The Friday E-Pistle (July 11, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Confirmation scheduling

Parishes may now submit a request for scheduling a Confirmation liturgy with me for 2015. A letter was mailed Wednesday to all pastors with instructions on how to submit a request online. Requests should be submitted by Aug. 15. The online system is available at

Rural Life Mass: July 17

I will celebrate the annual Rural Life Mass July 17 at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish in Killeen. Dinner will follow the Mass.

Pastoral Plan update

Progress continues for the development of our new Pastoral Plan. The team from Essential Conversations is currently writing the first draft of the plan, which will be presented to the Steering Committee and Bishop Vásquez on Aug. 9. In May, the team led the committee in a prayerful reflection process on a PowerPoint presentation, which contained their analysis of the data collected since January. The data included information from Listening Sessions, Focus Groups and, most recently, the surveys. Parish leaders and ministry groups may consider reviewing the slides and reflecting on the data to improve parish ministry. While the Pastoral Plan will offer guidance for parishes and the diocese for the next three to five years, people in ministry could make use of the information before the plan is presented. All information about further progress will continue to be posted on the diocesan website and available through social media networks.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 27):

  • In today’s parable one person happens upon a treasure in the middle of the field. In the other, a merchant finds a pearl after a long search. In both cases, they sell everything they have to get the treasure. This is the way we too should pursue the kingdom of God. Do you pursue the kingdom of God the way you pursue worldly things?
  • En la parábola de hoy, una persona encuentra un tesoro en medio de un campo. En la otra un mercader encuentra una perla después de una larga búsqueda. En ambos casos, ellos venden todo lo que poseen para obtener el tesoro. Esta es la manera en que nosotros también debemos buscar el Reino de Dios ¿Busca usted el Reino de Dios de la misma manera en que busca cosas terrenales?  


Vocation Office

Religious vocations from your parish

The Vocation Office is compiling its annual vocation poster, representing women and men from our diocese who have entered religious communities. We are searching for aspirants, postulants, novices and temporary professed men and women. Please help us update the vocation poster by providing us their names and contact information or asking them to contact Julie Gray in the Vocation Office at (512) 949-2430. Please include the person’s name, the name of the religious community, the stage in formation and home parish in the Austin Diocese, as well as contact information for the person and a headshot photograph.


Catholic Charities of Central Texas

6th annual Angels of Hope Golf Tournament

The sixth annual Angels of Hope Golf Tournament to benefit Catholic Charities of Central Texas in the Brazos Valley is Sept. 19 at the Phillips Event Center at Briarcrest Golf Course in Bryan. Visit for more information about registration and sponsorship/underwriting opportunities or call (979) 822-9340.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

St. Teresa of Avila: Aug. 1-3

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 founded more than 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. For more information or to register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail

Feast of the Assumption: Aug. 15

Celebrate the Assumption of Mary at Cedarbrake. On this holy day of obligation, we will look at the life of Mary and how she was faithful to God’s will, living each day with confidence in God’s mercy and love. Mary’s pattern of obedience and holiness is what we strive to imitate as Mary indeed imitated her Son. Mass, reflections and quiet time will be part of this day retreat led by Brian Egan, Director at Cedarbrake. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. For more information or to register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Volunteer Appreciation Day

Join us for the Pro-life Volunteer Appreciation Day on July 19 at Mel’s Lonestar Lanes in Georgetown. Festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. with registration and will go through 2 p.m. Games, shoes and lunch are free. Lunch will be served between 12-12:30 p.m. E-mail Yvonne Saladaña or register online at by Monday, July 14.


Weekly update

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 27):

  • For the protection of our religious freedom …
  • Por la protección de nuestra libertad religiosa...

Furniture donation

A parishioner has a set of six chairs to donate to a parish that could use them. For more information, contact Amy Kinney.


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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