The Friday E-Pistle (Feb. 27, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Participate in the 2015 Synod on the Family Survey

At the conclusion of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, celebrated in 2014 to treat the topic, The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization, Pope Francis decided to make public the Relatio Synodi, the document which concluded the synod’s work. At the same time, the Holy Father indicated that this document would be the Lineamenta for the XIV Ordinary General Assembly to take place Oct. 4-25 to treat the topic, The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World. The Lineamenta has a series of questions aimed at knowing how the document is received and to generate an in-depth examination of the work initiated during the Extraordinary Assembly. In the spirit of dialogue, Pope Francis wishes to receive further feedback from Catholics on the outcome of the Extraordinary Synod to help the Church prepare for the Ordinary Synod on the Family that is scheduled for Oct. 4-25, 2015. The Catholic Diocese of Austin would appreciate some of your time to fill in this survey so that we can help shape the response that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will send to Rome in April 2015. Feel free to answer all or only some of the questions that most interest you. Due to the time needed by the Holy See to assemble this material, your responses to this survey must be received no later than March 13, 2015.

Lumen Gentium

The 2015 Lumen Gentium ceremony will be June 16 at the Mayborn Center in Temple. A letter was sent last week to pastors explaining this year’s nomination process. Nominations are due March 20. For questions, contact Christian R. González at (512) 949-2456.

Pastoral Plan Update

A report about the Pastoral Plan was presented to the Presbyteral Council and to the Deans. These priests offered insightful recommendations on how to engage everyone in the process of designing an Implementation Plan. In addition, the diocesan staff has had opportunities to reflect on the priorities and initiatives and to offer ideas about the implementation process. We are also inviting priests, deacons, religious and lay people to attend a gathering session to review the plan and provide ideas about the implementation. All sessions will be offered in English and Spanish and held from 7 to 9 p.m. as follows:

  • Monday, March 23: St. Joseph Parish in Bryan
  • Thursday, March 26: Pastoral Center in Austin
  • Monday, April 13: St. John the Evangelist Parish in Marble Falls
  • Thursday, April 16: St. John the Evangelist Parish in San Marcos
  • Thursday, April 23: St. Louis Catholic School in Waco

To have enough handouts and refreshments, please register, if you plan to attend. People may register individually or as a group.


A message from Bishop-elect Garcia

The Mass of Ordination will be broadcast via livestream on The broadcast will begin at 1:45 p.m.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (March 15):

  • Jesus recalled Moses lifting the serpent so the Israelites could be healed of their snakebites. Consider spending some time in prayer this week for those who need healing.
  • Jesús recordó cuando Moisés levantó la serpiente para que los israelitas pudieran ser sanados de sus mordeduras de serpiente.  Considere el pasar algo de tiempo en oración esta semana por aquellos que necesitan sanar.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

14 de marzo: El Camino del Corazon

El Camino del Corazón: En Comunión con Dios se llevará a cabo el 14 de marzo en el Centro Católico de Retiros Cedarbrake en Belton de 9 a.m. a 2 p.m. Edgar Ramírez, Director del Ministerio Hispano de la Diócesis de Austin presentará este día de silencio, oración y reflexión para encontrar la fuerza y la sabiduría que guió a Jesús en el desierto, a la cruz y a la vida eterna. El Costo es de $25 e incluye el almuerzo y los materiales. Para registrarse, vaya a Por favor regístrese antes del 10 de marzo.


Stewardship and Development

PDS update

Parish conversions will be ongoing through August 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 as well as training sessions. The upcoming conversions this week are Holy Cross Parish in Austin, St. Martin de Porres Parish in Dripping Springs and St. Joseph Parish in Bryan.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

THRiVE!: Adult Seminar upcoming dates

THRiVE! Adult Seminars will take place on Feb. 27 in Waco (6:30-8 p.m.), March 6 in Bryan (7-8 p.m.) and March 8 in Austin (4-5:30 p.m.). Spanish interpretation will be available at these events. These free events will feature The Culture Project missionaries who are part of a movement of young people committed to building a Culture of Life by educating on pro-life and chastity messages. Parents, pastors and educators are welcome. Please register for the event at or call (512) 949-2486.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

Deacon Dan Lupo will discuss "Making Connections During Times of Transition" at the next Theology on Tap on March 12 at Casa Chapala (9041 Research Blvd. St. 100, Austin, 78758). Fellowship begins at 6 p.m. with the presentation starting at 7 p.m.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez' prayer intention

Please consider using the following prayer intention for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (March 15):

  • For students, teachers and faculty who are on Spring Break, that they may have safe travels and be spiritually refreshed …
  • Por los estudiantes, maestros y profesores que se encuentran en Receso de Primavera (Spring Break), para que viajen con seguridad y puedan ser espiritualmente refrescados...

Website tip

To make upcoming retreats easier to find, the Diocese of Austin has created a “Retreat Center” link on the diocesan homepage under the “In Your Community” banner.


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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