The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 26, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Election information

All Catholics who are eligible are encouraged to register to vote in upcoming elections. The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Oct. 6. To register to vote, contact your local county offices. Pastors and the faithful are reminded that no campaign literature or voter guides may be distributed on church property. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship is the only document approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to be distributed by the church. (See also Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship en Español.) For more information on Faithful Citizenship including bulletin inserts, visit the USCCB’s Faithful Citizenship page.

Save the Date

The State Legislature convenes in January. Catholic Advocacy Day at the State Capitol will be March 24. Please save the date to participate in this important event.

Pastoral Plan Update

The second draft of our new pastoral plan will be reviewed by the Steering Committee tomorrow. The plan now contains three major priorities and a number of goals for each priority. Members of the Steering Committee will reflect on the goals to affirm their content and direction. Then, they will begin to review specific indicators that measure success. Please pray for the members of the Steering Committee as they continue their work to develop the Pastoral Plan. The Pastoral Plan page on our diocesan website has been updated and contains all current information about the planning process.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 12):

  • This week’s Gospel reminds us to focus on our priorities because “many are invited but few are chosen.” Sometimes in prayer or at Mass our attention wavers or we can be easily distracted. Has this ever happened to you? If so, try to be more aware of this and redirect your thoughts to prayer or the Mass.
  • El Evangelio de esta semana nos recuerda que debemos enfocarnos en nuestras prioridades por que "muchos son invitados pero pocos los elegidos". Algunas veces al orar durante la Misa nuestra atención divaga y es fácil distraerse ¿Le ha pasado esto a usted? Si le ha pasado, trate de estar mas consciente de ello y redireccione sus pensamientos a la oración de la Misa. 


Communications Office

Annual Parish Staff Retreat (Secretaries’ Day)

The annual Parish Staff Retreat, formerly known as Secretaries’ Day, will be held at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton on Oct. 23. This year’s retreat is hosted by the Austin North Deanery and the theme is “Set the Earth on Fire … a mission rooted in love.” Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. and Bishop Vásquez will celebrate Mass at 9 a.m. The keynote speaker will be Cheryl “Max” Maxwell, diocesan Director of Worship . Information and registration packets were mailed to all parishes on Aug. 1. Registration is $35 per attendee. After Oct. 1, the registration fee increases to $40. Please mail completed registration forms to Juanita Rodriguez, Santa Cruz Parish, P.O. Box 187, Buda, TX, 78610. For more information, contact Debra Lohrstorfer at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin at (512) 258-1161, ext. 214.


Social Concerns Office

Nurturing a Compassionate Heart

The Catholic Healthcare Guild will host an evening with Bishop Joe Vásquez at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 at Dell Children’s Medical Center Auditorium in Austin. The bishop will present “Nurturing a Compassionate Heart." He will discuss the importance of the church community in times of struggle and stress, and how the sacraments offer grace and healing during these times. A reception will follow the presentation. To register to attend, please RSVP online.


Mission Office

World Mission Celebration

The Office of Mission and Mission Education and the Diocesan Mission Council will host a World Mission Celebration on Oct. 18 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Missionary of Faith Father Benjamin Magnaye will celebrate Mass at 12:05 p.m. Following Mass, a reception and a missionary presentation by Father Magnaye will take place in Bishop’s Hall. Father Magnaye served as pastor at St. Mary Parish in Mexia for 14 years and is now pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Waco. Please RSVP at or contact Christina Krueger at (512) 949-2407, for more information.


EIM Office

Facilitator Training for EIM workshop for adults

The Office of Ethics and Integrity in Ministry will train new facilitators for the EIM workshops (Basic and Refresher) on Nov. 1. Those interested in being a facilitator should submit this application, along with the requested information, to the EIM office by Oct. 17. Please contact Emily Hurlimann at (512) 949-2447 with questions. Once the application is received and reviewed by the EIM office, applicants will be contacted with details of the training session.


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 Retreat 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


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.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 28th Week in Ordinary Time (Oct. 12):

  • For all married couples, engaged couples and for those who minister to engaged couples preparing them for marriage …
  • Por todas las parejas casadas, comprometidas y por aquellos que trabajan en un ministerio para parejas comprometidas preparándolas para el matrimonio.

Website tip

The Pastoral Manual and many other commonly used documents and forms are available on the Resources page of the diocesan website.


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.

Department Categorization: