Curriculum update

When the team at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio completed their first unit of curriculum about Catholic sisters, they toasted with red wine at a nearby Italian restaurant.

“We celebrated the moment of success, but then we were getting our heads back down,” said Dr. Ann David, an assistant professor in the Dreeben School of Education that prepares future middle- and high-school teachers. Ann is part of the five-member faculty advisory group for Incarnate Word’s curriculum project. She is working closely with Sister Walter Maher, CCVI, vice president for mission and ministry.

The curriculum is the first of its kind, intended to illuminate the lives and ministries of Catholic sisters for the benefit of young adults. Embarking on the creative work was daunting, but each member of the team brought a unique talent, Ann said. Along with a host of content questions, the team took care to present each element of the unit as skillfully as possible and maximize the digital delivery mode.  

“Is this link an interruption or is it something valuable?” Ann recalls asking at every turn.

The faculty advisory group also had lengthy discussions about the right images to use and identified photos that would reflect a more Southwest mission-style Catholic church familiar to Latina women to supplement the many available images of Gothic-style Catholic churches.

The interactive units are available in English and Spanish. The first unit is titled “What Do Sisters Do?” and is now available online. The second and third units are nearly complete. The second one explores the call to religious life, and the third looks at prayer. In the spring, a unit on service and another on community will be released.

“I hope that young people get a much better sense of the work that women religious do in the world and how powerful that is,” Ann said. “Because the stories are amazing once you start looking for them and listening to them. Part of me hopes that young people would go and find a sister and talk to them.”

And then, she added, teens’ awe can turn into action. “I want them to go from that moment of, ‘I could never do that!’ to ‘Maybe I could do that.’ We want to open that possibility.”



Editor’s note

There is much more to come! Stay tuned for further coverage of the UIW Curriculum Project!

About Christina Capecchi

Christina Capecchi is an award-winning journalist from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She is the author of the nationally syndicated column “Twenty Something,” which appears in more than 50 Catholic newspapers across the country. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, America, The Chicago Tribune, The Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press. She also provides contracted editing and writing services. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from Mount Mercy University.