The Friday E-Pistle (Feb. 22, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointment

  • Deacon Bob Wehrer has been granted retirement by Bishop Vásquez, effective Feb. 13, 2013.

Special collection: March 9-10

On the weekend of March 9-10, all parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for Catholic Relief Services. The following announcement should be read before all Masses that weekend:

• This weekend we will take up The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Collection, which helps children, women, and families around the world. Funds from this special collection helped in the fight against human trafficking, provide job skills and education, and offer a defense to thousands of young women who now may never have to suffer the horror of being sold for other people’s use. Your support will truly make a difference in their lives.

• Este fin de semana se tomará la colecta para Servicios de Asistencia Católicos, que ayudan a niños, mujeres y familias en todo el mundo. Los fondos de esta colecta especial ayudan en la lucha contra el tráfico humano, proporcionan capacitación para trabajos y educación, y ofrecen una defensa a miles de mujeres jóvenes que nunca tendrán que sufrir el horror de ser vendidas para el uso de otras personas. Su apoyo realmente hará una diferencia en sus vidas.

For more information, visit Catholic Relief Services at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.

Year of Faith

During this Year of Faith, we are challenged to learn more about our faith and grow in our understanding of the teachings of the Church. Many parish communities are offering sessions using a video series or other resources. The diocesan Office of Religious Education and Formation is offering a four-session course that focuses on the basic teachings of the Catholic Church. This course is highly recommended for persons who want to learn more about their Catholic faith, or are active in or preparing for church ministry. The topics include Creed, Christology, Life in Christ and Prayer & Spirituality. The classes are held on Saturdays at the Pastoral Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with separate dates for Spanish or English. You may attend whenever your schedule allows as each session is repeated at another time. The cost for the four sessions is $50, which includes a copy of the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults.  If you have any questions regarding the course, contact Carolyn Martinez at (512) 949-2461.

Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the Third Sunday of Lent (March 3):

  • In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us about God’s patience with us and how he wants for us to respond to His loving salvation.  How has God been loving and patient with you or others?
  • En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús nos enseña acerca de la paciencia que tiene Dios con nosotros y cómo quiere que respondamos a Su salvación amorosa. ¿Cómo ha sido amoroso y paciente Dios con usted o con otros?

Fine Arts Council

Gallery change

The art on display at the diocesan Pastoral Center will change at the end of February. There will be an open house and reception to see the new collection and meet the artists on March 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend.

Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreats

• Reflections on Holy Week will be held March 23 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. For more information or to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.

• Pat Stankus will lead a day of reflection on centering prayer on April 6. If you have always wondered about centering prayer; how to practice this type of prayer and where it has it origins, this retreat is for you. Pat has been practicing this form of prayer for over 30 years. If you are just beginning to learn about centering prayer or if you have practiced it for many years you will be blessed by this day. This cost is $35 and includes lunch. For more information or to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.

Catholic Charities of Central Texas

Women of the Well

Catholic Charities of Central Texas hosts a quarterly series entitled Women of the Well. The next presentation will be March 7 at 8:30 a.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist Elizabeth Ann O'Reilly will be the guest speaker. Women of all ages are invited to enjoy a hot breakfast courtesy of Cook Walden Funeral Homes & Cemeteries. An optional donation of $5 is appreciated. Visit for more information or call (512) 651-6105.

Hispanic Ministry

Pastoral de Conjunto

To better serve the Hispanic Catholic community, Bishop Joe Vásquez has authorized the use of the Pastoral de Conjunto. This term is used by the church to refer to an integration of different people and structures to better coordinate the many efforts of our diocese in serving the growing Hispanic community. Pastoral de Conjunto is rooted in the National Plan for Hispanic Ministry of the USCCB. Please see the letter to priests and the nomination form linked below. Priests are asked to return their responses by March 15.

Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez' prayer intention for the Third Sunday of Lent (March 3):

• For our universal church during this time of transition, that it may be a time of renewal and rededication to Christ.

• Por nuestra Iglesia universal durante este tiempo de transición, que pueda ser un tiempo de renovación y nueva dedicación a Cristo.

Ethics and Integrity in Ministry (EIM)

Upcoming EIM Basic and Refresher Workshops

EIM Basic and Refresher Workshops are scheduled on a quarterly basis by the EIM Office, coordinating with the EIM site administrator at parishes, schools and other diocesan agencies. Staff of these sites wishing to host a workshop must coordinate with their EIM site administrator. The EIM site administrator should make all workshop requests on the Workshop Request Table which is sent to parishes/schools a few months prior to each new schedule block. Additional workshops will not be added to the EIM workshop calendar unless the EIM office determines a particular need. EIM site administrators may direct inquiries about EIM workshop scheduling to Emily Hurlimann or Colleen Schiller in the EIM Office at (512) 949-2400.

To determine which type of EIM workshop you need to attend, please click here. Currently scheduled 1½ hour EIM Refresher Workshops and 3-hour EIM Basic Workshops are listed here.

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