The Friday E-Pistle (May 3, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Year of Faith

With the announcement of the Year of Faith, dioceses and publishers have developed a host of resources for use in parish and school settings. One of the resources available for personal use comes to us from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. It is the Porta Fidei app for smartphones and tablets and it is wonderful! It offers the user the chance to read the pope’s speeches and his Wednesday catechesis sessions. Daily meditations are available from the collection of works on the Creed by Benedict XVI. There are tabs for items to deepen one’s faith, to examine the teachings of the Church, to understand the beliefs proclaimed in the Creed, and much more. The application invites the user to prayer and meditation on what it means to be a disciple of Christ. It is an app worth having and using as we continue to celebrate the Year of Faith and participate in the Pope’s call to the New Evangelization. It is available in five languages and it is free.

Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the feast of the Ascension of the Lord (May 12):

  • Jesus summarizes his work and message in today’s reading telling the disciples what has happened to him, his suffering and death, and his call for repentance. He challenges them to spread his message throughout the world and is then “taken up to heaven.” Like the first disciples, how are you a witness to all that Jesus has said and done? How can you continue to share your faith with great joy?
  • Jesús resume su obra y mensaje en la lectura de hoy diciéndoles a los discípulos lo que le ha pasado, su sufrimiento y muerte, y su llamado al arrepentimiento. Los reta a difundir su mensaje por todo el mundo y es entonces "llevado al cielo." Como los primeros discípulos, ¿cómo eres testigo de todo lo que Jesús ha dicho y hecho? ¿Cómo puedes seguir compartiendo la fe con gran alegría?

Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreats

  • The Desert Solitude retreat begins on June 6 at 3 p.m. This is a seven-day silent retreat with centering prayer as the focus. You may come for three, four or six days. Costs range from $300 to $500. For more information, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.
  • July 22 is the Feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, who traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was present at the two most important moments in the story of Jesus — the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. We will spend the day reflecting on these events, as well as on her love and support of Jesus Christ. For more information, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Catholic Summer programs

Information on Catholic summer programs for youth and young adults is available at the Office of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry’s website. Programs include Servus Dei (a middle school social justice retreat), Cross Training (a discipleship retreat for incoming ninth graders), TEC (a retreat for youth 17 and up), the Diocesan Youth Softball Tournament and Youth Ministry Essentials (a series of training courses for adults who minister to youth). For questions or more information, please contact Adrian Sanchez at or (512) 949-2464.

Religious Education and Formation

RCIA Adapted for Children training

The RCIA Adapted for Children training sessions will be offered in May. This class will present issues particular to RCIA adapted for children of catechetical age especially with regard to catechesis, celebration of the rites, issues with regard to baptized and non-baptized, length of process, etc. This class will be offered in English and Spanish. English will be offered as a two-part class on weekday evenings and the Spanish as a full-day class on Saturday. Registration is available online.

  • English: 2-day class from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on May 9 and May 16
  • Spanish: 1-day class from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on June 1

Weekly notes

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions

Please consider Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for the month of May:

  • That administrators of justice may act always with integrity and right conscience …
  • Que los administradores de la justicia puedan actuar siempre con integridad y buena conciencia...
  • That seminaries, especially those of mission Churches, may form pastors after the Heart of Christ, fully dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel …
  • Que los seminarios, en especial los de las misiones, puedan formar sacerdotes según el Corazón de Cristo, completamente dedicados a la proclamación del Evangelio ...

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the feast of the Ascension of the Lord (May 12):

  • For all mothers, living and deceased …
  • Por todas las madres, vivas y difuntas ...

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 any site 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. 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.

For information about EIM workshops, including how to determine which 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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