On March 19, 2013 we celebrated 25 years since the foundation of our institute, the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará. Priests and seminarians of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), members of our Third Order as well as family and friends were united with us throughout the world in the Holy Mass on that day to give thanks to God through the intercession of St. Joseph. Please pray for us in thanksgiving for all the graces that we have received, and for many holy missionary vocations to join us in “prolonging the Incarnation” through the evangelization of culture.
We begin our celebration by sharing with you the story of our beginnings.
The Religious Family of the Incarnate Word
In 1984, Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela founded the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) in the Diocese of San Rafael in Argentina where the local bishop, His Excellency Bishop Leon Kruk, had given permission for this new religious order of missionary priests. Founded on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, March 25, the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word was born to live out the charism of “prolonging the Incarnation of the Word” in the Church through the evangelization of culture.
A Branch of Sisters
In 1987, Fr. Buela took the first steps to consider the foundation of a women’s institute. Some young women had already expressed the desire to consecrate their lives to God in the same spirit of sacrifice and missionary zeal they saw in the Institute of the Incarnate Word. In October a group of young women began to meet with Fr. Buela at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, the first parish given to the IVE in San Rafael. In order to begin the foundation, we needed a house where the candidates could live. To obtain a house, the future sisters began a thirty day prayer to St. Joseph, and in January 1988 a family in San Rafael donated a farmhouse so that the new order could begin.
Under the Patronage of Saint Joseph
On the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 1988, Father Buela founded the Institute of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará in a Holy Mass presided over by Bishop Kruk and concelebrated by Fr. Buela, IVE priests, and diocesan clergy. The Mass was held in the olive groves of the newly donated farm in order to accommodate all who had come to witness the beginnings of our order.
The first investiture of habits occurred on September 17, 1988 in the Cathedral of San Rafael, in San Rafael, Argentina. When Bishop Kruk visited the convent on September 28, he gave each sister a Cross of Matará, replicas of a cross carved in 1594 by a native convert of the tribe of Matará in Argentina to serve as a catechetical tool for spreading the Gospel within his community. The Cross became part of the habit because it illustrates our charism, the evangelization of culture, and it depicts all the mysteries of Christ. The habit was redesigned in December 1990 to include a blue scapular in place of the tau and a simplified tunic.