The Friday E-Pistle (Nov. 18, 2016)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Pastoral Plan update

  • The first edition of the Pastoral Plan e-newsletter will be sent to all parishes in the December Monthly Mailing. The newsletter will feature direct links of ideas to implement the Pastoral Plan. 
  • Check out, the Pastoral Plan site, which was updated this week with a large number of new items. The list is growing of suggestions to implement each objective in the plan.
  • 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.

Special Collection: Dec. 10-11

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for Retired Religious and Clergy Medical Fund the weekend of Dec. 10-11. The following announcement should be read before all Masses that weekend:

  • Aging religious need your help. Thousands of senior sisters, brothers and religious order priests spent years working in Catholic schools, hospitals and agencies — often for little pay. Their sacrifices leave their religious communities without adequate savings for retirement and eldercare. Your gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious collection helps provide prescription medications, nursing care and more. Please give to those who have given a lifetime. 
  • Hermanas, hermanos y sacerdotes católicos de órdenes religiosas mayores pasaron su vida en escuelas católicas, hospitales y agencias de servicio social, muchas veces con bajos sueldos. Como consecuencia de aquellos sacrificios, sus comunidades religiosas se hallan ahora sin ahorros suficientes para costear la jubilación y cuidados geriátricos de los miembros. Su donativo al Fondo para la Jubilación de Religiosos ayuda con las recetas médicas, cuidados de enfermería y más. Done a aquellos que dieron toda una vida.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the Second Sunday of Advent (Dec. 4):

  • Today we hear that is it not enough to simply know Christ. Our lives are to bear good fruit. Discipleship requires ongoing conversion and formation through an intimate relationship with Christ. Do we bear good fruit? Where do we need to repent, and to turn away from sin and toward Christ as we prepare for His coming?
  • Hoy se nos dice que no es suficiente simplemente conocer a Cristo. Nuestras vidas deben dar buenos frutos. El discipulado exige la conversión continua y la formación a través de una relación íntima con Cristo. ¿Damos buen fruto? ¿Dónde tenemos que arrepentirnos, y alejarnos del pecado para ir hacia Cristo, mientras nos preparamos para su venida?

Consider using the following meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent (Dec. 11):

  • “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.” Jesus challenges those who had gone to the desert to see John the Baptist, the one preparing the way for the Lord. Where do we look for the Lord? Where is Jesus to be found today? He is making God’s love present to the blind, the lame, lepers, the deaf, the dead and the poor. How are we preparing the way for the Kingdom? Rejoice, the Lord is near.
  • "Regocíjense en el Señor siempre; de nuevo, digo: ¡Regocíjense! El Señor está cerca". Jesús desafía a los que habían ido al desierto para ver a Juan el Bautista, el que preparaba el camino para el Señor. ¿Dónde buscamos al Señor? ¿Dónde encontrar a Jesús hoy en día? Él hace presente el amor de Dios a los ciegos, los cojos, los leprosos, los sordos, los muertos y los pobres. ¿Cómo estamos preparando el camino para el Reino? Regocíjense, el Señor está cerca.


Stewardship and Development

#iGiveCatholic update

Remember you have the opportunity to rally around your Catholic community for #iGiveCatholic on #GivingTuesday. The Diocese of Austin and more than 30 parishes, schools, and Catholic organizations will participate in an online giving day on Nov. 29. Please consider being part of a growing national Catholic movement at

Return instruction for CSA Pledges

A reminder to send the first two parish batches 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 and we will process them. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Rosenberger at (512) 949-2450.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the Second Sunday of Advent (Dec. 4):

  • For the Church, the Body of Christ, that by bearing good fruit of love and mercy, we would be the vehicles of God’s presence to those in most need: the poor, the sick, the oppressed, and the marginalized …
  • Por la Iglesia, el Cuerpo de Cristo, que al dar buenos frutos de amor y misericordia, seamos vehículos de la presencia de Dios para aquellos que más lo necesitan: los pobres, los enfermos, los oprimidos y los marginados...

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the Third Sunday of Advent (Dec. 11):

  • That our hearts would be open to those in need: the hungry, the homeless, the immigrant, the refugee and those without hope, we pray …
  • Que nuestros corazones estén abiertos a aquellos que lo necesitan: los hambrientos, los sin techo, los inmigrantes, los refugiados y los que no tienen esperanza, oremos...

Blessings and congratulations to …

The following priests on the anniversary of their ordination during the month of December:

  • Rev. Javier Toscano Lopez, Dec. 1, 2007
  • Rev. Abraham Puentes Mejia, Dec. 2, 1994
  • Rev. Jairo Lopez, Dec. 4, 1994
  • Rev. Jose Luis Comparan, Dec. 13, 2003
  • Rev. Charles Banks, OMI, Dec. 17, 1966
  • Rev. Gerold Langsch, ISP, Dec. 17, 1972
  • Rev. Msgr. Tom Frank, Dec. 18, 1970
  • Very Rev. Richard O'Rourke, MSC, Dec. 19, 1965
  • Rev. Walter Carr, Dec. 19, 1992
  • Rev. Melvin Dornak, Dec. 19, 1992
  • Rev. George George, Dec. 20, 1986
  • Rev. Oliver Weerakkody, Dec. 21, 1965
  • Rev. Bob Kincl, Dec. 21, 1967
  • Rev. Joy Adimakkeel, Dec. 23, 1980
  • Rev. George Thirumangalam, CMI, Dec. 28, 1976
  • Rev. Pius Mathew, Dec. 31, 1990


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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