Shrek the Musical
Falcon Theatre performed Shrek the Musical this spring, and it was a huge hit! The main stage production showcased our incredibly talented IWA community: seasoned student thespians led the way and encouraged freshmen and sophomores to try their hand at acting and managing the stage; Theology teacher Matthew Vale moonlighted as Musical Director and Dance Instructor Michaela Barta dreamed up the choreography for the original score. Mr. Jurick, Ms. Neaves and Mr. Mooneyham took the stage to raucous applause.
Shrek Director and teacher Katherine Mulvaney was proud of the cast and crew for their creativity - both as self expression and resourcefulness: “The cast and crew rely on each other not only to learn lines and blocking but also to run the sound board and the lighting, to manage set changes backstage, and to help each other when something goes wrong.” Plus, Director Mulvaney says, there’s always a lesson to be learned, even from a fairy tale about a donkey and an ogre: “This musical, even more than the movie on which it is based, challenges us all to be ourselves...big, bright and beautiful or otherwise. No matter what the stories say.” Bravo!
Cardinal Dinardo Blesses Campus Addition
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
On February 10th, His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo joined Sister Lauren Beck, C.V.I., Dr. Mary Aamodt, and Patrick Barry, President of Incarnate Word Academy’s Board of Advisors for the Blessing & Dedication of IWA’s New Academy Building and Young Leaders Conference Center. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and supporters attended the ceremony at 609 Crawford Street, and thousands more witnessed the historic moment via the live feed streaming on Facebook Live.
It was only one-year prior that a similar group gathered together in the Rafferty Courtyard to break the ground on which the 18,500 square foot campus addition now stands. Sister Lauren acknowledged and thanked the many people whose efforts made the historic moment possible: “Everybody went into high gear to complete this project on time and on budget and here we are today. I am so, so grateful. This project is a dream come true and has come together through the cooperation, skill and hard work of so many people.”
Sister Lauren gave special thanks to the architect Charles Bourgeois and his team at SBWV Architects, Mike Jones and the entire E.E.Reed Construction team, and IWA Director of Operations Binh Vuong. These team leads and their crew navigated the challenges of maximizing a limited footprint, scheduling conflicts due to downtown Super Bowl preparations, connecting two existing buildings into one, and a year of historic Houston flooding - all without disrupting the school day.
The state-of-the-art building boasts collaborative learning spaces, student centers, and classrooms that were designed to enhance the effectiveness of IWA’s rigorous curriculum. The new performing and fine arts studios boast floor to ceiling windows with urban views that inspire IWA’s budding artists. A history wall in the new courtyard chronicles the major milestones since Foundation Day in 1873. And the rooftop patio – the cherry on top - brings the outdoors to our urban campus.
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, after noting that he was one of the the few in attendance who chose to wear “IWA red”, grounded the physical beauty of the building and its purpose of seeking truth in the world with the beauty of the truth of Jesus Christ: “Catholic identity at Incarnate Word Academy should make you absolutely first-rate at everything you do in the knowledge of the world. But Sister Lauren would be the first to remind you this all happens because of the Incarnate Word – to which her community has been dedicated for all of its existence and to which in the 1870s they decided to make palpable right in the middle of downtown Houston. Would you have any better symbol of how truth and beauty can work together?
May God continue to bless this school, its alumnae, its faculty and staff, and above all its current students. Cherish this in your hearts because you’re going to take this with you. You are going to be leaders wherever you are - whether in Houston or beyond - and I pray that Jesus’ truth and Jesus’ goodness will be summarized for you in Jesus’ beauty.”
We all feel a great sense of pride, but along with our pride, Sister Lauren and the Sisters of the Incarnate Word are careful to emphasize the importance of gratitude: “To the students of IWA - I want you to enjoy all that this building has to offer you but I never want you to take it for granted. People inside and outside the IWA community have contributed to make this a reality for you, because they believe in all that you can accomplish and they believe in the mission of the Academy which stands proudly on the pillars of Academics, Values and Spirituality.”
With heartfelt voices we proclaim, “Praised be the Incarnate Word!”
Super Bowl for Super Bus!
On February 5, 2017 hundreds of thousands of people descended into Houston and millions more kicked back, relaxed, and tuned in to watch the now-historic
Super Bowl match up between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. But for one hundred and fifty IWA community members, Super Bowl Sunday 2017 was a day of hard work that would ultimately raise nearly $45,000 for the IWA Athletic Program. Here’s how they did it.
Catholic Schools Week Art Contest
Incarnate Word Academy celebrated National Catholic Schools Week in many ways but what may have been the most heartfelt expression of the catholic school spirit was the school-wide art contest hosted by Campus Ministry. Students were asked to create a work of art in any medium that reflected the connections between IWA’s past to our current sisterhood. Senior Isabella Raschke won first place with her photo collage:”I went through old IWA yearbooks to find inspiration for our artwork. I came across this picture in the 1954 yearbook and couldn’t get over the similarity between that building and the current one. That day, I took a picture of IWA from the same angle and merged parts of the two together to represent the similarities between IWA then and now. The picture from 1954 shows a whole different world, but when you look closely, it really hasn’t changed much!