The Friday E-Pistle (July 26, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointment

Deacon Ray Jones as Coordinator of Ministry for the Gatesville Area Prisons, effectively immediately.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 4):

  • Jesus is interrupted in his teaching by a man who wants a share in the family inheritance. Jesus takes the opportunity to instruct the people on the lure of greed and possessions using a parable about a rich man who has lost the value of what is truly important in life. In our “rich” society, how do you resist the lure of having many possessions? What is on your list of what is most valuable to you?
  • Jesús es interrumpido mientras enseña, por un hombre que quiere recibir parte de la herencia familiar. Jesús aprovecha la oportunidad para instruir a la gente sobre lo atractivo de la codicia y las posesiones usando una parábola acerca de un hombre rico que ha perdido el sentido de lo que es realmente valioso en la vida. En nuestra sociedad "rica", ¿Cómo resiste usted la atracción de tener más posesiones? ¿Qué está en su lista de lo que es más valioso para usted?


Stewardship and Development

Parish Offertory program

Thanks to the 60 parishes that have participated or will participate in the increased offertory program across the diocese. So far, the average increase in Sunday collections for participating parishes has risen almost 20 percent. If your parish is interested in participating, the deadline for the fall appeal is Aug. 2. We will not be able to accommodate requests received after Aug. 2. Please contact Scott Whitaker if you plan to run the appeal this fall.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

A Woman’s Perspective on the Spiritual Life: Aug. 10

Throughout the history of Christianity we have been influenced by many saintly women: from St. Catherine of Siena, Joan of Arc, and Elizabeth Seton, to Edith Stein, the four women martyred in El Salvador in 1981 and Mother Teresa. The extraordinary faith and spirituality of these women will lead the way for our own spiritual growth at this retreat at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center on Aug. 10. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. Call (254) 780-2436 for more information. Click here to register.

Writing as Prayer: Sept. 13-15

Join us for a weekend exploring writing as a tool for fostering intimate prayer Sept. 13-15 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center. We will use guided writing exercises and visual and musical aids to invite participants into spiritual conversations with the sacred. Music minister Anne Klock, flutist, will provide the sacred music for this retreat. NO writing skills are required, only a willingness to ponder and listen—with pen in hand. The weekend will be led by author Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda. This retreat is open to both men and women. Cost is $155 for a shared room and $185 for a private room. Call (254) 780-2436 for more information. Click here to register.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Natural Family Planning (NFP) Introduction Seminars

Natural Family Planning Introduction seminars that satisfy the diocesan requirement for marriage preparation will be given on Aug. 14, Aug. 22, Sept. 26, Oct. 21 and Nov. 14. For more information, see the Natural Family Planning (NFP) Introduction Seminar class schedule. In these seminars, couples will discover that NFP is about fertility awareness, is highly effective and scientifically supported, and is easy to use. This course will also familiarize couples with the four approved methods of NFP within the Diocese of Austin: Sympto-Thermal, Billings, Creighton and Family of the Americas. A certificate of attendance will be provided upon completion of this seminar. For more information or to get registration information, contact the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living at (512) 949-2486 or e-mail Yvonne Saldaña.


Gabriel Project Angels training

Gabriel Project Angels are trained volunteers who work with someone in need of emotional and spiritual support due to a crisis pregnancy. The support of an angel can make a wonderful difference by providing a spirit of hope as the new expectant mom works through each day. Support for someone as they await the birth of their child is a ministry from the heart. There is a need for angels across the diocese. The next scheduled training is Aug. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Austin Parish in Austin. For more information, call Briana Feiler at (512) 949-2488. Fliers are available upon request.

Gospel of Life Reflection Day

Gospel of Life Reflection Day will be Aug. 10 at Holy Trinity Parish in Corn Hill. The day begins with Mass at 9 a.m. followed by a continental breakfast, day of reflection and lunch. Pro-Life Committee Chairs and those interested in starting a committee at their parish will be asked to attend a meeting after the reflection day. Baby banks and the 2013-2014 Respect Life Packets will be distributed to committee chairs. For more information or to get registration information, contact Yvonne Saldaña at (512) 949-2486.

Sidewalk Angel training

Sidewalk Angels are those who offer hope to women and men seeking an abortion. There are two parts to being a sidewalk angel. One is to pray and display a sign that informs those entering the abortion facility about support and care that is available to them. The second is to communicate with someone who may approach you while praying. Training on how to understand where they are, discuss their options and when to pray with someone considering abortion is available. All are welcome to attend the next class at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Cedar Park on Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon in Benish Hall. For questions or for more information, call Briana Feiler at (512) 949-2488.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 4):

  • For the grace to set aside our worldly valuables in pursuit of heavenly riches …
  • Por la gracia de hacer a un lado nuestras posesiones terrenales en la búsqueda de riquezas eternas...


Website tip

Parish staff members will find the revised Quick Links page found in the top right-hand corner of It includes links to the Pastoral Manual, ChurchDB, EIM resources, special collection information and commonly requested forms.

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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