The Friday E-Pistle (June 7, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Fortnight for Freedom

The Fortnight for Freedom, which we celebrated for the first time last year, takes place from June 21 — the vigil of the Feast of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More — to July 4, Independence Day. Last year, we saw a great diversity of events promoting religious freedom across the country. In 2013, we face many challenges to religious liberty, including the Aug. 1 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate; potential Supreme Court rulings in June that could redefine marriage, causing serious religious liberty issues for Catholic adoption agencies and many others; and religious liberty concerns in other areas, such as immigration and humanitarian services.

Learn more about how the Diocese of Austin is participating in the Fortnight for Freedom at  This includes a Mass for Religious Liberty, that I will celebrate, a Spiritual Bouquet for Religious Liberty and five specific requests from me for Diocese of Austin parishes.

Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 16):

  • “Your faith has saved you; go in peace,” are the closing words to the scene in today’s Gospel where a woman “bathes Jesus’ feet with her tears.” Her faith and trust in Jesus’ compassion conquers her fear of being condemned and ridiculed. Simon the Pharisee is forced to see the woman’s faith and her great love for Jesus. In what ways do you trust Jesus’ compassion to forgive you of your sins? How do you need to refrain from judging others and instead see in them the face of Jesus?
  • “Tu fe te ha salvado; vete en paz,“ son las palabras finales de la escena del Evangelio de hoy donde una mujer “lava los pies de Jesús con sus lágrimas“. Su fe y confianza en la compasión de Jesús conquista su miedo de ser condenada o ridiculizada. Simón el Fariseo es forzado entonces a ver la fe de la mujer y su gran amor por Jesús. ¿De qué manera confía usted en la compasión de Jesús para el perdón de sus pecados? ¿Cómo es que necesita abstenerse de juzgar a otros y en lugar de hacerlo, ver en ellos el rostro de Jesús?

Youth Ministry

National Catholic Youth Conference

Spots are available in the Diocese of Austin group attending the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), which will take place Nov. 21 through Nov. 23 in Indianapolis. NCYC is a powerful, biennial, three-day experience of prayer, community and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones. The schedule includes keynote presentations, prayer, workshops, liturgy, and opportunities to participate in reconciliation and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as concerts and exhibits. If you are a teen or parent interested in NCYC, please contact your parish youth minister or youth ministry representative for more information. Youth ministers, please contact Alison Tate if you are planning to bringing a group. More information can be found here.

Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 16):

  • For all fathers, living and deceased …
  • Por todos los padres, vivos y difuntos.

ChurchDB training

There will be no ChurchDB training at the diocesan Pastoral Center for the month of the June. The next training will be on July 25.

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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