The Friday E-Pistle (June 27, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments


  • Rev. Boniface Onjefu, as administrator at St. Eugene Parish in McGregor and Our Lady of San Juan Mission in Moody, effective July 1, 2014.

Parochial Vicar

  • Holy Cross Father Paul M. Ybarra as parochial vicar of St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, effective July 1, 2014.

Holy Cross priests

The following Holy Cross priests have been reassigned by their order:

  • Rev. James R. Martin as Superior of King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., effective July 1, 2014.
  • Rev. Michael D. Couhig to assist the Holy Cross Novitiate in Cascade, Colo., effective July 1, 2014.
  • Rev. Harold W. Essling to Our Lady of Fatima House on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, effective July 1, 2014.


  • Bishop Vásquez has granted retirement status to Deacon Alfred Benavides, effective June 17, 2014.
  • Bishop Vásquez has granted retirement status to Deacon Jesse Martinez, effective June 20, 2014.

Peter's Pence Special collection: June 28-29

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for Peter’s Pence at all Masses on the weekend of June 28-29. The following announcement should be read before all Masses that weekend:

  • The Peter’s Pence Collection is taken up worldwide to support the most disadvantaged -- victims of war, oppression, natural disasters and others in need of emergency assistance. Pope Francis has asked us to “care for those who are in need of attention, understanding and help, to bring them the warm closeness of God’s love through tangible actions of sensitivity, of sincere affection and of love.” The Holy Father uses the Peter’s Pence Collection to strengthen dioceses, religious orders, and struggling communities of faith when they need it most.
  • La Colecta de los Peniques de Pedro se recoge a nivel mundial para apoyar a los menos privilegiados – víctimas de guerra, opresión, desastres naturales y otras personas necesitadas de asistencia de emergencia. El Papa Francisco nos ha pedido que “cuidemos de aquellos que necesitan atención, entendimiento y ayuda, para llevarles la cálida cercanía del amor de Dios a través de acciones sensibles, de sincero afecto y amor”. El Santo Padre usa la Colecta de los Peniques de Pedro para fortalecer diócesis, órdenes religiosas y comunidades de fe en pleno conflicto cuando más lo necesitan.

New parish phone number

Santa Rosa de Lima Parish in Andice has a new office phone number: (254) 793-0273.

Kenedy Foundation Infrastructure Impact Grant – Deadline July 10, 2014

The board of the Kenedy Memorial Foundation has presented the Diocese of Austin with an opportunity to submit applications for funding high-cost brick-and-mortar projects. These Infrastructure Impact Grants will be given only to infrastructure projects such as repairs, remodeling, new construction, etc.

The Diocese of Austin may submit up to four Diocesan and four non-Diocesan requests to the Kenedy Foundation. If you are interested in applying, please click here to download the Proposed Project Worksheet. The completed worksheet must be returned to Danielle Madrid by July 10. Applications will be reviewed by members of the Stewardship Office, Finance Office and Bishop Vásquez. A total of eight projects (four Diocesan and four non-Diocesan) will be chosen for submission to the Kenedy Foundation.

  • In order to be considered, applications must meet the following criteria:
  • The request is for not less than $200,000 and not more than $1 million in Kenedy Memorial Foundation funding.
  • Funding is only for infrastructure costs (repairs, remodeling, new construction, etc.)
  • Project must be “shovel ready” to begin in 2015 or 2016.
  • Not less than 50 percent of the funding is from sources other than the Kenedy foundation.

If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Madrid at or (512) 949-2440. Please do not contact the Kenedy Foundation directly. All applications for this program must be submitted through the diocesan office.

Offices closed

Diocesan offices will be closed on Friday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. Diocesan offices will reopen on Monday, July 7.

E-Pistle schedule

Due to the Independence Day holiday, the E-Pistle will not be published on July 4. The next E-Pistle will be published on July 11.

Prayers requested

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Holy Cross Father Barry Cabell who died June 16 at age 66. The funeral Mass was held on June 23 at St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 13):

  • Meditate on today’s parable. What kind of soil are you? What kind of soil would you like to be? How can you make this change?
  • Medite en la parábola de hoy ¿Qué tipo de tierra es usted? ¿Qué tipo de tierra le gustaría ser? ¿Cómo puede usted lograr ese cambio?

Please consider using the following meditation for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 20):

  • The weeds invade the wheat in today’s parable. The “good” and the “bad” must grow together and then be separated at the end of the age. What can you do to influence the “bad” to change their ways?
  • La mala hierba invade el trigo en la parábola de hoy. Lo "bueno" y lo "malo" deben crecer juntos y entonces ser separados al final de los tiempos ¿Qué puede usted hacer para influenciar a lo "malo" para que cambie sus maneras de ser?


Communications Office

Directory upddates due

The 2014-2015 Diocese of Austin Directory will be printed at the end of the summer. A request for changes was mailed to all parishes during the first week of June, please return your changes and updates to the directory to Shelley Metcalf as soon as possible. Changes may be mailed to Shelley Metcalf at 6225 Hwy 290 East, Austin, TX 78723.


Stewardship and Development Office

Special Collections

The Stewardship and Development office is placing orders for campaign materials for 2015 national collections. This includes materials for the following collections:

  • Church in Latin America
  • Church in Central and Eastern Europe
  • The Catholic Relief Services Collection
  • Catholic Home Missions Appeal
  • Peter’s Pence Collection
  • Catholic Campaign for Human Development
  • Retirement Fund for Religious

Please contact Danielle Madrid via e-mail or at (512) 949-2440, if you need to make a change in the quantities for your parish.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

Father Jonathan Raia, incoming Vocations Director, will discuss discerning God’s call in your life at the next Theology on Tap on July 9 at the Santa Rita Catina at 5900 W. Slaughter Lane in Austin. Fellowship begins at 6 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living Office

Vigilia de Oración

El Team South Austin (Equipo del Sur de Austin) el cual incluye a parroquias del Decanato de la zona Sur se une a parroquianos de Cristo Rey y Santa Bárbara cada sábado a las 7 a.m. por una hora para conducir una Vigilia de Oración en Español en el centro de abortos de Austin Women's Health localizado en 1902 S IH 35 en Austin. Todos son bienvenidos a acompañarlos en esta expresión de amor por la vida. Para mayor información, por favor llame al Padre John Calgaro, O.F.M. Conv. al (512) 577-1099.

For Couples Struggling with Infertility

A special prayer service for couples struggling with infertility and/or miscarriage will be celebrated by Bishop Joe Vásquez on July 23 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral Parish. Sarah’s Hope & Abraham's Promise, St. Mary Cathedral Parish and the Diocese of Austin Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living invite all to attend and join with these couples in prayer. A reception will be held immediately following. Contact or call (512) 736-7334 for more information and to RSVP.

Team Anderson Mill

The St. Thomas More (Parish) 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 from 10-11 a.m. to pray outside the abortion facility at 9805 Anderson Mill Road, Austin, 78750. All are welcome to join.

Project Rachel retreat

Project Rachel is a compassionate and confidential ministry that helps women and men suffering emotionally and spiritually from the trauma of abortion. Project Rachel retreats are offered throughout the year at private locations. The next retreat is scheduled for July 25-27. Confidential registration is available by contacting (877) 932-2732 or

Pure Fashion

Pure Fashion is coming to Austin again. High school girls are invited to become a model of style and confidence, standing on solid ground. Apply online now for 2014-15 at under the Austin link. For questions, e-mail or call (512) 942-7685. Pure Fashion is sponsored by the Diocese of Austin.

Killeen Mass of Thanksgiving

A Mass of Thaksgiving will be held on July 26 at 8 a.m. at St. Jospeh Parish in Killeen since the Whole Women’s Health abortion facility has closed its doors in Killeen. All are invited to attend this  Mass. A reception will be hosted by the St. Joseph Pro-Life Committee immediately following Mass.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

July 10: Ministry & Difficult People

All of us are called to be ministers of the “Gospel of Joy,” to allow the light of Christ to shine through us and onto others. How do we recognize the signs, challenges and trials in people we encounter, who we find difficult to love fully, and how do we respond to see Christ in them? Father Ed Koharchik, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin, will present the day. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. Click here to register.

Aug. 1-3: St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila was a woman for God. A woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. She knew well the continued presence and value of suffering and difficulty in prayer. Teresa was a contemplative and active reformer and found over half a dozen monasteries. In 1970, the church gave her the title Doctor of the Church. The presenter, Discalced Carmelite Father Stephen Sanchez, is the Superior of the Mount Carmel Monastery and Retreat Center in Dallas. 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 intention

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

  • That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth …
  • Que el deporte siempre sea ocasión de fraternidad humana y crecimiento...
  • That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries …
  • Que el Espíritu Santo sostenga el trabajo de los laicos que proclaman el Evangelio en los países más pobres...

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 13):

  • For all those who work in the heat of the summer sun …
  • Por aquellos que trabajan bajo el calor del sol de verano...

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 20):

  • For all farmers and ranchers …
  • Por todos los granjeros y rancheros...

Feast of St. Sharbel

Our Lady’s Maronite Catholic Church is hosting a feast day of prayer for St. Sharbel on July 23. There will be a prayer vigil from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Liturgy (Mass) will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a light meal at 7 p.m. Special intentions request from St. Sharbel can be left in the basket on the altar. All are invited to join the vigil and feast.

Annual men’s Mass

Men of all ages are invited to attend the sixth annual Men's Fellowship Mass at 10 a.m. on July 19 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Bishop Joe S. Vásquez will preside.

Lecture by Dr. John Haas

Dr. John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, will give a lecture on July 8 at 6:30 p.m. at St. John Neumann Parish. The lecture is sponsored by the Catholic Healthcare Guild and CME for physicians and CNE for nurses will be available. All those working in health care that share Catholic values are invited to this session on The Face of the New Eugenics. RSVP to Cost is $10 for non-members.

Church furnishings available

St. Luke Parish in Temple has church furnishings available. For more information contact the parish office at (254) 773-1561.


Ethics and Integerity in Ministry

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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