University Mission and Ministry
The Purpose of the University Mission & Ministry is to make visible and tangible
the Incarnate Word of God in the University.
We do this by:
Engaging University life through prayer, liturgy, outreach, faith development, and pastoral care. While expressing a Catholic identity and the Incarnational spirituality of the founding Sisters, we are enriched by the religious tradition of each individual. Mission & Ministry seeks to empower this community to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ by facilitating initiatives of service, peace, and justice.
Student Peer Ministry interns are an integral part of this ministry and their growth in faith and development of leadership skills is a core aspect of our ministry. Together, the professional staff and student Ministry Interns seek to extend an invitation to all students, faculty, and staff to explore formative issues of faith, values, and purpose.
Vice President for Mission and Ministry
Sr. Walter Maher, CCVI
Phone: (210) 829-3128
Sr. Walter's areas of responsibility include mission, identity, and ministry. Her office can be found in the Columkille Administration Building, Room 147
Sister Walter Maher, CCVI, is Vice President for Mission and Ministry. She has been with UIW since 1972.Sister Maher previously served as a General Councilor for the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. She has a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University (TX); a Master of Arts in Library Science from Dominican University (IL); and a Bachelor of Arts in History and English from Incarnate Word College.
Administrative Assistant to Vice President for Mission and Ministry
Brenda serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Mission and Ministry as well as the Mission and Ministry team. You can find Brenda in Collumkille Administration Building, Room 147.
Brenda has been with the University of the Incarnate Word for over 20 years. She currently serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Mission and Ministry as well as the Mission and Ministry team.
Brenda graduated from Sam Houston High School here in San Antonio, attended San Antonio College studying business administration. She is the proud mom of two daughters, Brianna (an Incarnate Word High School alum and graduate of New York University) and Abbey (a St. Anthony Catholic High School alum and a 2021 graduate of UIW). Brenda has served as a parishioner and Lector for St. Benedict Catholic Church for many years. At her time with St. Benedict Church she has served as Eucharistic Minister, Commentator, Pastoral Council, PTC Council, Parsish Festival Committee, Women's/Men's ACTS Ministries, Director of Mini Reteat Team and so much more.
Brenda currently serves the university through the Community in Mission Committee, Interfaith Council, Administrative Assistants Committee and as a Campus Mediator.
Director of Campus Ministry
Elisabeth "Beth" Villarreal
Phone: (210) 829-2736
Beth oversees the Faith Formation for the undergraduate community. This includes Breathe Young Adult Ministries, Retreats, Bible Study, Agapao Ministries, RCIA/Confirmation preparation, and oversight of the Peer Ministry Intern Program. Her office is located in the Columkille Administration Building, Room 146.
Beth currently serves as the Director of Campus Ministry. She is a graduate of St. Mary's University, San Antonio with degrees in psychology (BA) and community counseling (MA). Beth is currently persuing a Doctorate in Education at UIW with a concentration in Student Services and Higher Education Administration. In addition to her role at UIW, Beth represents UIW with the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Catholic Campus Ministers. She is also involved with the Catholic Campus Ministry Association.
Beth has had a life-long calling to serve youth, young adults and their families. She first began her work with at-risk youth in the Texas child care system. After becoming a mother to Rhiannon, Aislinn, and Aidan she answered God's call to serve youth and young adults in the Church. Serving now in Campus Ministry for over 18 years, Beth ardently believes God loves all His people. We are all children of God and knowing God through the Incarnate Word is crucial to learning one's purpose and direction in life. Echoing Pope Francis, Beth wants all students to know:
"The very first truth I would tell each of you is this: "God loves you." It makes no difference whether you have already heard it or not. I want to remind you of it. God loves you. Never doubt this, whatever may happen to you in life. At every moment, you are infinitely loved." (Christus Vivit, paragraph, 112)
Director of Music Ministries and Coordinator of Liturgy and Media
Phone: (210) 832-3207
Lena directs the university’s Music Ministries (which include the Laudate Choir, Sometime Singers, cantors, and instrumentalists) and serves as organist/pianist for Masses and Ecumenical/Interfaith Services. She also coordinates the liturgical worship of our campus and the division’s Media Ministry (responsible for communicating UMM events and building community through digital invitation). Her office is located in the Columkille Administration Building, Room 142.
Lena currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries and Coordinator for Liturgy and Media for University Mission and Ministry. She holds a BM in organ performance from the University of the Incarnate Word and an MM in organ performance with a concentration in church music and education from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ. In addition to her role at UIW, Lena currently serves as the Advocacy and Affiliation Forum chair for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, a board member (placement) for the Alamo Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and is a board member for St. Anthony Catholic High School. She enjoys the outdoors, cooking, and watching the antics of her little dogs. Her most profound service and love, however, are to her family – husband, Bill, and son, Chris – also active professional musicians and music ministers.
As a life-long pastoral musician, Lena believes that music ministry focuses on the vital connection between what we say, play, and sing. As ministers of music, we not only have the privilege of enhancing the beauty already inherent in the Sacred Liturgy, but we make tangible the Gospel in our lives – sharing God’s love, passing on our faith, and being instruments of peace and justice in the world. Among her passions is mentoring the next generation of pastoral musicians.
Liturgy and Music Assistant
Phone: (210) 832-3207
Carmen serves as Liturgy and Music Assistant to the Director of Music Ministries/Coordinator of Liturgy and assists in the coordination of liturgical ministries and training of ministers. Carmen also serves as a cantor in the Music Ministry. Her office is located in the Columkille Administration Building, Room 142.
Carmen Aguilera currently serves as the Liturgy and Music Assistant for Mission and Ministry. She is proud to say she is a two-time Alumna of UIW, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Music, and her Master of Arts in Religious Studies. As the Liturgy and Music Assistant, Carmen is dedicated to working alongside students, faculty, CCVI and community volunteers to plan and enrich liturgical celebrations on campus. She is also involved in the National Association for Pastoral Musicians as a member of the Advocacy and Affiliation Forum. When she isn’t at work, Carmen loves to spend her time with her husband and 3 dogs, playing board games, or reading.
We are blessed to have the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate along with our Protestant Chaplain serving the diverse community of the University of the Incarnate Word.
The Right Rev. Dr. Trevor Alexander was born in Romford, Essex, in England. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Emma Alexander, have three wonderful girls. Bishop Trevor retired from the U.S. Army in 1995. Bishop Trevor holds an undergraduate degree from the University of the Incarnate Word, in Psychology (holding an emphasis on family) and Religious Studies, along with a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministry from Oblate School of Theology, a Doctor of Divinity Degree from St. Thomas Christian College and Seminary, Jacksonville, Florida, and is currently working on his Doctorate of Christian Counseling, Bread of Life Theological Seminary, San Antonio, Texas.
Bishop Alexander is currently serving at the University of Incarnate Word as the Protestant Chaplain and Adjunct Faculty at the University of the Incarnate Word. Amongst his other accomplishments he is the Senior Pastor of True Vine Church and the Southwest Texas Regional Bishop for the Kingdom Council of Interdependent Christian Churches and Ministries.
Bishop Trevor has published serval articles on matters pertaining to the African American community and has presented in numerous conferences, locally, nationally, and internationally. On February 15, 2016, he was inducted into the San Antonio Black Worship Hall of Fame. During the month of February in 2018, Bishop was recognized by the University of the Incarnate Word, Black History Month Committee, with the Alumni of Distinction Ward.
My name is Abraham Chimese Kapopo. I was born in Kitwe Central Hospital on the 28th of August in 1983 in Zambia. I am the tenth child in the family of thirteen initially, of which five are ladies and eight men. I was baptized on December 31, 1983, at Wusakile Parish in Kitwe. I received my first communion in 1995 and got confirmed on January 29, 2000. I started my primary school in 1990 in Lusaka and completed my high school in 2003 at Mungwi technical school in the Northern part of Zambia. I started my Pre-Novitiate programme on 10th February in 2006. Thereafter, I was sent to our Lady of Hope novitiate in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was in the novitiate from the January 2008 to the second of February 2009.
I then started my philosophical studies at St Joseph’s Scholasticate Cedara within south Africa from 2009 to the end of 2010. After two years from 2009 to 2010 (philosophical period) in Cedara, I went to do my regency year (2011) in Zambia and I was assigned to St Michael’s Parish Kalabo. After regency, I returned to Cedara to complete my remaining third year of philosophy in 2012 and the following year 2013 I started my theology which I completed in 2016. On the 23rd of January 2015 I made my final vows at Demazenod house of formation Makeni Lusaka Zambia. On 23 may 2015 I was ordained a deacon and on the 21 of May in 2017 I was ordained a priest.
I was then given my first obedience to the delegation of Zambia. I was first appointed associate pastor at Mary Immaculate Parish in Lusaka Zambia. While at Mary Immaculate Parish, I served as a community treasurer and as a regency coordinator at the delegation level for 4 years. In May 2021, I was moved to the United States of America to work as a formator at Borzaga Oblate Formation house in San Antonio.
Fr. Art Flores was born on February 12, 1963, the youngest of three children to Joe and Mary (deceased) Flores, in San Antonio, Texas. His parents are faithful Catholics, and Art grew up in a home that was loving and caring. The family was close knit, and he has strong ties with his extended family as well. While growing up, Art had the opportunity to help those in need, particularly due to the influence of his mother, who worked with special needs children for the Northeast School District in San Antonio. He was involved in the Legion of Mary, would visit children with developmental needs, helped in the Special Olympics, and had the opportunity to visit missions in Mexico while in high school. He attended Catholic schools throughout his childhood, and, due to his father serving in the Air Force, lived in various cities in the United States and Europe. While finishing his eighth grade year, an Oblate visited his school and convinced Art to attend St. Anthony High School Seminary, run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, in San Antonio. Given the family’s close ties to the faith, Art had always felt a call to priesthood. This call was further developed and strengthened while Art was in high school with the Oblates. Art continued his formation after high school, and attended St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. In his second year of college formation, Art took a break, and finished college on his own, eventually graduating from St. Edward’s with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. After graduation, Art taught high school math at Divine Province High School in San Antonio. His desire to continue on in the priesthood never left, and while teaching, his call became definite and clear. He entered the Pre-Novitiate formation program in San Antonio, and after two years of re-integrating into community life, left for the novitiate in Godfrey, Illinois, professing his First Vows on August 1, 1988. Art continued his First Formation at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois, graduating in 1992, with a Master of Divinity degree. Art was ordained to the Diaconate on April 23, 1992 in Belleville, IL, and ordained to the priesthood on October 24, 1992 in San Antonio, TX. In 2014, Art received a Doctorate in Ministry from Oblate School of Theology
Fr. Art’s assignments since being ordained in 1992 include:
- St. Joseph Parish, Brownsville, Texas - parochial vicar
- Holy Family Parish, Corpus Christi, Texas – parochial vicar
- Vocation Director – San Antonio, Texas
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Midland, Texas – parochial vicar
- St. Anthony Catholic High School, San Antonio, Texas – campus minister
- Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Eagle Pass, Texas – pastor
- San Juan de los Lagos Parish, San Antonio, Texas – pastor
- Provincial Council, San Antonio, Texas – Southwest Area Councilor
- Provincial Council – Vicar Provincial and Director of Personnel
Fr. Richard Hall is a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate a congregation of about 4,000 men who serve as priests and brothers Worldwide. He was born in San Antonio, by Jesús and Leticia Hall, now deceased. He has four brothers and sisters all living in San Antonio. He was educated by the Sisters of Divine Providence in the elementary level, and then educated by the Missionary Oblates when attending High School. His undergrad studies were in Austin, where he attended St. Edward's University and graduated with a BA in History. After completing a year of Novitiate in Godfrey, Illinois, Fr. Hall's graduate work took him back to San Antonio, where he completed his Masters of Divinity. He professed Final Vows in 1992 and on June 12, 1993 he was ordained priest in San Antonio.
His first assignment took him back to his high school alma mater, St. Anthony's H.S. where he served for five years as high school teacher of religion, Dean of Students, coached football, tennis and Intramurals. Fr. Hall took the Tennis team to two State Finals winning back-to-back State titles after a 14-year hiatus. After five years at St. Anthony, Fr. Hall was moved to Eagle Pass, hometown of his parents, and served there for five years as parochial vicar of Sacred Heart Church. He then returned to Austin where he served two years as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
After two years in Austin, Fr. Hall became pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Laredo, Texas. There he worked closely with the Bishop of the diocese as Dean. He served under the College of Consultors, Presbyteral Board and the Director of the Diaconate Program. After completing six years in Laredo, Fr. Hall returned to San Antonio as Pastor of San Juan de los Lagos Parish and Shrine as well as serving as Dean to the Western Deanery. After five years as pastor, Fr. Hall was asked by his Superiors to be assigned as Vocation Director for the U.S. Province, a ministry that he served for five years. Fr. Hall will be assigned January 2022 as the Director of Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto here in San Antonio. Fr. Hall also serves on the Executive Board, as Co- Chair, of the Religious Formation Conference. The RFC serves Roman Catholic institutes of women and men religious with programs and services for those in the ministry and trains future women and men religious as formators of their respected congregations.
Fr. Patricio was born in Acapulco, Mexico. He grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday and all the family participated in different activities and ministries in the parish. He is the youngest of ten children. At age 16 he founded a youth group in his neighborhood, and this led him to serve youth ministry for nine years. He became youth director with 12 youth groups in his home parish. When he was 20 years old, he went to a “Come and See” retreat with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. God used that retreat to call him. He said: “I resisted accepting that call for I had doubts, fears, and uncertainties. In prayerful discernment and in an act of faith, I dared to try.”
He professed first vows as an Oblate in 2013 in Belleville, IL. He then studied at Oblate School of Theology. He professed his Perpetual Oblation in September 2017. He was ordained deacon in November 2017 and priest in May 2018. He served as an Associate Pastor in San Fernando, CA for two years and one year in Chula Vista, CA. and now, he is serving as Vocation Director for the OMI US Province.
The OMI Charism is to evangelize the world, preaching the good news to the poor with their many faces. We are in 70 countries on all the continents, with about 4,000 members, priests and Brothers serving the most abandoned. I want to invite you to know us and see how we are a religious congregation with our feet grounded on earth, our heart in the Eucharist and our eyes on eternal life.
Originally from Seminole, TX, Fr. David met the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at the age of 13. At 14, he left his family to enter St. Anthony's H.S. Seminary in San Antonio and learned more about his calling to the priesthood. He graduated high school in 1991 and then entered the Oblate college-level formation house in Austin, TX. But after two years, he left religious life to pursue other dreams. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees while working at St. Edward’s University in Austin.
After 14 years and much professional success in university work and involvement in the Austin business community, David felt God missing in his life. At the age of 34, he re-joined formation with the Oblates. Fr. David was ordained to the priesthood in May 2014.
Fr. David's assignments since being ordained in 2014 include:
- Director of Pilgrim Services and Hispanic Ministry Director, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL (2014 – 2017)
- Parochial Vicar, Immaculate Conception Parish, Houston, TX (2017 – 2018)
- Oblate Executive Director, Oblate Missionary Society, Inc. (Fundraising) (2018 – Present)
- Shrine Director, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL (2019 – Present)