The Friday E-Pistle (May 17, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Year of Faith

One of the focal points for the Year of Faith is the call of the New Evangelization, which includes the desire to welcome Catholics who no longer practice their faith or do so occasionally. In the next few months, the Holy Spirit is giving us the chance to evangelize with the celebration of weddings, graduations and Vacation Bible School. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has a tool available on their website that can be used to develop a flier, a card or bulletin insert to help you invite people back to the Church. “The Church wants you to know that you are a child of God, called by name, precious in his eyes and loved by him (Is 43:1,4). The Church also wants you to know that you are missed. When one member of the Body of Christ suffers, the entire Body of the Church suffers.” The site includes resources to help people become reacquainted with Catholicism and answer questions about the Church. All you have to do is welcome and invite people to return to their Catholic faith.

Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the feast of the Most Holy Trinity (May 26):

  • Jesus reminds his disciples that the Holy Spirit will be sent to guide them “to all truth.” Jesus also proclaimed that everything “the Father has is mine.” The Father, Son and Holy Spirit will lead us to the truth and guide us in our lives. How do you see the work of the Most Holy Trinity in your own life? In what ways do you need to be open to the Holy Spirit guiding you “to all truth?”
  • Jesús recuerda a sus discípulos que el Espíritu Santo será enviado para guiarlos a “toda la verdad.” Jesús también proclamó que todo “lo del Padre es mío”. El Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo nos conducirán a la verdad y nos guiarán en nuestras vidas. ¿Cómo ves el trabajo de la Santísima Trinidad en tu propia vida?  ¿De qué maneras necesitas estar abierto al Espíritu Santo que te guía hacia “toda la verdad”?

Finance Office

Health Insurance Enrollment

The open enrollment period for health insurance began May 13, and will end on June 21. During this time, an employee may enroll, add or drop coverage without a qualifying event. Dependent children are eligible until age 26 without student status. All changes made during this time period will be effective until June 30, 2014.

All employees currently enrolled in the plan will automatically be re-enrolled in their current plan type/level unless they terminate coverage or change their elections during this enrollment period. Since the plan deductibles are computed on a calendar year basis, we encourage employees wishing to switch to the Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) to do so on Jan. 1. We will offer enrollment meetings in December for this purpose.

The average increase in cost for coverage is approximately 3 percent for The Deluxe Plan. There is no increase in premium for the CDHP or the Clergy Plan.

A schedule of informational meetings is linked below.  Attendance at meetings or completion of paperwork is not required unless employees wish to add, drop or make changes. The purpose of these meetings is to answer questions and explain benefits.

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. Participants 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.

Criminal Justice Ministry

Parish-based criminal justice ministry needed

There is a great need for people to work in the prisons to help Catholics and fallen away and cultural Catholics to understand their faith, practice it and lead stable lives.  The prison population is most grateful for faith experiences enabled by volunteers who can teach Bible studies, pray with them and support their reception of the sacraments. Many are now asking for RCIA programs. In addition, nine out of 10 prison inmates, some 70,000, will be released each year. They will be our neighbors, and without faith-based support, many of them will return to prison.

Deacon Doots DuFour, director of Criminal Justice Ministries for the Diocese of Austin, offers an informative presentation to assist parishes in developing a support system for those released from prison. This presentation eliminates any mystery about incarceration and encourages persons to follow their interests and begin to minister to inmates and ex-offenders.

Stewardship and Development Office

Catholic Schools scholarship

Parker School Uniforms is giving away two $1,000 tuition scholarships to any Catholic school in the Diocese of Austin. To enter, fill out this simple online form. Winners can transfer the scholarship to any eligible student who will attend a Catholic school in the Diocese of Austin. Enter, and share the opportunity with others to earn more chances to win. No entries will be accepted after 11:59 p.m. on June 3, 2013. The winner will be announced on or before June 7, 2013. For more information, contact Jean Bondy.

Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

The June 4 installment of Theology on Tap will feature Pam Neumann sharing about having the confidence to engage in discussions on faith. Theology on Tap will meet at Santa Rita Cantina (Escarpment Village, 5900 W. Slaughter Ln., Austin, 78749) at 6 p.m. for live music. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Jennifer Kodysz at (512) 949-2467.

Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the feast of the Most Holy Trinity (May 26)

  • For all graduates as they transition to a new stage of life …
  • Para todos los que se gradúan, en su transición a una nueva etapa de la vida…

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of June:

Rev. Hector Vega, ISP, June 1, 1974; Rev. Karel Fink, June 1, 1991; Rev. Harry Dean Jr., June 1, 1996; Rev. Bernard Nguyen Hung, June 1, 1997; Rev. Lawrence Soler, TOR, June 2, 1955; Rev. Paul McCallum, June 2, 1962; Rev. James McDonough OP, June 2, 1962; Rev. George Tzanakas, June 2, 1962; Rev. Cyril Ngbede Ejaidu, June 3, 1995; Rev. David Konderla, June 3, 1995; Rev. Stephen Nesrsta, June 3, 1995; Rev. Ernesto Elizondo, June 3, 2000; Rev. Larry Stehling, June 4, 1988; Rev. Christian Christensen, ISP, June 5, 1971; Msgr. John A. McCaffrey, June 5, 1976; Rev. Le-Minh Pham, June 5, 1993; Rev. Frank Zlotkowski, CSC, June 6, 1976; Rev. Joel D. McNeil, June 6, 1987; Rev. Christopher Downey, June 6, 2009; Rev. Justin Minh Nguyen, June 6, 2009; Rev. Uche Obikwelu, June 6, 2009; Rev. Jonathan Raia, June 6, 2009; Rev. William Straten, June 6, 2009; Msgr. Mark Deering, June 7, 1953; Rev. Harold Essling, CSC, June 8, 1978; Rev. Larry Covington, June 8, 1985; Rev. James Deaconson, June 8, 1985; Rev. Adam Martinez, June 8, 1985; Rev. Gregory McLaughlin, June 8, 1985; Rev. Richard Tijerina, June 8, 1985; Very Rev. Albert Laforet, Jr., June 8, 2002; Msgr. Oliver Johnson, June 9, 1962; Rev. James Ekeocha, June 9, 2007; Rev. James Misko, June 9, 2007; Rev. Brion Zarsky, June 9, 2007; Rev. Patricio Rodriguez, ISP, June 9, 2007; Rev. Uchechukwu Andeh, June 9, 2012; Rev. Ryan Higdon, June 9, 2012; Rev. David Trahan, June 9, 2012; Rev. Kurtis Wiedenfeld, June 9, 2012; Rev. Alberto Borruel, June 10, 2006; Rev. John Guzaldo, June 10, 2006; Rev. Howard Goertz, June 11, 1977; Rev. Ron Feather, June 11, 2011; Rev. Paul Hudson, June 11, 2011; Rev. Patrick Ebner, June 12, 2004; Very Rev. Brian Eilers, June 12, 2004; Rev. Efrain Villanueva, June 12, 2004; Msgr. Joseph Deane, June 14, 1959; Rev. Robert Becker, June 16, 1979; Rev. Joseph Geleney, June 16, 2001; Rev. Brian McMaster, June 16, 2001; Rev. Jozef Musiol, SDS, June 17, 1972; Rev. Celso Yu, MF, June 20, 1992; Rev. Patrick Coakley, MSC, June 21, 1986; Rev. César Jaime Guzmán Díaz, June 24, 1996; Rev. Ed Frazer, SS, June 27, 1961; Rev. Raphael Clancy, June 22, 1974; Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, June 24, 1989; Rev. Gerald Smith, June 26, 1965; Rev. Basil Aguzie, MSP, June 27, 1997; Rev. Michael Ajewole, MSP, June 29, 1996 and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, June 30, 1984.

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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