The Friday E-Pistle (Jan. 9, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

World Day for Consecrated Life

The consecrated religious orders and communities of women and men serving in the Diocese of Austin will celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life on Jan. 31 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. The event begins with the celebration of the Eucharist at 10 a.m., followed by a luncheon in Bishop’s Hall. Jubilarians will be honored. Members of religious communities who have not already responded to the initial invitation, please respond by Jan. 23 to Janice Ingram at (512) 949-2401. Those who are celebrating a jubilee year in 2015 should also inform Janice Ingram.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jan. 25):

  • Jesus invites his new disciples to become fishers of men. Do you regularly pray for vocations? Have you invited someone to consider a vocation to the priesthood, diaconate or religious life?
  • Jesús invita a sus nuevos discípulos a convertirse en pescadores de hombres ¿Usted ora con regularidad por las vocaciones? ¿Ha invitado a alguien a considerar una vocación al sacerdocio o a la vida religiosa?


Black Catholics Office

MLK Mass

The annual diocesan Mass honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held Jan. 18 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. The main celebrant and homilist will be Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio. All are invited to attend.

Blood of the Martyrs Blood Drive

The Office of Black Catholics is sponsoring its 12th annual Blood of the Martyrs Blood Drive in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Austin on Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations can be made at a Blood and Tissue Center van on Chalmers Street between Eighth and 11th streets on the campus of Huston-Tillotson University. Donors should be 17 and have a picture ID and provide a Social Security Number. Appointments can be scheduled. For more information, contact Johnnie Dorsey at (512) 217-9616.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day: Jan. 14

Join thousands as we stand together to promote a Culture of Life within Texas on Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day on Jan. 24. Join in prayer at 7 a.m. at Planned Parenthood at 201 E. Ben White in Austin and proceed to St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin, by 9 a.m. for the Rosary for Life directed by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Mass with Bishop Joe S. Vásquez begins at 10 a.m. After Mass, join us in the parish hall for a delicious hot lunch prepared by the Knights of Columbus Council #13927. March with us at 1 p.m. starting from 1600 N. Congress to join the Rally at the Capitol at 2 p.m.

Culture of Life Celebratory Dinner

A Culture of Life has blossomed within Central Texas because of the efforts of the volunteers within the Diocese of Austin. Let us break bread together as we recognize parishes and their works to extend the hand of Christ to God’s people. Join us on Thursday, Feb. 12 at St. Helen Parish in Georgetown for the Culture of Life Celebratory Dinner and keynote speaker Chad Judice an award-winning author who will share his story of faith, strength and love of the gift of his son. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and program at 6:30 p.m. View to purchase tickets or contact the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living at (512) 949-2486 or e-mail Yvonne Saldaña for more information.

Gabriel Project Angels training 

Gabriel Project Angels are volunteers who work with those in need of emotional and spiritual support due to an unplanned pregnancy. There is a need for angels across the diocese. The next Gabriel Project Angel training will be held at Santa Cruz Parish in Buda on Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Mary Helen Russell at (512) 949-2488. 


Catholic Schools

Celebrating Catholic Schools Event

The seventh annual Celebrating Catholic Schools Event will be Jan. 24 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Hyatt, Town Lake in Austin. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey of the Diocese of Corpus Christi will be the keynote speaker. The evening includes a reception, dinner, honoree recognition, keynote speaker and an after party. To buy a table, ticket or make a donation, visit or contact Jean Bondy at (512) 949-2439.


Worship Office

White Mass with the Rite of Anointing of the Sick

The 13th annual White Mass will be celebrated Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at St. Louis King of France Parish in Austin. Mass will be celebrated and will include the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. This Mass, which is sponsored by the Austin Diocese and the Catholic Healthcare Guild, is intended for all Catholics working in health care as well as those in need of healing and anointing. A reception will follow after Mass. Please register at, if attending the Mass and/or to be anointed.

Rite of Election

The Rite of Election and the call to continuing conversion of candidates who are preparing for Confirmation and/or Eucharist or Reception into Full Communion of the Catholic Church will be celebrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in College Station on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. and at St. John Vianney Parish in Round Rock on Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please visit this page to register by Feb. 6.

Jesse Manibusan Concert and Workshop

Singer-songwriter and speaker Jesse Manibusan will offer a concert on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m., and a contemporary music workshop on Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. Both events will take place at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy in Austin. To purchase tickets and register, visit (group and discounted rates available). For more information, call the Worship Office at (512) 949-2429.


Ethics & Integrity in Ministry Office

Called to Protect for Youth facilitator training

On Jan. 31, the Ethics and Integrity in Ministry Office will train new facilitators for the Called to Protect for Youth program (the abuse prevention/education program for middle/high school students). The training is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Once trained, the frequency and location of workshops that facilitators choose to do are up to the individual facilitator. Note: Parishes and schools in the Diocese of Austin are required to provide the Called to Protect for Youth program annually for their sixth and ninth graders; students in other middle and high school grades new to the parish/school should also be invited to attend. It is recommended that all parishes/Catholic schools have an in-house facilitator, or one with whom they regularly work, in order to simplify the scheduling of the program at the parish/school.

Contact Emily Hurlimann, Coordinator of the Office of Ethics & Integrity in Ministry, to learn more and to receive a copy of the simple New Facilitator Application.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Feb. 6-8: Fireside Reflection: I Begin Now!

I Begin Now! Three simple words to remind us to live in the present time in the “presence of God.” If we take time to ponder and be aware, life can teach us many lessons. Brian Egan, Beverly Collin and Father Angelo Bertini will present this weekend retreat at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Cost is $160 shared room, $195 private room, $85 commuter rate. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or e-mail

Feb. 18: Ash Wednesday

The real sign of Lent is not the ashes but the cross. Jesus says, “If anyone wants to become my followers, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me” (Mk 8:35). Begin this Lenten journey by coming to Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton and reflecting on the challenges Jesus lays before us. We will begin with Mass and the distribution of ashes. Brian Egan, Beverly Collin and Father Angelo Bertini will present this retreat. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. Click here to register.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vasquez' prayer intention for the Second Week in Ordinary Time (Jan. 25):

  • For all those who promote vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life through prayer, action and support ...
  • Por todos aquellos que promueven las vocaciones al sacerdocio y a la vida consagrada a través de la oración, la acción y el apoyo...


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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