The Friday E-Pistle (Oct. 24, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez


All eligible voters are reminded that early voting began this week and that Election Day is Nov. 4.

Time change

All are reminded that daylight-saving time ends on Sunday, Nov. 2 and all clocks should be turned back 1 hour.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (Nov. 9):

  • In today’s Gospel, Jesus fashioned a whip and “cleaned house.” He drove out the animals, the sellers and the money changers from the Temple. What do you need to clean out from your heart? Pray for the strength to do it.
  • En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús tomó un látigo y "limpió la casa". Él sacó a los animales, los vendedores y el dinero de los cambistas del Templo ¿Qué necesita usted limpiar de su corazón? Ore por la fuerza para hacerlo.


Stewardship and Development Office

Catholic Services Appeal

October 25-26 is Announcement Weekend for the Catholic Services Appeal. Parishes are encouraged to announce the appeal and tell parishioners that every Catholic family will receive a letter in the mail from Bishop Vásquez about the CSA at the end of October. Parishes are also encouraged to build awareness of the CSA by using the materials available on the diocesan website:

November 1-2 is CSA Awareness and Education Weekend. Parishes are asked to utilize bulletin announcements and inserts, pulpit announcements, campaign materials and prayers of the faithful to raise awareness about the Catholic Services Appeal. Parishes may also show the campaign video, utilize lay witness speakers or offer a pastor’s talk about the CSA. Parishioners should be reminded to review the letter received from Bishop Vásquez.

PDS update

Parish conversions to PDS began the last week of September and will be ongoing through June 2015. All parishes will be contacted by a diocesan database team member prior to their conversion date with information to prepare for the conversion. Three parishes will be converted each week. The parish will have two weeks to review their data after their conversion. Please see the website at for the schedule.

ChurchOffice Training

Training for ChurchOffice, the parish PDS module, will be offered at the diocesan Pastoral Center every other Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is online for the following dates: Oct. 28, Nov. 11, Nov. 25, Dec. 23, Jan. 6 and Jan. 20.

PDS Module Training

Training will also be offered monthly at the diocesan Pastoral Center for the Formation, Facility Scheduler and Ministry Scheduler modules. The scheduled dates are: Nov. 4, Dec. 2, Jan. 13, Feb. 10 and March 24. Register onine for the module training.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

Father Mark Hamlet, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Austin, will discuss Our Lady of Guadalupe: the New Evangelization and Culture, at Theology on Tap on Nov. 6 at Santa Rita Cantina (Escarpment Village 5900 W. Slaughter Ln. in Austin). Music and fellowship begins at 6 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7p.m. For more information, contact Jennifer Kodysz at (512) 949-2467.


Canonical and Tribunal Services

Deadline for 2014 filings

For pastoral reasons associated with the Advent and Christmas season, the Canonical and Tribunal Services Office will not accept marriage-annulment petitions after Nov. 21 to avoid sending out correspondence such as citation letters to Petitioners and Respondents during the holidays. If any marriage-annulment petitions are received after this deadline, they will be placed on hold and not processed until after Jan. 2, 2015.

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

Upcoming retreats

  • Cheryl "Max" Maxwell, the director of the Office of Worship of the Diocese of Austin and the Secretariat Director for Formation and Spirituality, will give “The Gift of Transition” retreat on Nov. 19 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Change is a natural part of life that can often be filled with uncertainty, anxiety and pain. This retreat will examine these times and offer the opportunity to re-evaluate our purpose through the eyes of faith. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail
  • Reflect on Pope Francis' encyclical, "Joy of the Gospel" and how we are called to spread the "Good News" to others through our words and actions during this retreat led by Paulist Father Bruce Nieli on Nov. 22. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail


Weekly notes


Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (Nov. 9):

  • For all newly elected officials that they may serve the people with honor, dignity and always act on what is necessary for the common good.
  • Por todos los oficiales recién elegidos, para que sirvan a la gente con honro, dignidad y siempre actúen sobre lo que es necesario para el bien común.

Website tip

As the diocese continues to convert parishes to PDS, parishes are encouraged to visit the PDS information page on the diocesan website for the latest updates, schedules and registrations.


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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