The Friday E-Pistle (August 5, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Confirmation scheduling

Parishes may now submit a request for scheduling a Confirmation liturgy for 2017. A letter was mailed on July 25 to all pastors with instructions on how to submit a request online. Requests should be submitted by Aug. 19. The online system is available at


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 21):

  • Which is easier to pass through a narrow gate or a stone wall? Perspective is important. We may think of a narrow gate as restrictive. In fact, a narrow opening in an otherwise impervious barrier is wide compared to the alternative of no opening. Jesus is not looking for acquaintances or people who have seen him from a distance. He desires an intimate relationship without barriers. What sort of relationship do you want with the Lord?
  • ¿Qué es más fácil, pasar por una puerta estrecha o un muro de piedra? La perspectiva es importante. Podemos considerar una puerta estrecha como restrictiva. De hecho, una abertura estrecha en una barrera impermeable es amplia en comparación con la alternativa de no tener apertura. Jesús no busca conocidos o personas que lo han visto desde la distancia. Él desea una relación íntima sin barreras. ¿Qué tipo de relación desea usted con el Señor?


Office of Black Catholics

Courageous Conversation

The next Courageous Conversation on Racism will be at Holy Cross Parish in Austin on Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.


Pastoral Plan


The Core Team has been working this summer on suggestions and ideas to help parishes and organizations implement the Pastoral Plan. Our bishops have, will be giving presentations in Spanish and English on their reflections of the plan. The first one is Sept. 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Parish in Pflugerville, where Bishop Vásquez will offer his presentation in Spanish. These fliers can be used to advertise this and upcoming events.


Missions and Mission Education

90th anniversary of World Mission Sunday

This year marks the 90th anniversary of World Mission Sunday. To celebrate, the Mission Office of the Diocese of Austin and St. Mary Cathedral Parish in Austin will host a Mass and dinner in Bishop's Hall on Oct. 22. Everyone is invited to gather at the Lord’s table in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world to celebrate our common vocation as missionaries. The World Mission rosary will be prayed at 5 p.m. and Mass will begin at 5:30 p.m. The evening will conclude with a complimentary dinner and presentations by Missionary of the Little Brother of St. John Father Jesus Rodriguez and Paulist Father and Missionary of Mercy Father Bruce Nieli. Seating is limited for the dinner, so reserve a spot by contacting Christina Krueger at (512) 949-2407.


Stewardship and Development

National Collection – Promotional Material

The online system for the diocese to order material on behalf of the parishes is now open. The national collections to order materials for are:

World and Home Missions (Church in Latin America, Church in Central and Eastern Europe, Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, Catholic Home Missions Appeal)

  • The Catholic Relief Services Collection
  • Peter’s Pence Collection
  • Catholic Campaign for Human Development
  • Retirement Fund for Religious
  • 2017 Trinity Dome Collection for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (one-time collection)

This site is not available for individual parish use. If you have changes to your current parish material counts, please email Margaret Kappel by Aug. 15.

Assembly of Catholic Professionals (ACP)

The Assembly of Catholic Professionals offers a unique formational opportunity for Catholic lay professionals to grow in faith. The next meeting is Aug. 31. It begins with networking at 11:30 a.m. at the Town Lake Hyatt Regency in Austin. The featured speaker will be Brandon Vogt, Content Director at Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. To register, visit click on the RSVP/Purchase Admission link.


Weekly notes

Pope Francis’ prayer request

Please consider Pope Francis’ prayer request for the month of August:

  • That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world …
  • Para que el deporte fomente el encuentro fraternal entre los pueblos y contribuya a la paz en el mundo…
  • That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty and love of neighbor …
  • Para que los cristianos vivan la exigencia del Evangelio dando testimonio de fe, honestidad y amor al prójimo…

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 21):

  • For all students, teachers and staff as the new school year begins …
  • Por todos los estudiantes, maestros y personal en el comienzo del nuevo año escolar ...


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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