Convent celebrates community project (w/ video)
April 13, 2014 at 11 p.m.
Updated April 13, 2014 at 11:14 p.m.
On the east lawn of Incarnate Word Convent, a project that began as an outdoor stations of the cross has become a community's retreat.
The sisters of Incarnate Word introduced the community to the new addition Sunday. The ceremony was a chance to see the results of months of hard work, shared ideas materialized and loved ones memorialized.
A 680-foot-paved path wide enough for a wheelchair and in the shape of a rosary was completed this month. The rosary, which measures 184 feet by 285 feet, is marked with 14 crosses depicting Jesus carrying the cross to his crucifixion. Donations from community members between $500 to $1,000 paid for much of the additions. In return, the names of their loved ones were engraved into stones along the rosary path, each marking a prayer bead.
Cris Uresti, 70, of Victoria, and her two sisters memorialized their family with a stone engraved for the Garcia-Guevara family. In 2010, the family matriarch, Thimotea Garcia-Guevara, died at the age of 95, said Uresti's sister, Rosie Reyes, 62, of Victoria.
"My mom and my grandma were rosary people," Uresti said.
"They taught us the importance of prayer," Reyes said.
In an effort to expand community outreach, the sisters opened the Amor Meus Spirituality Center in 2006, said Sister Stephana Marbach. Amor Meus, which translates to "my love," holds retreats for people of all faiths.
The sisters wanted to add an outdoor stations of cross path to the center, but that plan grew to encompass a rosary path and re-creation of the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus and his disciples prayed the night before Jesus' crucifixion.
Two Troop 108 Eagle Scout projects contributed to the project. Aaron Lueckemeyer, 18, of Meyersville, earned Eagle Scout through directing a project to put up the stations of the cross, and Ethan Lueckemeyer, 17, of Victoria, earned Eagle Scout through a project to put in six benches around the path. Together, the projects took 400 man hours, said troop leader Lynn Lueckemeyer.
Bishop David Fellhauer blessed the outdoor additions Sunday. A procession of community members followed behind, stopping to greet the names of loved ones engraved along the path.
An irrigation system and sod will be added before the project is complete, Marbach said.
Marbach thanked community members and her fellow sisters of Incarnate Word for making the project possible Sunday.
"Our quantity or number of sisters may not be what it used to be. However, I believe our quality has God's seal of approval. And that is what counts," she said.