Ministries

 

Jesus came that you may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10b

In our ministries we promote life by the concern we demonstrate for the totality of human life. Even though our services may focus on various aspects of human life, our deepest desire in everything is to promote the fundamental dignity of persons, thus demonstrating our Incarnational charism. Today, we remain committed to our founding call while constantly adapting our ministries to meet the evolving needs of society.

We currently serve those in need in El Salvador, Guatemala, Ireland, Kenya and the United States of America.

Spirituality – Making the Love of Jesus present today

Prayer and contemplation are integral to our charism. We set aside time each day for personal and liturgical prayer, especially daily Eucharist. Through our Spirituality Centers, we provide spaces and opportunities for solitude, prayer, spiritual growth and a deeper relationship with God. In Guatemala, Casa de Retiros Verbo Encarnado, a large retreat center in the area of Sacatepequez, provides services to multiple entities. The Ukarimu Centre in Molo, Kenya attracts clergy, religious, and lay persons to pray and discern as individuals and as groups. RUAH Center at Villa de Matel for persons who speak English and its extension at St. Austin Center for Spanish speaking persons provide retreats, prayer weekends, spiritual direction and other spiritual services in Houston, Texas. Additionally, several of our Sisters serve as spiritual directors.

Since our foundation, following the Spirituality of the Incarnate Word has been integral to who we are as Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. In 2001, a special program called Spirituality in Ministry, a joint ministry of both the Congregations of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston and San Antonio, Texas was initiated. Through workshops, conferences, and retreats, this ministry seeks to enhance the spirituality and mission of the two congregations by supporting ongoing formation and spiritual growth of its members, associates, and co-ministers. It serves as a resource to all the ministries of the two congregations.

The CCVI Associate Program brings together Christian women and men who share faith and friendship as a response to their baptismal call to holiness. Inspired by the history and spirit of our Congregation, they strive to live Incarnational Spirituality as exemplified in the charism and ministries of the congregation.

Health Care – Continuing the healing ministry of Jesus

From large sophisticated health systems to small dispensaries in remote villages, our Congregation spreads the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to those in need through direct patient contact and sponsorships. In the United States, we co-sponsor two of the largest Catholic health care systems in the nation, Dignity Health and CHRISTUS Health. In addition, we support the AIDS ministry of the Archdiocese of Galveston – Houston. Carrigoran House in County Care, Ireland, was uniquely designed and built to cater to the needs of the elderly and provides a continuum of care for seniors. St. Martin de Porres Dispensary in Molo, Kenya provides primary care services to those in need, including clients who are HIV positive or have AIDS. In Romania, we have heard the cries of a multitude of children and have assisted others to help renovate, equip and staff a center in Constancia to care for children diagnosed with AIDS. Nearly 1,000 children receive care in the outpatient clinic of the center. In all of our initiatives, health education is an integral part of our ministry.

Elderly – Sharing care and compassion

At three centers in Guatemala, our Sisters provide places of haven for the abandoned and elderly in need. At El Amparo de San José, Huehuetenango, Hogar de Mi Hermano/Hermana, Esquipulas, and Hogar de Ancianos Sor Herminia, El Quiché, healing comes through spiritual and physical care, along with a loving sense of home and family.

We also offer care to the elderly through our co-sponsorship of CHRISTUS Health and Dignity Health. In Ireland we provide care to the elderly at Carrigoran House with senior services across a number of care continuums, including independent living, assisted living, convalescence, respite care, long term and dementia / Alzheimer’s care and day care.

Education – Continuing to teach as Jesus did

Whether teaching children in elementary schools or adults seeking to improve their life skills, our Sisters carry out the ministry of education. The type of teaching offered varies in each community and country. Among the schools where our Sisters are missioned are Bishop Ndingi Primary School and St. Peter the Apostle Nursery School in Kenya. In Guatemala Casa Claudio Dubuis provides educational, spiritual and integral formation to low income women. In the U.S.A., many of our Sisters have served in parochial schools.

Adult Literacy Programs - Promoting human dignity through education

In 1994, having completed an assessment of needs in the Houston area, our Congregation made a commitment to initiate new literacy programs for adults and to collaborate with existing programs. In the ensuing years, four literacy centers were opened, one at San José Clinic in collaboration with the READ Commission, and a second at Southwest Clinic in collaboration with CHRISTUS Health/Legacy Health. The third at St. Austin Center was initiated by our Congregation. The fourth center was established by CHRISTUS Health in Galveston, Texas. These four centers offer classes in English and prepare students for the GED examination. Our Congregation also established a Literacy Core Group. This group has grown from being a collaborative effort among members from our Congregation, Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament and the Dominican Sisters of Houston, to include teachers from the four literacy centers. The Committee meets twice a year and each October hosts a Literacy Social. Personnel from other literacy centers are invited. The program at the social includes presentations by a guest speaker and by students from each center.

For information about enrollment in these centers contact:

St. Austin Center
2002 S. Wayside, Houston 77023...713-580-6585

CHRISTUS Our Daily Bread
2420 Winnie, Galveston 77550...409-765-6971

Legacy Literacy Center
6441 High Star, Houston 77074...713 779-6400

San José Literacy Center
2615 Fannin Street, Houston 77002...713-228-9411

Children - “Let the little children come unto me.”
- Luke 18:16

We provide babies and children in need with integral care including a home, family-like environment, religious upbringing, and education in Guatemala at Hogar Esperanza. The center also serves as a daycare for girls and boys. In Kenya, we help children and teenagers receive an education through school scholarships in an Outreach Program from Elizabeth Place Center. Due to conditions of extreme poverty, the families would not be able to send their children to school without the help of scholarships.

Young Adults Outreach - Sharing the Good News

We realize that there is an invitation from God to serve and minister to this important group in the church. This ministry has strengthened our U.S. vocation ministry. We have learned that young people today are hungry for God and are searching for a deeper meaning in life. Networking with other groups has helped us to widen our horizons and connect and serve the next generation in many practical ways.

Corporate Responsibility - Being wise and prudent stewards of God’s gifts

Corporate social responsibility is the exercise of ethical and social stewardship in investments, banking and purchasing. Active corporate social responsibility involves influencing corporate culture and efforts to shape corporate policies and decisions to promote human rights, social and economic justice for all. The Congregation has been involved in the corporate responsibility movement since the 1980s.

The Congregation works in partnership with other religious investors to address systemic change in the marketplace through national membership in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) [www.iccr.org], and in regional membership in the Socially Responsible Investment Coalition – Texas [http://home.flash.net/~sric/].

Social Justice - “Justice will bring about peace; right will produce calm and security.” – Isaiah 32:17

Through our Social Justice ministry, we directly assist people with immediate needs, such as food, clothing and shelter, while at the same time working for social change through the Legislative process. Current issues of concern to the Congregation are:

  • Respect for life from conception to natural death
  • Laws that protect men, women and children from Human Trafficking and that prosecute the traffickers
  • Immigration Reform that respects families, secures our borders and provides a path to citizenship
  • Cancellation of debts in the world’s poorest countries by passage of The Jubilee Act and for assistance in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals
  • Care of God’s Creation (Earth)

For further information or to become involved with any of these areas of concern, please visit the following websites.

Evolving Needs – Respecting the dignity of all persons

As the needs of society evolve, so do the ministries of the Congregation to meet those needs. With the increase of human trafficking, a modern form of slavery, we support the Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to combating human trafficking in all forms and ages through education, public awareness and empowerment within the community. Artwork pictured here by St. Agnes Academy Art Student Marjorie Smith dramatically depicts the pain of this present-day human tragedy. With the Sisters of Mercy of the St. Louis Regional Community, Inc., we support ARISE, A Resource in Serving Equality, located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. A community development program for persons who are immigrants to the U.S.A. from Mexico, ARISE helps immigrants to integrate into life in a new country. In El Salvador, we express God’s love and concern for all people as we provide spiritual support, counsel, guidance and accompaniment in pastoral ministry.

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Calendar of Activities


 
Link to Past Issues of


DVD Cover

A limited number of the DVD Called to Serve is available upon request for those interested in learning more about the mission and ministry of the Congregation. (Intro only on website)

DVD Cover

Since December 8, 1927, The Conventual Church of the Immaculate Conception has been the central place of worship for the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Houston, Texas.

 

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