The Friday E-Pistle (March 13, 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.

Chrism Mass

The Mass of Chrism will take place on March 31 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin. To order oils for your parish, please order online by March 18 at

Special collection: March 14-15

On the weekend of March 14-15, all parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for Catholic Relief Services. The following announcement should be read before all Masses that weekend:

  • This weekend we will take up the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) collection, which helps children, women and families around the world. The six worldwide organizations supported by the collection provide immediate humanitarian aid, pastoral support and disaster relief to our suffering brothers and sisters around the globe. This collection offers an opportunity for each of us to help Jesus in disguise. Please give generously to the Catholic Relief Services collection.
  • Este fin de semana se tomará la Colecta para los Servicios de Asistencia Católicos, que ayudan a niños, mujeres y familias en todo el mundo. Las seis organizaciones mundiales que reciben financiamiento de la Colecta proporcionan ayuda humanitaria inmediata, apoyo pastoral y auxilio en casos de desastre a nuestros hermanos y hermanas que sufren alrededor del mundo.  Esta colecta nos ofrece la oportunidad a cada uno de nosotros de ayudar a Jesús con otro rostro. Por favor, contribuyan generosamente a la Colecta para los Servicios de Asistencia Católica.


Reflection question


Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for Palm Sunday (March 29):

  • A woman prepares Jesus for his funeral by anointing him with expensive perfume. During this Lent, how have your prepared yourself for Christ’s Passion and Resurrection?
  • Una mujer prepara a Jesús para su funeral untándolo con perfume caro. Durante esta Cuaresma ¿Cómo se ha preparado usted para la Pasión y Resurrección de Cristo?


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

THRiVE!: Adult Seminar and Teen     

The Culture Project is traveling all over the Diocese of Austin to speak with middle/high school students and parents on both human dignity and sexual integrity. They are available to speak at parishes and schools before they leave on March 28. All are welcome to attend one of their scheduled appearances. For questions e-mail or call (512) 949-2486.

Respect Life Prayer Vigil in Austin                        

The next Respect Life Prayer Vigil in Austin is scheduled for March 21. As an outward sign of love, prayer angels join together on the third Saturday of each month to celebrate Mass, pray the rosary and attend Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This month the prayer vigil begins at 7 a.m. at St. Paul Parish in Austin.


Stewardship and Development

Catholic Services Appeal

Thank you for your continued support and generosity to the CSA. To date, we have received pledges from more than 17,000 families totaling more than $4.7 million. Follow-up letters to those who have not yet pledged were mailed last week. Follow-up phone calls began on March 9. To see the latest parish reports click here.


Catholic Charities of Central Texas

Volunteers needed

Catholic Charities of Central Texas is conducting a workshop at St. John Parish in Marble Falls on March 28 to efficiently serve individuals who may be eligible for immigration relief under the DACA program. (Learn more at Volunteers are needed to help individuals fill out the application. No prior immigration experience is necessary and training will be provided. Spanish-language skills are helpful, but not required. Lunch will be provided. Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteer training begins at 8 a.m. For more information contact Christina Vehar at (512) 651-6103.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

March 28: Love Among the Ruins

Love Among the Ruins, a day of reflection, will be held March 28 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


Weekly notes

Bishop Vasquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vasquez’ prayer intention for Palm Sunday (March 29):

  • For an end to violence and terrorism in the Holy Land ...
  • Por que la violencia y el terrorismo en Tierra Santa lleguen a su fin...


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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