The Friday E-Pistle (March 11, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Chrism Mass: Oil orders due today

  • The Chrism Mass is quickly approaching. We are missing responses from quite a few parishes for orders of oils. The Office of Worship needs your holy oil orders today in order to prepare them for blessing/consecration at the Chrism Mass. Parish orders 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 today, Friday, March 11.
  • 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.
  • This year’s Chrism Mass will be celebrated at St. Vincent de Paul Parish on March 22 at 10:30 a.m.

Special Collection: Good Friday: March 25

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for the Holy Land on Good Friday, March 25. The following announcements should be read before services or before the collection is taken up on Good Friday.

  • In today’s service we will take up the annual collection to support Christians in the Holy Land. Our contributions will assist the Franciscan friars and others in housing and feeding the poor, providing religious formation and education, maintaining shrines and parishes, and conducting pastoral ministry. This annual Good Friday Collection offers a direct link to help maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land.
  • En el servicio de hoy vamos a tomar la colecta anual para apoyar a los cristianos en la Tierra Santa. Nuestra contribución ayudará a los frailes franciscanos y a otras personas en dar vivienda y alimentación a los pobres, proporcionando formación religiosa y educación; en el mantenimiento de los santuarios y parroquias, y en llevar a cabo el ministerio pastoral allí. Esta colecta anual de Viernes Santo ofrece un vínculo directo para ayudar a mantener una presencia Cristiana en la Tierra Santa.

Pastoral Plan update

  • On Tuesday, April 5, Bishop Joe Vásquez will give a presentation on the Pastoral Plan: Encounter that Leads to Transformation, from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin. This talk will be in English. This presentation is one in a series by the bishops to share 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.
  • Assessment Tool: The electronic version of the Pastoral Plan assessment tool is no longer available. The Core Team will review the submitted surveys and make other arrangements for the parishes not able to take the online survey.
  • Extra copies of all Pastoral Plan materials are being distributed to pastors through deanery meetings and other priest gatherings. Please use the extra copies for the pastoral council and ministry leaders.
  • Banner Order Form
  • The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Resources


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for Easter (March 27):

  • As we celebrate Easter, we realize that the disciples did not understand Jesus had to rise from the dead. Entering the empty tomb, the beloved disciple believed. What about us? Will we enter into the mystery? How fully do we believe? The burial cloths that held Jesus in death are cast aside. Do we believe Jesus has shattered the bonds of death? Do we understand that Jesus has released us from what binds us if we too believe? Truly He is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!
  • Mientras celebramos la Pascua, nos damos cuenta de que los discípulos no entendían que Jesús tenía que levantarse de la muerte. Al entrar a la tumba vacía, el amado discípulo creyó ¿Y qué hay de nosotros? ¿Entraremos en el misterio? ¿Qué tan plenamente creemos? La mortaja que cubría a Jesús durante la muerte está dejada de lado ¿Creemos nosotros que Jesús ha roto las ataduras de la muerte? ¿Entendemos que Jesús nos ha liberado de esas ataduras si nosotros también creemos?¡En verdad ha resucitado! ¡Aleluya! ¡Aleluya!


Stewardship and Development Office

Catholics Services Appeal update

Thank you for your continued support and generosity to the Catholic Services Appeal. To date, we have received pledges from almost 20,500 families totaling more than $5.4 million. More than half of our parishes have reached their goal and many are very close. Phone call follow-ups began last week to donors who have yet to renew their pledge. Postcards were sent out prior to the calling campaign to let donors know to expect a call. We thank everyone for their dedication and support of the campaign.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

The topic for the next gathering of Theology on Tap will be The Four Last Things: judgment, purgatory, heaven and hell. Father Chris Downey, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Killeen, will present at Theology on Tap on March 21 at Casa Chapala (9041 Research Blvd. Suite 100 Austin, TX 78758 ) beginning with music at 6 p.m., the presentation at 7 p.m., and wrap-up about 8:15 p.m. Contact Jennifer Kodysz or visit Theology on Tap for more information.


Catholic Charities of Central Texas

Immigration Legal Services

Learn about Immigration Legal Services offered through Catholic Charities of Central Texas. Topics include how the immigration system works, types of relief and eligibility requirements. The events are free and presented in Spanish on March 12, 19, or 26 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Ruiz Library (1600 Grove Blvd. in Austin).

Annulment Support Group

Catholic Charities of Central Texas announces a weekly Annulment Support Group – healing the pain of divorce, strengthening your faith and finding your joy. Each participant will receive support resources such as weekly prayers and inspiration. The group begins March 31 and will meet Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. and costs $20 per session. To reserve a spot, contact Sara Lockey at (512) 651-6150.

10th annual Creating Hope Luncheon

Join us for an unforgettable event in which the mission of Catholic Charities of Central Texas will be shared by those whose lives it has touched. Enjoy a complimentary lunch as you see that it only takes one to restore hope in Central Texas. The 10th annual Creating Hope Luncheon is April 14 from noon to 1 p.m. and is free to attend, reserve your seat today. To RSVP contact Kristen Erdem at (512) 651-6132 or visit


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for Easter (March 27):

  • For the members of the Church, that our words and actions will announce the Good News of Jesus’s resurrection to all we meet …
  • Por los miembros de la Iglesia, para que nuestras palabras y acciones anuncien la Buena Nueva de la resurrección de Jesús a todos los que encontramos...

Shroud Encounter

St. Louis King of France Parish in Austin will host a talk and exhibition on the Shroud of Turin on April 21 at 7 p.m. and again on April 22 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. A life-size replica of the Shroud of Turin will be on display. International expert Russ Breault will give the fast-moving talk and big-screen presentation using more than 200 images covering all aspects of shroud research.


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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