The Friday E-Pistle (June 6, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments


  • Rev. Benjamin Magnaye, MF, pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Waco, effective July 1, 2014.

Associate Pastors

  • Rev. Jayaraju Polishetty, parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Brenham, effective July 1, 2014.
  • Rev. George Thirumangalam, CMI, parochial vicar at St. Louis Parish in Austin, effective July 1, 2014.


  • Rev.  Edward Koharchik has been incardinated into the Diocese of Austin, effective June 1, 2014.


  • Deacon Richard Menchaca has been assigned to St. Louis Parish in Waco, effective June 5, 2014.

Pastoral Plan Update and Survey Summary

The Steering Committee met on May 31 and reviewed all the data collected for the Pastoral Plan that included summaries from the listening sessions, focus groups, parishioners’ surveys and priests’ surveys. The committee engaged in a prayerful discernment process to begin to identify key themes that could be the focus of the new plan. The work of the committee was presented to the team of Essential Conversations that will begin to write the first draft of the plan and present it to the committee in August. A summary of the survey results is attached. Complete results and data will soon be made available on the Pastoral Plan website.

Highlights of the Survey Results

  • There were 4,125 respondents (3,880 English, 245 Spanish)
  • Respondent Demographics—just over 60% women and nearly 40% men responded. Age: An encouraging 10% of respondents are under 21; 8% are young adults (between 21and 30); Generation X (between 31 and 49) is represented by 30% ; and Baby Boomers (between 50 and 69) comprise 40%; with Seniors (70+) at 12%.
  • About half, regardless of English or Spanish speaking, report that their faith is at the center of their life, and that they base important decisions on it.
  • An overwhelming proportion (93%) of parishioners considers that teaching children the Catholic faith is important or very important. Meaningful prayer & worship follows closely with 91% rating important or very important. Nearly 90% of parishioners find it important or very important that the parish supports their spiritual growth, provides adult Catholic education and focuses on youth and young adults.
  • Connecting faith to work/family life is considered an important or very important area of focus for 81% of the respondents, tied with focusing on learning church teachings (81%). Learning more about how to pray is important or very important to nearly three-fourths (74%) of the parishioners and learning how to speak about or share faith (witness) is important or very important to nearly 70% of respondents.
  • Half of the respondents agree or strongly agree that they would like their parish to better collaborate with other parishes, followed closely by a desire for greater involvement in parish life (49%).
  • Priests’ survey results: Offering meaningful prayer and worship, as well as a focus on youth and young adults, and supporting spiritual growth were top parish priorities for priests.
  • Priests say the most important things the Diocese of Austin must address as it plans for its future are evangelization; spreading the Good News; young adult faith formation and ministry; and how to minister to a growing population.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for feast of Corpus Christi (June 22):

  • Jesus’ words to the crowd were perplexing to them: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” But Jesus promises us eternal life if we eat his flesh and drink his blood. Think about why you believe Jesus' promise.
  • Las palabras de Jesús a la multitud los dejaron perplejos: "¿Cómo puede este hombre darnos su carne para comer?" Pero Jesús nos promete vida eterna si comemos de su cuerpo y bebemos de su sangre. Piense por qué es que usted cree en la promesa de Jesús.


Mission Office

From Ashes to Easter

For parishes that have not submitted Ashes to Easter Lenten mission collections, please remind parishioners to return their boxes to the church or parish office so that all funds may be submitted to the diocesan Finance Office. Please remember that donations are accepted on line.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

June 18: Back to Ordinary (Time) – Now What?

How can we grow in our Catholic faith during Ordinary Time, the longest season of the liturgical year? What are some steps we can take to deepen our spirituality? How can our faith be more at the center of our lives? These are a few of the questions Holy Cross Father Bill Wack, pastor at St Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, will tackle. This privileged time can be a type of “continuing education for Catholics.” Cost is $35 and includes lunch. Click here to register.

June 27-29: Going Deeper Into the Water

You are invited to grow deeper in love with Jesus on this weekend by learning more about your faith and what Jesus is asking us as followers. This weekend is for those who have been on a retreat, have taken adult faith classes and also for those who have not made a retreat, but know God is calling them to take that next step and follow Him by getting away to listen and to pray. Father Boniface Onjefu is the associate pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in West. Cost is $195 for a private room, $160 for a shared room and $85 for commuters. Click here to register.


Weekly notes

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions

Please consider Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for the month of June:

  • That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity …
  • Que las personas desempleadas reciban apoyo y encuentren el trabajo que necesitan para vivir dignamente...
  • That Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers …
  • Que Europa redescubra sus raíces Cristianas a través del testimonio de los creyentes...

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider using the following meditation for the feast of Corpus Christi (June 22):

  • For a greater belief in the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist …
  • Por que exista una mayor creencia en la Verdadera Presencia de Jesucristo en la Eucaristía...


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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