The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 6, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Rev. Msgr. Louis Pavlicek as administrator of Ascension Parish in Bastrop, effective Sept. 1, 2013.
  • Rev. Larry Covington as the Officer of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Diocese of Austin, effective Sept. 3, 2013.

Fast and pray for Syria

Earlier this week Pope Francis asked that we pray and fast for a peaceful outcome in Syria. The Diocese of Austin has posted a prayer and other ideas that you may use to fulfill this observance on our website.

Year of Faith: ‘The Light of Faith’

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, hopes that we will read and see in Pope Francis’ first encyclical, The Light of Faith, a prescript for the new evangelization. The release of the encyclical this past July coincides with the Church’s continued celebration of the Year of Faith. It also offers us a guide for how we can continue to live the hope of the Year of Faith well into the future. Divided into four chapters, the encyclical takes us on a journey, from the faith of Abraham to the kind of faith needed in our world today. A beautiful quote from paragraph 26 reads, “Faith transforms the whole person precisely to the extent that he or she becomes open to love." The encyclical can be read, discussed and even used as a basis for prayer for any individuals or groups. It is a tremendous addition to the wealth of resources for the Year of Faith.

Prayers requested

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father José Luís Azcona, 65, who died Thursday in Guadalajara, México. Originally a Discalced Carmelite, he was incardinated in the Diocese of Austin in 2007.  He served in Luling, McGregor, Moody and China Spring. Please also remember his family in your prayers.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 15):

  • In his time, Jesus effectively used parables with familiar images that would engage his audience. Today’s Gospel contains three of the most memorable stories in the whole New Testament: a lost sheep, a lost coin and the lost son. While we often identify with the lost, the stories actually focus on those seeking the lost and their joy when finding what was lost. Can you identify a family member or close friend who is “lost,” estranged from you? In what ways do you need to seek them out?
  • En su tiempo, Jesús usó, de manera efectiva, parábolas con imágenes familiares para obtener la atención de su audiencia. El Evangelio de hoy contiene tres de las más memorables historias de todo el Nuevo Testamento: una oveja perdida, una moneda perdida y el hijo perdido. Mientras que con frecuencia nos identificamos con lo perdido, las historias de hecho se enfocan en aquellos que buscan lo perdido y su gozo al encontrarlo. ¿Puede identificar a un miembro de la famila o amigo cercano que está "perdido", alejado de usted? ¿De qué maneras necesita usted buscarlo(s)? 


Youth Ministry

Scout Mass

The annual diocesan Scout Mass will be celebrated on Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. at St. John Vianney Parish in Round Rock. All Catholic Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls are invited to attend with their families. Scouts and leaders should wear their uniforms. Applications for emblems to be presented at the Mass are due by Sept. 13. For more information, e-mail Julie Blackwell.

Middle School Youth Rally

Middle School teens are invited to participate in the 2013 Middle School Youth Rally on Oct. 19 at St. Anthony Marie de Claret Parish in Kyle. This year’s theme is Hope Unbroken, based on Romans 5:5, "and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us." Several hundred young Catholics from across the Austin Diocese will gather for prayer, featured keynote Mike Patin, praise and worship, break-out sessions, games and fellowship. Interested youth should talk with their youth minister, and visit here for additional information. You may also e-mail Jennifer Kodysz or call (512) 949-2467 if you have questions.


Stewardship Office

Diocesan census

Help us update your contact information in our database at the Diocese of Austin. Have you recently moved? Has your e-mail address changed? Have you recently been married? Have you moved to a different parish? Or, have there been any new additions to your family? If so, you can update your contact information by going to our website or you can contact the Stewardship and Development Office at the Diocese of Austin at (512) 949-2400.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Sarah’s Hope

Sarah's Hope & Abraham's Promise is a free spiritual support program for couples struggling to conceive or with pregnancy loss, featuring co-ed retreats for couples and a monthly support group for women. Based on Catholic teaching, we combine the wisdom of modern medicine with the healing power of the Catholic Church. For more information or to find out about bringing Sarah's Hope & Abraham's Promise to your parish, contact or call (512) 736-7334.


Vocation Office

Discernment Dinner

A Discernment Dinner for single, Catholic men (ages 18 and older) with an openness to a priestly vocation and discernment will be held Sept. 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Borromeo House in Austin. The evening includes dinner, prayer and a presentation on Discernment of Spirits. For more information, contact Father Brian McMaster at (512) 949-2405.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 15):

  • For those who have lost their faith …
  • Por aquellos que han perdido su fe...


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 general information about EIM Basic or Refresher workshops, please click here.

Beginning Sept. 1, 2013, anyone needing an EIM workshop will sign up online through their EIM account. The sign-up process is explained once you access your EIM account; please contact your parish or Catholic school EIM site administrator if you need assistance.

Click here to login to your EIM account in order to find the schedule of EIM workshops and to sign up. Instructions are provided in case you do not recall how to login to your EIM account.

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