The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 23, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Priest-only Catholic Services Appeal session

All priests are encouraged to attend a “priest only” Catholic Services Appeal session on Oct. 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center. Lunch will be provided.

  • New pastors, newly ordained priests and priests who recently arrived in the diocese 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.

Please RSVP online or e-mail Laurie Proveaux by Oct. 4. For more information on the Catholic Services Appeal 2016-2017, visit


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 9):

  • In Jesus’ day, leprosy included several skin diseases and was understood as a punishment from God. Sufferers of the disease were separated from the community and not allowed to publically worship with the community. It was the duty of the priests to declare the person healed of the disease and thus allow the person to return to society and regular worship in the temple. Encountering Jesus and acting on his instruction in faith brought healing to the 10 lepers and restored unity with society. Yet only one, a non-Jew, returned to Jesus praising God. Today, ask yourself, "What damages my relationship with God? Am I willing to respond to Jesus in faith and be restored? Like Naaman and the leper do I praise God for my many blessings?
  • En los tiempos de Jesús, la lepra incluía muchas enfermedades de la piel y era entendida como un castigo de Dios. Los que sufrían de esta enfermedad eran separados de la comunidad y no se les permitía hacer culto públicamente con la comunidad. Era el derecho de los sacerdotes declarar a la pesona sana de la enfermedad y por lo tanto, permitirle que volviera a la sociedad y a practicar su culto en el templo. Encontrar a Jesús y actuar de acuerdo a su instrucción en la fe sanó a 10 leprosos y restauró la unidad en la sociedad. Aún así, sólo uno, un no Judío, volvió a Jesús alabando a Dios. Hoy, pregúntese a si mismo(a), "¿Qué daña mi relación con Dios? ¿Estamos dispuestos a responder a Jesús en la fe y ser restaurados? Como Naamán y el leproso, ¿alabamos a Dios por nuestras muchas bendiciones?


Communications Office

Parish staff retreat

The annual Parish Staff Retreat, formerly known as Secretaries’ Day, will be Oct. 19 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Use this form to register. For questions, contact Brenda Piña at Sacred Heart Parish in Elgin.


Ethics and Integrity in Minsitry

New Facilitator Training

The EIM office is training new facilitators for Called to Protect for Youth (CTPY – the abuse prevention/education program for middle/high school students) on Oct. 22 and for the EIM Workshop (for adults) on Nov. 5. For more information about being a workshop facilitator, please visit the EIM section of the diocesan website. Those interested in being trained to facilitate the adult EIM workshop and/or the CTPY program should submit a New Facilitator Application, along with the requested information, to the EIM office. Please contact Emily Hurlimann at (512) 949-2447 with questions. Once the application is received and reviewed by the EIM office, applicants will be contacted with specifics for the upcoming training sessions.


Hispanic Ministry

Matachines/Danzates/Concheros Conference

  • The Matachines/Danzates/Concheros Conference is an opportunity to learn and reflect upon the history and meaning of this ministry, which is deeply connected with prayer and the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The conference will be held in Spanish on Oct. 8 at San José Parish in Austin. This conference is for members of parish matachines/danzantes/concheros, especially for those getting ready to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in their parishes or at our diocese. Father Clodomiro Siller from the Instituto de Evangelización para los Indigenas will be our facilitator. Click here for additional information or call (512) 949-2426.
  •  La Conferencia de Matlachines/Danzantes/Concheros es una oportunidad para aprender y reflexionar sobre la historia y el significado de este ministerio, el cual está profundamente conectado con la oración y milagro de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Esta conferencia, que se llevará a  cabo el día 8 de Octubre en la Parroquia de San José en Austin, es para los miembros de matlachines/danzantes/concheros parroquiales, especialmente para ellos que se están preparando para celebrar la fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en sus parroquias o en nuestra diócesis. P. Clodomiro Siller del Instituto de Evangelización para los Indigenas será nuestro facilitador. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información o llame al (512) 949-2426.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreats

  • The month of October is dedicated to the love of Our Blessed Mother. Join Father Uche Obikwelu on Oct. 3 for a day of reflection centered on the beautiful mercy of Mary at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Father Uche, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Kingsland and Our Lady of the Lake Mission in Sunrise Beach, recently wrote a book titled, "Mary, the Mediatrix of God’s Grace". Father Obikwelu will share insights from his book during his talks and at Mass. The cost is $35 and includes lunch. For more information or to register, call Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.
  • Aprenda más sobre María y los Santos el día 15 de Octubre en el Centro Católico de Retiros Cedarbrake en Belton. Este retiro nos ayudará a acercarnos a María, Madre de la Iglesia y Estrella de la Nueva Evangelización. Reflexionaremos sobre su Sí (Fiat) a la voluntad de Dios que ha sido la inspiración de la vida de muchos de los santos. También utilizaremos el carisma y la vida de los santos para poder meditar y desarrollar una mayor devoción y espiritualidad. Gustavo Rodríguez, director asociado de evangelización y catequesis de la diócesis, será el presentador. El costo es de $30. Por favor regístrese antes del viernes 7 de octubre. Para mayor información, llame a Cedarbrake al (254) 780-2436.


Life, Charity and Justice

Living the Good News Conference

Registration for the Living the Good News Conference on Nov. 5 is now open. Everyone is invited to delve into what it means to serve the least among us. There will be keynote speakers from Loyola Press, the Diocese of Austin and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. There will also be social justice workshops from various presenters in the Catholic community. Register and learn more at


Office for Religious

Fall Retreat

Religious priests, sisters and brothers serving in the Diocese of Austin are invited to attend a Fall Retreat on Oct. 8 at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. The theme of the retreat will be the Jubilee Year of Mercy, with an emphasis on “transformation.” Check-in will begin at 9 a.m. and opening prayer begins at 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided. The retreat will conclude at 3 p.m. Register by Sept. 30 with Janice Ingram at (512) 949-2401.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary (Oct. 9):

  • For all people, that by responding in faith to the Gospel, they may be made whole and restored to proper relationship with God and the Church …
  • Por toda la gente, para que, respondiendo con fe en el Evangelio, puedan ser restaurados y llevados a una relación apropiada con Dios y la Iglesia...


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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