The Friday E-Pistle (Feb. 19, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointment

Rev. Enrique Hernández Montoya, OFM Conv., parochial vicar at San Francisco Javier Parish in Austin, effective Feb. 12, 2016.

 Chrism Mass

  • This year’s Chrism Mass will be celebrated at St. Vincent de Paul Parish on March 22 at 10:30 a.m. All parishes should properly dispose of last year’s consecrated oils prior to the Chrism Mass. The oils may be used on the new fire of the Easter Vigil or buried. Please do not return used oil stocks to the diocesan Worship Office. Please remember that the Code of Canon Law 847 suppressed by omission the permission to add unblessed oil to that which is already blessed; therefore, you may not add unblessed oil to blessed or consecrated oil.
  • Oils: The Office of Worship is preparing new oils to be consecrated by Bishop Vásquez at the Chrism Mass. The standard order includes 2 oz. of the Oil of the Sick; 2 oz. of the Oil of Catechumens and 2 oz. of Sacred Chrism. Parish orders for oils are made online at If you need other information regarding your order, please contact the Worship Office at (512) 949-2429 or The deadline for ordering oils is March 11.

Prayers requested

Prayers are requested for Father Everett John Trebtoske, 89, who died on Feb. 14 in Brooklyn Park, Minn. Funeral services will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church, 14711 Ranch Road 12, in Wimberley. The visitation is Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. and the vigil begins at 7 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial is Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. Burial will follow immediately after Mass at St. Mary’s Cemetery.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (March 6):

  • In this Sunday’s Gospel, both sons have misunderstood their father’s limitless love for them. The younger son believes that love means allowing him the freedom to do as he pleases. The elder son believes that he must earn the father’s love by being dutiful.  But, the father demonstrates that he loves them equally. In this Year of Mercy, we must realize that we need God’s forgiveness. Let us use this time of Lent to re-encounter the Lord who reveals the loving embrace of his Father.
  • En el Evangelio de hoy, los dos hijos han entendido mal el amor sin límite que su padre les tiene.  El más joven, cree que el amor significa permitirle la libertad de hacer todo que le plazca.  El hijo mayor cree que debe ganarse el amor de su padre siendo obediente.  Pero, el padre demuestra que él los ama por igual.  En este Año de la Misericordia, debemos darnos cuenta que necesitamos el perdón de Dios.  Usemos este tiempo de Cuaresma para volver a encontrarnos con el Señor, quien revela el abrazo amoroso de su Padre.


Pastoral Plan

Pastoral Plan presentations

Bishop Daniel Garcia will give a presentation in English on the Pastoral Plan: Encounter that Leads to Transformation on March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at San José Parish in Austin. The evening will include prayer, reflection and a reception. This flier can be shared with parishioners.

Assessment Tool

The Pastoral Plan Parish Assessment Tool was sent to all pastors on Jan. 29. Please use the tool to review the parish ministries and activities using the 24 objectives in the Pastoral Plan. Pastors may complete the assessment on their own, with staff members, parishioners or pastoral council members. If possible, please return the assessment by March 4.

Pastoral Plan banners

Many parishes are ordering the banners for the Pastoral Plan: Encounter that Leads to Transformation. 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 and logo. They 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 today.

Prayers of the Faithful

The diocesan Worship Office 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.

USCCB Resources

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website has a number of resources to assist parishioners in implementing the Pastoral Plan. One of those resources is a dedicated webpage that describes what Domestic Church means and what families can do to appreciate their role as the domestic church. This online resource is a wonderful tool for Goal 1, Initiative 2.


Stewardship and Development Office

Catholic Services Appeal

The Catholic Services Appeal is off to a very good start. Our goal was $5 million in pledges. We are at $5.3 million pledged and $3.5 million received from more than 20,000 families. A third of our parishes have reached their goal, with another third very close to that mark. We thank everyone for their dedication and support of the campaign.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Feb. 27: RCIA Retreat

Come and explore the meaning of Christ’s Resurrection and why our need for “so great a Redeemer” is an ongoing journey both for those entering the Catholic Church and those continuing the Christian life. Tracy Rodenborn, director of RCIA at Emmaus Parish in Lakeway, will lead this retreat from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The cost is $25 per person, with lunch included. Register through your Parish RCIA leader.

March 4-6: Annual Workshop for Spiritual Directors

This workshop for spiritual directors is with Oblates of the Virgin Mary Father Timothy Gallagher who will lead spiritual directors on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Rules for the Discernment of Spirits at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton, March 4-6. Father Gallagher will show how the rules and their insights are necessary for our spiritual growth. His book, "The Discernment of Spirits," is essential reading for today’s spiritual director. Cost is $240 for a private room, $195 for a shared room and $95 for a commuter. Call (254) 780-2436 to register.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (March 6):

  • As stewards of God’s mercy, may we all share in God’s ministry of reconciliation within our families, among our friends, and in our places of study and work, we pray…
  • Como administradores de la misericordia de Dios, que todos podamos compartir en el ministerio de Dios de reconciliación dentro de nuestras familias, entre nuestros amigos, y en nuestros lugares de estudio y trabajo, oremos...

Blessings and congratulations to …

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

  • Rev. Joseph Varickamackal, March 3, 1977
  • Rev. Jesus Ferras, ISP, March 6, 2004


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.

Department Categorization: