The Friday E-Pistle (May 24, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Rev. Anthony Alphonse, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Kingsland and Our Lady of the Lake Mission in Sunrise Beach, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Bernard Hung, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Caldwell and Holy Rosary Mission in  Frenstat, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Stephen Nesrsta, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Corn Hill and Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Granger, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Joseph Nisari, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Dime Box and Holy Family Mission in Lexington, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Very Rev. Michael O’Connor, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Hutto in addition to his current assignment as pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Round Rock, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Steve Sauser, administrator of St. John the Baptist Parish in Fayetteville and St. Mary Mission in Ellinger/Hostyn Hill, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Will Straten, administrator of Our Lady of Wisdom Parish in San Marcos, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Efrain Villanueva, pastor of Santa Teresa Parish in Bryan, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Brion Zarsky, pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Martindale and St. Michael Parish in Uhland, effective July 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Jim Deaconson, parochial vicar of St. Patrick Parish in Hutto, effective July 1, 2013.

Memorial Day

All diocesan offices will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

Tornadoes in Oklahoma

Please join us in continued prayer for the communities affected by this week's tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Anyone who wishes to lend a hand may donate directly to the Disaster Relief Fund of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City by contacting their website at Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Oklahoma. Their disaster relief team is already in place in the impacted communities providing counseling, emergency assistance and case management to those families who have been displaced by the tornadoes.

Summer Gathering of Priests

The annual summer gathering of priests will be held June 3–5.  Any priests who wish to attend and have not yet registered or made their hotel reservations, please contact Julie Gray at (512) 949-2430.

Year of Faith

Last fall on Oct. 10, we opened the Year of Faith with a beautiful celebration of Vespers (evening prayer). We gathered at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin and called on God’s Spirit to bless our diocese as we planned concrete ways to “open the door of faith” to Jesus Christ. We now just passed the halfway mark of this momentous Year of Faith. We have an opportunity to reflect on how well we are growing in our faith and the knowledge of Christ. Do we know more about the documents from the Second Vatican Council? Are we more familiar with the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Have we invited absent friends and family members to come back to the church? Has our prayer life improved? Are we reading sacred Scripture more? The good news is there are still six months left until the Year of Faith concludes on Nov. 24. At this halfway mark, consider rereading Porta Fidei and prayerfully reflect on its content, message and challenge. There is time to assess how well we are doing to improve the way we live our Catholic faith and time to take the steps necessary to become better witnesses of our faith for others.

Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the feast of Corpus Christi (June 2):

  • Today’s Gospel portrays one of several versions of Jesus feeding a large crowd with only a few loaves and fish. The disciples are unable to meet the needs of the people without Jesus' help; they turn to him to care for the needs of so many. What events or defining moments opened your eyes to the need for Christ’s grace and blessing? How do you patiently respond to others’ needs, even when you feel interrupted?
  • El Evangelio de hoy presenta una de las varias versiones de Jesús alimentando a una multitud con solamente unos pocos panes y peces. Los discípulos son incapaces de satisfacer las necesidades de la gente sin la ayuda de Jesús; se dirigen a Él para atender a las necesidades de tantos. ¿Qué eventos o momentos determinantes abrieron tus ojos a la necesidad de la gracia y la bendición de Cristo? ¿Cómo respondes pacientemente a las necesidades de los demás, aun cuando te sientes interrumpido?

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.

Catholic Healthcare Guild

Please join the Catholic Healthcare Guild membership for fellowship and formation, exploring “Your Call to Healthcare … Connecting Spirituality and Work” facilitated by Joe Barry, director of Mission Integration for the Seton Healthcare Family. The meeting will be held June 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the Clinical Education Center at University Medical Center Brackenridge in CEC Room C1.110, in Austin. Call (512) 324-5995 or e-mail catholichcguild@gmail.com to RSVP.

Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Catechesis on Human Love Certification

In response to the new diocesan policy regarding the necessary qualifications for catechists speaking on the sensitive subject of human sexuality and chaste living, Catechesis on Human Love certification has been created. Catechesis on Human Love offers the wisdom of the church to catechists for education in human love and sexuality, in particular incorporating Blessed John Paul II’s catechesis on human love, which helps us to understand the human person in a way so radically different from the current culture. For more information regarding qualifications, class schedules or to enroll in the certification program click here or contact the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living at (512) 949-2486 or e-mail Yvonne Saldaña.

Austin Prayer Vigil for Life

All are invited to attend the Austin Prayer Vigil for Life on June 15 beginning with Mass at 7:30 a.m. at St. Ignatius, Martyr Parish in Austin. A caravan will proceed to Austin Women’s Health at 1902 S. I-35 to pray the rosary from 8:50 to 10:20 a.m. After the rosary, all will return to St. Ignatius, Martyr for closing and fellowship at 11 a.m.  View the flier for this event here.  For more information, contact Bob Christiansen at (512) 255-8551.

Natural Family Planning Classes

The Diocese of Austin requires an introductory Natural Family Planning class for all couples to be married in the church.  If you would like to attend a this class for marriage, or if you are already married and would like to attend an introductory class for the Billings, Creighton, Sympto-Thermal or Family of the Americas method for you and your spouse, view classes on the Diocese of Austin calendar here. For more detailed information, contact the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living at (512) 949-2486 or e-mail Yvonne Saldaña.

Weekly notes

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priest on the anniversary of his ordination during the month of June: Rev. Aloysius Nzekwe, MSP, June 26, 2004.

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the feast of Corpus Christi (June 2)

  • For a greater belief in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist …
  • Por una creencia más grande en la Verdadera Presencia de Cristo en la Eucaristía ...

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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