The Friday E-Pistle (Aug. 9, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments


The following is the list of deans in the Diocese of Austin.  A dean is appointed by the Bishop to represent the Bishop in the local deanery.

  • Austin Central Deanery: Rev. Msgr. Tom Frank, San Jose Parish, Austin
  • Austin North Deanery: Very Rev. Daniel Garcia, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Austin
  • Austin South Deanery: Very Rev. Bud Roland, St. John Neumann Parish, Austin
  • Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery: Very Rev. George Joseph, Sacred Heart Parish, Elgin
  • Bryan/College Station Deanery: Rev. Msgr. John Malinowski, St. Joseph Regional Health Center, Bryan
  • Brenham/La Grange Deanery: Very Rev. James Olnhausen, St. Margaret Parish, Giddings
  • Georgetown/Round Rock Deanery: Very Rev. Michael O’Connor, St. John Vianney Parish, Round Rock
  • Killeen/Temple Deanery: Very Rev. Richard O’Rourke, MSC, St. Paul Chong Hasang Parish, Harker Heights
  • Lampasas/Marble Falls Deanery: Very Rev. Jairo Lopez, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Marble Falls
  • San Marcos Deanery: Very Rev. Juan Carlos Lopez, St. Anthony Marie de Claret Parish, Kyle
  • Waco Deanery: Very Rev. Ed Karasek, St. Mary Church of the Assumption Parish, West


  • Deacon John Riojas was gratned retirement from diaconal ministry, effective August 12, 2013.  Deacon Riojas previously served at Santa Cruz Parish in Buda.
  • Deacon Romeo Sanchez was granted retirement from diaconal ministry, effective August 21, 2013.  Deacon Sanchez previously served at San José Parish in Austin.
  • Deacon Dave Sekel, previously assigned to St. John Neumann Parish in Austin, now resides in the Diocese of Orlando.

For priests: Save the Date

The 2013 Convocation of Priests will be held at the Marriott Round Rock Oct. 7-9. The theme is “Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers.” Invitation letters and registration forms will be mailed to each priest soon.

Veteran’s Day

All parishes are encouraged to participate in “An American Moment” sponsored by Frontline Faith. At noon on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, everyone is asked to spend one minute in silent prayer for the members of our military, to pray for the peaceful repose of those service members who have died, and to pray for the intentions of those still living.

Year of Faith

To celebrate this Year of Faith, the Vatican has sponsored Great Events for the Year of Faith, which focus on particular Church ministries and movements. The next Great Event is the Day for Catechists to be held in Rome on Sept. 26-29. At this time of year our parishes and schools are also preparing for the beginning of classes in academic subjects and faith formation. While we may not be able to travel to Rome for the next event, we can celebrate in solidarity by reflecting on our own role as catechists and witnesses to our faith and show our support for those who are called to be parish and school catechists. As we continue to celebrate the Year of Faith, pray for our parents, catechists and school teachers as they prepare for another academic year and call the Holy Spirit to inspire them in sharing our Catholic faith.

Prayers requested

Please remember, in prayer, the following:

  • Deacon Jordan James Pfuntner who died June 27. Services were held in early July.
  • Deacon Richard Earl Orton who died July 21, 2013. A memorial Mass will be held on Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Austin.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 18):

  • Today’s Gospel begins with Jesus' words, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” The Gospel message is strong and clear. We are challenged to decide for or against Jesus and his message. Following Jesus may mean the loss of relationships and attachments that interfere with living our Catholic faith. In what ways has trying to be a disciple of Jesus caused difficulties in your life? Even among family members?
  • El Evangelio de hoy comienza con las palabras de Jesús, "He venido a arrojar un fuego sobre la tierra y ¡cuánto desearía que ya estuviera encendido!" El mensaje del Evangelio es fuerte y claro. Somos retados a decidir por o contra Jesús y su mensaje. Seguir a Jesús puede significar perder ciertas relaciones o apegos que interfieren con el vivir nuestra fe Católica. ¿De qué maneras el tratar de ser un discípulo de Jesús le ha causado dificultades en la vida? ¿Aún entre miembros de la familia?


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

NFP Seminars

Natural Family Planning (NFP) Introduction Seminars satisfy the diocesan requirement for marriage preparation. The schedule for these seminars is available on the diocesan website. Discover how NFP relates to fertility awareness and is scientifically supported. NFP is 99% effective at postponing pregnancy and is easy to use.  This course introduces the four approved methods: Sympto-Thermal, Billings, Creighton and Family of the Americas. A certificate of attendance will be provided upon completion.  For more information contact Yvonne Saldaña in the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living at (512) 949-2489. Individual method class schedules can be found at


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. 21-23 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 bring a group. More information can be found here.


Social Concerns

Criminal Justice Ministry

The Archdiocese of San Antonio will host the sixth annual Statewide Criminal Justice Ministry Conference sponsored by the Texas Catholic Correctional Ministers Oct. 25-26 at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. The conference is titled, “Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice.”  All those interested in the ministry of criminal justice are invited to attend.  For more information, contact Yvonne Saldaña in the Office of Criminal Justice Ministry at (512) 949-2486.  Scholarships are available.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 18):

  • For healing in households that are divided …
  • Por la sanación de los hogares que se encuentran divididos....

ChurchDB training

The next ChurchDB training will be Aug. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center.  The class will be on the Membership & Reports modules. The training classes are very informal and can be beneficial for everyone – from the person who has never used ChurchDB to the one that has been using it for years. Please RSVP to Teresa Klepac.


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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