In the midst of the festivities surrounding the first anniversary of the San Antonio Missions’ designation as a World Heritage Site, Blessed Sacrament Academy celebrated its 90th year of caring and compassionate ministry with an event at St. Joseph Assembly Hall. Since 1926, the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament have administered and taught in a Catholic high school at 1135 Mission Road, in this historic San Antonio area.
For the first 60 years, Blessed Sacrament Academy served the community as an all-girls high school, sometimes taking in boarders, elementary grade children, and even Cuban refugees. As the Southside population changed during the 60’s and 70’s, high school enrollment diminished. The Congregation, taking considerable leaps of faith, was determined to re-focus their mission in 1986. The result is the programs currently on campus.
“With compassion, respect and acceptance, our hearts reach out to vulnerable families who are stretched beyond their abilities to succeed, many on the brink of giving up. Our programs provide a safety-net for those who reach out to us daily,” says Sister Odilia Korenek, President. “There is only one way to describe Sisters, nuns, the religious to this day,” states long-time supporter Rosemary Kowalski. “They are just good people and all they want to do is help someone, whether it’s a five year old or a 91 year-old.”
Who would have been impacted if the Congregation had given up on this ministry?
- 300+ children per year, ages 6 weeks to 5 years, would be left without the safe learning environment of the Child Development Center. Affordable costs, early childhood education and a caring staff serve the community by allowing parents to remain employed or in school with confidence their children are being well cared for.
- Since our Parents’ Academy began in 1994, thousands of parents have experienced new learning and support as they navigate the challenging role of raising healthy children. Our programs build positive parenting behaviors for all families and are especially effective for families healing from child abuse and neglect.
- Por Vida Academy Charter High School is an alternative high school sponsored since 1996 by Blessed Sacrament Academy. This year 96 students crossed the stageto receive their high school diploma. Many of these teens literally had no other place to finish school. The Por Vida staff mirrors the Sisters’ belief to ‘never give up on even one student.’
In this video, produced for the event to highlight the 90 year legacy of mission and ministry of Blessed Sacrament Academy, alumni and friends of Blessed Sacrament give testimony to the ongoing legacy of the Sisters. “If you’ve been here before, there’s a settling that occurs, you feel that you are in a place that is caring, that you are welcome to be yourself, it’s a sense of family,” says Bert Pfiester.
Blessed Sacrament Academy is proud to be a nonprofit partner of SA2020.