The Friday E-Pistle (Aug. 28, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Deacon David Ochoa to St. Albert the Great Parish in Austin, effective Aug. 16, 2015.
  • Deacon John Pickwell to St. Peter Parish in Austin, effective Aug. 16, 2015.

Pastoral Plan update, Encounter that Leads to Transformation

Work on the Pastoral Plan continues and it will be presented to the priests at their October Convocation. Then on Oct. 12 at St. Mary Cathedral from 7 to 9 p.m. it will be presented to the pastors and parish representatives. Currently, a designer is working on material for a booklet, posters, handouts and banners. A study guide is being developed to help people understand and use the plan to reflect on their faith personally, among family members and within the parish community. In the weeks leading up to Oct. 12, more details about the Pastoral Plan will be shared here and on the diocesan website.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 13):

  • The Latin word for “sacrifice” literally means, “to make holy.” Jesus in his holiness suffered much. He has complete faith in God, His Father. Am I willing to carry my cross daily and follow Jesus to the Father? Can I echo the words of Isaiah, “I have not rebelled, have not turned back?”
  • La palabra en latín para "sacrificio" literalmente significa "hacer santo". Jesús en su santidad sufrió mucho. Él confía completamente en Dios, Su Padre ¿Estoy dispuesto a cargar mi cruz diariamente y a seguir a Jesús hacia el Padre? ¿Puedo hacer eco de las palabras de Isaías, cuando dice "y yo no me resistí ni me eché atrás"?


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreat

Retreat 101 will be held Sept. 19 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. This is a day designed for people who have never experienced a retreat, and an opportunity to get out of your routine and give yourself a chance to reflect upon how God moves in your life. It will be a casual day to discover God’s purpose. Wear comfortable clothes, shoes, and bring a friend if you want, or come to meet new friends. Feel refreshed and renewed and ready to move forward in your faith. Cheryl “Max” Maxwell, an extremely gifted retreat leader and former Director of the Office of Worship and Secretariat Director for Formation and Spirituality at the Diocese of Austin, will lead this retreat. Cost is $35 and includes lunch. For more information or to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436 or


Vocation Office

Borromeo House Discernment Dinner

Single, Catholic men ages 18 and up with an openness to discovering God’s will in their life are invited to an evening that includes dinner, prayer, fellowship, conversation about the priesthood, discernment, prayer and virtue. This group meets on the second Wednesday of the month at the St. Charles Borromeo House of Discernment, 905B Duncan Lane in Austin. The first dinner for the fall will be Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. For more information, visit


Worship Office

Cantor workshop

The Austin chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians is hosting a Cantor Workshop on Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at St. Elizabeth Parish in Pflugerville. Visit for more information and to register. The Beginning Cantor Workshop will be offered in English and Spanish. The Intermediate and Advanced Cantor Master Class will be offered in English only. Pre-registration, by Sept. 4, is $20, on-site registration is $25; a participant book is included. Voice lessons will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. ($20 due by Sept. 4 for a 30 minute session). Basic Cantor Certification is available with separate application and fee involved. For more information, e-mail or


Ethics & Integrity in Ministry

Facilitator Training for Called to Protect for Youth

On Oct. 3 the EIM office will train new facilitators for the Called to Protect for Youth, CTPY, program (the abuse prevention/education program for middle/high school students). The day-long CTPY facilitator training (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) prepares facilitators to present the CTPY program at their own parish/Catholic school, etc., – the frequency and location of workshops is up to the individual facilitator. Facilitators attending the training receive a manual and DVD that covers the logistics and details of the program, activities related to the program and information about the topic of sexual abuse.

Note: Parishes and schools in the Diocese of Austin are required to provide the Called to Protect for Youth program annually for their sixth and ninth graders; students in other middle and high school grades new to the parish/school should also be invited to attend. It is recommended that all parishes/Catholic schools have an in-house facilitator, or one with whom they regularly work, in order to simplify the scheduling of the program at the parish/school.

Those interested in being trained to facilitate the CTPY workshop should submit a New Facilitator Application, along with the requested information, to the EIM office by Sept. 18. Please contact Emily Hurlimann at (512) 949-2447 with questions. Once the application is received and reviewed by the EIM office, applicants will be contacted with details of the training session.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vasquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 13):

  • Called to be faithful disciples, may we open ourselves to God’s grace, which enables us to carry the cross ...
  • Que, llamados a ser discípulos fieles, nos abramos a la gracia de Dios, la cual nos permite cargar la cruz...


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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