The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 19, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Day of Prayer

Pope Francis has called for an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on topics related to the family and evangelization. He has called for a worldwide day of prayer for the Synod on Sept. 28. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has prayer cards for sale with the prayer given by Pope Francis for the Synod. Click here to order prayer cards. The USCCB is only providing the prayer cards in English.

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.

Contacting the Vicar General

Please note the new e-mail for the Vicar General, Father Danny Garcia. Effective immediately, the new e-mail is

Catholic War Veterans

Organized in 1935, the Catholic War Veterans received an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Pius XI in 1935 and a Congressional Charter in 1984. The organization’s motto is "For God, For Country, For Home.” Posts and auxiliaries can often be found attending Mass together on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and volunteering in VA Hospitals and supporting parish and veterans activities during the year. Membership in the Catholic War Veterans is open to baptized Catholics, male or female, who have served on Active Duty for a period of at least 90 days, in the Reserve Component, or National Guard, or are currently on Active Duty in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. For more information, visit


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 5):

  • Today’s Gospel refers to tenant who will give God “the produce [of the vineyard] at the proper times.” We are all the new tenants of this vineyard. What have you “produced” for God? Have you given your produce to God at the proper time?
  • El Evangelio de hoy se refiere al inquilino labrador que dará a Dios "el producto [del viñedo] a su debido tiempo". Todos somos los nuevos inquilinos de este viñedo ¿Qué ha usted "producido" para Dios? ¿Le ha dado usted el producto [del viñedo] a Dios en su debido tiempo?


Stewardship and Development Office

PDS conversion update

Parish conversions to PDS ChurchOffice (Parish Data System) will begin the week of Oct. 6. Each parish will be contacted by a database team member prior to their conversion to verify pertinent information. Training on PDS will occur every other Tuesday beginning Sept. 30 at the Pastoral Center in Austin from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is recommended to attend a training session close to the time of your conversion; however, you can attend as often as you like and send additional parish users of the system. Please see our website for the training schedule and sign-ups. Conversion dates are also posted on the website. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Rosenberger at (512) 949-2450.


Finance Office

Special Collection money due

Please send funds collected for the Peter’s Pence Special Collection, taken up June 28-29, to the diocesan Finance Office as soon as possible. Send checks to Finance Office, Diocese of Austin, 6225 Highway 290 East, Austin, TX 78723.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreats

  • Allow Scripture, song and story to inform and form your life at the Scripture and Music retreat at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton on Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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. The cost is $35 and includes lunch. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail
  • A day of reflection on Our Lady of Guadalupe will be held Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at Cedarbrake Catholic Reatreat Center in Belton. Father Pedro Garcia, pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish in Pflugerville, will be the presenter. The cost is $15. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail
  • A Single Parent Spirituality Retreat will be held Oct. 18 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Father Barry Cuba, associate pastor of St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station, will lead participants in reflecting on the struggles and triumphs of living the faith as a single parent. The cost is $35, which includes lunch. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

Anna Chávez will discuss unity and diversity at Theology on Tap on Oct. 7 at Fadó Irish Pub (214 W 4th St, Austin). Fellowship begins at 6 p.m. and her presentation begins at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Jennifer Kodysz at (512) 949-2467.


Worship Office

Contemporary music concert and workshop

The diocesan Office of Worship is proud to present singer-songwriter and speaker Jesse Manibusan, who will give a concert on Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin. Manibusan will also present a workshop on contemporary music Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin. To register, go to (group and discounted rates available). For more information call the Worship Office (512) 949-2429.


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 at (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.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 27th Week in Ordinary Time (Oct. 5):

  • That as co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord, we may work together for the common good ...
  • Que como compañeros de trabajo en el viñedo del Señor, trabajemos juntos por el bien común...

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of October: Rev. Samuel Hose, Oct. 19, 1991; Rev. John Kelley, Oct. 15, 1991; Rev. Johnson Nellissery ISP, Oct. 18, 1997; and  Rev. Joseph F. Geniesse, CSC, Oct. 27, 1957.


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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