The Friday E-Pistle (Nov. 14, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Deacon Jerry Opperman has been assigned to St. Philip in China Spring, effective Nov. 21, 2014.

  • Deacon David Boren has been assigned to St. William Parish in Round Rock, effective Nov. 24, 2014.

Special Collection: Nov. 22-23

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The following announcement should be made before all Masses that weekend:

  • The Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) provides funding for groups that make lasting change and uplift the poor in the United States. CCHD grants improve education, support economic development, and help communities provide housing in low-income neighborhoods. Help us continue to defend human dignity and aid those living on the margins of society. Please be generous.
  • La Colecta para la Campaña Católica para el Desarrollo Humano (CCHD) proporciona fondos para los grupos que efectúan cambios duraderos y mejoran la vida de los pobres en los Estados Unidos. Los donativos de CCHD mejoran la educación, apoyan el desarrollo económico y ayudan a las comunidades a ofrecer viviendas en vecindarios de bajos recursos. Ayúdenos a seguir defendiendo la dignidad humana y a socorrer a aquellos que viven al margen de la sociedad. Por favor, contribuya a la Colecta para CCHD.

Pastoral Plan Update

The Steering Committee, Core Team and Bishop Vásquez met Nov. 8 to review the third draft of the Pastoral Plan. The process was guided by Dominic Perri, the head of Essential Conversations, and began with a presentation by and dialogue with Bishop Vásquez. The committee then offered ideas and recommendations about how the document could be edited and further developed. It is hoped that these ideas can be incorporated and returned to the committee by Thanksgiving. After the final document is reviewed and approved, it will be presented to the priests and parish representatives on Feb. 28 at St. John Vianney Parish in Round Rock. 

Offices closed

All diocesan offices will be closed Nov. 27-28 in observance of Thanksgiving. Offices will reopen on Monday, Dec. 1. The E-Pistle will not be published on Friday, Nov. 28.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the First Sunday of Advent (Nov. 30):

  • Take some time to ask yourself, “Am I prepared for the Lord’s return?” What might you need to change to be ready?
  • Tómese el tiempo de preguntarse a sí mismo(a), "¿Estoy preparado(a) para el regreso del Señor?" ¿Qué puede ser que usted necesite cambiar para estar listo(a)?


Stewardship and Development Office

CSA follow-up weekend

Follow-up weekend for the Catholic Services Appeal is Nov. 15-16. Please continue to encourage your parishioners to give generously to this year’s appeal.  Bulletin announcements, pulpit announcements, prayers and more are available online in English and Spanish.

Appeal follow up

Please continue to thank parishioners for their support and for their commitment to the mission of the Church through their pledges to the Catholic Services Appeal. Please have pledge cards available for those still considering a gift to the appeal.

Campaign statistics are posted online weekly on the CSA website. Check there for figures to include in your bulletin or on your website as you record your parish’s progress toward meeting your goal.

PDS update

We have converted 21 parishes to PDS ChurchOffice in the month of November. The conversions are going well, and we are very grateful to the parish staff members who have converted thus far.

After much consideration, the PDS conversion team has decided NOT to do any conversions during the month of December. This decision was made because of the valuable information we have received from the parishes. The month of December is very busy with Advent and Christmas preparations as well as processing year-end donations and tax statements, etc. and we now realize adding a conversion to that mix is simply unrealistic. Therefore, all remaining conversions to PDS have been moved back by one month. An updated conversion schedule will be posted at this link


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreat

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


Pro-Life Activities

THRiVE! Returns to the Diocese of Austin

Last year a team of trained missionaries came to Central Texas to spread pro-life and chastity messages to teens and parents across the diocese. This year The Culture Project will team up with THRiVE! to proclaim the dignity of the human person and the richness of living sexual integrity and invite our culture to become fully alive. Parishes and schools can bring this dynamic, spiritually and catechetically formed group of speakers to your parents and teens. Presentations are appropriate for middle school, high school and college age. With the form below, register your parish or school by Dec. 15. For questions contact (512) 949-2486 or info@thrivetexas.orgTHRiVE! reservation request form can be found at

Pro-Life T-Shirt Contest

See hundreds wearing your design as they attend a day full of pro-life activities starting with a prayer vigil, living rosary, Mass, march and rally. Design must include the following text: Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day, and the date of the event, Jan. 24. Submit your design for the Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day T-shirt by Dec. 1 to Yvonne Saldaña. The winner, selected by our event committee, will receive five free T-shirts.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the First Sunday of Advent (Nov. 30):

  • As we begin the season of Advent, may we remember to keep "Christ" in Christmas ...
  • Mientras comenzamos la temporada de Adviento, para que recordemos mantener a Cristo como la parte fundamental de las celebraciones Navideñas....


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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