The Friday E-Pistle (June 21, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Priest Personnel Board

The following are the members of the Priest Personnel Board of the Diocese of Austin:

Elected Members

  • Rev. Daniel Liu - Group I (0-10 years ordained)
  • Rev. David Konderla – Group II (11-20 years ordained)
  • Very Rev. Daniel Garcia – Group III (21-30 years ordained) – newly-elected
  • Rev. Kirby Garner – Group IV (31+ years ordained)
  • Rev. Stephen Nesrsta – At-Large - newly-elected

Appointed Members

  • Rev. Patrick Ebner
  • Rev. James Ekeocha
  • Rev. Pedro Garcia-Ramirez
  • Rev. Le-Minh Pham – reappointed
  • Rev. Dean Wilhelm – newly-appointed

Ex-Officio Members

  • Msgr. Michael Sis, Vicar General
  • Rev. Harry Dean, Vicar for Priests

Fortnight for Freedom

The Fortnight for Freedom begins today, the vigil of the feast of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, and will go through July 4, Independence Day. Last year, we saw a great diversity of events promoting religious freedom across the country. This year, 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 this month 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. Join in prayer with thousands of Catholics in parishes around the diocese as we pray for Religious Liberty.

See what’s being done at various parishes throughout the Diocese of Austin as we participate in the Fortnight for Freedom at All are invited to join Bishop Joe Vásquez as he celebrates a Mass for Religious Liberty today at St. Luke Parish in Temple at 6:30 p.m. Parishes are asked to participate in a call for Religious Liberty with a Spiritual Bouquet and five specific requests from Bishop Vásquez for the Diocese of Austin parishes.

Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 30):

  • Today’s Gospel contains several brief encounters in which Jesus is calling people to authentic discipleship; to follow him no matter the personal cost it takes to change one’s life. Jesus challenges his followers to proclaim the Gospel now and not to let other responsibilities deter them. In what ways do you delay becoming a better Catholic Christian, thinking you have time tomorrow to change your life? How are you a witness of your faith to others and how do you proclaim the kingdom through words and deeds?
  • El Evangelio de hoy contiene varios encuentros breves en los que Jesús llama a la gente a un auténtico discipulado; a seguirlo sin importar lo que cueste cambiar la vida de uno. Jesús reta a sus seguidores a proclamar el Evangelio hoy sin dejar que otras responsabilidades los distraigan. ¿En qué maneras usted retrasa el convertirse en un mejor Cristiano Católico, pensando que tendrá tiempo mañana para cambiar su vida? ¿Cómo da testimonio de su fe a los demás y cómo proclama el reino a través de palabras y hechos?

Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Volunteer Appreciation Day

Pro-Life Volunteer Appreciation Day will be held Saturday, July 20.  All pro-life volunteers and their families are invited to join us for games, food, fun and fellowship to thank volunteers involved in the pro-life ministry at the parish and diocesan levels. Festivities will begin at 11:30 a.m. with check-in and everyone will hit the bowling lanes by noon. Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. RSVP to guarantee a lane at

Family Counseling Office

Group counseling available

The Diocese of Austin Family Counseling Office will offer group counseling in July. Several groups will be offered, including Depression Support, Grief Support, Recovering from Divorce, and Partners on a Journey, a marriage strengthening group. For more information, please contact Brittany Holan, Counseling Supervisor, at (512) 949-2494.

Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 30):

  • For all those who are discerning their vocation …
  • Por aquellos que se encuentran discerniendo su vocación…

Church DB training

The next ChurchDB training will be on July 25 at the diocesan Pastoral Center. The topic is Groups and eGroups.

Men’s Mass

Bishop Vásquez will celebrate the fifth annual Men’s Mass July 20 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. A reception, sponsored by the Central Texas Fellowship of Catholic Men, will follow the Mass in the Bishop’s Hall.

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of July: Rev. Raymundo Chávez Vázquez, July 2, 2000; Rev. Francis KS Chung, July 5, 1993; Rev. Kevin Rai, July 6, 1974; Rev. Joseph (Sae Eul) Kim, July 7, 1984; Very Rev. Christopher Ferrer JCL, July 7, 2001; Rev. Roman Burgos TOR, July 7, 2002; Rev. Leon Strieder, July 10, 1976; Rev. Larry Heimsoth, July 10, 1999; Rev. Dimitrij Colankin, July 11, 1976; Rev. David Leibham, July 11, 1987; Very Rev. Michael O'Connor, July 13, 1985;  Rev. Jim Chamberlain, July 19, 1986; Rev. Donald Moss, July 19, 1986; Msgr. Michael Sis, July 19, 1986; Rev. Timothy Vaverek, July 20, 1985; Rev. Dean Wilhelm, July 23, 1988 and Rev. Boniface Onjefu, July 25, 1998.

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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