The Friday E-Pistle (Nov. 4, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Catholic Services Appeal: Commitment weekend

This weekend (Nov. 5-6), I invite all the faithful to make a commitment to the Catholic Services Appeal. Bulletin announcements, pulpit announcements, prayers and more are available online in English and Spanish. Parishes should distribute holy water bottles this weekend.

Special Collection: Nov. 19-20

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development the weekend of Nov. 19-20. The CCHD is the U.S. Catholic bishops’ education-action program to combat poverty in the U.S. Each diocese keeps 25 percent of its collections to use in local human development programs. The following announcement should be made before all Masses that weekend:

  • Today you can join millions of other Catholic Americans who actively build justice by contributing to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development annual collection. Each year, funds from CCHD empower thousands of poor Americans to claim their economic rights and reclaim their dignity. Please be generous.
  • Hoy tú puedes unirte a millones de otros católicos americanos que activamente luchan por la justicia, a través de la contribución a la colecta anual en favor de la Campaña Católica para el Desarrollo Humano. Cada año, fondos de esta campaña impulsan a miles de americanos en pobreza, a reclamar sus derechos económicos y su dignidad. Por favor sea generoso.

Pastoral Plan update

  • The Core Team is developing an e-newsletter that will feature ideas and links to implement the Pastoral Plan. The first edition will be sent out in the December Monthly Mailing to parishes. 
  • Each month there is an article in the Catholic Spirit about how parishes or organizations are implementing the plan. The November article contains information about the V Encuentro and how this process relates to the plan (see Page 17). There are archived articles available on the Pastoral Plan microsite. The articles will inspire you to engage parishioners in implementing the plan.
  • Be sure to watch the seminarian videos that describe their encounter with Christ, which inspired them to think about becoming priests. They also share really good ideas about how you can accompany them on their journey toward priesthood. 
  • There are additional items listed in the newest microsite section entitled "small effort, BIG impact." 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 feast of Christ the King (Nov. 20):

  • We expect kings to have a luxurious life. Jesus’ crucifixion presents a starkly different image of him as Servant-King. On the cross, Jesus was taunted by his executioners who expected him to save himself. But Jesus’ death, like his life, was entirely about self-emptying mercy. Jesus transforms the Cross into the symbol of Christian living which is a life of self-giving. How do you imitate this self-giving service?
  • Nosotros esperamos que un rey tenga una vida lujosa. La crucifixión de Jesús presenta una imagen totalmente diferente de él como Siervo-Rey. En la cruz, Jesús fue insultado por sus verdugos que esperaban que se salvase a sí mismo. Pero el tema central de la muerte de Jesús, así como el de su vida, es la misericordia que se vacía a sí misma. Jesús transforma la Cruz en el símbolo de la vida cristiana que es una vida de entrega. ¿Cómo imita usted este servicio de don de sí?



Discernment Dinner

Single, Catholic men ages 18 and older are invited to a Discernment Dinner on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the St. Charles Borromeo House of Discernment, 905B Duncan Lane in Austin. The evening includes dinner, prayer, fellowship and conversation about the priesthood, discernment, prayer and virtue. For more information, visit


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Advent Silent Retreat: Dec. 2-4

It’s that time of the year again. We know the hustle and bustle of the Advent and Christmas season can become hectic and chaotic. Here’s an opportunity to prepare yourself for the spirituality of the season. Once again, we’re offering our Silent Advent Retreat in the beauty and peace of Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton to reflect on the true meaning of the season. Spiritual direction will be provided during this retreat that runs from Dec. 2 to 4. For more information or to register, call Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.

Advent Dinner: Dec. 6

Join us for an evening of wine and cheese and a delicious dinner followed by reflection on Advent by Missionary of the Sacred Heart Father Richard O’Rourke on Dec. 6. Father O'Rourke is dean of the Killeen/Temple Deanery and has been the pastor of St. Paul Chong Hasang Parish in Harker Heights for 15 years. The evening begins at 6:30 and will end around 8:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per person. For more information or to register, call Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436.


Stewardship and Development


#iGiveCatholic on #GivingTuesday will make its debut in the Diocese of Austin on Nov. 29. More than 25 parishes, schools and Catholic organizations are participating in this growing national Catholic movement. Make a difference in our Catholic community and get swept up in the excitement of giving at

Catholic Services Appeal: Return instruction for CSA Pledges

A reminder to send the first two parish batches of Catholic Services Appeal pledges in your Return Mailer to the processing center in Connecticut. The remaining smaller batches should be returned to the Stewardship and Development Office at the Pastoral Center, where they will be processed. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Rosenberger at (512) 949-2450.


Weekly notes

Pope Francis’ prayer requests

Please consider Pope Francis’ prayer requests for the month of November:

  • That the countries which take in a great number of displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts which show solidarity ...
  • Que los países que acogen a gran número de refugiados y desplazados, sean apoyados en su esfuerzo de solidaridad …
  • That within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement ...
  • Para que en las parroquias, sacerdotes y laicos, colaboren juntos en el servicio a la comunidad sin caer en la tentación del desaliento …


Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the feast of Christ the King (Nov. 20):

  • For the Church, that guided and sustained by the Holy Spirit, we may manifest the Kingdom of God by our service and mercy to all, as exemplified by Christ, our King …
  • Por la Iglesia, que guiados y sostenidos or el Espíritu Santo podamos manifestar el Reino de Dios por medio de nuestro servicio y la misericordia para con todos, según el ejemplo de Cristo, nuestro Rey...


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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