The Friday E-Pistle (March 28, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Very Rev. Christopher Ferrer has been appointed as pastor of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Granger, effective April 1, 2014.  Father Ferrer will also continue in his position as Judicial Vicar in the Office of Canonical and Tribunal Services.
  • Rev. Adrian Chishimba has been appointed as administrator of St. Patrick Parish in Hutto, effective April 21, 2014.
  • Rev. Charlie Garza has been appointed as administrator of St. Martin de Porres Parish in Dripping Springs, effective April 7, 2014.
  • Deacon Jose Mendez has been assigned to San José Parish in Austin, effective April 1, 2014.

Pastoral Plan Online Survey

Please take a few minutes to complete an electronic survey about your view of the future of our diocese in the next three to five years. The survey will remain available through April 27. Please invite your Catholic family members and friends to complete the survey. Also invite Catholics who are no longer active in parish life. The diocesan website has numerous options for bulletin artwork and announcements about the online survey. New to the website is a summary of the data collected at the Listening Sessions held so far. Information from the Spanish Listening session on March 31 will be added to this summary.

  • If you have a Facebook or Twitter account get as many people as you can to share and re-tweet the invitation to fill out the survey.
  • For parishes, please post the links to the survey tool on your web pages and, if available, on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • If you do not have access to the Internet, parishes may download English or Spanish copies of the survey and make them available in the bulletin and in the narthex or distribute them after Mass.

Note: All survey responses will be entered electronically into the “survey monkey” tool. Parishes are encouraged to help input the data from paper surveys into the electronic tool or send the surveys to the diocese. You may contact the Pastoral Plan Core Team at or at the Pastoral Center mailing address.

Print out the paper survey in English and Spanish

If your parish has already received completed paper copies of the survey, please contact the diocese as soon as possible.

Pastoral Plan: Spanish Listening Session

Over the last two months we have held many listening sessions and focus groups to hear from our parishioners. Because of the great demand for another listening session in Spanish, we invite you to a Spanish listening session on March 31 at 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Parish in Pflugerville.

A través de los últimos dos meses hemos llevado a cabo muchas sesiones para escuchar y grupos de enfoque para escuchar a nuestros parroquianos. Debido a la gran demanda de otra sesión para escuchar en español, le invitamos a una sesión para escuchar en español el día 31 de marzo a las 7 p.m. en la Parroquia de St. Elizabeth en Pflugerville.

Chrism Mass

  • This year’s Chrism Mass will be celebrated at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin on April 15 at 10:30 a.m. All parishes should properly dispose of last year’s consecrated oils prior to the Chrism Mass. The oils may be removed from their particular stocks and used on the new fire of the Easter Vigil or buried. Please do not return used oil stocks to the diocesan Worship Office. Please remember that the Code of Canon Law 847 suppressed by omission the permission to add unblessed oil to that which is already blessed; therefore, you may not add oil to blessed or consecrated oil.
  • The Office of Worship is preparing new oils to be consecrated by Bishop Vásquez at the Chrism Mass. The standard order includes 2 oz. of the Oil of the Sick; 2 oz. of the Oil of the Catechumen and 2 oz. of Sacred Chrism. This year, parish orders for oils can be placed online.  If you need other information regarding your order, please contact Cheryl Maxwell. The deadline for ordering oils is March 31.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (April 6):

  • “And Jesus wept,” these words from the Gospel are haunting. After seeing Martha, Mary and the community mourn for Lazarus, Jesus was moved to tears. St. Augustine tells us Jesus wept to teach mankind to weep. What moves your spirit to tears? With that in mind, pray for the peace that passes understanding.
  • "Y Jesús lloró," estas palabras del Evangelio impresionan. Después de ver a Martha, María y a la comunidad de duelo por Lázaro, Jesús fue movido hasta las lágrimas. San Agustín nos dice que Jesús lloró para enseñarle a la humanidad a llorar ¿Qué mueve su espíritu hasta el llanto? Con eso en mente, ore por la paz que traspasa el entendimiento.


Stewardship and Development Office

Catholic Services Appeal

Thank you for your generous support of the Catholic Services Appeal. With your help, we have reached over $5 million in pledges.

Follow-up phone calls for the Catholic Services Appeal began the week of March 3. These calls are targeted to those who have made a gift to the CSA in the past, but have not yet renewed their commitment this year. If you receive any questions about the calling program, please direct those questions to Danielle Madrid in the Stewardship & Development Office at (512) 949-2440. 

Seventy-six parishes have exceeded their goal for the CSA. To see where your parish stands, click here for the latest parish reports.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

Dawn Rouen, Adult Faith Formation Director at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin, will discuss Stewardship at Theology on Tap on April 9 at Westside Alehouse (1500 North IH 35, Round Rock). Fellowship begins at 6 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Jennifer Kodysz at (512) 949-2467.


Missions Office

Ashes to Easter Lenten Mission Boxes

This mission project is one way that Catholics, young and elderly, can participate in the traditional Lenten practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Please remember to pick up a little "Ashes to Easter" box if you have not yet done so and join thousands of others who pray for and support the missionary efforts in and outside the Diocese of Austin. You may also donate online at or directly through the Austin Diocese webpage.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (April 6):

  • For families, but especially for siblings to draw closer and to be supportive to one another.
  • Por las familias, pero especialmente por los hermanos(as) para que se acerquen unos a otros y se apoyen.

Website tip

Lenten Penance Services are posted on the diocesan website by deanery. The diocese posts this information every Lent and Advent.


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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