Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament

May 27, 2016
Born in Roanne, France, in 1596, Jeanne Chezard de Matel was called to be a mystic, author, teacher,
spiritual director and theologian-at a time when women were not recognized in any of these roles. In love with the Incarnate Word, she passionately pursued the desire of her life, to “extend the mystery of the Incarnation,” by founding the Order of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in 1625. She understood her vocation and the vocation of the Order’s members to be both contemplative and apostolic-a call to encounter the loving Word of God incarnate in Jesus, and then to enflesh that Word in ministry. Jeanne’s life was filled with struggle, opposition, periods of darkness and much suffering. But it was out of these ingredients of her human life, along with the joy she experienced in her relationship with the Incarnate Word, that God formed and shaped the woman that Jeanne became.

During her life, Jeanne established four monasteries in France: Avignon in 1639, Grenoble in 1643, Paris in 1644, and Lyon in 1655.

Having professed her vows just the night before, Jeanne died September 11, 1670, leaving her Sisters a wealth of writing for guidance.

We owe the Incarnate Word a love as strong as death, she tells us, a love that never says, Enough!

As a Congregation we endorse and support the following statements:

As Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, our Incarnational Spirituality impels us to continue to respond to the social mandate of the Gospel in various situations as they arise today. This response leads us to be concerned for all aspects of human life.
IWBS Chapter 2008 (Referral of Chapter 2008 to Social Concerns Committee)

At the International Reunion 2008 in Cleveland, participants prioritized ways of extending the Incarnation in today’s world. Selected for focus was “showing respect for all forms of life.”

Resolution: The Conferences jointly resolve to bring our own experience and charisms to the current conversation on climate change and into action for justice; to seek concrete ways to curb environmental degradation, mitigate its impact on the poorest and most vulnerable people, and restore right relationships among all God’s creation; and to foster a consciousness of care for God’s creation among all our members, colleagues, institutions, and those whom we serve.

Leadership Conference of Women Religious & The Conference of Major Superiors of Men.

Mission

We join in the mission of Christ as he traveled his world, proclaiming the Good News of God’s unconditional love that desires fullness of life for us all. Whatever our situation, we work to bring about a Christian wholeness in each person we meet and a Christian unity among all those who fill our day.

We proclaim the truth of God’s unconditional love with many voices. You can recognize us teaching in Catholic schools. You can find us in parishes, (religious education and adult faith formation) in diocesan departments, in hospital chaplaincy and in prison ministry. You will also meet us at retreats, in counseling and spiritual direction. You will see us assisting with liturgical celebrations and addressing concerns of justice and peace.

We have many voices, but we have the face of one community. Our shared life is the source from which our works flow, for here we have the opportunity to support and challenge one another to grow. Therefore, community is also part of the gift of love we offer to the Church today.

History

The Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament came to Texas in 1852 and to Corpus Christi in 1871. For over 150 years the Sisters have served in a variety of educational and spiritual ministries for the people of South Texas.

For more history, visit the history page.