The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 18, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Rev. Pedro Garcia-Ramirez, pastor of Santa Teresa Parish in Bryan, effective Oct. 9, 2015.
  • Rev. Efrain Villanueva, pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish in Pflugerville, effective Oct. 9, 2015.

A message of thanks

We wish to extend our appreciation to the many people who have written to offer their personal gifts of spiritual bouquets to us in preparation for the World Meeting of Families and the Synod of Bishops. We are grateful for your support and your pledge of prayers through participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Adoration, and the Rosary. ~ Bishops Vásquez and Garcia

Fall Retreat with Bishop Vásquez

Religious priests, sisters and brothers serving in the Diocese of Austin are invited to attend a Fall Retreat with Bishop Joe Vásquez on Oct. 10 at the Pastoral Center in Austin. The theme of the retreat is on the gifts of consecrated life. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and opening prayer begins at 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided. The retreat will conclude at 2:30 p.m. RSVP by Sept. 30 to Janice Ingram at (512) 949-2401.

Blessing for engaged couples

The readings of the Masses for Oct. 4 speak about marriage. Priests are welcome to offer a blessing for engaged couples at an appropriate time during the Mass. The following prayer, in English and Spanish, is taken from the Book of Blessings:

Lord God,
The source of all love,
The wise plan of your providence has brought these young people together.
As they prepare themselves for the sacrament of marriage and pray for your grace,
Grant that, strengthened by your blessing, +
They may grow in their respect for one another
And cherish each other with a sincere love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Señor Dios,
fuente de todo amor,
tu designio providente
hizo que estos prometidos se encontraran;
te pedimos
que a quienes imploran tu gracia
en este tiempo de preparación al matrimonio
les otorgues la ayuda de tu bendición, +
para que progresen en el mutuo afecto
y se amen con amor sincero.
Por Jesucristo, nuestro Señor.  Amén.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 4):

  • Today Christ speaks to us of relationships and hardness of hearts. We are created for relationship with God and others. The loving and self-giving relationship of man and woman in sacramental marriage is to be a model. Relationships require openness and give-and-take. Hardness of heart and stubbornness are obstacles to the communion of relationship. Where is my hard heartedness an obstacle to my relationship with others, the Church or God?
  • Hoy Cristo nos habla de relaciones y de dureza de corazones. Estamos creados para tener una relación con Dios y con los otros. La relación amorosa y dadora de si mismo(a), de un hombre y una mujer en matrimonio sacramental, debe ser un modelo. Las relaciones requieren apertura e intercambio. La dureza del corazón y la necedad son obstáculos para la comunión de la relación ¿Dónde está mi dureza de corazón siendo un obstáculo para mi relación con los otros, la Iglesia o Dios?


Vocation Office

Posters distributed at staff retreat

The 2015-2016 Seminarian and Religious Vocations posters will be distributed at the Administrative Staff Retreat at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center on Oct. 14. Parishes are encouraged to have a representative attend and pick up the posters, as putting them in the mailing tubes crinkles them permanently and costs a significant amount of postage. Please consider picking up posters for every religious education class, youth ministry room, altar server vesting area, and any other place where young people can see them.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 4):

  • For women and men united in sacramental marriage and those preparing for marriage, that constantly seeking God’s grace, they may embody Jesus’ sacrificial love and openness in their relationship with each other…
  • Por las mujeres y los hombres unidos en matrimonio sacramental y por aquellos preparándose para el matrimonio, para que al buscar continuamente la gracia de Dios, puedan representar el amor de sacrificio y la apertura de Jesús en su relación mutua.

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of October: Rev. John Kelley, Oct. 15, 1991; Rev. Johnson Nellissery, ISP, Oct. 18, 1997, and Rev. Samuel Hose, Oct. 19, 1991.

Art exhibit

The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin has opened an art exhibit called Re-envisioning the Virgin Mary: Colonial Paintings from South America. The exhibit will be on display through July 3, 2016. For more information visit

Faith & Family Night at the Texas Stars

The Texas Stars hockey team is sponsoring a Faith & Family Night on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. at their game against the Bakersfield Condors at the Cedar Park Center. See this flier for more information.


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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