The Friday E-Pistle (Feb. 14, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointment

Rev. Edward C. Koharchik, CSP, as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin, effective March 3, 2014.

Pastoral Plan

Thanks to all who participated in the Listening Sessions and Focus Groups. We hosted nearly 400 people at eight Listening Sessions and visited with more than 80 people in eight Focus Groups. The energy and insights of those who participated were inspiring. One of the most common responses from participants was appreciating the benefit of sitting together from various parishes and ministries to discuss the needs of the people in our diocese. The questions used at the Listening Sessions and Focus Groups are now available. This reproducible document may be used by any parish ministry or organization for their own discussion. The diocesan website, E-Pistle and social media sites will provide updates on the development of the Pastoral Plan. The next phase of the process is a survey that will be launched at the end of February. Please pray for the success of this process as we work together to continue the mission of Christ in our diocese.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feb. 23):

  • Today’s Gospel gives us quite a challenge: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Who do you consider to be your enemy? Why are they your enemy? Make time to pray for them this week.
  • El Evangelio de hoy nos presenta un gran reto: amen a sus enemigos y oren por aquellos que los persiguen ¿A quienes considera usted sus enemigos? ¿Por qué son sus enemigos? Haga tiempo para rezar por ellos esta semana.


Youth Ministry

Retreat for Boy Scouts

The Diocesan Committee on Catholic Scouting is hosting a retreat for Boy Scouts on March 1 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Buda. The cost is $20, which includes all materials and lunch. Registration is due by Feb. 21. For more information, visit


Finance Office

Special Collection money due

Please send funds collected for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, taken up Nov. 23-24, to the diocesan Finance Office as soon as possible. Send checks to Finance Office, Diocese of Austin, 6225 Highway 290 East, Austin, TX 78723.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Gabriel Project Angels training 

Gabriel Project Angels volunteers work with those in need of emotional and spiritual support due to an unplanned pregnancy. There is a need for angels across the diocese. The next Gabriel Project training class will be held at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Austin on March 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information click here or contact Briana Feiler at (512) 949-2488.

Pro-Life Benefit Gala

Tickets are on sale now for the annual Pro-Life Benefit Gala on March 2 at the AT&T Executive Education Conference Center.  This year’s keynote speaker is Msgr. Joseph Reilly, founder and executive director of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, Inc. The Diocese of Austin uses the guidelines set forth by this organization to conduct sidewalk ministries throughout the diocese. For more information go to

Team Anderson Mill

The St. Thomas More Respect Life Ministry will meet on the second and last Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. for Adoration at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin and then proceed to pray outside the abortion facility at 9805 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin, TX 78750 from 10-11 a.m. All are invited to participate.

Generation Life in Central Texas

The Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living is bringing Generation Life to the Austin Diocese. They will be available for presentations from March 17-April 11. Scheduling across the diocese is now being planned. If your parish or school would like to bring these dynamic young people to your area, please contact Marie Cehovin. Visit for updates on our THRiVE! teen rallies with Generation Life in Austin, Bryan and Waco.    

Austin Prayer Vigil for Life

All are invited to attend the Austin Prayer Vigil on Feb. 15 beginning with Mass at 7 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Parish in Pflugerville. A caravan will proceed to Whole Women’s Health at 8401 North IH35 to pray the rosary from 8:20 to 9:50 a.m. After the rosary, all will return to St. Elizabeth Parish for closing and fellowship at 10:40 a.m. For more information, contact Bob Christiansen at (512) 255-8551.


Stewardship and Development

Catholic Services Appeal

Thank you to the many generous donors who have made a gift to the Catholic Services Appeal. To date, we have received pledges of more than $4.6 million. We are only $100,000 away from meeting our pledge goal of $4.7 million! So far, more than 18,700 families have pledged. A follow-up letter will be mailed in mid-February to those families who have not yet renewed their commitment to the CSA. Please continue to encourage your parishioners to generously support the CSA. 


Family Life Office

Prepare-Enrich Training

A Prepare-Enrich Facilitator Training will be held March 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. This training will prepare participants to give the PREPARE premarital inventory to couples preparing for marriage and to discuss the results in a manner that has been shown to effectively reduce later marital conflict. The PREPARE has a specially-designed version for Catholic couples and is available in both English and Spanish. For more information, contact Sara Lockey at the Family Life Office at (512) 949-2495.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vasquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feb. 23):

  • For all of our enemies and for those who persecute Catholics …
  • Por todos nuestros enemigos y por aquellos que persiguen Católicos...


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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