The Friday E-pistle (Dec. 11, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Pastoral Plan update

The year-long Jubilee of Mercy began this week. The Diocese of Austin’s implementation of the new Pastoral Plan coincides beautifully with the Jubilee of Mercy. This coming year is a blessed opportunity to encounter God's loving mercy and to be transformed by that encounter. Parishioners across the diocese received a complete copy of the Pastoral Plan in their December issue of the Catholic Spirit. Take these weeks and months to study the plan, access the Study Guide on the diocesan website and renew your personal encounter with Jesus Christ and receive his mercy. 


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for Christmas (Dec. 25):

  • “Today a Savior is born for us, Christ the Lord.” This Good News was first announced by the angels to shepherds, people generally seen as living on the fringe of society. How do I bring the Good News of Jesus to those on the edges of society?
  • "Hoy nos ha nacido un Salvador, Cristo el Señor" Esta Buena Nueva fue anunciada por los ángeles primero a los pastores, gente generalmente vista como la que vive en la periferia de la sociedad ¿Cómo llevo la Buena Nueva de Jesús a aquellos en la periferia de la sociedad?

Please consider using the following meditation for the feast of the Holy Family (Dec. 27):

  • In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus is separate from Mary and Joseph. They return to Jerusalem searching for him and find him in the Temple teaching the scholars. How do we stay attentive to the needs and desires within our family?
  • En el Evangelio de este domingo, Jesús se separa de María y José. Ellos vuelven a Jerusalén a buscarlo y lo encuentran en el Templo enseñando a los estudiosos ¿Cómo permanecemos atentos a las necesidades y deseos dentro de nuestra familia?


Youth Ministry

Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference

The Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference (DCYC) will take place at the Waco Convention Center on Jan. 29-31. At DCYC, participants will experience keynote speakers Father Joseph Espaillat, Sister Miriam James Heidland, Michael “Gomer” Gormley, sacraments, music, prayer, workshops, entertainment and more, all woven together under this year's theme of "Restless." Participants may register or find out more information through their parish youth minister.


Stewardship and Development Office

Update on pledges

Thank you for your continued support and generosity to the Catholic Services Appeal. To date, we have received pledges from more than 8,400 families totaling more than $2 million.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming Retreats

  • Healing Hearts is a weekend retreat designed for women who have suffered any kind of sexual trauma. The retreat begins Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. and concludes at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. The cost for the retreat is $135 and includes 2 nights, linens, materials and meals. The next retreat will be Jan. 22-24. For more information and to register, call (254) 780-2436 and ask for Beverly.
  • Encountering Christ is a retreat co-sponsored by Cedarbrake and led by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist on Jan. 30 at St. John Vianney Parish in Round Rock. The day retreat will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be based on the diocesan Pastoral Plan entitled “Encounter that Leads to Transformation.” The cost is $25 with lunch included. Register through Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez prayer request for Christmas (Dec. 25):

  • For the Church, to serve those who are silenced or neglected, such as the poor, immigrants and women. May we be God’s messengers manifesting the presence of Christ …
  • Por la Iglesia, para que sirva a aquellos que son silenciados o ignorados, tales como los pobres, los inmigrantes y las mujeres. Por que seamos mensajeros de Dios manifestando la presencia de Cristo...

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the feast of the Holy Family (Dec. 27):

  • For the people of God, may the love of Christ tangibly bind our families and guide our relationships …
  • Por la gente de Dios, que el amor de Cristo una tangiblemente a nuestras familias y guíe nuestras relaciones...


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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