The Friday E-Pistle (Oct. 23, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointment

  • Rev. Le-Minh Pham, pastor of Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Parish, Austin, effective Oct. 26, 2015.

Implementing the 2015 Pastoral Plan

At the Oct. 12 prayer service to promulgate the Pastoral Plan, participants were invited to record their response to what it means to be a Catholic or how they have encountered Jesus Christ. Their videos are available at

The faithful are encouraged to participate in the implementation process by reading and reflecting on the Pastoral Plan. It is also recommended that parish ministry leaders obtain the Study Guide and use it to lead their ministries and organizations in discussions and reflections during their regularly scheduled meetings and other parish gatherings. Visit the Pastoral Plan website at

Universal Prayer

Please add the following intention to the general intercessions at all Masses this weekend (Oct 24-25):

  • For those who worked to contain the Hidden Pines fire, for the crews and volunteers that supported them and for those who suffered the loss of property and natural resources, we pray to the Lord ...
  • Por aquellos que trabajaron para contener el fuego en Hidden Pines, por los equipos y voluntarios que los ayudaron y por aquellos que sufrieron la pérdida de propiedades y recursos naturales, oremos al Señor ...


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Nov. 8):

  • Imagine the situation of the first reading. Gathering two sticks to build a tiny fire over which to cook an equally tiny morsel of bread for yourself and your child. Then being destitute, the two would starve and die. Yet, she still shared with Elijah. The widow in the Gospel shows the same level of sacrificial giving. Has our encounter with the Lord left us with this deep love of God? Deep enough to give from our poverty not our surplus? Can we really love without giving deeply? Where are we being called to give deeply?
  • Imagine la situación de la primera lectura. El juntar dos pedacitos de madera para construir un fuego sobre el cual cocinar un igualmente pequeño pedazo de pan para usted y su hijo. Entonces, al ser destituida, ambos morirían de hambre. Aun así, ella compartió con Elías. La viuda en el Evangelio muestra el mismo nivel de donación con sacrificio ¿Nos ha dejado nuestro encuentro con el Señor con este profundo amor de Dios? ¿Podemos amar realmente sin dar profundamente? ¿Dónde estamos llamados a dar profundamente?


Stewardship and Development Office

Catholic Services Appeal

This weekend is Catholic Services Appeal Awareness and Education Weekend. Parishioners should see bulletin announcements and inserts, hear pulpit announcements and see campaign materials posted in the church. They should also hear prayers of the faithful that raise awareness of the Catholic Services Appeal. In addition, some parishioners may be shown the annual campaign video or hear from a guest speaker about the CSA during Mass. All registered parishioners should have already received a letter from Bishop Vásquez about the CSA.


Worship Office

Adult Confirmation

The diocesan Adult Confirmation liturgy will be celebrated Dec. 5 at 10:30 a.m. at Santa Cruz Parish in Buda. The registration deadline for this liturgy is Nov. 13. If your parish is unable to meet this deadline, the Worship Office can supply other dates where the bishops will celebrate confirmation at a nearby parish. Contact Kathy Thomas for more information about the celebration or registration at (512) 949-2429.


Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living Office

Organ Donation Awareness Weekend

November 13-15 is National Organ Donor Awareness Weekend. There are more than 122,000 people on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Prayerfully consider whether God is calling you to organ donation upon your death. Pope Francis described organ donation as “a testimony of love for our neighbor.” Please talk with your family about your wishes. It is important that they understand your desires. For general information, contact Michelle Segovia, of the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, at (512) 459-4848.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreats

  • How to Grieve, a day of reflection, will be held Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Walking through grief can be the most difficult part of life’s journey. Mourning can seem to intensify as the holidays approach. During this day of reflection, Judy Hoelscher, a Hospice chaplain, will explore Scripture, look at the natural journey of grief, and discover ways to face grief and seek healing. The cost is $35 and includes lunch. For more information or to register, contact or call (254) 780-2436.
  • Merciful Like the Father, a weekend retreat, will be held Nov. 6-8 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Deacons will lead this weekend which will follow the course of salvation history, from Eden to the presentation with Our Lady, St. John Paul II and St. Faustina. The 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.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

The next gathering of Theology on Tap will be Nov. 5 at Santa Rita Cantina (5900 W. Slaughter Ln., Austin, 78749) where Father Ryan Higdon, associate pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station, will present on relativism and truth. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with music, and the presentation begins at 7.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Nov. 8):

  • For this community of faith, that our encounter with the Lord in community, word and sacrament will fill us with love to offer ourselves in service to others ...
  • Por esta comunidad de fe, para que nuestro encuentro con el Señor en comunidad, palabra y sacramento nos llene con amor para que seamos capaces de ofrecernos a nosotros mismos en el servicio a los otros…


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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