The Friday E-Pistle (Oct. 2, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Oct. 12: Launch of the Pastoral Plan

On Oct. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin the 2015 Pastoral Plan will be presented to pastors and parish representatives. Parishes will receive the entire plan booklet, posters and handouts. A study guide will be included to help people understand and use the plan to reflect on their faith personally, among family members and within the parish community. To RSVP for the Oct. 12 event, e-mail Margaret Kappel. All materials will be presented in English and Spanish then made available in Vietnamese and Korean via the diocesan website. Additional details about the Pastoral Plan will be shared here, on the diocesan website and through other regular communication networks. Any questions regarding the Pastoral Plan may be e-mailed to


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 18):

  • What is my motivation? Glory or service? This is what Jesus asks his disciples. Many of us may prefer glory to service but Jesus teaches us that true glory is service. To be great is to be servant of all. Start small. How can I humble myself to become a true servant to others?
  • ¿Cuál es mi motivación? ¿La Gloria o el servicio? Esto es lo que Jesús pregunta a sus discípulos. Muchos de nosotros prefieren la gloria al servicio pero Jesús nos enseña que la verdadera gloria es el servicio. Ser grande es ser es estar al servicio de todos. Comience con algo pequeño ¿Cómo puedo ser más humilde para convertirme en un verdadero siervo de otros?


Stewardship and Development

Catholic Services Appeal

  • Thanks to those who attended the training sessions or deanery meetings concerning the Catholic Services Appeal. You should have received your materials at those meetings. If your parish has not received CSA materials, please e-mail Margaret Kappel or call (512) 949-2444 to arrange for pick-up of your CSA materials.
  • CSA postcards will be mailed this week to every Catholic family in the Diocese of Austin. Postcards contain a message from Bishop Vásquez and a QR (Quick Response) code directing readers to our website,, where they can learn more about the programs supported by the CSA and watch this year’s CSA video.


Hispanic Ministry

Diocesan Matachine Retreat

  • The Office of Hispanic Ministry will hold a retreat for all Matachines groups on Oct. 31 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Participant fee is $15 per adult and $12 for members between the ages of 12-18. No child care will be available. Register online or print the form and mail in your check. For more information, e-mail Edgar Ramirez or call (512) 949-2468.
  • La Oficina del Ministerio Hispano llevará a cabo un retiro para todos los grupos de Matlachines el día 31 Octubre en el Centro Católico de Retiros Cedarbrake en Belton. El costo para el participante es de $15 por adulto y $12 para miembros de edades entre 12 y 18 años de edad. No habrá cuidado para niños. Regístrese en línea en  o imprima el formulario y mande su cheque por correo. Para mayor información, escriba por correo electrónico a Edgar Ramirez o llame al  (512) 949-2468.


  • On Dec. 5 a diocesan Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be held at St. Anthony Marie de Claret Parish in Kyle. Everyone is welcome to join in the procession which will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will be followed by a Mass celebrated by Bishop Daniel Garcia. A festival will immediately follow the Mass. Gather people from your ministry or parish and bring a banner or create a float to enter. For more information, e-mail Edgar Ramirez or call (512) 949-2468.
  • El día 5 de diciembre, se llevará a cabo una Celebración Diocesana de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en la Parroquia de St. Anthony Marie de Claret en Kyle. Todos son bienvenidos a unirse a la procesión que comenzará a las 8:30 de la mañana y será seguida por una Misa celebrada por el Obispo Daniel García. Un festival seguirá inmediatamente a la Misa. Reúna a gente de su ministerio o parroquia y traiga un estandarte o cree un carro alegórico para participar. Para mayor información, envíe un correo electrónico a Edgar Ramirez o llame al (512) 949-2468.


Finance Office


Special collection money due

Please send funds collected for the Peter’s Pence Special Collection taken up June 27-28 to the diocesan Finance Office as soon as possible. Send checks to Finance Office, Diocese of Austin, 6225 Highway 290 East, Austin, TX 78723.


Pro-Life Activities

Volunteer Retreat – Day of Reflection

Day of Reflection for pro-life volunteers will be held Oct. 10 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton to rebuild spiritual strength. To register or for more information, e-mail Mary Helen Russell or call (512) 949-2486.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreats

  • “Created in His Image,” a day of reflection with Father Joseph Nisari, will be held Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. With psychology and Scripture, Father Nisari will address the question of “Who am I?” with participants. The cost is $35, which includes lunch. For more information or to register, contact or call (254) 780-2436.
  • “Called, Gifted and Sent!” a retreat with Ursuline Sister Bridget Haase, will be held Oct. 23-25 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The retreat will reflect on how our calling to be a child of God immerses us in the sacred of everyday life, enkindles us with the fire of love and anoints us for service to the world. Sister Bridget is from Boston and has hosted a talk show on EWTN for many years. Cost is $195 for a private room, $160 per person for a shared room and $85 for commuters. For more information or to register, contact or call (254) 780-2436.


Ethics and Integrity in Ministry

Facilitator Training for adult workshops

On Oct. 31, the Ethics and Integrity in Ministry Office will train new facilitators for the EIM workshops for adults (Basic and Refresher). The day-long facilitator training (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) equips facilitators to present the workshops at their own parish/Catholic school. The frequency and location of workshops that facilitators choose to do is up to the individual facilitator. Facilitators attending the training receive a manual and DVDs that cover the logistics and details of the programs and information about the topic of sexual abuse. Those interested in being trained to facilitate the EIM workshops should submit a New Facilitator Application, along with the requested information, to the EIM office by Oct. 16. E-mail Emily Hurlimann or call (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

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions

Please consider Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of October:

  • That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated …
  • Por que sea erradicada la trata de personas, forma moderna de esclavitud...
  • That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it …
  • Para que con espíritu misionero, las comunidades cristianas del continente asiático anuncien el Evangelio a todos aquellos que aún lo esperan.

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 18):

  • As disciples of Jesus, may we constantly serve rather than be served ...
  • Que, como discípulos de Jesús, sirvamos constantemente en lugar de ser servidos...

March for Religious Freedom

The Greater Austin Area Chapter of the Knights of Columbus will sponsor a March for Religious Freedom on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 22. The march begins in Wooldridge Park at 10 a.m. The rally at the Capitol starts at 11 a.m. For more information, visit or call (512) 573-3820.


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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