The Friday E-Pistle (Nov. 13, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Special Collection: Nov. 21-22

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Nov. 21-22. The following announcement should be made before all Masses that weekend:

  • The Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) provides funding for groups that make lasting change and uplift the poor in the United States. CCHD grants improve education, support economic development, and help communities provide housing in low-income neighborhoods. Help us continue to defend human dignity and aid those living on the margins of society. Please be generous.
  • La Colecta para la Campaña Católica para el Desarrollo Humano (CCHD) proporciona fondos para los grupos que efectúan cambios duraderos y mejoran la vida de los pobres en los Estados Unidos. Los donativos de CCHD mejoran la educación, apoyan el desarrollo económico y ayudan a las comunidades a ofrecer viviendas en vecindarios de bajos recursos. Ayúdenos a seguir defendiendo la dignidad humana y a socorrer a aquellos que viven al margen de la sociedad. Por favor, contribuya a la Colecta para CCHD.

Implementing the New Pastoral Plan

Many pastors and parish representatives have received the Pastoral Plan along with posters and handouts. The diocesan staff is in the process of distributing materials to those who were not able to attend the Oct. 12 prayer service. If you or someone from the parish is planning to be at the Pastoral Center and have not received the Pastoral Plan materials, please let us know. Our main task over the next few months is to distribute the plan, communicate information about it and add content to the Pastoral Plan web page. The Study Guide is now available on the website in English and in Spanish. It is designed for parishioners and parish organizations to use the plan to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and grow in their understanding of the Pastoral Plan. We are also building content for the Pastoral Plan Toolbox, which will contain ideas about communicating the plan and making it available to parishioners. There is also a separate Toolbox that identifies ideas and resources for particular initiatives and objectives. Additional details about the Pastoral Plan can always be found at


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the First Sunday of Advent (Nov. 29):

  • During Advent, the Lord asks us to reflect on where our attention lies. Our society says we are to strive to have everything now. More is considered better. The struggle for more and new things creates chaos in our lives and turns us in on ourselves. Today, Jesus calls us to be vigilant keeping our focus on Christ so that we recognize him and run to meet him, both in our daily lives and at his final coming. How can I be more aware of Christ's presence in my life (family, friends, co-workers, etc.)? 
  • Durante el Adviento, el Señor nos pide que reflexionemos sobre dónde está nuestra atención. Nuestra sociedad nos dice que debemos tratar de tenerlo todo ahora. Tener más se considera mejor. La lucha por más cosas y por nuevas cosas crea un caos en nuestras vidas y nos hace centrarnos en nosotros mismos. Hoy Jesús nos llama a estar vigilantes, manteniendo nuestro enfoque en Cristo para que podamos reconocerlo y correr a su encuentro, tanto en nuestras vidas diarias como durante su venida final ¿Cómo puedo estar más consciente de la presencia de Cristo en mi vida (en mi familia, amigos, compañeros de trabajo, etc.)?


Stewardship and Development

Catholic Services Appeal

Follow-Up Weekend for the Catholic Services Appeal is Nov. 14-15. For more information, visit the CSA website.


Vocations Office

Heart of Jesus Men’s Discernment Retreat

The annual Heart of Jesus Men’s Discernment Retreat will be held Dec. 18-20 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. This retreat is for Catholic men (ages 17 to 40) with an openness to a priestly vocation and at varying stages of discernment. The weekend will include silence, prayer, meals and talks by priests and seminarians. This is a great opportunity to spend time with other men who are seeking God’s will for their life. Come discover the key to your identity as a man and your vocation in the Heart of Jesus. For more information, visit or contact the Vocations Office at (512) 949-2430.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the First Sunday of Advent (Nov. 29):

  • May our community of faith continue to be attentive to Christ in preparation for the coming of the Lord…
  • Por que nuestra comunidad de fe continúe poniendo su atención en Cristo en preparación para la venida del Señor...


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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