By Sister Mary Carmel Smith, CCVI
‘All for the Incarnate Word’;
‘For the Glory of the Incarnate Word’ and finally,
“Praised be the Incarnate Word”–
FOR over 150 years, these inspirational and invitational words of wecome are being extended to each Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word upon her response to the call of the Incarnate Word: “Come, follow Me”. And on her first entry into the Incarnate Word Chapel, she is greeted from the Sanctuary Dome with words that are to become the focus of her life– “Praised Be The Incarnate Word”.
Imbued with the Incarnate Word Spirit during these past 150 years, the Sisters have lived consecrated lives in his service, in accord with the call of Founder Bishop Claude M. Dubuis: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, suffering ….seeks relief at your hands.” This ‘relief ’, which began with hospital care of the sick and suffering, including orphan care and homes for the frail elderly, (now today’s retirement homes), before moving on to the education of youth from primary to university levels; then on to social services of the marginalized of all kinds, to various Church ministries with spiritual and evangelical outreaches to the masses, via telecommunications and modern day social media, is truly–in line with St. Paul’s wish: “to become all things to all, so that I may gain at least some of them.” Well, over these 150 years, our CCVIs have surely ‘gained at least some of them’.
And, today, as we pause to celebrate our Congregational Feast–the ‘Incarnation of the Lord’, we seek to honor in a special way, the Incarnate Word who came to make intercesson with the Father for the salvation of mankind. With our personal consecration to the Incarnate Word, we can approach the ‘throne of grace and find mercy’ as ‘adopted children’ of our Heavenly Father, and seek the grace to daily live out this offering of our lives to the Incarnate Word through our congregational mission in the Church.
So, with heartfelt gratitude, as we emerge from the challenging year of Covid, we join with all the members of our Incarnate Word Family in the prayer taught by our founders, for personal greetings among ourselves and as a headline inscription on our documents and projects:
“Praised be the Incarnate Word”, Forever Amen.