The Friday E-Pistle (Jan. 17, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Rev. Thanh (Vincent) Duc Nguyen was incardinated into the Diocese of Austin, effective Dec. 17, 2013.
  • Deacon Marc Griffin to St. Mary Parish in Taylor, effective Jan. 17, 2014.

Pastoral Manual updated

The Pastoral Manual has been updated to Version 5.0. All previous versions of the manual are obsolete. The manual can be downloaded or accessed from the diocesan website. The manual is 619 pages long and is revised regularly. It is recommended that the manual not be printed in its entirety, but be viewed from the website.

The Introduction chapter of the manual includes a catalog of the all of the revisions made in the new Version 5.0.

Offices closed

All diocesan offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Offices will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

World Day for Consecrated Life

The religious orders and communities of consecrated women and men serving in the Diocese of Austin will celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life on Feb. 1 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. The event begins with the celebration of the Eucharist at 10 a.m., followed by a luncheon in Bishop’s Hall. Jubilarians will be honored. Members of religious communities who have not already responded to the initial invitation, please respond by Jan. 27 to Janice Ingram at (512) 949-2401.Those who are celebrating a jubilee year in 2014 should also inform Janice Ingram.

Girl Scout cookies

February begins Girl Scout cookie sales in Central Texas. Please see this statement, in English and Spanish, for the diocesan position regarding the matter. This statement, approved by Bishop Vásquez, was first released in February 2013. For any questions or more information regarding scouting in the Diocese of Austin, please contact Alison Tate, director of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry at (512) 949-2465.

Ordination and installation of Bishop-elect Sis

  • The Ordination and Installation Mass for Bishop-elect Michael J. Sis as the sixth Bishop of San Angelo will be Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Junell Center on the campus of Angelo State University, 2235 S. Jackson St., San Angelo, Texas, 76909. All are welcome and tickets are not required.
  • If you are planning to attend the ordination of Bishop Sis and have a disability, handicap or special need for which you need special accommodation, please contact the Chancellor of the Diocese of San Angelo, Mike Wyse, or his assistant, Deborah Thompson, at (325) 651-7500.

Pastoral Plan: Your input is needed

The Diocese of Austin is beginning the process of developing a new Pastoral Plan. This important document will guide the mission and direction of our diocese for the next five years. We need your input to better respond to the pastoral needs of the people in our diocese. The planning team is hosting a series of listening sessions throughout the diocese so that we can collect your input. These listening sessions are open to everyone and the planning team hopes you can take part in this important process. Make certain your parish is represented at one of the sessions.

English Listening Sessions are:

Spanish Listening Session are:

This flier may be copied and made available to parishioners.

Pastoral Plan: Pulpit Announcements for Jan. 18-19

Please add the following to the parish's weekend pulpit announcements:

The Diocese of Austin is beginning the process of developing a new Pastoral Plan. This important document will guide the mission and direction of our diocese for the next five years. With your help it will respond to the pastoral needs of the people in our diocese. To better understand those pastoral needs, the planning team is hosting a series of listening sessions throughout the diocese. These listening sessions are open to everyone and the planning team hopes you can take part in this important process. The first two Listening Session dates, times and locations are this Tuesday at St. Helen Parish in Georgetown and this Wednesday at St. Joseph Parish in Bryan. Both are from 7 to 9 p.m. Please see the diocesan website for more information and the opportunity to RSVP.

Prayers requested

Please remember in prayer Jesuit Father Robert Bradley who died Dec. 20 in Los Gatos, Calif. He served in the Diocese of Austin from 1996 to 2013. A memorial Mass was celebrated on Jan. 11 at Santa Cruz Parish in Buda.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jan. 26):

  • The Gospel story tells us that Simon and Andrew “left their nets” and followed Jesus. Is there anything that you, or your family, need to leave behind in order to truly follow Jesus?
  • La historia del Evangelio nos dice que Simón y Andrés "dejaron sus redes" y siguieron a Jesús ¿Hay algo que usted o su familia necesitan dejar atrás para poder seguir a Jesús verdaderamente?


Ethics and Integrity in Ministry

New facilitator training

On Feb. 1, the Office of Ethics and Integrity in Ministry Office will train new facilitators for the Called to Protect for Youth program (the abuse prevention/education program for middle/high school students) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The training equips facilitators to present the CTPY program to middle and high school youth. The frequency and location of workshops that facilitators choose to do is up to the individual facilitator. Facilitators will receive a manual and DVD that covers the logistics and details of the program, activities related to the program and information about the topic of sexual abuse. For more information contact Emily Hurlimann at (512) 949-2400.


Catholic Charities of Central Texas

Celebrate Life Dinner

Join Catholic Charities of Central Texas for the third annual Celebrate Life Dinner with guest speaker David Bereit on Feb. 13 at the St. Joseph Parish Activity Center in Bryan. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner follows at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the life-affirming programs of Catholic Charities of Central Texas, including Family Assistance and Referral, Immigration Legal Services and the Good Samaritan Gabriel Project Life Center. Table sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available by visiting Celebrate Life or calling (979) 822-9340.


Young Adult Ministry

Taizé gathering

People of all ages are invited to Austin to participate in an ecumenical Taizé gathering and conference, March 21-23, with a special invitation to young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 from across the U.S. and Canada. This event is part of the Taizé Community’s “Pilgrimage of Trust Across the Earth.” The purpose is to bring young people together for prayer, reflection, workshops and fellowship. Promotional materials, a video presentation, and registration can be found at For more information, contact Alison Tate at (512) 949-2465.

Theology on Tap

Marie Cehovin, diocesan director of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living, will discuss the marks of the Church at Theology on Tap on Feb. 6 at Casa Chapala, 3010 Anderson Ln. Music and fellowship begins at 6 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Jennifer Kodysz at (512) 949-2467.


Worship Office

Annual White Mass with the Rite of Anointing of the Sick

The 13th annual White Mass will be celebrated Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish in Austin. Bishop Joe Vásquez will celebrate the Mass, which will include the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. This Mass, which is sponsored by the Austin Diocese and the Catholic Healthcare Guild, is intended for all Catholics working in health care as well as those in need of healing and anointing. A reception will follow after Mass. Please RSVP here if attending the Mass and/or to be anointed.

Rite of Election

The Rite of Election and the call to continuing conversion of candidates who are preparing for Confirmation and/or Eucharist or Reception into Full Communion of the Catholic Church will be celebrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in College Station on Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m. and at St. John Vianney Parish in Round Rock on Sunday, March 9 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please visit this page for more information and to register. The registration deadline is Feb. 21.

Lenten Overview

The Worship Office has prepared a resource guide for Lent for all those who help prepare the parish liturgies.


Vocation Office

Project Andrew is Feb. 8

Project Andrew will be held Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Catholic men between the ages of 16 and 45 who are interested in learning more about discernment, the priesthood and seminary life are invited to attend. The day will include prayer, testimonials by priests and seminarians, Mass and lunch with Bishop Joe Vásquez. Register online at or call (512) 949-2430.

Project Miriam is Feb. 15

Project Miriam will be held Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Single, Catholic women between the ages of 16 and 45 are invited to learn more about Mary's joyful "Yes" to God. The day will include testimonials and prayer with religious sisters as well as Mass and lunch with Bishop Joe Vásquez. Register online at or call (512) 949-2430.

Duc in Altum

All 7th through 10th grade boys are invited to Duc in Altum (Put out into the Deep), an evening of "dudes understanding Christ" in a deeper way, on Jan. 24 at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin from 5 to 9 p.m. The event includes dinner, games, talks and Eucharistic adoration.


Stewardship and Development Office

Catholic Services Appeal

Thank you to the many generous donors who have made a gift to the CSA. To date, we have received pledges of more than $4.4 million. Thank you! So far, 55 parishes have surpassed their assigned goal and more than 17,800 families have pledged. In the coming days, one more follow-up letter will be mailed to those families who have not made a gift to the CSA.

2015 Special Collections

The dates for special collections in 2015 have been set. The calendar is available on the Special Collections section of the diocesan website.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jan. 26):

  • That our young people will have the courage and support to drop their nets to pursue a vocation to the priesthood or religious life …
  • Que nuestros jóvenes tengan el valor y el apoyo para soltar sus redes y seguir una vocación al sacerdocio o a la vida religiosa...

Blessings and congratulations to …

  • The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of February: Rev. Pedro Garcia-Ramirez, Feb. 1, 1992; Rev. Joe Frazer, Feb. 25, 1984; and Rev. Leonard J.  Onwumere, Feb. 28, 1990.
  • Barbara Budde, the diocesan Secretariat Director for Justice and Charity, who will receive the Servant of Justice Award from the Roundtable: the Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors on Feb. 1 at a gathering in Washington.

Breakfast before Ordination and Installation Mass

The Texas A&M University Association of Former Students named Msgr. Mike Sis an “honorary Aggie” for his years of service to the university community. Anyone attending his ordination and installation as the Bishop of San Angelo is welcomed to join the Aggie Catholics for a free breakfast celebration. Breakfast tacos will be served at the Fuentes Café, 101 S. Chadbourne St. in San Angelo, from 9 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 27. The restaurant is located two blocks from the Cathedral and two miles from Angelo State University.

ChurchDB/eApps training

Since Thursday, April 17, is Holy Thursday the regularly scheduled ChurchDB class will be moved to April 24. The subject for the April 24 and Sept. 18 classes will be eApps.


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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