The Friday E-Pistle (Jan. 29, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Lenten overview

The Office of Worship has compiled the 2016 Lenten Overview. All pastors and liturgists should review this document prior to planning Lenten, Holy Week and Triduum Services.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the First Sunday of Lent (Feb. 14):

  • Today’s gospel account of the Transfiguration occurs eight days after Jesus’ first prediction of his Passion. Moses and Elijah speak to Jesus about his coming exodus. Like the apostles, we at times may want to linger in places that are pleasant and avoid challenging or painful situations. Today’s gospel gives us encouragement in our Lenten journey. The voice from heaven encourages us to listen attentively to Jesus. Are we willing to act when Jesus invites us to confront challenges and situations?
  •  El relato del Evangelio de hoy de la Transfiguración ocurre ocho días después de la primera predicción de Jesús de su Pasión. Moisés y Elías hablan a Jesús sobre su próximo éxodo. Como los apóstoles, nosotros a veces queremos quedarnos en lugares que son placenteros y evitar situaciones retadoras o dolorosas. El Evangelio de hoy nos da valor para nuestro viaje Cuaresmal. La voz del cielo nos anima a escuchar con atención a Jesús ¿Estamos dispuestos a actuar cuando Jesús nos invita a enfrentar los retos y situaciones?


Pastoral Plan

Assessment Tool

The Pastoral Plan Parish Assessment Tool will be sent out to all pastors today, 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.​

Pastoral Plan presentations

On March 10 Bishop Daniel Garcia will give a presentation in English on the Pastoral Plan: Encounter that Leads to Transformation. This event is the second in a series presented by both bishops. The March 10 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. 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.

Prayers of the Faithful

The diocesan Worship Office staff developed a collection of Prayers of the Faithful based on the Pastoral Plan and the Year of Mercy. Prayers may be used for any Sunday or weekday liturgy. See the website for the complete list of prayers. 


Pro-Life Activities

Prayer Service for Parents

  • For parents, the loss of a child is never easy and having to cope with the loss of a child by means of miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion and other situations, can be challenging and difficult. Parents who have lost a child are invited to a special prayer service where we will remember, name and honor your little one. The service will be at San José Parish on Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.
  • Para los padres, la pérdida de un hijo nunca es fácil y tener que lidiar con la pérdida de un hijo por causa de un aborto espontáneo, una muerte fetal intrauterina, un aborto u otras situaciones, puede ser difícil y desafiante. Padres que han perdido a un hijo están invitados a un servicio de oración especial en el que recordaremos, nombraremos y honraremos a su pequeño(a). Este servicio se llevará a cabo en la parroquia de San José el día 31 de enero de 2016 a las 6 p.m.


Vocation Office

Project Andrew

Project Andrew will be held Feb. 13 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Single, Catholic men between the ages of 16 and 45 who are interested in learning more about discernment, the priesthood and seminary life are invited to attend. The day will include prayer, testimonials by priests and seminarians, Mass and lunch with Bishop Daniel Garcia. For more information, contact the diocesan Vocation Office at (512) 949-2430.

Project Miriam

Project Miriam will be held Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Single, Catholic women between the ages of 16 and 45 are invited to learn more about Mary’s joyful “yes” to God and how that is lived out in religious life. The day will include prayer, testimonials by religious sisters, Mass and lunch with Bishop Joe Vásquez. For more information, contact the diocesan Vocation Office at (512) 949-2430.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the First Sunday of Lent (Feb. 14):

  • For the Elect preparing for Easter sacraments, that they will be guided and strengthened by our example of prayer, fasting, and acts of charity and mercy as together we carry our crosses and follow the Lord, we pray…
  • Por los Electos preparándose para los sacramentos Pascuales, para que sean guiados y fortalecidos por nuestro ejemplo de oración, ayuno y actos de caridad y misericordia, mientras que juntos cargamos nuestras cruces y seguimos al Señor, oremos...


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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