The Friday E-Pistle (Jan. 13, 2017)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Rev. John Kim, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Belton, retroactive to July 1, 2015.
  • Rev. Vincent Romuald, SRC, parochial vicar at St. Mary, Immaculate Conception Parish in Brenham, effective Jan. 9, 2017. He will also serve as sacramental minister at St. Ann Parish in Somerville and Blessed Virgin Mary Mission in Old Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Offices closed

All diocesan offices will be closed on Jan. 16 in observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Offices will reopen on Jan. 17.

World Day for Consecrated Life

The consecrated religious orders and communities of women and men serving in the Diocese of Austin will celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life on Feb. 4 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. The event begins with Mass at 10 a.m., followed by a luncheon in Bishop’s Hall. Jubilarians will be honored. Members of religious communities who have not already responded to the initial invitation, please respond by Jan. 26 to Janice Ingram or call (512) 949-2401. If you are celebrating a jubilee year in 2016, please let us know.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jan. 29):

  • What makes you happy? Make a list. Do those persons and things make you truly happy or do they leave you wanting more? Happiness is being completely fulfilled beyond which there is no further desire. This only exists in God. The qualities, the beatitudes listed in the Gospel today require complete reliance on God. Poor in spirit, mourning, meekness, peacemaking, persecuted for seeking righteousness are not qualities that our society would define as happiness. Our goal, our happiness, is complete with undistracted union with God. What material things are we chasing that distract us from God? How are we helping others who do not have necessities of life to acquire them so that they too may fully seek the Lord?
  •  ¿Qué le hace feliz? Haga una lista ¿Esas personas o cosas le hacen realmente feliz o lo dejan deseando más? La felicidad es estar completamente satisfecho y no desear más. Esto sólo existe en Dios. Las cualidades, las beatitudes nombradas en el Evangelio de hoy requieren una completa confianza en Dios. Pobreza de espíritu, ser de los que lloran, de los humildes, de los hacedores de paz, de los perseguidos por buscar la justicia, no son cualidades que nuestra sociedad definiría como felicidad. Nuestra meta, nuestra felicidad está completa en la definitiva unión con Dios ¿Qué cosas materiales estamos siguiendo que nos distraen de Dios? ¿Cómo estamos ayudando a otros necesitados a suplir su necesidad para que ellos puedan también buscar al Señor?


Vocation Office

Project Andrew

Is God calling you to a greater openness towards the vocation to priesthood or religious life? We invite you to attend Project Andrew to encounter the possibility. Join other single, Catholic men (ages 16-45) at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin on Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The morning includes testimonials and prayer with priests and seminarians serving in the diocese, Mass and lunch with Bishop Joe Vásquez. Please go to to register for this free event.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreat

The Silent Lenten Retreat at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton March 10-12 is a weekend of silence combined with communal prayer and Mass. Brian Egan and Beverly Collin will lead this retreat. The cost is $195 for a shared room, $240 for a private room; commuter rate is $95. To register, call (254) 780-2436 or visit


Ethics and Integrity in Ministry

Facilitator training

The Ethics and Integrity in Ministry Office is training new facilitators for Called to Protect for Youth (CTPY – the abuse prevention/education program for middle/high school students) on Feb. 4. 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 or (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.


Stewardship and Development

CSA updates

Thank you for your continued support and generosity to the Catholic Services Appeal. To date, we have received pledges from more than 18,600 families totaling more than $5.12 million. Parishioners are encouraged to generously support the CSA. Current parish goal reports are available on the diocesan website.

Tax letters for 2016 donations will be mailed by Jan. 31 to those donors who have contributed $250 or more.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the Fourth Sunday Ordinary Time (Jan. 29):

  • That the faithful will follow Jesus more completely and open themselves to the blessings he gives, we pray ...
  • Por que los fieles sigan a Jesús más completamente y se abran a si mismos a las bendiciones que Él da, 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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