The Friday E-Pistle (Jan. 22, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Friar Juan Pablo Barragan Mendoza, TOR, parochial vicar, Dolores Parish in Austin, effective Jan. 15, 2016.
  • Rev. Everardo Cázares, parochial vicar, Emmaus Parish in Lakeway, effective Feb. 1, 2016.
  • Rev. Harry Dean Jr., parochial vicar, St. Joseph Parish in Killeen, effective Feb. 1, 2016.

Presbyteral Council

The Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Austin represents the priests of the diocese and assists Bishop Vásquez in the governance of the diocese to promote the pastoral good of the people of God. The following members have been elected to represent their respective deaneries on the council for three years beginning Jan. 1, 2016:

  • Austin North – Rev. James Misko
  • Austin South – Rev. Hector Vega, ISP
  • Georgetown/Round Rock – Msgr. Louis Pavlicek

Additionally, Bishop Vásquez has appointed the following priests to serve in the indicated positions on the Council, representing the priests within these categories for the indicated terms:

  • Ministry Member – Rev. Peter Walsh, CSC – 2016-2018
  • Appointed Member – Rev. Basil Aguzie, MSP – 2016

On Jan. 19, the following priests were elected as officers of the Presbyteral Council for a one-year term:

  • Chairman – Rev. James Misko
  • Vice Chairman – Rev. William Wack, CSC
  • Secretary – Rev. John Guzaldo

Closing of Year of Consecrated Life

The consecrated religious orders and communities of women and men serving in the Diocese of Austin will celebrate the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life on Feb. 6 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. The event begins with Mass at 10 a.m., followed by a luncheon in Bishop’s Hall. Jubilarians will be honored. Members of religious communities who have not already responded to the initial invitation, please respond by Jan. 28 to Janice Ingram at (512) 949-2401. Those who are celebrating a jubilee year in 2016 should also inform Janice Ingram.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feb. 7):

  • “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” But we have already tried that, is a paraphrase of Simon Peter’s response. Doing as the Lord asked, they filled two boats to overflowing with fish. When has the Lord encountered you and done the unexpected? What is the Lord asking that you may be reluctant to do?
  • "Remad mar adentro y echar las redes para pescar". Pero ya hemos intentado eso, es una manera de parafrasear la respuesta de Simón Pedro. Haciendo lo que el Señor ordenaba, llenaron dos botes con rebosante pescado ¿Cuándo ha salido el Señor a su encuentro y ha hecho lo inesperado? ¿Qué le está pidiendo el Señor que puede que usted esté dudoso de hacer?


Pastoral Plan

Pastoral Plan presentations

On Jan. 28 Bishop Daniel Garcia will give a presentation in Spanish on the Pastoral Plan: Encounter that Leads to Transformation. 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. Bishop Garcia will then do an English presentation on March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at San José Parish in Austin. Download a flier that can be shared with parishioners.

Pastoral Plan banners

The banners for the Pastoral Plan: Encounter that Leads to Transformation may now be ordered for your parish, Catholic school or other Catholic organizations. The pull up banners are made of durable fabric, easy to set up almost instantly, portable and attractive. The banners have the Pastoral Plan title, logo, are colorful and may be ordered with one of three images. They provide a very professional look and are designed to make an impact on your parishioners and assist in promoting the Pastoral Plan. With the diocese subsidizing a portion of the cost, each parish, school or organization can purchase a banner for $100. Click here to order your banners.

Assessment Tool

The Pastoral Plan Parish Assessment Tool will be sent out to all pastors next Friday, Jan. 29. The tool is a simple way to review the parish ministries and activities using the 24 objectives in the Pastoral Plan. Parishes are asked to continue to encourage parishioners to read the Pastoral Plan and use the Study Guide available on the website. All parishioners received a complete copy of the Pastoral Plan in the December issue of the Catholic Spirit.


Young Adult Ministry

Emerging Leaders Program

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is the Diocese of Austin’s initiative to identify, develop and support the future lay leadership of the diocese. Participants will network with and learn practical leadership skills from emerging and established Catholic leaders in various sectors. The diocese is now accepting applications for the ELP 2016 Class. To learn more about the program and meet alumni from last year's class, young professionals (ages 21-40) are invited to an information session on Jan. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mean Eyed Cat (1621 W. 5th St., Austin 78703). For complete information about the ELP, including the program calendar and application, visit​.


Canonical and Tribunal Office

Advocacy Training for Nullity

The Advocacy Training for Nullity workshop includes a review of the process of petitioning for an annulment, applicable canon law, processes and procedures, petitions and grounds, resources, questions and answers. The workshop is for current and newly appointed advocates and will be held Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center. Visit to register. Registration closes on Jan. 29. Please note: Laity desiring to become an advocate must be delegated by their pastor.


Catholic Schools

Celebrating Catholic Schools Event

The eighth annual Celebrating Catholic Schools Event will be Jan. 30 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Hyatt, Town Lake in Austin. Cecilia Abbott, First Lady of Texas, will be the keynote speaker. The evening includes a reception, dinner, honoree recognition, keynote speaker and an after party. To buy a table, ticket or make a donation, visit or contact Jean Bondy at (512) 949-2439.


Pro-Life Activities

Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day: Jan. 23

Join Catholics from across the state to promote a Culture of Life on Texas Catholic Pro-Life Day on Jan. 23. Prayer begins at 7 a.m. at Planned Parenthood at 201 E. Ben White in Austin and then all will proceed to St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin at 9 a.m. for Mass with Bishop Joe Vásquez at 10 a.m. Lunch will be available after Mass. Buses will be available to join the March for Life, which starts at 1 p.m. in downtown Austin at 18th Street and Congress Ave., followed by the Rally for Life at the Capitol at 2 p.m. Buses will return to St. Vincent de Paul at 3:30 p.m. from the southeast corner of the Capitol at Brazos & 13th streets. T-shirts and bus tickets are on sale now!


Hispanic Ministry Office

Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers (BICM)

  • The Office of Hispanic Ministry is hosting a training of ministry leaders as part of the Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers (BICM) program, which has been implemented by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The goal of this training is to help ministry leaders to better understand how to receive and encourage all emerging cultural groups within parishes and to assist volunteers to assume a role of leadership in the Church. The workshops provide an opportunity for ministry leaders to attain a foundational first level of competence in intercultural relations and communications. The five modules will review methodology, strategies and activities suited to teach the content of the program.
  • La oficina del Ministerio Hispano presenta el programa BICM – Building Intercultural Competece for Ministers, este un entrenamiento en español es para lideres ministeriales y es un entrenamiento implementado por la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos en los Estados Unidos. La meta de este entrenamiento es ayudar a los líderes ministeriales a tener un mejor entendimiento de como recibir y motivar a los nuevos grupos culturales en las parroquias y así ayudarles a asumir un rol de liderazgo en la Iglesia. Este entrenamiento provee una oportunidad para que los lideres ministeriales obtengan una formación de primer nivel en capacidades interculturales aplicables en la comunicación y relaciones humanas. Los cinco módulos presentaran metodología, estrategias y actividades hechas para enseñar este programa. Para más información revise la forma de registro.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feb. 7):

  • For all the faithful, that we will go where the Lord leads, allowing all people experience the Lord’s presence, we pray…
  • Por todos los fieles, para que vayamos a donde nos guía el Señor, permitiendo a toda la gente que experimente la presencia del Señor, oremos...

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of February:

  • Rev. Pedro Garcia-Ramirez, Feb. 1, 1992
  • Rev. Joe Frazer, Feb. 25, 1984.


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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