Adriana Cernoch, Sister Marietta Hajdik, Sister Anna Marie Popp, and Sister Ronalda Peltier are celebrating 60 years while Sister Charlene Machala, Sister Gregoria Berger, Sister Lois Marie Edzler, Sister Paschalind Kutac and Sister Andrea Hubnik are celebrating 50 years as Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Victoria, Texas. We congratulate them and thank them for their many years of dedicated service.
 
   
  Sisters Gregoria, Lois Marie, Andrea, Anna Marie, Ronalda and Marietta wait to enter the chapel for the Jubilee Mass.   Sisters Adriana, Carmelita, Charlene, and Mary Grace check to make sure that they know what to do during the Mass.
 
   
  Sister Jubilarians participate in Mass.   Sisters follow the cross out of the chapel.
 
   
  Sister Jubilarians wait for the blessing prayer before a sumptious celebration meal.                 Go to Top   Sister Jubilarians listen attentatively to Sister Geraldine during the program that followed the meal.
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            Incarnate Word Convent Sisters Enjoy "Bean Feasts"!

Every year on the Feast of the Epiphany (Three Kings) the Sisters wait in anticipation to see which three Sisters find beans in their muffins.These Sisters then each treat the community with some special celebration throughout the coming year. This year Sister Adriana was one of the lucky ones. With the help of the initial formation group, she provided a celebration of food, entertainment, and a bunco party which everyone enjoyed.

                              
 
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Fifth Graders Attend
Vocation Awareness Days

Some 240 fifth graders from the Catholic Schools in the Victoria Diocese attended Church Vocation Awareness Days at Incarnate Word Convent in Victoria on January 11-12, 2011. The students heard a number of talks about religious life and the priesthood. They visited the Gift Shop and the Hall of Memories at the convent.The day culminated in a Prayer Service that highlights the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Students enjoy visiting with one another while they patiently wait for the day to begin.
 
Sister Charlene leads us in practice for singing during our closing prayer service.
Students enjoyed going to the gift shop to select that very best religious article.
Students were captivated by Sister Laura's account and display about her African experience.
 
Father Phi and Sister Louise Marie explained different religious lifestyles in the Church.
Sister Amata pointed out many special treasures from the past in the Hall of Memories.
 
The day ended with a Prayer Service in which all the students participated.
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   Seven Victoria IWBS Sisters Celebrate 2010 Jubilees

Sunday, July 11, 2010, seven Sisters of the Congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrated the anniversaries of their religious profession. Those celebrating were: Sister M. Genevieve Zavrel, 75 years; Sister M. Agatha Shimek, 70 years; and Sister M. Faustina Orsak, Sister M. Frances Cabrini Janvier, Sister Maria Goretti Warzecha, Sister M. Bernarda Bludau and Sister M. Emiliana Grafe, 50 years. Together these Sisters have contributed 395 years of service to the Church in ministries of education, administration and pastoral services.

Bishop David Fellhauer of the Diocese of Victoria celebrated the Mass of Thanksgiving in the Convent Chapel at 2:00 p.m. for the Sisters and their invited guests. The Sisters celebrating their anniversaries renewed their Vows during the Liturgy. A reception followed in the Convent dining room and auditorium.

Sister M. Genevieve Zavrel, daughter of the late Vladimir and Maria Sklenar Zavrel, was born in Cameron, Texas. She received her elementary education at St. Mary’s School in Marak, and graduated from St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner. Sister entered St. Ludmila Convent and became a novice on September 5, 1934. She made her first profession of vows on September 7, 1935, and pronounced her final vows on October 1, 1938. Sister Genevieve attended Incarnate Word College in San Antonio from which she received a BA Degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish. She held a Permanent Elementary Texas Teacher Certificate and a Provisional All-Level Librarian Certificate.

During her years of active ministry, Sister taught at St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, St. John School in San Marcos, Holy Trinity School in Duquesne, PA, St. Agnes School in San Antonio, St. Michael School in Weimar, Holy Trinity School and the Public School in Falls City, St. Mary School in Nada, Holy Cross School in East Bernard, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Sacred Heart School in La Grange, and St. Joseph School in Yoakum. She also served as Librarian at St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner for four years.

When Sister retired from her ministry in education, she was assigned to Incarnate Word Convent where she assisted in various household duties. She found time for sewing and crafts; making aprons and dressing dolls were her specialties. She presently resides in the Incarnate Word Convent Healthcare Center and is engaged in the apostolate of prayer.

Sister M. Agatha Shimek, daughter of the late Louis and Frances Kutac Shimek, was born in St. John’s, near Schulenburg, Texas. Sister received her education at St. John School and St. Rose School in Schulenburg, and graduated from St. Ludmila Academy. She entered St. Ludmila Convent on September 18, 1938, and became a novice on June 4, 1939. She made her first profession of vows on June 10, 1940, and pronounced her final vows on July 28, 1943.

Sister Agatha received a BA Degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a Master Degree in Education with a major in administration from Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio. Sister was awarded Texas Teacher Certificates on the Elementary and High School levels, as well as for Principalship, Counselor and Librarian.

During her years of ministry in education, Sister Agatha served at St. John School in San Marcos, St. Paul in Sedan, St. Mary School in Nada, Guadalupe School in Victoria, St. Jerome School in Plum, Radhost Public School, Holy Cross School in East Bernard, St. Ludmila Academy and St. Paul High School in Shiner, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Falls City Public School, Nazareth Academy and St. Joseph High School in Victoria, and Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. She also served as principal, librarian, counselor and senior class sponsor.

Among her many hobbies, Sister Agatha enjoyed gardening, growing pot plants, cooking, crocheting afghans, shawls, caps and baby sets, and reading. Sister now resides at Incarnate Word Convent where she is involved in the apostolate of prayer.

Sister M. Faustina Orsak, daughter of the late John and Albina Gajewski Orsak, was born in Sealy, Texas. She received her elementary education at the Frydek Catholic School and at Immaculate Conception School in Sealy. After Sister graduated from Nazareth Academy, she became a novice on August 5, 1959. She made her first vows on August 6, 1960 and pronounced her final vows on August 6, 1965. Sister received a BA degree with a major in History and a minor in English from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio. She was awarded a Texas Teacher Certificate with a Specialization in the Elementary Level.

During her years of ministry, Sister Faustina taught at St. Leo School in San Antonio, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, and Our Lady of Victory School and Nazareth Academy in Victoria. In the early years of Sister’s ministry she taught the first grade; however, she had been the kindergarten teacher at Nazareth Academy for the past 30 years. Sister has enjoyed teaching children of her former students. The past two years she has volunteered at the school on a part-time basis, and so keeps on touch with her many friends.

Sister M. Frances Cabrini Janvier, daughter of the late Noel and Anna Marie Mueller Janvier, was born in Elsa, Texas. She received her early education at Edouch-Elsa Elem., Central Elem., Edouch-Elsa High School and graduated from Nazareth Academy. Sister entered Nazareth Convent and became a novice on August 5, 1959. She made her first vows on August 6, 1960 and pronounced her final vows on August 6, 1965. Sister earned a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a MA degree with a major in Religion from St. Louis University in Missouri. Her Texas Teacher Certificate was for grades 7 through 12.

During her years of ministry, Sister Frances Cabrini taught at Sacred Heart School in Crosby, Holy Cross School in Dallas, St. Ludmila Academy and St. Paul High School in Shiner, St. Joseph High School and Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, and Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. Sister taught in the Secondary School at Nakuru in Kenya, East Africa from 1982 to 1989. In 2004 she returned to Africa and was the directress of Postulants and assisted with the Novices at the CVI Convent in Nairobi for 2 years. The past 4 years, Sister served as the Spanish teacher in the elementary grades at Nazareth Academy.

Sister now resides at Incarnate Word Convent where she assists in various duties, does research and keeps in touch with others on the computer. She also assists in doing translations in Spanish and French.

Sister Maria Goretti Warzecha, daughter of the late Isidore and Clara Brysch Warzecha, was born in Falls City, Texas. Her early education was at Three Oaks Public School and she graduated from Poth High School. Sister entered Nazareth Convent and became a novice on August 5, 1959. She made her first profession of vows on August 6, 1960 and pronounced her final vows on August 6, 1965. Sister received a BA Degree with a major in History and a minor in English from Sacred Heart Dominican College in Houston, Texas. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Religious Education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. She held Texas Teacher Certificates on the elementary and high school levels.

During her 50 years of religious profession, Sister ministered at St. Mary School in Nada, Holy Cross School in Bay City, St. Leo School and Blessed Sacrament School in San Antonio, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, St. Michael School in Cuero, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, and Nazareth Academy in Victoria. During 1977-1979, Sister resided at Incarnate Word Convent where she served as Formation Directress for Aspirants and Junior Sisters. Sister presently teaches the First Communion Class and does tutoring at Nazareth Academy.

Sister M. Bernarda Bludau, daughter of the late Andres and Anna Friesenhahn, was born in Hallettsville, Texas. She received her education in grades 1 through 12 at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. Sister entered Nazareth Convent and became a novice on August 5, 1959. She made her first profession of vows on August 6, 1960 and pronounced her final vows on August 6, 1965. Sister earned a BA Degree with a major in History and a minor in English from Sacred Heart Dominican College in Houston, Texas and a Master in Education with a major in administration and a minor in supervision from The University of Houston at Victoria. Her Texas Teacher Certificates are for High School and Librarian.

Sister Bernarda ministered as a teacher and/or principal at Assumption School in Ganado, Holy Cross School and St. Patrick School in Dallas, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Our Lady of Victory School, St. Joseph High School and Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, and St. Michael School in Weimar. In 1973 – 1976, Sister was also Vocation Directress while teaching at Nazareth Academy. Sister is presently serving as the Assistant-Principal at Nazareth Academy.

Sister M. Emiliana Grafe, daughter of Lena Grahmann Grafe and the late Victor Grafe, was born in Hallettsville, Texas. She received her education in grades 1 through 12 at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. Sister entered the Nazareth Convent and became a novice on August 5, 1959. She made her first profession of vows on August 6, 1960 and pronounced her final vows on August 6, 1965. Sister earned a BA with a major in English and a minor in Spanish at Sacred Heart Dominican College in Houston. Sister completed numerous post-graduate hours in administration, theology and continuing education in other areas. She was also awarded Texas Teacher Certificates in General Elementary, Elementary English and Elementary Mathematics.

Sister Emiliana ministered as a teacher/principal at Sacred Heart School in La Grange, St. Michael School in Weimar, St. Leo School in San Antonio, and Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. She served as San Antonio Archdiocesan School Consultant from 1972 to 1978 and was a member of the Congregational General Council from 1976 to 1982 and from 1988 to 2000. Sister Emiliana was appointed Director of the Associates of the Incarnate Word when the group was organized in 1989 and continues in that capacity. She also teaches religion part-time at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville.
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Sisters Honored with 2010 Chezard Awards

        
Sister Adelaide Popp, Sister Amata Hollas, Sister Rosemary Leopold, and Sister Anna Marie Popp
receive prestigious Chezard Awards for outstanding fidelity in service.
Presenting awards are Chezard Award Committee Members:
Sister Alberta Novosad, Sister Valerie Janecka (not shown) and Sister Edwardine Lesak.


Sister Adelaide Popp is described as an excellent example of God’s love. She is gracious, hospitable and prayerful. She accepts suffering with a spirit of cheerfulness. Sister is kind, affirms others and is interested in what they do. She helps with household tasks and is community-minded. She always has a smile and a good word for others.

Sister Amata Hollas is described as one who (through research and study) keeps us up-to-date on our basic beginnings in France all the way to the present day. Sister has developed programs, talks and course material. She has served on various committees in the congregation as well as in the diocese. She demonstrates generously giving of her time and seems to consider all members’ views. We are appreciative of her on-going and tireless efforts of internal ministry to all of us.

Sister Anna Marie Popp has served in many different capacities and is recognized for her dedication and tireless efforts toward our Sisters and her ministry. She is passionate about keeping records (including monthly statements) in tip-top shape. She goes beyond the call of duty and does a lot of extra tasks (seen and unseen) in the community. She sees to it that the coffee pot is always ready for “takers” and she involves herself in weekend laundry duties. She is always faithful to prayer. She is a blessing to us all!

Sister Rosemary Leopold is recognized for her dedication, perseverance, stamina and enthusiasm in spite of anything that comes along (including physical and/or medical setbacks). She has never let her health conditions keep her from meeting the criterion for the demands of the educational profession. Sister also is described as a prayerful, faithful, warm and caring community person.

Former Chezard Award Recipients

2002 Sister Andrea Hubnik, Sister Colette Kouba,Sister Doloretta Leopold

2003 Sister Frances Cabrini Janvier, Sister Paschaline Kutac, Sister Rachel Gomez

2004 Sister George Vasek, Sister Alfreda Leopold, Sister Lucilla Donnelly

2005 Sister Theresa Marie Miller, Sister Carmelita Casso, Sister Patrice Schorp

2006 Sister Mary Ann Martinka, Sister Annunciata Shumbera, Sister Claudia Klesel

2007 Sisters John and Jeanne de Matel Hayden, Sister Pauline Ermis,
Sister Alberta Novosad, Sister Rebecca Janacek

2008 Sister Elaine Braden, Sister Adele Marie Machala, and Sister Emiliana Grafe

2009 Sister Emilie Eilers, Sister Rosalyn Henke, Sister Stephana Marbach
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Priests Honored at Incarnate Word Convent during "Year of the Priest!"

The priests who serve
the People of God
in the City of Victoria
were invited to dinner
at Incarnate Word Convent
on Tuesday, May 18.
 
A spirit of appreciation,
delicious food,
and friendly conversation
made the evening
a memorable event.
 
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                 Mary is Crowned as Our Queen at Incarnate Word Convent!

Left: Sister Serena crowns Mary with Sister Rachel.

Right: Sister Ronalda crowns Mary in the Health Care Center.
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            Sisters Living at Incarnate Word Convent Celebrate Anniversaries!

On April 19 the Sisters who are celebrating anniversaries this year who live at Incarnate Word Convent were honored with a special Mass and meal followed by a short program. Sister Genevieve Zavrel (left) is celebrating 75 years as a vowed Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. Sister Agatha Shimek (seated at right) is celebrating 70 years while Sister Emiliana Grafe (standing at right) who is part-time here and part-time in Hallettsville is celebrating 50 years.

CONGRATULATIONS, JUBILARIANS!
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                 Sisters Have a Meeting; Then Picnic with "Partners in Mission"

Sisters meet in small groups to discuss personal transformation.
 
 
 
Sisters and Partners in Mission enjoy food and fun.
 
 
 

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                 Sisters Hosted a Historic Meeting with "Partners in Mission"

Dr. Dunn was our facilitator. Sr. Evelyn was the keynote speaker. A group was getting ready.
 
Sisters played and sang. Sr. Emilie displayed the banner. Otto and his crew kept us well nourished.
 
We caught up at breaks. We had a
photographer.
We tidied up. We ended with Liturgy.
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The Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament and some 55 of their Partners in Mission met at St. Mary’s Activity Center during the last days of June 2009. The Sisters are involved in a Refounding process commissioned by their 2006 Chapter which is a meeting held every six years to study their needs and how they are living religious life. Some of their former students and co-workers in ministry were invited to process with them as they studied Transformative Visioning - a key element of the Refounding process.

Together with their Partners in Mission, the Sisters prayed about and discussed the Context, Culture and Dreams of their lives. The Sisters established the parameters of the meeting by stating the why and what of the Partners in Mission Assembly as follows:
We, as Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, along with our Partners in Mission, will further our refounding efforts by setting a path for transformative visioning. We will do so by engaging in the following four goals:

1. Understanding our context: Deepening our appreciation of the aching, gaping needs of our world, church, and local neighborhoods.

2. Reflecting upon our culture: Deepening our appreciation of our identity, values, beliefs, charism and mission.

3. Unearthing possible dreams: Listening to our longings, imaginings and possibilities for a future.

4. Deepening our relationship as partners in the ever-unfolding story of God’s creation: sharing meaningful conversation regarding our collective faith journey.

The Sisters are grateful for two days of prayer and input with our Partners. They know there are many more “Partners” who are interested in participating. As they continue the journey of Refounding, they hope to fold in an increasing number of the larger community to become involved in learning and sharing of their Spirituality. Partners and Sisters alike are very interested in the concept of becoming a “Crystal Vase” sharing their Incarnational Spirituality with a world hungry for more than just an acquisition of more things. The 16th century Foundress of the Order, Jeanne Chezard de Matel, continues to call the Sisters to this kind of spiritual sharing with the world of today.

Partners spoke intently of their experiences of this amazing gathering. They said things like:

"This opportunity opened my eyes to the concerns of the world and the path on which the
Spirit is leading. I was inspired and encouraged to see all these people on fire for the spiritual dimension of life."

"The hopes expressed for you, Sisters, are hopes for my soul – to have hoped them for you, awakens possibilities for me."

"This historic gathering makes you fore-runners in the Church."

"The power of this assembly was a beautiful and courageous sign."

Planning the next steps is ongoing. The Transformative Visioning process excites and challenges those who have undertaken this Refounding Journey.
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Serrans Honor Religious of the Diocese

         

       

       


 

Sisters Celebrate 75, 70, 60, or 50 Years of Loving Service

  Left to right:
Sisters:
 George
 Pauline Marie,
 Mary Virginia,
 Scholastica,
 Sylvia
Left to right:
Sisters
 Odilia,
 Mary
     Theresa,
 Serena,
 Stephana
  On Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12, 2009, nine Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrated the anniversaries of their religious professions at Incarnate Word Convent.

Those who were honored on their 50th Anniversary on Saturday, July 11, 2009 were: Sister M. Stephana Marbach, Sister M. Serena Etzler, Sister Mary Theresa Fritz and Sister M. Odilia Korenek.

The honorees on Sunday, July 12, 2009 were: 75 years - Sister M. George Vasek; 70 years - Sister Pauline Marie Ermis and Sister M. Scholastica Friesenhahn; and 60 years - Sister Mary Virginia Sheblak and Sister M. Sylvia Grahmann.

Together these Sisters have contributed a total of 535 years of service to the Church in ministries of education, administration and pastoral services.

On Saturday, the Most Reverend David Fellhauer, Bishop of the Victoria Diocese, officiated at the 2:00 p.m. Mass. Co-Celebrants were Rev. Connor McGrath of San Antonio, who gave the homily, Rev. Greg Korenek of Victoria, and other clergy guests. Rev. Donald Hayden, O.SS.T., Convent Chaplain, was Master of Ceremonies.

Sister Stephana Marbach, daughter of the late Udo S. and Erna Schumann Marbach, was born in Converse, Texas. She was the eldest of the nine sons and four daughters. Sister Stephana received her grammar schooling at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Selma and then attended Nazareth Academy from which she graduated. She became a postulant in 1957, entered the novitiate in 1958 and pronounced her first vows on August 6, 1959.

Sister received a BA degree with a major in History and a minor in Philosophy from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and received certification in Educational Administration from Southwest Texas University in San Marcos. Sister also studied at the Theological Union in Chicago and at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio from which she received a MA degree in Pastoral Ministry.

During the 50 years as a member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Stephana ministered as a teacher and/or principal at Holy Cross School in Bay City, Holy Cross School in East Bernard, Our Lady of Victory School, Nazareth Academy and St. Joseph High School in Victoria, and Blessed Sacrament Parish School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. She also served in the initial formation and vocation ministry for the comgregation. In 1988, after serving on the Congregational Administrative Council for six years, Sister Stephana was elected Superior General of the Congregation, a position she held for 12 years. She has served as Pastoral Associate in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Selma for the past 7 years.

Sister Serena Etzler, daughter of Theodore and Agnes Christ Etzler, was born in Hallettsville, Texas. She was the youngest of three boys and three girls in the family. Sister Serena attended grade school and high school at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville. She entered Nazareth Convent in Victoria where she became a postulant in 1957, was received into the novitiate as a Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in 1958 and pronounced her first vows on August 6, 1959.

Sister Serena received a BA degree with a major in Education and a minor in History from Incarnate Word College. She also took courses in physical education to be a certified PE teacher in the schools where she taught.

During her 50 years of religious profession Sister Serena ministered in the following schools: St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner (16 years), St. John School in San Antonio (2 years), and Nazareth Academy (27 years). Sister Serena also spent many hours assisting at the schools’ athletic events as score keeper. Sister Serena retired from the active teaching ministry in December, 2007, and now assists in staffing the IWC Gift Shop and making rosaries.

Sister Mary Theresa Fritz, daughter of the late Richard and Mary Rainosek Fritz, was born in Victoria, the youngest of four children - three boys and one girl. Sister completed grammar school and high school at Nazareth Academy. She entered Nazareth Convent and became a postulant in 1957, was received into the novitiate in 1958 and pronounced her first vows as a Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on August 6, 1959.

Sister Mary Theresa received a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in History from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio. Sister continued her education and became certified in Business Administration through courses at Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria. She also holds a certificate verifying competency to teach Computer Literacy.

During her 50 years of profession, Sister Mary Theresa ministered as teacher and/or principal at the following schools: Sacred Heart School in La Grange, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, Sacred Heart School in Crosby, St. Mary School in Nada, Immaculate Conception School in Sealy Sealy Public School, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, St. Leo School in San Antonio, St. Joseph High School and Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Mary Immaculate School in Dallas, St. Paul High School in Shiner. Sister also assisted in the Business Office at Incarnate Word Convent.

Sister also served as Director of Religious Education at St. Anthony Parish in Danbury, and Out Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Houston. She received her CPE training and became a Resident Chaplain at Memorial Hospital in Houston. For the past 15 years Sister Mary Theresa has ministered as Chaplain and Bereavement Counselor with Nurses in Touch Hospice Care in San Antonio and Floresville.

Sister Odilia Korenek, daughter of the late Adolph and Justina Janish Korenek, was born in Nada, Texas.
Sister came from a family of four boys and eight girls. She attended St. Mary School for grade school studies and did three years of high school at Garwood High School. She received her high school diploma from Nazareth Academy. Sister Odilia entered Nazareth Convent and became a postulant in 1957, received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in 1958 and pronounced her first vows on August 6, 1959.

Sister Odilia received a BA degree with a major in history and a minor in Spanish from Incarnate Word College in San A, Texas. Sister earned a MA degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and Spiritual Direction certification from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.

During her 50 years of profession, Sister Odilia ministered as teacher and/or principal at the following schools: Sacred Heart School in Floresville, Sacred Heart School in Crosby, Sacred Heart School in La Grange, Our Lady of Victory School and St. Joseph High School in Victoria, and St. Agnes School, St. John School, St. Leo School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. Sister Odilia also ministered in the Diocese of Victoria as Director of the Farm Aid Outreach and the Gulf Coast Organizational Effort. In 1990, Sister was missioned to develop new programs needed by San Antonio’s south side which developed into the Mutilevel Learning Center at Blessed Sacrament Academy. At present Sister is Development Director, Executive Director and Supervisor of the Child Care Development Center, Parents’ Academy, and Charter Schools in San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Sister Odilia has also served as a Councilor on the Congregational Leadership Team for the last nine years.

On Sunday, July 12, 2009, the Most Reverend David Fellhauer, Bishop of the Victoria Diocese, officiated at the 2:00 p.m. Mass and gave the homily. Co-Celebrants were Bishop Charles Grahmann, Rev. Celestino Say of Victoria, Rev. Charles Sonnier of Sweet Home, Rev. Joseph Kariuki of Plum, Rev. Michael Lyons of Ganado, and other clergy guests. Rev. Donald Hayden, O.SS.T., Convent Chaplain, was Master of Ceremonies.

Sister M. George Vasek, celebrating 75 years of profession, is the daughter of the late August and Mary Srubar Vasek. Sister was born in East Bernard, Texas. The family moved to Wharton where Sister received her grammar education at Lawson Public School. She completed her high school education at St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner.

Sister George entered St. Ludmila as a postulant on October 5, 1923 and received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on July 24, 1933. She made first profession of vows on September 5, 1934. Sister was awarded a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio. She did post graduate work in the area of library science and held a Professional Elementary Teacher Certification, Provisional High School Certification and Librarian Certification.

During the 75 years of her religious profession, Sister George ministered as a teacher, librarian and/or administrator in the following schools: St. Ludmila Academy and St. Paul High School in Shiner, Marak Public School, Hostyn Public School and Radhost Public School, both near La Grange, St. Jerome School in Plum, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, Sacred Heart School in Crosby, and St. Mary School in Nada. Sister George also served as Treasurer at Burns Hospital in Cuero from 1942-1946.

Sister George retired from the active education ministry in the Fall of 1993 and resides at Incarnate Word Convent. She has assisted in various household duties when able and is very much involved in the Apostolate of Prayer. Her sense of humor and kindness has reaped her a host of lasting friends.

Sister Pauline Marie Ermis, one of nine children, is the daughter of the late Ignac and Annie Vaclavik Ermis of Plum, Texas. Sister Pauline Marie completed grammar school in St. Jerome School in Plum and attended high school at St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner.

She entered St. Ludmila Convent on September 15, 1937 and pronounced first vows on June 5, 1939. She received her BA degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio with a major in History and a minor in Social Science, and held a Teacher’s Permanent Elementary Certificate.

During the 70 years of her religious profession, Sister Pauline Marie taught in the primary, elementary and junior high grades at the following schools: Immaculate Conception School in Sealy, Holy Trinity School in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, St. Mary School in Nada, Holy Cross School in East Bernard, St. John School in San Marcos, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, St. Michael School in Weimar, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Holy Trinity School in Corn Hill, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner and Blessed Sacrament Parish School in San Antonio.

Sister Pauline Marie retired from full-time active classroom duties in 1995 to reside at Incarnate Word Convent where she assisted in various household duties. She now resides in the infirmary where her cheerful presence is an inspiration to all as she engages in the apostolate of prayer and suffering.

Sister Scholastica Friesenhahn is the daughter of the late Gregor and Marie Fey Friesenhahn of New Braunfels, and is the youngest of seven children. Sister grew up on a farm and attended St. Joseph’s School in Comal; she completed her high school at Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio.

Sister Scholastica entered Blessed Sacrament Convent as a postulant on January 6, 1938, became a novice on July 20, 1938 and made first profession of vows on July 26, 1939. Sister received a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in History from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and a MA degree with a major in Education and a minor in Math from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

During her 70 years as a member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Scholastica taught on the elementary, junior high and high school levels at the following schools: Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, St. Agnes School and St. Leo School in San Antonio, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, Sts. Peter and Paul School in Frelsburg, St. Boniface School in Hobson, Immaculate Conception School in Sealy, Blessed Sacrament Academy and St. Gerard High School in San Antonio. Sister Scholastica retired from teaching in 2001 after 63 years in the classroom.

During her years at Blessed Sacrament Academy, Sister Scholastica, a math teacher, was very involved in the math club, Mu Alpha Theta, on the state and national levels with her high school students. Both she and her students were elected to offices and received awards at the state and national conventions.

Sister Scholastica has resided at Incarnate Word since 2006. Her ready smile invites all for a sharing of stories.

Sister Mary Virginia Sheblak is the daughter of the late Elmer and Annie Hollas Sheblak of Edna. She was the eldest of five children–one girl and four boys. Sister completed grammar school at Haynes School near Edna and is a graduate of Nazareth Academy in Victoria. She became a postulant in 1947, was received into the novitiate in 1948, and pronounced her first vows on June 7, 1949.
Sister Mary Virginia received a BM degree with a major in Music and a minor in Education from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a Master of Education in Music from Southwest Texas State University. She also received Certification in Liturgy from the University of Notre Dame.

For the past 60 years Sister Mary Virginia has taught at various schools on the elementary, junior high and high school levels in the following schools: St. Michael School in Weimar, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, Immaculate Conception School in Sealy, St. Agnes School in San Antonio, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Blessed Sacrament Parish School in San Antonio, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Houston. She also ministered at St. Joseph High School in Victoria as a teacher in the 1970's and served as registrar during the 1990's.

Sister Mary Virginia presently serves as Secretary General of the Congregation.

Sister Sylvia Grahmann is the daughter of the late Nicholas and Annie Grafe Grahmann of Hallettsville. Sister Sylvia is one of 11 children–six boys and five girls.

Sister Sylvia received her elementary education at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville; she is a graduate of Nazareth Academy in Victoria. Sister became a postulant in 1947, entered the novitiate in 1948 and pronounced her first vows on June 7, 1949.

Sister Sylvia received her BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy and Latin from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio. She also earned a MA degree with a major in English and a minor in Education from Incarnate Word College. Sister then attended St. Mary’s University from which she received a MA degree in Theology.

During the 60 years of being a member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Sister Sylvia taught on the elementary, junior high and high school levels. She taught in the following schools: St. Leo School in San Antonio, Holy Trinity School in Corn Hill, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Selma, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, Immaculate Conception School in Sealy, Sacred Heart School in Crosby, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, St. Paul High School in Shiner, and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio.

Sister Sylvia retired from the active ministry of teaching in 2004 and came to reside at Incarnate Word Convent where she assists in various household duties. She loves visiting with the other Sisters and playing dominos and card games.

Sister Sylvia’s sister, Sister Anastasia Grahmann (also a Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament) went to her eternal reward on June 17, 1997.
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New Expanded Gift Shop is Open

  Sister Gregoria
gets it just right.


Sisters admire
handmade gifts.
 
Sister Serena arranges
rosaries.


Sister Maria Estefana
displays medals.
 

Gift Shop Hours

Mon. through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Church Holydays and Major Holidays
and Sisters' meetings (Call 361-575-7111 or check this site to confirm that shop is open.)

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Victoria Diocese Fifh Graders Visit IWC for Vocation Awareness Days
 
 
  Sister Evelyn welcomed
the students
School Superintendent Quary
addressed students
Sister Charlene led
song practice
 
 
 Sister Jacinta spoke
of a Sister's lifestyle
Father Don Hayden
explained a priest's lifestyle
Students visited
Hall of Memories
 
 
  Sister Barbara Bacak, SSND
shared her missionary experience
Students bought articles
in the Gift Shop
Sister Mildred led us
in Vocation Bingo
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Four Sisters Celebrate Anniversaries

On Sunday, July 13, 2008, four Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrated the anniversaries of their religious professions at a 2:00 P.M. Eucharistic Liturgy with Bishop David Fellhauer presiding. Many clergy members, religious, family and friends were present to rejoice with the Jubilarians. Those celebrating jubilees were: 75 years–Sister Constance Kapitza, and 70 years– Sister Jeanne de Matel Hayden, Sister Annunciata Shumbera and Sister Callista Mares. These Sisters have contributed to the spiritual well-being and literacy of their brothers and sisters in Christ through faithful service to the Church in ministries of education, administration and pastoral services.

Sister Constance Kapitza is the daughter of the late Frank and Anna (Nieschwietz) Kapitza of Falls City, Texas. The family came to Texas from Borisch Germany where Sister Constance, two brothers and a sister were born. Another brother was born in the United States. Sister Constance received her grammar schooling in Germany and Holy Trinity School in Falls City. She was a graduate of Nazareth Academy. Sister Constance received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on August 17, 1932 and made her profession of vows on August 19, 1933. She received her BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.

During the 75 years of her religious profession, Sister Constance taught on the elementary, junior high and secondary levels at Holy Trinity School in Duquesne, PA, St. Jerome School in Plum, Sacred Heart School in La Grange, St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner, St. Boniface School in Hobson, St. Michael School in Weimar, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Sacred Heart School in Floresville, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, St. Agnes School in San Antonio, St. Patrick School in Dallas, and St. John School in San Antonio.

When Sister Constance retired from active ministry in education in 1987, she served the Congregation as Portress, cared for visitors, and participated in general household duties at Incarnate Word Convent. She also reveled in the beauty of the birds and flowers that she tended when able. Sister has resided in the Congregation’s Retirement Center/Infirmary for the last nine years participating in the apostolate of prayer and suffering.

Sister Jeanne de Matel Hayden is the daughter of the late Robert Joseph and Emma Caroline (Nocker) Hayden of San Antonio, Texas. The family had four children– 3 girls and 1 boy. Sister Jeanne de Matel completed the grammar grades at St. Leo’s Elementary School and her high school at Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. She received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on June 10, 1937 and made her first profession of vows on June 11, 1938. Sister received her BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish and her MA degree with a major in Education and a minor in history from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

During the 70 years of her religious profession, Sister Jeanne de Matel taught on the elementary and junior high levels at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, St. Leo School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, St. Mary School in Praha, Holy Cross School in Bay City, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in Ganado, St. Michael School in Weimar, Sacred Heart School in Crosby, and Holy Cross School in East Bernard. Sister Jeanne de Matel also served 15 years as principal in four of the schools.

When Sister Jeanne de Matel retired from full-time classroom duty, she served the Congregation as an assistant to the Treasurer General. She also used her “green thumb” by tending the many plants and flowers used to enhance the beauty of the Chapel and the living quarters of the Sisters at Incarnate Word Convent. She also made rosaries for the missions. Sister now resides in the Congregation’s Infirmary where she participates in the apostolate of prayer and suffering.

Sister Annunciata Shumbera is the daughter of the late John and Frances (Macha) Shumbera of Weimar, Texas. She was the sixth of six children - four girls and two boys. Sister Annunciata completed her grammar grades at Bois D’Arc School and St. Michael School in Weimar and high school at Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio. She received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on June 10, 1937 and made first profession on June 11, 1938. Sister received her BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish from Incarnate Word College and her M. Ed. with a major in education and a minor in library science from Our Lady of the Lake College University in San Antonio.

During the 70 years of her religious profession Sister Annunciata taught on the elementary, junior high and high school levels at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, St. Leo School , St. Agnes School and Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, St. Michael School in Cuero, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Selma, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Houston. Sister Annunciata also served as principal and librarian in some of the schools. She assisted the Diocese of Victoria by volunteering in the library.

Sister Annunciata has remained active in school volunteer work and will continue her ministry at Holy Cross School in Bay City this coming school year.

Sister Callista Mares is the daughter of the late Cyril and Augusta (Otahal) Mares of Cistern, Texas. She was one of seven children – two girls and five boys. Sister Callista completed elementary grades at St. Wencelaus School in Cistern and high school at Nazareth Academy in Victoria. Sister Callista received the habit of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on December 18, 1937 and made first profession of vows on December 19, 1938. She received her BA degree with a major in history and a minor in philosophy from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.

During the 70 years of her religious profession, Sister Callista taught on the primary, elementary and junior high levels at Sacred Heart School in Hallettsville, Nazareth Academy in Victoria, Blessed Sacrament Academy in San Antonio, Ammannsville Public School in Ammannsville, Sealy Public School in Sealy, Falls City Public School in Falls City and St. Ludmila Academy in Shiner.

When Sister Callista retired from full-time classroom duty in 1985, she remained active with assisting in the infirmary, serving as sacristan for the main chapel and participating in household duties at Incarnate Word Convent. During some of these years she also visited nursing homes in the area. Sister Callista has also made items for the Arts and Crafts sales with her crocheting and needlepoint and loves to put jigsaw puzzles together. She resides in the infirmary and ministers in the apostolate of prayer and suffering.
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Sisters Honored with Chezard Awards

                     
Sister Elaine Braden, Sister Adele Marie Machala, and Sister Emiliana Grafe receive prestigious Chezard Awards for outstanding fidelity in service. Presenting awards are Chezard Award Committee Members: Sister Stephana Marback (white blouse), Sister Valerie Janecka (dark blouse) and Sister Pauline Marie Ermis (seated).

Former Chezard Award Recipients
2002 Sister Andrea Hubnik, Sister Colette Kouba,Sister Doloretta Leopold
2003 Sister Frances Cabrini Janvier, Sister Paschaline Kutac, Sister Rachel Gomez
2004 Sister George Vasek, Sister Alfreda Leopold, Sister Lucilla Donnelly
2005 Sister Theresa Marie Miller, Sister Carmelita Casso, Sister Patrice Shorp
2006 Sister Mary Ann Martinka, Sister Annunciata Shumbera, Sister Claudia Klesel
2007 Sisters John and Jeanne de Matel Hayden, Sister Pauline Ermis,
Sister Alberta Novosad, Sister Rebecca Janacek
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We Honor St. Joseph the Worker

On May 1, the Sisters pray in a special outdoor ceremony.

          


We Crown Mary as Our Queen

During the Month of May, the Sisters honor Mary,
the mother of the Incarnate Word.

              

Sisters in Health Care also Crown Mary

                     


Our Prayer Schedule at Incarnate Word Convent, Victoria, Texas

Please check with us. We may not be following this schedule because we have Mass at varied times. This may change our time of other prayers.

6:05 a.m. (Monday-Friday) Morning Praise in Incarnate Word Chapel

6:25 a.m. (Tuesday-Friday) Mass (check for changes due to special circumstances)

8:05 a.m.(Sunday) Morning Praise

8:30 a.m.(Saturday, Sunday) Mass (check for changes due to special circumstances)

10:00 a.m.(Sunday, Monday, and Friday) Mass in Health Care Center

3:30 p.m.(Wed., Thurs., Sat.) Mass in Health Care Center

5:00 p.m. Evening Praise (Saturday-Thursday
-with Benediction on Sunday, Thursday and First Friday)

If you plan to join us, call to make sure that we are not on a different schedule
due to a holiday, feast, funeral or other special event.
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Check Back Soon for Updates on Coming Events

For more information about events at Incarnate Word Convent, please contact:
 

Incarnate Word Convent
1101 NE Water Street
Victoria, Texas 77901

Phone: (361) 575-7111
FAX: (361) 575-2165
E-mail Sister Lois Marie!

 


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