The Friday E-Pistle (Dec. 5, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Very Rev. Juan Carlos Lopez has been appointed as Vicar for Priests, effective Jan. 5, 2015.
  • Rev. Miguel Duarte Duran has been appointed as pastor of St. Anthony Marie de Claret Parish in Kyle, effective Jan. 5, 2015.
  • Rev. José Luis Comparán has been appointed as administrator of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Burnet and Holy Cross Mission in Bertram, effective Jan. 5, 2015.
  • Rev. Barry Cuba has been appointed as parochial vicar of San José Parish in Austin, effective Dec. 1, 2014.

Offices closed

All diocesan offices will be closed on Monday, Dec. 8 in observance of the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is a holy day of obligation. All offices will reopen on Tuesday, Dec. 9.

Penance services

A list of Advent Penance Services is now available on the diocesan website.

World Day of Peace

The Vatican has announced the theme and title for the annual World Day of Peace message that Pope Francis will release on Jan. 1: Slaves No More, But Brothers and Sisters. This 2-page flier provided by the USCCB is suitable for parish bulletins.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Dec. 21):

  • In today’s Gospel Mary accepts God’s invitation. Being an invited guest makes everyone feel special. Is there someone you know who needs to be invited to come back to Mass? Now is the perfect time to ask them.
  • En el Evangelio de hoy, María acepta la invitación de Dios. El ser un invitado nos hace a todos sentir especiales ¿Hay alguien que usted conozca que necesite ser invitado a regresar a Misa? Este es el tiempo perfecto para invitarlo...


Catholic Services Appeal

Update on pledges

Thank you for your continued support and generosity to the Catholic Services Appeal. To date, we have received pledges from more than 3,700 families totaling more than $1 million. Please continue to encourage your parishioners to generously support the CSA.

Follow-up letters to all non-donors will be mailed in early December. Additional follow-up letters are scheduled in January 2015.

Return instruction for CSA Pledges

A reminder to send the first two parish batches in your Return Mailer to the processing center in Minnesota. The remaining smaller batches should be returned to the Stewardship and Development Office and we will process them. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Rosenberger at (512) 949-2450.


Vocation Office

Vocation materials

Thanks to all the parishes that participated and picked up the vocation posters and materials at the Administrative Assistants’ Retreat at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center. Vocations promotion materials have now been distributed and mailed. If your parish has yet to receive any materials or if you need more, contact Julie Gray in the Vocation Office at (512) 949-2430. There are several boxes of St. Therese Vocation Society cards. Please consider picking up a box at the Pastoral Center for your RE classes or adoration chapels. Thank you for promoting a culture of vocations!

Heart of Jesus men’s discernment retreat

The Vocation Office is sponsoring the Heart of Jesus men’s discernment retreat Dec. 19-21 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. This retreat is a great opportunity to meet other men who are discerning the Lord’s call. The weekend includes silence, prayer, meals and reflections on how the Heart of Jesus reveals to us our true identity as men, shows us the depths of God’s desire for us, and is the place of authentic discernment. The retreat is open to Catholic men (ages 17 to 40) with an openness to a priestly vocation at varying stages of discernment. The registration fee is $35, and the deadline is Dec. 16. Register online.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Dec. 9: Annual Advent Dinner with Msgr. Louis Pavlicek 

The annual Advent Dinner will be held on Dec. 9 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. We will begin at 6:30 p.m. with wine and cheese, followed by dinner and a presentation. Msgr. Louis Pavlicek will be the guest speaker. The cost is $25. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail

Jan. 17: Love Among the Ruins

Love Among the Ruins, a day of reflection, will be held Jan. 17 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Father Angelo Bertini will lead an in-depth look at the book of Hosea. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day

Catholics from across the state will join together to stand in solidarity to promote a Culture of Life at Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day on Jan. 24. Purchase your T-shirt to wear throughout the day. Attend the prayer vigil at 7 a.m. at 201 E. Ben White Blvd., the Rosary for Life at 9:15 a.m. and Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin. Eat lunch in the Parish Activity Center at $5 a plate and continue to the March for Life, which will start at 1600 N. Congress and begins at 1 p.m. The March will process to the Capitol for the Rally for Life, which begins at 2 p.m. Buses will be available from downtown at 1600 N. Congress at 8 a.m., which will take you to St. Vincent de Paul and back. Pre-purchase bus tickets and T-shirts at For more information, contact Yvonne Saldaña at (512) 949-2486.


Stewardship and Development Office

PDS update

Parish conversions will resume in January. An updated conversion schedule is posted at We will still have December training for PDS ChurchOffice as well as the auxiliary modules. You can register online for these sessions.


Weekly notes

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions

Please consider Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for the month of December:

  • That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will …
  • Para que el nacimiento del Redentor traiga paz y esperanza a todos los hombres de buena voluntad..
  • That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith …
  • Para que los padres sean auténticos evangelizadores, transmitiendo a sus hijos el don precioso de la fe...

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vasquez' prayer intentions for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Dec. 21):

  • For peace in the Holy Land …
  • Por la paz en Tierra Santa...


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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