The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 12, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Deanery change

I have decreed that Sacred Heart Parish in Austin and the Mission of Santa Barbara in Hornsby Bend be included in the Austin Central Deanery, effective Sept. 4, 2014. Read the decree here.

Special collection for the Middle East

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection either the weekend of Sept. 20-21 or Sept. 27-28 for the ongoing humanitarian crises in the Middle East. The following announcement should be read before all Masses the weekend the collection is taken:

  • As a church, we mourn the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions. Today, we are taking up a special collection because the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked all parishes to provide humanitarian relief and pastoral support for our affected brothers and sisters in Iraq, Gaza, Syria and surrounding countries where refugees have fled. Thank you for supporting our Christian brethren.
  • Como una iglesia, nos enluta el terrible sufrimiento de Cristianos y otras víctimas inocentes de la violencia en Iraq, Siria y Gaza quienes se encuentran luchando por sobrevivir, por proteger a sus hijos y por vivir con dignidad en medio de terribles condiciones. Hoy estamos realizando una colecta especial ya que la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos nos ha pedido a todas las parroquias que proveamos de alivio humanitario y de apoyo pastoral a nuestros afectados hermanos y hermanas en Iraq, Gaza, Siria y los países vecinos hacia donde han huído los refugiados. Gracias por apoyar a nuestros hermanos Cristianos.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 28):

  • One of the many lessons of today’s Gospel is that our word is our pledge – we should do what we say we will do. Have you broken your word to someone? Has someone done it to you? Think about what damage might have been done and what you can do to fix it.
  • Una de las muchas lecciones del Evangelio de hoy es que nuestra palabra es nuestro compromiso -debemos hacer lo que decimos que haremos ¿Ha roto usted alguna promesa que le había hecho a alguien? ¿Alguien ha roto su promesa hacia usted? Piense sobre el daño que pudo haberse hecho y qué puede usted hacer para arreglarlo.


Youth Ministry

Middle School Youth Rally

Middle school teens are invited to participate in the 2014 Middle School Youth Rally on Oct. 18 at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy in Austin. This year’s theme is Love Everlasting, based on Jeremiah 31:3: “From afar the LORD appears: With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you.” Several hundred young Catholics from across the diocese will gather for prayer, keynotes, praise and worship, break-out sessions, games and fellowship. Interested youth should talk with their youth minister, and visit here for additional information. You may also e-mail Jennifer Kodysz or call (512) 949-2467, if you have questions.


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.

Marriage Packets

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. For more information, contact the Tribunal Office at (512) 949-2478 or click here to register.


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.
  • En circunstancias específicas de la vida y durante la toma de decisiones importantes, con frecuencia nos preguntamos, "¿Cuál es la voluntad de Dios para mí?" Normalmente no escuchamos una voz exterior, pero a través de la oración podemos ser conducidos hacia la  escucha de una voz interior. Las Apóstoles de la Vida Interior son hermanas religiosas de Italia, entrenadas en Espiritualidad Ignaciana, quienes realizan su ministerio en el Centro Católico de St. Mary en College Station; ellas conducirán las reflexiones en Inglés, el Padre Alex Caudillo, pastor asociado de la Parroquia de St. William en Round Rock, conducirá las reflexiones en Español. El Costo es de $35 e incluye la comida del medio día. El retiro es el 20 de Septiembre, de 9 a.m. a 2 p.m. en el Centro Católico de Retiros Cedarbrake en Belton. Para inscribirse, llame al (254) 780-2436.


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.

Our Lady of Fatima

Marian Mornings will be commemorating the 97th anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima on Oct. 4 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Father Kevin Rai will conduct a morning of prayer and reflection on “The Growing Importance of the Fatima Message for the Times We Are Living.” A Holy Hour with the rosary begins at 8 a.m. and the day culminates with Mass at 12:05 p.m. The reflection and light refreshments will be offered in between. Free parking is available in the Capitol Towers Parking Garage on San Jacinto Street. For more information, David Koch at (512) 255-0645 or Bob Christiansen (512) 255-8551.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 26th Week in Ordinary Time (Sept. 28):

  • That we may all respect the wisdom, dignity and value of our elders and older people...
  • Que todos respetemos la sabiduría, dignidad y valor de nuestros mayores y de las personas de la tercera edad...


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.

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