The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 5, 2014)
A message from Bishop Vásquez
Pastoral Plan update
The Core Team presented the first draft of the new Pastoral Plan to the Deans on Aug. 22. The deans made comments and recommendations for this first draft. In particular, they:
- Highlighted the need for the plan to offer particular objectives that can be accomplished and a way to measure success;
- Underscored the importance of an implementation process that includes strategies to stay focused on the plan during the implementation time period; and
- Affirmed the three strategic priorities and supported the use of media resources to communicate the plan and information about it.
The deans received copies of a PowerPoint presentation that can be shared with the priests in their deanery. Everyone present was very aware that the diocese is currently experiencing significant demographic changes that will affect the work of the diocese for many years and that the plan’s main purpose should guide us as we continue the mission of Jesus Christ. 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. To stay updated on the Pastoral Plan, please connect with the diocesan website.
World Priest Day
World Priest Day is a celebration and affirmation of the men who commit their lives to the Lord and the church through the sacrament of Holy Orders. It is an opportunity for Catholic parishioners to thank, affirm and share their love and support for our priests. This year the Austin-Central Texas Area Worldwide Marriage Encounter Community will honor our priests, along with deacons and seminarians, with a dinner on Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin. Every priest, deacon and seminarian within the diocese is invited, and invitations will be mailed to every priest. Priests, deacons and their wives, and seminarians, should RSVP at no cost to Jose and Rachel Guzman at (512) 291-6338. All others, may purchase tickets online at $25 per person.
Please consider using the following meditation for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 21):
- Today’s Gospel teaches us that God’s kingdom is for all who would follow Him. In the parable those who were called early were upset that those who were called late received the same wage, which is salvation. What are your personal prejudices? Pray for the strength to overcome these.
- El Evangelio de hoy nos enseña que el Reino de Dios es para todos los que Lo sigan. En la parábola, aquellos que fueron llamados primero estaban molestos de que aquellos que fueron llamados más tarde recibieron la misma paga, la salvación ¿Cuales son sus prejuicios personales? Ore por la fuerza para superarlos.
Stewardship and Development Office
The Stewardship & Development Office will host “come and go” CSA training sessions for priests, parish secretaries, business administrators, CSA coordinators, and stewardship and development administrators. Participants can attend any time during the session that is most convenient. At least one person from each parish must attend a training and pick up parish CSA materials. See the list of sessions to RSVP online by Sept. 8.
Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living
Living the Good News: The Joy of The Gospel conference
The Secretariat of Justice & Charity will host the Living the Good News conference on Sept. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School in Austin. The conference will have sessions in Spanish and English and includes a wide range of topics including missions, Hispanic ministry, black Catholics, social justice, criminal justice and pro-life activities. The annual Pro-Life Committee Chair meeting will be held after the conference at 4 p.m. Register online.
2014 Statewide Criminal Justice Ministry Conference
Father David T. Link, Dean Emeritus of Notre Dame Law School and President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame Australia, will be the keynote speaker at the statewide Criminal Justice Ministry Conference Sept. 26-27 in Austin. The challenges to successful re-entry of formerly incarcerated persons into communities and the employment of these returnees will be among the major topics addressed at the conference. The conference registration fee is $75 and includes some meals. For more information, contact Yvonne Saldaña. Register online.
Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center
Discerning God's Will (English and Spanish): Sept. 20
In specific circumstances of life and in major decisions we often 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 ministering at St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station; they will lead the reflections in English. Father Alex Caudillo, associate pastor at St. William Parish in Round Rock, will lead the reflections in Spanish. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. The retreat is Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. To register, call (254) 780-2436.
Scripture and Music with Cindy Isaacson: Oct. 4
Allow Scripture, song and story to inform and form our lives at the Scripture and Music retreat at Cedabrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton on Oct. 4. Listening with the ears of the heart, we will read Scripture, listen, and participate with music and allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide. Presenters Sue Fowler and Cindy Isaacson are both retired teachers and are very active in music. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. To register, call (254) 780-2436.
Canonical and Tribunal Services Office
Advocacy Training for Nullity
The Office of Canonical and Tribunal Services will present a workshop, Advocacy Training for Nullity on Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. This workshop will include a review of the process of petitioning for an annulment, applicable Canon Law, processes and procedures, petitions and grounds, resources, questions and answers. Registration deadline is Oct. 13. Laity desiring to become an advocate must be delegated by their pastor. For more information, contact the Tribunal Office (512-949-2478) or click here to register.
The Office of Canonical and Tribunal Services will present a workshop on the process of completing the church-required Marriage Packets on Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. This workshop will include the required documentation, Canon Law requirements and diocesan policies affecting the marriage preparation process. Registration deadline is Nov. 10. Laity desiring to become an advocate must be delegated by their pastor. For more information, contact the Tribunal office (512) 949-2478 or click here to register.
Pope Francis’ prayer intentions
Please consider Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for the month of September:
- That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life …
- Para que los discapacitados mentales reciban el amor y la ayuda que necesitan para llevar una vida digna ...
- That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering …
- Para que los Cristianos inspirados en la Palabra de Dios, se comprometan al servicio de los pobres y de los que sufren ...
Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention
Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 25th Week in Ordinary Time (Sept. 21):
- That the unemployed and underemployed will find gainful and life-affirming employment with fair and just wages …
- Para que los desemplados y sub-empleados encuentren empleos remunerativos y que afirmen su vida con justicia y salarios justos ...
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 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.