Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word prominent leaders in education for Hispanics in West Side community

Inequities led to creation of new opportunities

Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word prominent leaders in education for Hispanics in West Side community

SAN ANTONIOSister Pauline Fierro, CCVI, was one of three Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word who helped bring educational opportunities to the underserved West Side community in San Antonio.

When Sister Pauline was 22 years old, she entered the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. In 1915, she got a strong calling to serve the community around San Francisco de Espada Mission, said Sister Martha Ann Kirk, CCVI.

“In southwest San Antonio, she’d seen that people did not have equal educational opportunities or housing opportunities or medical opportunities,” Sister Martha Ann said.

With no water or proper space, Sister Pauline and three other sisters started the school with two to three grades in each class.

“Most of the children in this area didn’t even get to the eighth grade at that time,” Sister Martha Ann said.

Fierro also went on to help establish the Guadalupe Community Center and taught the first religious vacation school in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

“Sister Pauline was a compassionate, caring person, an excellent educational leader,” Sister Martha Ann said.

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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.