The Friday E-Pistle (Nov. 15, 2013)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Rev. Javier Toscano as parochial vicar of St. Mary in San Saba and St. Peter in Goldthwaite effective Dec. 1, 2013, then as administrator effective Jan. 1, 2014.
  • Rev. Ramiro Tarazona as pastor of Ascension Parish in Bastrop effective, Jan. 1, 2014.
  • Deacon Frank Monroe has been granted retirement status, effective Nov. 30, 2013.
  • Deacon Elias Moran to San José Parish in Austin, effective Dec. 1, 2013.
  • Deacon Domingo Vargas has been granted retirement status, effective Dec. 2, 2013.
  • Deacon Johnny Ojeda has been granted retirement status, effective Dec. 26, 2013.

Request for volunteers

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez is asking Central Texas Catholics, especially service organizations, to volunteer to assist victims of the Halloween flood in Central Texas.

“As Catholics, we need to reach out and assist those in our community whose lives have been disrupted by this natural disaster. Please consider volunteering your time to help our brothers and sisters. I also ask you to join me in prayer for all those affected by the flooding,” said Bishop Vásquez. “This is a perfect service opportunity and a chance to do corporal works of mercy, by service groups, youth groups, families, Knights of Columbus, campus ministries, and individuals. I invite everyone to help.”

Tasks include removing mud and cleaning furniture, carpeting and personal items out of homes. Sheetrock and other construction materials need to be removed and placed on the curb for city pick-up. Volunteers are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing for the work, including closed-toe shoes. Please bring gloves, flat shovels and utility knives. Minimum age is 12 (with an adult) or 18. Signups are being coordinated through this website.

Individuals or group leaders will have to register and create a login to use the website. After that, select a date and then an individual or entire team can be signed up at once. Open dates range from now through Dec. 22.

It is recommended that, if possible, groups from parishes wear shirts that identify them as being part of a Catholic organization.

Typhoon Haiyan

In response to the tragic destruction of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Vietnam, and by request of the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez asks all parishes and missions in the Diocese of Austin to take up a special collection as soon as possible to assist our brothers and sisters affected by this powerful storm. These funds will be distributed through Catholic Relief Services, which is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic Church in the United States. Our contributions will help respond to immediate emergency needs for food, water, shelter, and medical care, as well as support the long-term need to rebuild the Church after widespread destruction.

Funds from this collection should be sent to the Finance Office of the Diocese of Austin marked for “Typhoon Haiyan.”

Catholic Relief Services is already on the ground helping people meet their most urgent needs, including water purification, shelter materials, and essential living supplies.

Individuals may also donate directly to Catholic Relief Services to help the people affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan at the CRS website.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following question for the feast of Christ the King (Nov. 24):

  • The main message of today’s Gospel is faith — faith in Jesus that he will forgive us our sins, and faith in him that his life, death and resurrection offers salvation to us. Christ is King of all creation and his reign begins in our hearts. Our challenge is to be humble enough to know we need to develop our relationship with Jesus every day. What are your images of Christ the King? Do you only call on Jesus when you need something, or do you “remember him” every day?
  • El principal mensaje del Evangelio de hoy es la fe --fe en Jesús, en que Él nos perdonará nuestros pecados, y fe en que su vida, muerte y resurrección nos ofrece salvación. Cristo es el Rey de toda la creación y su reinado comienza en nuestros corazones. Nuestro reto es ser suficientemente humildes para saber que necesitamos desarrollar nuestra relación con Jesús todos los días. ¿Cuáles son sus imágenes de Cristo Rey? ¿Sólo llama usted a Cristo cuando necesita algo, o se "acuerda de Él" cada día?


Finance Office

Special enrollment opportunity

The medical plans offered by the Diocese of Austin allow for a special enrollment opportunity for employees and dependents who are already participating in the Deluxe Plan to elect the Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) effective Jan. 1, 2014. We strongly encourage all employees to consider the CDHP option, as it will save money for most employees and families.

The diocese is offering this special enrollment so that employees can move to the CDHP option on Jan. 1, which is when deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums “start over.” This avoids having to satisfy a large deductible in the second half of the year following the traditional July 1 open enrollment date.

Employees cannot drop or add dependents during this special enrollment opportunity; they can only move from the Deluxe Plan to the CDHP option at this time.

The special enrollment will begin on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 and end on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. A PowerPoint presentation on the CDHP has been sent to all Parish & School Business Administrators. If you have any questions, please call Alice Flores in the Finance Office at (512) 949-2428.


Catholic Services Appeal

Appeal follow up

Please continue to thank parishioners for their support and for their commitment to the mission of the Church through their pledges to the Catholic Services Appeal. Please have pledge cards available for those still considering a gift to the appeal.

Campaign statistics are posted online weekly on the CSA website. Check there for figures to include in your bulletin or on your website as you record your parish’s progress toward meeting your goal.


Worship Office

Southwest Liturgical Conference

The Southwest Liturgical Conference (SwLC) is being hosted this year by the Diocese of Beaumont. Anyone working with any form of liturgy (the Mass, Sacraments, Liturgy of the Hours) will find the Study Week of interest and formative.

Diocesan Confirmation

The next Adult Confirmation Mass will be celebrated on Dec. 7 at 10:30 a.m. at San José Parish in Austin. Complete this form to register your candidates.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the feast of Christ the King (Nov. 24):

  • That all those in positions of earthly power will serve others in a fair and just way …
  • Que todos aquellos en posiciones de poder terrenal sirvan a los demás de manera justa...

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of December: Rev. Abraham Puentes Mejia, Dec. 2, 1994; Rev. Jairo Lopez, Dec. 4, 1994; Rev. Javier Toscano, Dec. 10, 2006; Rev. Marcelo Aravena ISP, Dec. 14, 1985; Msgr. Tom Frank, Dec. 18, 1970; Very Rev. Richard O'Rourke MSC, Dec. 19, 1965; Rev. Walter Carr, Dec. 19, 1992; Rev. Melvin Dornak, Dec. 19, 1992; Rev. George C. George, Dec. 20, 1986; Rev. Don Oliver Weerakkody, Dec. 21, 1965; Rev. Robert Kincl JCL, Dec. 21, 1967; and Rev. Pius Thekkevayalil Mathew, Dec. 31, 1990.


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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