The Friday E-Pistle (Oct. 28, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Offices closed

All diocesan offices will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 1, in observance of the Solemnity of All Saints, a holy day of obligation.

Pastoral Plan update

  • On Oct. 15 members of the Core Team facilitated a process with all the ministries at Cristo Rey Parish in Austin. It was a wonderful dialogue about the Pastoral Plan: the goals, objectives and how these parish leaders think the plan could be implemented at Cristo Rey. The participants identified a number of needs, including more Bible study classes and reaching out to the youth and young people. The discussions were offered in Spanish and English with time to sing and pray together. If your parish community would like to host such an event or have members of the Core Team assist you, please let us know.
  • Additional videos from our seminarians have been added to the Pastoral Plan microsite. These short videos describe 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. 
  • Be sure to check out the 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 website, please send the information to Charlene O’Conne​ll.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Nov. 13):

  • Our Lord reminds us not to place our hope in buildings or people but in Jesus himself. Trusting entirely in him will give us wisdom in times of difficulty and persecution. God is always reaching out to us to grow closer to him, perhaps through increased private prayer, meditation and contemplation; a prayer group or a Bible study; or through spiritual reading. Consider the prayer that echoes last Sunday’s Gospel, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” How can you respond to God’s mercy?
  • Nuestro Señor nos recuerda que no debemos poner nuestra esperanza en edificios o personas, sino en el mismo Jesús. Confiar completamente en él nos dará la sabiduría en los momentos de dificultad y persecución. Dios siempre está tratando de llegar a nosotros para que estemos cada vez más cerca de él, tal vez mediante un aumento de nuestra oración privada, meditación y contemplación; un grupo de oración o un grupo de estudio de la Biblia; o por medio de la lectura espiritual. Considere la oración que se hace eco del evangelio del domingo pasado: "Señor Jesucristo, Hijo de Dios, ten piedad de mí, pecador". ¿Cómo se puede responder a la misericordia de Dios?


Black Catholics

Day of Reflection

The Office of Black Catholics is sponsoring a Day of Reflection on Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish in Austin in preparation for the 12th National Black Catholic Congress that will be held July 6-9, 2017, in Orlando. The National Black Catholic Congress is a national conference that is held every five years to develop a Pastoral Plan that includes 10 action initiatives. The Congress theme is “The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: Act justly, love goodness, and walk humbly with your God." The Congress Day of Reflection Facilitator is Deacon James Turner of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky. All are invited to attend and to register, please contact Johnnie Dorsey at (512) 217-9616 for more information.


Stewardship and Development

Catholic Services Appeal

October 29-30 is Catholic Services Appeal Awareness and Education Weekend. Parishes are asked to utilize bulletin announcements and inserts, pulpit announcements, campaign materials and prayers of the faithful to raise awareness about the Catholic Services Appeal. Parishes may also show the campaign video, utilize lay witness speakers in addition to the priest's talk about the CSA. Parishioners should be reminded to review the letter received from Bishop Joe Vásquez that was recently sent.


Vocation Office

Discernment dinner for high school-aged young men

High school men are invited to a Discernment Dinner on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Religious Education Building of St. William Parish in Round Rock. Any young man of high-school age open to discovering God’s will in his life is welcome. The evening includes dinner, prayer, fellowship and conversation about the priesthood, discernment, prayer and virtue. For more information, please contact Father Froy Jerez.

National Vocation Awareness Week: Nov. 6-12

The Catholic Church in the U.S. will again observe National Vocation Awareness Week Nov. 6-12. This week is an opportunity for parishes to reflect on the gift of vocation, with several goals:

  • Praying for vocations to priesthood and religious life
  • Educating children about the various vocations: marriage, priesthood, consecrated life, and the single life
  • Inspiring young adults to consider a vocation to priesthood or religious life
  • Highlighting excellent examples of priests and religious men and women
  • Aiding parents in teaching their children to remain open to God’s call

Each parish has received a packet with a bulletin insert and worksheets for children that can be ordered as needed. More resources are available at


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary (Nov. 13):

  • For the faithful, that mindful of our baptism we may recognize in each day the opportunities God gives us to be messengers of God’s love in the midst of doubt and conflict …
  • Por los fieles, que conscientes de nuestro bautismo podamos reconocer en cada día las oportunidades que Dios nos da para ser mensajeros del amor de Dios en medio de la duda y el conflicto...



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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