The Friday E-Pistle (Aug. 12, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Confirmation scheduling

Parishes may 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 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 28):

  • How often are we motivated by power or prestige? It is a common human failing. Jesus is critical of worldly honor and teaches us to avoid exalting ourselves. He also questions the motives behind our good deeds. Do we treat well only those who will do good to us? Jesus asks us to offer hospitality to those who are unable to repay us. In so doing, we reflect God’s generosity. He invites us to a banquet of infinite value that we can never repay.
  • ¿Con qué frecuencia nos vemos motivados por el poder o el prestigio? Es un error humano común. Jesús crítica el honor humano y nos enseña a evitar el exaltarnos. Además cuestiona los motivos de lo que hacemos ¿Hacemos el bien sólo por aquellos que hacen el bien hacia nosotros? Jesús nos pide que ofrezcamos hospitalidad a aquellos que no pueden pagarnos. Al hacerlo somos reflejo de la generosidad de Dios. Él nos invita a un banquete de valor infinito que nunca podríamos pagarle.


Stewardship and Development

2016-2017 CSA Training Sessions

Priests, parish secretaries, business administrators, CSA coordinators, and stewardship and development administrators are strongly encouraged to attend one of the training sessions for this year’s Catholic Services Appeal. Please register for the session that works best for you.

Please note:

  • You are welcome to attend the session that is most convenient for you.
  • At least one person from each parish must attend.
  • New pastors and newly-ordained priests are encouraged to attend.
  • Topics covered will include previous CSA results, raising awareness, parish materials, the CSA case statement, conducting the appeal and return procedures.
  • Parish CSA materials will be distributed at this time.
  • You must register in order to receive your materials. 

Please RSVP online by Sept. 13, 2016.

  • Sept. 20 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Austin – Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center
  • Sept. 20 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Austin – Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center
  • Sept. 21 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Austin – Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center
  • Sept. 21 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Austin – Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center
  • Sept. 22 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Waco – St. Jerome Parish, Jordan Hall
  • Sept. 22 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Temple – St. Mary Parish, Ave Maria Building, Regina Caeli Room
  • Sept. 27 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Burnet – Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, Parish Hall
  • Sept. 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Kyle – St. Anthony Marie de Claret Parish, Joseph Room, Holy Family Building
  • Sept. 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Bryan – St. Anthony Parish, Multipurpose Building
  • Sept. 29 from 1:30 to 3 Brenham – St. Mary, Immaculate Conception Parish, PAC


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 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 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.


Cedarbrake Retreat Center in Belton

Upcoming reatreats

  • Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton will offer private retreats the weekend of Aug. 26-28. Eight bedrooms will be available for self-guided silent retreats. A shared lounge with a kitchenette is available as well as confessions and adoration on Saturday evening and Mass on Sunday morning. Participants must bring their own food and spiritual reading. The cost is $100 for a private room or $160 for a shared room. For more information or to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436 or
  • God’s Purpose for You, a day of reflection, will be held Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Those who find it difficult to embrace God’s love or who are struggling with shame, guilt or confusion are invited to this retreat where we will rediscover how we are each “fearfully and wonderfully” made. The cost is $35, which includes lunch. To register or for more information, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436 or


Young Adult Ministry

Young Catholic Professionals

The Austin chapter of Young Catholic Professionals and the Diocese of Austin Office of Young Adult Ministry invite you to the inaugural YCP Austin Cocktail Reception Benefit. Join special guest Bishop Joe Vásquez on Aug. 31 to hear about how YCP Austin is working towards the goals of the Diocese of Austin Pastoral Plan. Details and a link to RSVP may be found here. For questions or more information, please contact


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Aug. 28):

  • That we would share our goods with those who are in need and cannot repay us ...
  • Por que busquemos compartir nuestros bienes con aquellos necesitados que no pueden pagarnos ...


Ethics and Integrity in Ministry

EIM Workshop

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 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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