The Friday E-Pistle (March 4, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Rev. José Luis Comparán, pastor at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Burnet and Holy Cross Mission in Bertram, effective March 1, 2016.
  • Rev. Ron Feather, pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Marlin and Sacred Heart Mission in Lott, effective March 1, 2016.
  • Rev. Boniface Onjefu, pastor at St. Eugene Parish in McGregor and Our Lady of San Juan Mission in Moody, effective March 1, 2016.
  • Rev. Paul Hudson, pastor of St. Mary, Church of the Assumption Parish in West, effective March 1, 2016.
  • Rev. Justin Nguyen, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mexia, effective March 1, 2016.
  • Deacon Cris Luna, assigned to Our Lady of Wisdom University Parish in San Marcos, effective March 1, 2016.

Pastoral Plan update

  • Join Bishop Daniel Garcia in a dialogue about the Pastoral Plan: Encounter that Leads to Transformation on March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. at San José Parish in Austin. The presentation is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the plan, what it means for our diocese and how it can personally help you in your faith journey. The evening will include prayer, reflection and a reception.
  • Each month in the Catholic Spirit, there is an article about how a parish community or Catholic entity is implementing the Pastoral Plan. Please let us know what your parish is doing to implement the Plan which may serve as an inspiration for others.
  • Banner Order Form
  • The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Resources


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for Palm Sunday the Passion of the Lord (March 20):

  • Today’s liturgy invites us to reflect on how we understand the Kingdom of God. Jesus arrives in Jerusalem in the way victorious kings of the past had entered to the acclaim of the people, not riding a mighty warhorse but a colt. The Cross of Christ teaches us that the Kingdom is not about worldly power or prestige. It is listening to and doing the will of God in service and love of others. This will often result in our need to die to our self-centeredness in order to be entirely open to God's will.
  • La liturgia de hoy nos invita a reflexionar sobre cómo entendemos el Reino de Dios. Jesús llega a Jerusalén por el camino por el que reyes victoriosos del pasado habían entrado siendo aclamados por la gente, pero él no entra montando un caballo de guerra, sino un pequeño caballo. La Cruz de Cristo nos enseña que el Reino no se trata de poder mundano o prestigio. Se trata de escuchar y hacer la voluntad de Dios en el servicio y el amor por los otros. Esto resultará con frecuencia en nuestra necesidad de morir a nuestro egocentrismo para estar totalmente abiertos a la voluntad de Dios.


Canonical and Tribunal Services

Marriage Packet Workshop

The Office of Canonical and Tribunal Services will present a workshop on the process of completing the church-required Marriage Packets. This workshop is for those who work/volunteer in the parish preparing couples for marriage and will include information about the required documentation, canon law requirements and diocesan policies affecting the marriage preparation process. The workshop is April 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. Register by e-mail to Jorge Nuñez before April 11.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

A Divine Mercy Day of Reflection

A Divine Mercy Day of Reflection will be presented April 3 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Father Brian Eilers will lead this day by focusing on the life of St. Faustina and the message of Divine Mercy. The cost is $25 with lunch included. For more information or to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.


Theology on Tap

Lent and the Medicine of Mercy

Lent is the perfect time to invite God’s gratuitous gift of mercy into your heart. At the next Theology on Tap, on March 7, Sharon Perkins and Dorothy Polchinski of the Diocesan Office of Evangelization, Catechesis, and Family Life will share their own personal stories and reflections on receiving — as well as creative ways of sharing — God’s mercy. Theology on Tap will be at Casa Chapala (9041 Research Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX, 78758) and begins with fellowship at 6 p.m., the speakers at 7 p.m., and wraps up about 8:15 p.m.


Vocations Office

Heart of Mary retreat

All women, ages 18-45, are invited to encounter the beauty of a vocation and the possibility of this call in their own lives, April 8-10 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The retreat will be led by the Consecrated Sisters of the Apostles of the Interior Life (AVI). There will be talks and time for prayer as well as “one-on-one” conversations with the sisters while experiencing community life with other young women discerning the will of God. For more information, contact the Vocation Office at (512) 949-2430. The cost is $35. Register online by March 31 at


Weekly notes

Pope Francis’ prayer requests

Please consider Pope Francis' prayer requests for the month of March:

  • That families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments …
  • Por que las familias necesitadas reciban el apoyo necesario y por que los niños crezcan en ambientes sanos y pacíficos...
  • That those Christians who, on account of their faith, are discriminated against or are being persecuted, may remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, thanks to the incessant prayer of the Church …
  • Que aquellos Cristianos que, por su fe, son discriminados o perseguidos,  permanezcan fuertes y fieles al Evangelio, gracias a la incesante oración de la Iglesia...

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for Palm Sunday the Passion of the Lord (March 20):

  • That we as members of the Church will respond to God’s grace giving of ourselves in service to others in our families, schools, workplaces and society …
  • Por que nosotros, como miembros de la Iglesia respondamos a las gracias de Dios dándonos a nosotros mismos a través del servicio a los demás en nuestras familias, escuela, lugares de trabajo y sociedad...


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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