The Friday E-Pistle (Oct. 11, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Special collection: Oct. 19-20

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection the weekend of Oct. 19-20 for the Pontifical Society of Propagation of the Faith. The following announcement should be read before all Masses that weekend:

  • Today is World Mission Sunday. A special collection will be taken up for the Pontifical Society of Propagation of the Faith. This collection is taken up during October every year so that Catholics everywhere can recognize their common responsibility to evangelize the world. Share the love of Christ with the world — please be as generous as you can.
  • Hoy es el Domingo Mundial de las Misiones. Una colecta especial se llevará a cabo para la Sociedad Pontificia de Propagación de la Fe. Esta colecta se levantará durante Octubre de cada año de manera que Católicos de todas partes puedan reconocer su responsabilidad común de evangelizar el mundo. Comparta el amor de Cristo con el mundo — por favor sea tan generoso como le sea posible.

Year of Faith: Four-year plan

A year ago, on October 12, the universal Church began the celebration of the Year of Faith. While dioceses and parishes planned events and activities, the U.S. Bishops also devised a four-year strategic plan. The first year coincided with the Year of Faith and focused on faith in order to help Catholics deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and increase their knowledge of the teachings of the Church. The second year will focus on worship and parish life with an emphasis on deepening our understanding of the Mass and the celebration of the sacraments. For each year, the plan includes goals and ideas that support any New Evangelization efforts, highlighting the work of other bishops’ committees.

For our own diocese, please remember to post stories about what your parish did for the Year of Faith using this web form on our diocesan website.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 20):

  • Today’s Gospel teaches us that even an earthly judge, who respected neither God or man, heard the persistent widow’s plea and gave her a just decision. If an imperfect human being is capable of this, consider what God will do with our persistent, prayerful pleas. What, in your life, do you need to offer up in constant prayer to God?
  • El Evangelio de hoy nos enseña que incluso un juez terrenal, que no respetaba ni a Dios ni a los hombres, escuchó la súplica persistente de la viuda y le otorgó una justa decisión. Si un ser human imperfecto es capaz de esto, considere ¿qué hará Dios con nuestras súplicas y oraciones persistentes? ¿Qué, en su vida, necesita usted ofrecer a Dios en constante oración?


Stewardship and Development

Catholic Services Appeal

October 19-20 is Announcement Weekend for the Catholic Services Appeal. Parishes are encouraged to announce the appeal and tell parishioners that every Catholic family will receive a letter in the mail from Bishop Vásquez about the CSA at the end of October. Parishes are also encouraged to use the materials to build awareness of the CSA. All of the materials are available on the diocesan website, which can be accessed by using the links below:


Black Catholics

National Black Catholic Men’s Conference

The National Black Catholic Men’s Conference will be held Oct. 24-27 at the Wyndham South Hotel in Austin. The overall purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for African-American men to speak to the critical issues and challenges facing the African-American male community, particularly in the Catholic community. Secondly, the conference is calling and challenging young men to discern the call to priesthood, brotherhood and the diaconate. Workshops will be held at the hotel. An evening worship and praise service will be held Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish in Austin. There will be singing performances by the award-winning and highly acclaimed men’s group “Men On Fire.” This conference brings together Catholics from all walks of life to pray, praise and proclaim the Lord. The registration fee is $150 or $75 for active duty military and students. To register, contact Johnnie Dorsey at the diocesan Office of Black Catholics at (512) 949-2449.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

THRiVE! Save-the-Date

A THRiVE! Adult Education Night will be offered 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. The event is offered by the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living. For more information, contact the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living at (512) 949-2486 or visit

Help Line Angels

One of the most effective roles we can play in the life of someone in despair is to be the first to respond with hope and healing. Help Line Angels serve this role as they answer telephone calls for both women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy and those suffering from a past abortion. Take an active role in building a Culture of Life as a Help Line Angel, which you can do from your own home. For more information or to be trained, contact Briana Feiler at (512) 949-2488.

Pro-Life T-Shirt Contest

Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day T-shirt Design Contest -- See hundreds wearing your design as they attend a day full of pro-life activities starting with a prayer vigil, living rosary, Mass, march, rally and a Party for Life. Design must include the following text: Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day, and the date of the event, Jan. 25, 2014. Submit your design for the Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day T-shirt by Dec. 2 to Marie Cehovin. The winner, selected by our event committee, will receive five free T-shirts.

Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living is sponsoring a tour of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady, Patroness of the Unborn, will visit San José Parish in Austin on Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day on Jan. 25 for special prayer services to promote a Culture of Life within the Diocese of Austin during 2014. All other parishes are invited to schedule a time for the statue to visit their parish. Prayer service outlines are available by contacting Yvonne Saldaña in the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living at (512) 949-2486.


Vocation Office

Discernment retreat

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are hosting their first Vocation Discernment Retreat in Texas. Join other young Catholic women (ages 14-30) who desire to know the path of holiness to which God is calling them from Oct. 26-27 at Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center in Burnet. Cost is $45 per person. For more information or to register, contact Sr. Elizabeth Ann, OP at (512) 466-2228.


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. For more information or to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.

The Devil You Don’t Know! Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013

"The Devil You Don't Know," a day of reflection, will be held Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Father Angelo Bertini will lead participants in reflecting on how, whether consciously or not, we face the devil on a daily basis. The cost is $35, which includes lunch. For more information or to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 20):

  • For all judges, attorneys and those who work in the legal system, may exercise their duties with fairness and justice toward all ...
  • Por todos los jueces, abogados y aquellos que trabajan en el sistema legal, para que ejerzan sus deberes con igualdad y justicia para todos...

Organ for sale

St. Paul Parish in Austin is selling a 1973 Conn Series 652 Electronic Organ for $400. For more information, contact Elaine Resendez at at (512) 280-4460.


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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