The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 27, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointment

  • Rev. James Robertson as pastor of St. Ann Parish in Rosebud and St. Michael Parish in Burlington, effective Oct. 1, 2013.

Hurricane relief in Mexico

Parts of Mexico were recently devastated by two hurricanes. All of the bishops of Texas are asking Catholics to offer prayers for those affected by the hurricanes and to individually consider making a donation to Catholic Relief Services to aid the people of Mexico.

Year of Faith

When the Year of Faith began last October, parishes throughout the diocese planned activities and celebrations to implement this special year. Parishioners have been attending adult education classes on the Catechism, the Second Vatican Council and other subjects to learn more about their faith. As the Church continues with the last two months of the Year of Faith, we would like to know what your parish and parishioners have done this year. If you have pictures of special events and happenings, please send them. In addition, we would like to know how you plan to continue the spirit of the Year of Faith when it concludes on Nov. 24. Pope Emeritus Benedict’s hope was always that people would learn more about their faith, have a desire to want to learn more and then share it with others, especially with Catholics who no longer practice their faith. By Oct. 15, send a message to Dr. Geri Telepak explaining what your parish has done for the Year of Faith.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 6):

  • In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of great actions coming from the smallest amount of faith. Reflect on your life and consider what you have been able to accomplish as a result of your faith.
  • En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús habla de grandes acciones que vienen de los más pequeños actos de fe. Reflexione sobre su vida y considere ¿qué ha sido usted capaz de lograr como resultado de su fe?


Worship Office

Preparation for Advent

The Office of Worship will host a day for those who help prepare their parishes for celebrating the season of Advent on Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. All clergy, liturgists, music directors and art/environment ministers are invited to attend. Packets will be given out with sample music as well as an overview of the season. Register for the Advent Retreat online.


Stewardship and Development Office

Red Mass

The Red Mass is a historic tradition within the Catholic Church dating back to the 13th century when it officially opened the term of the court for most European countries. The celebration derives its name from the color of the vestments worn by the celebrants and the scarlet robes originally worn by the attending government officials. Bishop Joe Vásquez will celebrate the Red Mass on Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. A reception will follow the Mass. The guest speaker is Kim Daniels, spokeswoman for the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. To RSVP or make a donation, visit or e-mail

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.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

The Art and Heart of the Spiritual Life Nov. 1-3, 2013

Franciscan Father Albert Haase will present “The Art and Heart of the Spiritual Life” based upon his best-selling book and DVD, “Catching Fire, Becoming Flame: A Guide for Spiritual Transformation,” Nov. 1-3 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The retreat will focus on important elements and attitudes of a vibrant spiritual life: prayer, surrender and trust, confronting temptations, and experiencing God’s presence in our everyday, ordinary life and routine. Only shared rooms are available at this time. The cost is $155 per person for a shared room. All meals are included.


Communications Office

Parish Office Staff Day/Retreat: Oct. 16

Parish Office Staff Day/Retreat, formerly known as Secretaries’ Day, will be held on Oct. 16 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The registration deadline is Oct. 1.  Each church of the Diocese of Austin should have received their registration information in the mail. Please contact Nell Reinberg at St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station at (979) 846-5717 for more information.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

THRiVE! Save-the-Date

A THRiVE! Adult Education Night will be offered on Oct. 24 at St. Louis Parish in Austin. The purpose of this event is to educate all the adults who have a role in the education of youth: parents, pastors, educators, health professionals and social workers. The message will focus on communicating to youth that they can be loved now, as they yearn to be, but in ways consistent with biblical teaching.  For more information, contact the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living at (512) 949-2486 or view visit


Criminal Justice Ministry

Criminal Justice Conference

As the Texas Department of Criminal Justice begins to implement the latest legislation passed in the recent legislative session, parishes will be involved in ministry to formerly incarcerated persons. There is a statewide Criminal Justice Conference in San Antonio at the Oblate Renewal Center, Oct. 25-26, where the solutions to this problem will be discussed.  Pastors should send representatives to this conference.  Parishes should have received several brochures for the conference.  Online registration is available. For registration, brochures, questions or requests for scholarships, contact Yvonne Saldaña at (512) 949-2486.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 6):

  • That those with little or no faith may be inspired to discover or rediscover their faith by our example of Christian life …
  • Que aquellos con poca fe o sin ella sean inspirados a descubrir o redescubrir su fe a través de nuestro ejemplo de vida Cristiana...

Website tip: Job openings

Links to job openings can be found in the footer of every page at Jobs are broken into three categories: Pastoral Center, Parishes and Schools. If you are interested in applying for one of those jobs, please follow the directions carefully as the diocese does not accept applications on behalf of parishes or schools. Parishes and schools may use this form to submit a job opening to be posted on the diocesan website.


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.

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 or if you do not have Internet access.

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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