The Friday E-Pistle (Jan. 16, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Offices closed

Diocesan offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 19 in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

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 Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feb. 1):

  • Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus taught in the synagogue “as one having authority.” Can you recall a favorite catechism or religious education teacher? Say a prayer for that person and the good things they taught you.
  • El Evangelio de hoy nos dice que Jesús enseñó en la sinagoga "como alguien con autoridad." ¿ Puede recordar a su catequista o maestro de educación religiosa favorito? Ore por esa persona y las cosas buenas que le enseñó.


Stewardship and Development

Parish Renewal Workshop: Feb. 7, 2015

The Diocese of Austin is hosting a Parish Renewal Workshop on Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Albert the Great Parish in Austin. We will explore the spirituality of Catholic stewardship and develop a plan to spread the spirituality of stewardship through our parish communities. Father Joe Creedon, pastor emeritus of Christ the King Parish in Rhode Island, will be the keynote speaker with additional presentations by Paul Henderson of Pastoral Strategies and Tim Potrikus of Liturgical Publications, Inc. To register, contact Danielle Madrid at (512) 949-2440.


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 for a shared room, $195 for a private room, $85 for commuters. 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.


Missions Office

Mission Gathering for the New Year

The Office of Mission and Mission Education and the Diocesan Mission Council is hosting a Mission Awareness and Mission Animation gathering on Feb. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. Bishop Vásquez will offer remarks and participants will review the diocesan mission activities of the past that are administered by the Mission Office, hear from several lay missionary groups and discuss possibilities for the future. Complimentary brunch and lunch will be provided. To register, contact Christina Krueger at (512) 949-2407.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

The next Theology on Tap is scheduled for Feb. 5 at Casa Chapala (9041 Research Blvd. St. 100, 78758 ) in Austin, where Nola Flores will discuss Prayer and Temperament. She will discuss how prayer and personality can and should work together. We will begin with fellowship at 6 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m.


Social Concerns

Criminal Justice ministry

Volunteers are needed to help staff the Travis State Jail visitor center on Saturdays and Sundays. The role would be one of welcoming and support – greeting family members that have come to visit inmates at the unit, typically their wives and kids. Volunteers will not need to enter the unit, but rather will serve in the visitation facility, which is located just in front of the unit. Volunteers can choose their day and hours of service. Visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a good way to serve in this ministry without actually having to enter a prison unit. Please contact either Chaplain David Fuller at (512) 926-4482 or John Gilluly at (512) 949-2460 for more information or if you would like to volunteer.


Stewardship and Development

PDS update

Parish conversions to PDS resumed in January. An updated conversion schedule is posted at Parish staff can also register online for training for PDS ChurchOffice as well as the auxiliary modules. An important reminder to parishes that they have two weeks to review their data once it is converted.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vasquez' prayer intention for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feb. 1):

  • For all teachers and educators …
  • Por todos los maestros y educadores ... 

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of February: Rev. Pedro Garcia-Ramirez, Feb. 1, 1992; Rev. Joe Frazer, Feb. 25, 1984 and Rev. Leonard J. Onwumere, Feb. 28, 1990.

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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