The Friday E-Pistle (Aug. 22, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

USCCB releases Labor Day Statement

The high unemployment rate of young adults, both in the U.S. and around the world, is the focus of the 2014 Labor Day Statement from Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. The statement, dated Sept. 1, draws on Pope Francis’ teaching against an “economy of exclusion” and applies it to the millions of unemployed young adults in the U.S.

“For those fortunate enough to have jobs, many pay poorly. Greater numbers of debt-strapped college graduates move back in with their parents, while high school graduates and others may have less debt but very few decent job opportunities,” Archbishop Wenski wrote. “Pope Francis has reserved some of his strongest language for speaking about young adult unemployment, calling it ‘evil,’ an ‘atrocity,’ and emblematic of the ‘throwaway culture.’”

Pastoral Plan update

The Steering Committee and Bishop Vásquez reviewed the first draft of the new Pastoral Plan on Aug. 9. Following a lively discussion, the committee affirmed the three strategic priorities and began work on specific goals and objectives. It was very evident to the committee that the survey data and input from the listening sessions were used to design the first draft. The plan makes aware that our diocese is currently experiencing significant demographic changes that will affect the work of the diocese for many years. The development of the plan comes at a critical time in our history and should guide us to continue the mission of Christ in such a way that people’s lives will be different. The team from Essential Conversations is now in the process of working on the second draft, which the Steering Committee will review at their September meeting. The process has begun to ensure the successful Implementation of the plan, which includes the formation of a committee to see that the plan’s tasks and strategies will be realized. To stay updated on the Pastoral Plan, please connect with the diocesan website.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 7):

  • Besides Mass, do you participate in communal prayer? Today’s Gospel tells us that whenever two or more are gathered in prayer, God is there. As an easy way to start, try making communal prayer a habit before and after meals.
  • Aparte de en la Misa, ¿Usted participa en oración común o grupal? El Evangelio de hoy nos dice que donde dos o más se unen en oración, Dios está ahí con ellos. Como una manera sencilla de empezar, trate de hacer de la oración común un hábito antes y después de los alimentos.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Living Daily with an Attitude of Gratitude: Sept. 10

Father Angelo Bertini and Msgr. Elmer Holtman share what it means to live in gratitude in Living Daily with an Attitude of Gratitude on Sept. 10 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center. How do we develop and live with an attitude sharing joyfully all the gifts that we have received? The day will end with a Mass of Thanksgiving. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. Click here to register.

Discerning God's Will: Sept. 20

In specific circumstances of life and in major decisions, we wonder, “What is God’s will for me?” Normally we do not hear an exterior voice; but through prayer, we can be guided to listen to an interior voice. The Apostles of Interior Life are Religious Sisters from Italy trained in Ignatian Spirituality. They will lead the retreat “Discerning God’s Will” on Sept. 20 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The sisters serve at St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station and will share their wisdom and experience. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. To register call (254) 780-2436.


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

If you need to make a change in the quantities for your parish, please contact Danielle Madrid at or (512) 949-2440. Thanks to all of those who have already contacted the Stewardship Office to adjust their quantities for 2015.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 7):

  • For all victims of violence …
  • Por todas las víctimas de violencia...

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of September: Rev. Melesio Peter Espinoza, Sept. 9, 1995; Rev. Isidore Ndagizimana, Sept. 10, 1985; Rev. Scott Mikkelson, Sept. 11, 1982; Rev. Eugene Nyong, Sept. 14, 1997; Rev. Ramiro Tarazona, Sept. 20, 2008; Rev. Luis Alberto Caceres, Sept. 23, 2008; Friar Florencio Rodriguez TOR, Sept. 27, 1980 and Rev. Alirio Fernandez-Bueno, Sept. 28, 1996.


Ethics and Integrity 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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