The Friday E-Pistle (Oct. 30, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

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



Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Nov. 15):

  • As we experience difficulties and challenges in life, we must remember that Jesus is there sending his angels, his messengers to draw us in. Our encounter with Christ calls us to long for and cling to him. What are the things upon which I rely rather than clinging to Christ? Christ is always near and closest in our need. 
  • Mientras experimentamos dificultades y retos en la vida, debemos recordar que Jesús está ahí, enviando a sus ángeles, sus mensajeros para guiarnos. Nuestro encuentro con Cristo nos llama a esperarlo y sujetarnos a Él ¿Cuáles son las cosas con las que cuento en lugar de sujetarme a Cristo? Cristo siempre se encuentra más cerca a nosotros durante nuestra necesidad.


Communications Office

Spanish website

  • The Diocese of Austin has launched a new Spanish-language website:, which coincides with the release of the diocesan Pastoral Plan. The website was built by the Office of Communications in consultation with the offices of Hispanic Ministry and Evangelization and Catechesis. Parishes are asked to include a link to the Spanish-language website from their homepage.
  • La Diócesis de Austin acaba de lanzar un nuevo sitio web en español, disponible en El sitio web fue construido por la Oficina de Comunicaciones con la colaboración de las Oficinas del Ministerio Hispano y de Evangelización y Catequesis. El lanzamiento del sitio web en español coincidió con el lanzamiento del Plan Pastoral. Se les pide a las parroquias que incluyan un enlace al sitio en español desde las páginas de inicio de sus propios sitios web.


Pro-Life Activities

Volunteer Retreat

Day of Reflection for pro-life volunteers will be held Nov. 7 at the Schoenstatt Shrine to rebuild spiritual strength. To register or for more information, e-mail Mary Helen Russell or call (512) 949-2486.


Stewardship and Development

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.

PDS update

All parishes have converted to PDS (Parish Data System) and 99 percent of our parishes have been synced. A survey was sent to all parishes requesting feedback on the transition to PDS. Training for PDS will be offered on a quarterly basis at the diocesan Pastoral Center and will include classes for beginners and advanced users. The training dates are Jan. 26, April 26 and July 26.

A reminder to our parishes that when questions arise while working in the database, please utilize the PDS Support line at (877) 455-9300.


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.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Nov. 15):

  • For the Church, may our focus be on Christ who is always near ...
  • Por la Iglesia, para que nos enfoquemos en Cristo que está siempre cerca...

Seed of a New World

The Austin-made film, Seed of a New World, about living the Catholic faith heroically, is playing in Austin-area theaters. Follow the journeys of men and women from all over the world as they prepare for the 100th-anniversary celebration of the International Schoenstatt Movement. See the challenges they face, the joys they experience, and learn their secrets to living out their faith. Visit to buy tickets or visit to watch the trailer and find out how to host your own screening of Seed of a New World. (It can even be a fundraiser for your group.) For more information, contact Alex Quintana.


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.

Department Categorization: