By Dr. Caroline Goulet, founding dean of the School of Physical Therapy
For me, the story of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word (CCVI) is a contemporary tale of faith, love, passion, determination and a little boldness!
Theirs is a congregation, as they write, that’s “… dedicated to make real and tangible the love of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, in todays’ world.” In 1869, three young women came from Galveston to San Antonio to minister to the sick. When children lost their parents, the Sisters opened an orphanage to provide them a home, and then founded a school to educate them. The story remains relevant to this day through the work of those who contribute to the Sisters’ ministries of education, health, pastoral and social care, and justice, peace and integrity of creation.
I realized over the years that there are few coincidences in life. Drawn in by the story of these young women and called by the mission of the Sisters’ ministry, I joined the University of the Incarnate Word in 2010. I believe in its commitment to educational excellence in the context of the Catholic faith, to the development of the whole person and to life-long learning through a liberal education. I believe that the institutional values of faith, search for truth, service, education and innovation are integral parts of the formation for healthcare professionals prepared to meet individual and community needs in today’s dynamic healthcare environments. I believe that these same values distinguish our graduates who, like the Sisters, must see God in everyone and act when faced with the day’s needs.
During my journey at the University, I have found kindred spirits in the leaders of Women’s Global Connection, another CCVI ministry, founded by the beloved late Sr. Dorothy Ettling and Sr. Neomi Hayes to foster education and leadership among women, especially those in disadvantaged and developing parts of the world. Through exchanges and discussions, knowledge is shared and relationships are developed. Women gain confidence and feel inspired to accomplish what was previously thought impossible, which is perhaps just as the Sisters intended through their work to improve lives and foster dignity.
This year is full of promises for women and men around the world. Movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up will, hopefully, dramatically challenge the workplace environment to be more mindful, respectful, fair and equitable. In the footsteps of three young women, I believe the change I want to see in the world begins with me.
Praise be the Incarnate Word!
Words of Inspiration
I am only one, but still
I am one.
I cannot do everything, but
still I can do something;
And because I cannot do
everything, I will not refuse
to do the something that
I can do.
– Edward Everett Hale