The Friday E-Pistle (May 1, 2015)
A message from Bishop Vásquez
CRS responds to Nepal
Catholic Relief Services is responding to the disaster in Nepal and has committed resources to relief efforts. CRS and Caritas partners have already begun procuring emergency relief materials such as tarpaulins/shelter kits and water, sanitation and hygiene materials. Visit the Diocese of Austin's website for a special prayer and information on how to do donate.
Pastoral Plan update
Please click the link below to access the Pastoral Plan. The document has been translated into Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean. Please take a moment to read through it and be sure to share any of your thoughts, questions or concerns by emailing us. The Plan has three sections: Part I is the Overview; Part II is the Operational Plan; and Part III will be the Implementation Plan. The Core Team continues to receive ideas and recommendations for the plan’s implementation. During the month of May a survey will be sent to the priests to respond and offer their suggestions for implementation. In June, the Implementation Team will meet to start the process of reviewing the ideas and recommendations, then designing an Implementation Plan. Please continue to pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom to guide this process and pray for the diocese as we embark on a new chapter in our history.
Please consider using the following meditation for the feast of the Ascension (May 17):
- Today’s Gospel reading is a biblical basis for the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. How often do you pray for the sick?
- La lectura del Evangelio de hoy es el fundamento bíblico del Sacramento de la Unción de los enfermos ¿Con qué frecuencia ora usted por los enfermos?
Stewardship and Development Office
We have converted 70 parishes to PDS ChurchOffice. All parishes will be contacted by a diocesan database team member prior to their conversion date with information to prepare for the conversion. The parish will have two weeks to review their data after their conversion. Please see the website at http://www.austindiocese.org/pds for the schedule as well as training sessions. We are also beginning the data synchronization process from the parishes to the diocese. The upcoming conversions this week are St. Thomas More in Austin, St. Ignatius Martyr in Austin and St. Louis in Waco.
Ideas to Impact Conference: May 26-29
The PDS Ideas to Impact Conference will be in Dallas May 26-29. PDS is offering a special diocesan discount of $350 per registration if we send 10+ attendees to the conference. Please see the PDS website for information on the conference at: http://www.ideastoimpact.com. Contact Lisa Rosenberger at (512) 949-2450 if you are interested in attending.
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
- Stewardship Parish Certification
For more information on these awards, or to apply, visit http://catholicstewardship.com/parishes/parish-stewardship-awards. The deadline to submit materials is June 30.
Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center
Healing Hearts, a weekend retreat designed for women who have suffered abuse and seek healing, will be held May 29-31 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The weekend begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $135 (includes room, linens, materials and meals). For more information and to register, call (254) 780-2436 and ask for Beverly Collin.
Strategic Plan survey
As part of the ongoing commitment to implementing the Catholic schools strategic plan and improving Catholic school education throughout the Diocese of Austin, the Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) is conducting an online survey to address the education choices for your children. The OCS hopes to understand why parents choose to enroll or not to enroll their children at a Catholic school. Please visit the www.csdatx.org website to complete the survey in English or Spanish. Please complete the survey by May 18.
Evangelization and Catechesis Office
- A Publishers’ Day for Adult Faith Formation will be held at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin May 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (lunch provided) and again in abbreviated form from 6 to 9 p.m. Publishers’ representatives will display a range of catechetical programs and Bible study materials for adults, in both English and Spanish. Publishers include Our Sunday Visitor, Loyola Press, Lighthouse Catholic Media (Augustine Institute, Word on Fire, Ignatius Press, Hearts Afire), Ascension Press, Paulist Press, and Little Rock Scripture Study. Parishes are welcome to send anyone interested in catechesis for adults—volunteer catechists, Bible study leaders, deacons, and pastors. Please contact Carolyn Martinez to register, especially if you will need a lunch.
- Online registration for 2015 Summer Formation & Certification Classes is open. Courses for both basic and advanced levels, English and Spanish, begin June 1 at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin and also at six remote deanery sites via Google Hangout. Courses are open to any adult but especially to catechetical leaders and Catholic school catechists working on certification requirements. No payment is required at the time of online registration.
Justice and Peace Forum
Join in the next courageous conversation on the increasing number of tragic deaths of unarmed black men onn May 18 at 7 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish in Austin. The forum is co-sponsored by Holy Cross Parish; the Diocese of Austin, the Office of Social Concerns, the diocesan Office of Black Catholics, St. Austin Parish, St. John Neumann Parish and Pax Christi Austin. All are invited to attend.
Bishop Vásquez' prayer intention
Please consider using the following prayer intention for feast of the Ascension (May 17):
- For families, may their bonds be strengthened as they share the Eucharist …
- Por las familias, para que sus lazos se fortalezcan mientras comparten la Eucaristía ...
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.