The Friday E-Pistle (Oct. 14, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointment

  • Deacon Jack Murphy has been assigned to St. Monica Parish in Cameron, effective Dec. 5, 2016.

Pastoral Plan update

  • The Pastoral Plan microsite now features videos from our seminarians describing their encounter with Christ that inspired them to think about becoming a priest. The videos also share ideas about how you can accompany them on their journey toward priesthood. 
  • There is another new item on the microsite entitled "small effort, big impact." This section offers simple ideas to implement the Pastoral Plan that can make a difference in parish life. If you are doing something at your parish and would like to feature it on the Pastoral Plan web page, please send the information to Charlene O’Conne​ll.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Oct. 30):

  • Jesus seeks out and saves the lost. Tax collectors were despised for making a living by extorting money from their neighbors. Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector, yet Jesus chose to stay in his home! When we get a glimpse of Jesus’ presence in our lives, what is our response? Do we shut our hearts and hide our sins or do we confess and make amends with those whom we have offended? Are we running quickly with joy to receive Christ or are we standing quietly in the crowd?
  • Jesús busca y salva a los perdidos. Los recoletores de impuestos fueron despreciados por ganarse la vida extorsionando monetariamente a sus vecinos. Zaqueo fue el jefe de los recolectores de impuestos, ¡aún así Jesús escoge quedarse en su hogar! Cuando tenemos un vistazo de la presencia de Jesús en nuestras vidas, ¿Cuál es nuestra respuesta? ¿Cerramos nuestros corazones y ocultamos nuestros pecados o los confesamos y reparamos nuestras faltas con aquellos a quienes hemos ofendido? ¿Corremos con gozo para recibir a Cristo o nos quedamos parados en silencio en medio de la multitud?


Life, Charity, and Justice

Living the Good News Conference: Nov. 5

Limited seating is available for the Living the Good News Conference held at St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School in Austin on Nov. 5. Bishop Joe Vásquez will celebrate Mass at the end of the day, which includes keynote speakers and workshops. The cost is $25 per person. For more information, contact Vicky Chavez at (512) 949-2486 or visit


Stewardship and Development

Catholic Services Appeal

October 22-23 is Announcement Weekend for the Catholic Services Appeal. Parishes are encouraged to announce the appeal and tell parishioners that every Catholic family will receive a letter in the mail from Bishop Vásquez about the CSA at the end of October. Parishes are also encouraged to use the many materials available to build awareness of the CSA. All of the materials are available on the diocesan website.


#igiveCatholic is similar to #GivingTuesday that draws in nearly $117 million to nonprofit organizations from 70 countries. The Diocese of Austin is partnering with other dioceses to encourage participation in the Catholic alternative to online giving on Nov. 29. Please visit to participate and support your Catholic parish or school. Parishes interested in signing up for the program should contact Andrea Bizzanelli.


Young Adult Ministry

Theology on Tap

Theology on Tap will take place Oct.19 at Santa Rita Cantina (5900 W. Slaughter Ln. in Austin). The topic will focus on mercy in the workplace. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with music by Jeremy Rodriguez and the presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Please contact Jennifer Kodysz for more information.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary (Oct. 30):

  • For all Christians, that we would readily respond to the unexpected graces that are presented to us each and every day, we pray …
  • Por todos los Cristianos, para que podamos respondoer con prontitud a las gracias inesperadas que nos son presentadas cada día, oremos ...


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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