The Friday E-Pistle (July 31, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Papal visit to the US

The Diocese of Austin has received numerous requests for tickets to see Pope Francis when he visits the U.S. later this year.

Pope Francis will visit Washington, New York City and Philadelphia.

  • In Washington, the Mass for the Canonization of Junipero Serra will be held on the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Due to the size of the venue, this will likely be a ticketed event. Tickets are not expected to be distributed to those who live outside of the area. Pope Francis will address Congress on Sept. 24 and is expected to make a public appearance on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. The pope’s address will be broadcast outside on monitors and speakers. This will likely be the pope’s only “public” appearance in Washington.
  • The Archdiocese of New York is only distributing tickets to its parishioners for the Sept. 25 Mass at Madison Square Garden. Some tickets are being given to dioceses that surround New York City. No tickets are being made available to anyone outside of the New York area.
  • In Philadelphia, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass on Sept. 27. This is an open-air Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway that anyone can attend. Organizers expect 1.5 million people to attend this Mass.

The Diocese of Austin does not have tickets (or access to tickets) to distribute to any of the pope’s events.

Pope Francis’ full schedule is available here.

Confirmation scheduling

Parishes may now submit a request for scheduling a Confirmation liturgy for 2016. A letter was mailed last week to all pastors with instructions on how to submit a request online. Requests should be submitted by Aug. 21. The online system is available at

World Priest Day

World Priest Day is a celebration and affirmation of the men who commit their lives to the Lord and the Church via the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It is an opportunity for Catholic parishioners to thank, affirm and share their love and support for our priests. This year the Austin-Central Texas Area Worldwide Marriage Encounter Community will honor our priests along with deacons and seminarians within the Diocese of Austin on Oct. 22 at St. Ignatius Parish in Austin. Invitations will be mailed soon.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 16):

  • In today’s Gospel, Jesus says that he is “the living bread that came down from heaven” and that whoever eats this bread, which is flesh, will live forever. We realize that he is speaking about the Eucharist. What can you recall of your First Communion? Share these joyous memories with a family member or friend.
  • En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús dice que Él es "el pan vivo que vino del cielo" y que quien coma de este pan, que es su carne, vivirá por siempre. Nos damos cuenta de que Él está hablando de la Eucaristía ¿Qué puede usted recordar de su Primera Comunión? Comparta estas memorias gozosas con un miembro de su familia o un amigo.


Social Concerns

Next Justice and Peace Forum is Aug. 4

A Justice and Peace Forum will be held Aug. 4 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Ignatius Martyr Parish's Father Gene Dore Family Center in Austin. The forum is the most recent in the ongoing Courageous Conversation on Racism for the Austin area. Co-sponsors include the Diocese of Austin, Holy Cross Parish in Austin, St. Austin Parish in Austin, St. John Neumann Parish in Austin and Pax Christi Austin.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap in Austin

The next Theology on Tap will be Aug. 13 at Casa Chapala (9041 Research Blvd. Ste. 100, Austin, TX 78758) where a member of the diocesan pastoral plan committee share the plan in light of Pope Francis’ message of encounter, mission and evangelization in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Fellowship begins at 6 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7 p.m.


Worship Office


Each summer TeamRCIA offers a week of training videos, each about 15 minutes in length. This year’s topic is a Quick Start Guide to the RCIA. The videos titles are Dreaming and Communicating the Vision of the RCIA, Six Steps to Communicating a Great RCIA Vision to Your Team, How to Read a Rite, How to do Breaking Open the Word During Dismissal, The Three Levels of Evangelization, Five Essential Questions for Inquiry and The Parish as the Classroom.

These videos are always very informative, on target and very popular. Videos from previous years are also available for a minimal fee. Go to to watch them. The videos are free to view through Aug. 2.

Also, visit TeamRCIA’s recent BLOG posts

For RCIA or other liturgical/sacramental questions, contact the diocesan Worship Office at (512) 949-2429.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vasquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 16):

  • For faculty, staff, teachers and students as they return to school …
  • Por los profesores, empleados, maestros y estudiantes mientras regresan a clases...


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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