The Friday E-Pistle (Dec. 18, 2015)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Rev. Christopher Ferrer, JCL, pastor, St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Austin, effective Jan. 4, 2016.
  • Rev. Hilario Guajardo, pastor, Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Granger, effective Jan. 4, 2016.
  • Rev. Cesar Guzman-Diaz, pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Temple, effective Jan. 4, 2016.
  • Rev. Richard Tijerina, pastor, St. Mary Parish in Wimberley, effective Jan. 4, 2016.

Office closings

Diocesan offices will be closed Dec. 24-25 in observance of Christmas. Diocesan offices will be closed on Jan. 1 in observance of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.

E-Pistle schedule

The next edition of the Friday E-Pistle will be published on Jan. 8.

Pastoral Plan update

On Jan. 28 Bishop Daniel Garcia will give a presentation in Spanish on the Pastoral Plan and God's generous gift of Mercy. This event is the first in a series presented by both bishops. The Jan. 28 event will be held at San José Parish in Austin from 7 to 9 p.m. and will include prayer and reflection and a reception will conclude the evening. An English presentation will take place on March 10. See the diocesan website for additional information and a flier that can be shared with parishioners.

Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for Epiphany (Jan. 3):

  • The star guided the Magi to seek the “newborn king of the Jews.” Who serves as the light of God in my life? How does my life serve as a light of God leading others to find and encounter Christ?
  • La estrella guió a los Magos a buscar al "rey de los Judíos recién nacido" ¿Quién sirve como la luz de Dios en mi vida? ¿Cómo sirve mi vida como luz de Dios que guía a otros a encontrar a Cristo?

Please consider using the following meditation for the Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 10):

  • When was the last time you were filled with expectation? Advent? Christmas? January 1? Birth of a Child? Marital engagement? Graduation? New school? New job? New city? How did that feel? Was it a mixed feeling of anxious anticipation with uncertainty of the unknown? United with Christ in baptism our expectation has transformed into mission. How will your mission reveal Christ in their life?
  • ¿Cuándo fue la última vez que estuvo lleno de expectativas? ¿Adviento? ¿Navidad? ¿El primer día de enero? ¿En el nacimiento de un niño? ¿Cuándo se comprometió en matrimonio? ¿En su graduación? ¿Cuando comenzó en una nueva escuela? ¿Cuando comenzó en un nuevo empleo? ¿Cuando se mudó a una nueva ciudad? ¿Cómo se sintió eso? ¿Fue un sentimiento mezcla de anticipación ansiosa con la incertidumbre de lo desconocido? Al estar unidos con Cristo en el bautismo, nuestra expectativa se transformó en misión ¿Cómo revelará su misión a Cristo en su vida?

Please consider using the following meditation for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jan. 17):

  • How do we respond? Do we follow the example of Mary and bring our concerns to the Lord? Do our expectations limit our ability to see God’s presence all around us? Do we listen to the Lord?
  • ¿Cómo respondemos? ¿Seguimos el ejemplo de María y llevamos nuestras preocupaciones al Señor? ¿Nuestras expectativas limitan nuestra habilidad de ver la presencia de Dios a nuestro alrededor? ¿Escuchamos al Señor?


Pro-Life Activities

Gabriel Project Angels training 

Gabriel Project Angels are volunteers who work with those in need of emotional and spiritual support due to an unplanned pregnancy. There is a need for angels across the diocese. The next Gabriel Project Angel training will be held at St. Paul Parish in Austin on Jan. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Register online or for more information, contact Mary Helen Russell at (512) 949-2488.


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 11,700 families totaling more than $3 million.


Youth Ministry

TEC Retreat

Candidate applications are now being accepted for the upcoming TEC Retreat to be held Jan. 16-18 at Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center in Burnet. TEC is an experience specifically designed for youth who are at least juniors in high school through young adults in their 20s. A TEC retreat is three days of a series of meditations, discussions and sacramental liturgies, as well as time for socializing, singing, reflection and recreation. Most of all, TEC is an experience of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. Participants may register at The fee is $100 and scholarships are available. For more information, please contact Alison Tate at (512) 949-2465.


Young Adult Ministry & Stewardship and Development

Emerging Leaders Program

Applications are now available for the second annual class of the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) to be held between March and May of 2016. ELP is the Diocese of Austin’s initiative to identify, develop and support future lay leaders in the diocese and communities in its boundaries. Participants will receive valuable leadership formation and learn from Catholic leaders in the business, government and non-profit sectors and be empowered to exercise their faith in positions of leadership in their parishes and communities. Professionals between the ages of 21 and 40 are invited to participated. More information, a program schedule and the application can be found at


Weekly notes

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of January: Rev. Dominic Perunilam, Jan. 1, 1985; Rev. Charles Johnson, Jan. 1, 1994; Rev. Joseph Nisari, Jan. 6, 1968; Rev. George Joseph, Jan. 9, 1999; Very Rev. Bud Roland, Jan. 9, 1999; Rev. Jairo Sandoval Pliego, OP, Jan. 12, 2008; Very Rev. James Olnhausen, Jan. 24, 1970; Rev. Vincent Thanh Nguyen, Jan. 25, 1997 and Rev. Ricardo Mejia Montiel, TOR, Jan. 28, 2015.

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for Epiphany (Jan. 3):

  • For the Church, that by perseverance in seeking and following the light of God, she may serve as a beacon of God’s love and mercy to all people …
  • Por la Iglesia, que por la perseverancia en buscar y seguir la luz de Dios, sirva como faro del amor y la misericordia de Dios para toda la gente...

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 10):

  • For all the baptized, that we may confidently bring Christ’s presence into every aspect of our lives to inspire hope, dispel discrimination, and lift up those in need …
  • Por todos los bautizados, para que podamos confiadamente llevar la presencia de Cristo a cualquier aspecto de nuestras vidas para inspirar esperanza, disipar la discriminación y levantar a aquellos necesitados..

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jan. 17):

  • For the faithful, inspired by the faith exhibited by Mary, that we would let go of our small expectations and believe in the immense mercy and love of God to transform every situation …
  • Por los fieles, para que inspirados por la fe exhibida por María, soltemos nuestras pequeñas expectativas y creamos en la inmensa misericordia y amor de Dios que transforman cada situación...


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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