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Sisters of the Incarnate Word

Texas Historical Marker - Sisters of the Incarnate Word

Texas Historical Marker

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In 1871 the Brownsville congregation of the Incarnate Word, at the request of Bishop Claude Dubuis, sent four sisters to Corpus Christi. They moved into a run-down adobe building at Leopard and Carancahua Street. H. L. Kinney had given the site to the church for a convent and school. Immediately the sisters recognized the need for a Spanish-speaking teacher. They expanded the staff and opened the convent and school to boarders. Under the direction of Father Claude Jaillet, Vicar General, a 3-story structure was completed in 1885. The sisters paid for it with their 10-year savings. The school secured academic accreditation from the State of Texas in 1885 and by 1890 had 220 pupils. The cloister was dissolved in 1915, giving the sisters more freedom to open new schools and improve their education. In 1922 a new, more modern convent was completed at the original location.

The Corpus Christi and Brownsville houses united in 1932 and moved the motherhouse to Corpus Christi. The convent at this site was dedicated in 1950. The sisters' contributions to education in south Texas include operation of a junior college from 1958 to 1966, two high schools, three junior highs, ten elementary schools and a pre-school with an experimental program.

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