The Friday E-Pistle (April 24, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

This Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter or Good Shepherd Sunday, is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In his message for this celebration, our Holy Father Pope Francis reminds us: “To offer one’s life in mission is possible only if we are able to leave ourselves behind.” Please continue to pray for more men and women to answer the Lord’s call to offer their lives joyfully to him in the priesthood or consecrated life. In addition, think about men and women in your parish whom you can invite to consider this call. In a recent USCCB study of the 2015 priestly ordination class, the men reported that they were encouraged to consider a priestly vocation by an average of four people. Think of the effect you could have in fostering vocations in your parish and your own family — not only by your prayers, but also by your invitation.

Adult Confirmation

The spring 2015 Diocesan Adult Confirmation will take place at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Cedar Park on May 16 at 10:30 a.m. If you are the RCIA director of your parish, you may register your candidate(s) by visiting The deadline to register is May 5 at 5 p.m. Please note that the Q&A/Guidelines have changed — especially the dress code. For questions, contact Jorge Nunez at (512) 949-2429.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 10):

  • In today’s Gospel Jesus reminds us to love one another. What does it mean to love one another? Prayerfully review the Ten Commandments, notice that the first three are about loving God and the last seven are about loving our neighbor.
  • En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús nos recuerda que nos amemos unos a otros ¿Qué significa amarnos unos a otros? En oración revise los Diez Mandamientos, note que los primeros tres son sobre amar a Dios y los últimos siete son sobre amar al prójimo.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

The next Theology on Tap gathering is May 7 at Ten Thousand Villages (4803 Burnet Road, Austin, 78756) where Leti Bueno, High School Youth Minister at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Austin will talk about fair trade. Please note that due to this location, food will not be available. However, you are encouraged to bring your dinner with you, if you would like to eat. Fellowship begins at 6 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7 p.m.


Youth and Young Adults

World Youth Day 2016

There are a few spots available on the Diocese of Austin World Youth Day Krakow pilgrimage scheduled for July 2016. Youth (ages 16 to 18 and their chaperones) and young adults (ages 19 to 35) are invited to contact Adrian Sanchez or visit for more information.


Stewardship and Development Office

Awards submissions

Each year, the International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC) recognizes parishes that have best promoted the spirituality of stewardship during the year. Parishes may enter their stewardship promotional materials for consideration in the following categories:

Parish Stewardship Recognition

  • Archbishop Thomas Murphy Award
  • Parish Stewardship Commitment Renewal
  • Parish Stewardship Video
  • Parish Capital Campaign Effort

Parish Certification

  • Stewardship Parish Certification

For more information on these awards, or to apply visit: The deadline to submit materials is June 30.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living

Pro-Life T-Shirt contest

Create a T-shirt and submit the design electronically by May 4. The winner's design will be worn on Jan. 23 at the Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day Annual Events at the Capitol and around town. Send entry to Yvonne Saldaña or call (512) 949-2486 for more information.

Theology of the Body

Theology of the Body leadership classes will be conducted around the diocese this summer. Leadership classes are an essential tool for educators. This facilitated program allows the authors of the curriculum to teach segments of the program to help you better understand the message about the beauty and dignity of being human. This series will include commentaries by authors Jason and Crystalina Evert and Brian Butler. This program will help catechists, DREs and school teachers fulfill the 8-hour TOB/Chaste Living requirement and counts as continuing education for the Adult Formation Program. For registration questions, please call (512) 949-2486.

Helpline Angel Training 

Volunteers are needed to answer and respond to calls made to the Diocesan Pro-Life Helpline. Most calls are from women facing a difficult pregnancy or women and men turning to the church for help after an abortion. There is a great need for Helpline Angels from throughout the diocese and training will be provided. Talk with our Pastoral Care Coordinator and she will help you decide if you are called to this important ministry. Helpline Angel Training will be held at St. William Parish in Round Rock on June 13. For more information or to register for the training, contact Mary Helen Russell at (512) 949-2488.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

June 5-10: Desert Solitude

The practice of intentional silence is non-negotiable. It is essential to growth and spiritual awakening. You just have to do it! Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton offers that opportunity with Desert Solitude, a six-day silent retreat. Centering prayer and daily Mass are at the heart of this retreat. Options are available for three-, four- and five-night retreats. To register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.

6 de junio: La Mujer Samaritana Nuestra Sed para Dios

Todos tenemos sed de Dios y estamos buscando a Dios en nuestras vidas. Jesús encontro a una mujer samaritana y  le ofreció agua viva y un nuevo comienzo en su vida. "El que beba del agua que yo le doy nunca volverá a tener sed, y el  agua que yo le doy brotará como un manatial dentro de él" dice Jesús. El día de retiro incluye presentaciones sobre Juan 4:1-42, tiempo para compartir en grupos y tiempo en silencio. El día será guiado por la Hermana Elena (Helen) Raycraft, OP. El costo es de $25 y el almuerzo está incluido. Para registrase, contacte al Centro de Retiros Cedarbrake escribiendo a: o llamando al (254) 780-2436.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez' prayer intention

Please consider using the following prayer intention for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 10):

  • For all mothers, living and deceased ...
  • Por todas las madres, vivas y difuntas ...


Ethics and Integrity in Ministry

EIM Basic and Refresher Workshops

Click here to login to your EIM account in order to find the workshop schedule and Sign Up for a Workshop (bottom right of your account page). Instructions are provided in case you do not recall how to login to 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. For general information about EIM workshops, please click here.

EIM Basic and Refresher Workshops are scheduled 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 should coordinate with their EIM site administrator. If the site administrator has arranged workshop details with a facilitator, then an email to the EIM office with those details is sufficient to request a workshop; otherwise workshop requests should be made by the site administrator using the Workshop Request Table. EIM site administrators may direct inquiries about EIM workshop scheduling to Emily Hurlimann in the EIM Office at (512) 949-2447.

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