The Friday E-Pistle (Feb. 21, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Very Rev. William Wack, CSC, has been appointed as Dean of the Austin Central Deanery, effective Feb. 18, 2014.
  • Rev. Johnson Nellissery, ISP, as Parochial Vicar of St. Paul Parish in Austin, effective Feb. 20, 2014.
  • Deacon Neil Fahlund to San José Parish in Austin, effective Feb. 22, 2014.

Special collection: March 5

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection on Ash Wednesday for world and home missions. The following announcement should be read before all services on Ash Wednesday:

  • Each Ash Wednesday every parish in our diocese takes up a special collection for world and home missions. The Catholic Church in the U.S. has a strong history of supporting worthy causes in our own parish communities and beyond. This combined collection will benefit areas in the Church that are greatest in need, including Black and Indian Missions in the U.S. Additionally, there are many places beyond our borders where the Church is poor, communities are scattered, and priests are few. This special appeal helps Catholic communities in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe, by underwriting evangelization, religious education, education for future priests, and training for lay ministers. Thank you for your support.
  • Cada Miércoles de Ceniza todas las parroquias de nuestra diócesis realizan una colecta especial para las misiones mundiales y domésticas. La Iglesia Católica en los Estados Unidos tiene una larga historia de apoyo a causas nobles en nuestras comunidades parroquiales y más allá. Esta colecta combinada beneficiará a zonas de la Iglesia con la mayor necesidad, incluyendo las misiones negra e india en los EE.UU. Además, hay muchos lugares más allá de nuestras fronteras en donde la Iglesia es pobre, las comunidades están dispersas, y los sacerdotes son pocos. Este llamado especial ayuda a comunidades católicas de América Latina y Europa Central y del Este, apoyando la evangelización, la educación religiosa, la educación para los futuros sacerdotes, y la formación de ministros laicos. Gracias por su apoyo.

Offices closings

All diocesan offices will be closed on Thursday, March 6, for a Staff Lenten Day of Prayer. Offices will reopen on Friday, March 7.

Prayers requested

Please pray for Deacon Joe Potter who died Feb. 19. Services are as follows:

  • Vigil: 6 p.m., today at Oakcrest Funeral Home in Waco
  • Funeral Mass: 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Jerome Parish in Waco followed by a procession to Chapel Hill Cemetery for burial.


Reflection questions

Gospel Meditations

Please consider using the following meditation for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (March 2):

  • Often overlooked in today’s Gospel is Jesus’ rhetorical question to us, “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?” We gain nothing by worrying, but we have much to lose by it. What situation can you prayerfully offer up that causes you anxiety?
  • Con frecuencia ignorada, en el Evangelio de hoy, la pregunta retórica de Jesús hacia nosotros "¿Puede alguno de ustedes agregrar un solo momento a su vida al preocuparse?" No ganamos nada al preocuparnos pero tenemos mucho que perder al hacerlo ¿Qué situación puede usted ofrecer en oración que le causa ansiedad?

Please consider using the following meditation for Ash Wednesday (March 5):

  • In this Gospel account, Jesus tells us how we are to pray, fast and give alms during Lent. Consider going beyond “giving something up” this Lent. Why not spend a few minutes each day reading the Gospels or a spiritual book? Or, consider volunteering with a parish organization that helps the poor.
  • En la historia del Evangelio, Jesús nos dice cómo hemos de orar, ayunar y dar limosna durante la Cuaresma. Considere ir más allá al "renunciar a algo" durante esta Cuaresma ¿Por qué no agregar el leer el Evangelio o un libro espiritual todos los días? O, considere ser voluntario(a) en una organización parroquial que ayuda a los pobres.


Religious Education and Formation

Spiritual Renewal Conference: March 7-8

This year’s Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Diocese of Austin (CCRA) conference will be March 7-8 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Austin. Father John Kim, Father Robert Becker, Carmen Frankel and Dr. Geri Telepak will speak on the theme “Be Empowered by the Holy Spirit with Healing Grace Victoriously in Christ.” Friday’s session is from 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturday’s session is from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Visit the CCRA website to register or call (512) 563-7851 for more information.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

March 5: Ash Wednesday

 “Sacrament of the Present Moment” is a phrase that Father Jean Pierre de Caussade uses in in his talks about living a life in abandonment to God’s will. His talks were put in a book titled, “Abandonment to Divine Providence.” Lent is a time to follow Christ even more interiorly as he shows us the way to live his Father’s will. Brian Egan will lead the reflections on Father Cuassade’s spiritual advice during this day, which includes Mass and receiving ashes. Cost is $35. For more information, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail

March 7-9: Lenten Silent Retreat

Cedarbrake is offering a silent retreat during the Lenten Season to help people step away from the “busyness” of life and enter into silence to prepare for the death and resurrection of Our Lord. Mass, reconciliation, and spiritual direction will be available on this weekend. Cost is $165 per person. All rooms are private. For more information, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

The next Theology on Tap is March 11 at Santa Rita Cantina (Escarpment Village, 5900 W. Slaughter Ln., Austin, Texas 78749), where David Thies will discuss “Trusting God.” The evening begins with music and fellowship at 6 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (March 2):

  • For those with diagnosed mental illness or depression and for those who care for them …
  • Por aquellos diagnosticados con enfermedades mentales o depresión y por aquellos que cuidan de ellos...

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for Ash Wednesday (March 5):

  • That we may carry out our Lenten praying, fasting and almsgiving with joy and love …
  • Que pasemos nuestra Cuaresma orando, ayunando y dando limosna con gozo y amor...

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of March: Rev. Joseph Thomas Varickamackal, March 3, 1977; Rev. Jesus Ferras, ISP, March 6, 2004; Rev. Mario Castro Martinez, OFM Conv., March 10, 2001 and Rev. Barry Cabell, CSC, March 14, 1989.


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.

Department Categorization: