The Congregation of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament began in France in 1625. In 1853, at the request of Bishop Odin, the first bishop of Texas, members of the Congregation came to the United States and settled in Brownsville, Texas. From that time on, additional foundations were made in Victoria and Corpus Christi.
In 1873, the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament began a foundation in Houston. The Sisters arrived from Victoria on April 25, 1873, and moved into an abandoned Franciscan Monastery next to the old St. Vincent Church on Franklin Street. On May 5, 1873, Mother Gabriel Dillon and her Sister-companions first experienced the joy of having Mass offered and the Blessed Sacrament reserved in their chapel. This is known as Foundation Day for the Houston Congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.
In November of that year, the Sisters moved to 609 Crawford Street. Two months later, they opened Incarnate Word Academy, Houston's first Catholic high school, which has carried on an excellent tradition ever since.
With more Sisters arriving from France and Ireland, they opened and staffed schools, and in some cases even paid for the buildings that would later become parish property. By 1919, the Sisters were ready to staff St. Mary's School in Temple, Texas, the first "mission" to be followed shortly by several others throughout the state. Another move occurred in 1982, with the sale of the Bellaire property and relocation to Bradford Place in the city of Houston. This time, the Church next door is the new St. Vincent's.