The Friday E-Pistle (March 17, 2017)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointment

• Rev. Alex Caudillo, associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Austin, to a three-year term as a member of the Vocation Team, effective March 16, 2017.

Lumen Gentium nominations

Lumen Gentium nominations are due March 31. Lumen Gentium will be June 20 at the Mayborn Center in Temple. All submissions should be made online. For questions, please contact Christian González.

Chrism Mass and holy oils

This year’s Chrism Mass will be celebrated at St. Vincent de Paul Parish on April 11 at 10:30 a.m. In order to assist the Office of Worship in preparing new holy oils to be consecrated by Bishop Vásquez, all parishes and missions are asked to submit an order online. Parishes may order holy oils in quantities of 2, 4 or 8 oz. It is essential that each parish and mission submit an order even if it is only the standard order, which includes 2 oz. of the Oil of the Sick, 2 oz. of the Oil of Catechumens and 2 oz. of Sacred Chrism. The deadline for ordering oils is March 24.

Please properly dispose of last year’s consecrated oils prior to the Chrism Mass. The holy oils may be burned on the new fire of the Easter Vigil or buried. Please do not return used holy oil stocks or unused holy oil to the diocesan Worship Office. The Code of Canon Law 847 suppressed by omission the permission to add unblessed oil to that which is already blessed; therefore, you may not add unblessed oil to blessed or consecrated oil. The Worship Office has a generous reserve of holy oils should parishes require additional quantity.

If you need additional information regarding your order, contact the Worship Office at (512) 949-2429 or


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (April 2):

  • The raising of Lazarus in today’s Gospel is the last of seven signs that manifest God’s re-creation made present in Christ. We hear Jesus say, “I AM the resurrection and the life.” In response, Martha, and we proclaim, “I have come to believe that you are the Christ …” Do we believe Christ brings new life someday or that new life is life with Christ now? Jesus calls Lazarus from the tomb and all that binds him as a sign to all disciples. How are we experiencing new life through the Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and Christian service? What tomb is Jesus inviting us to leave behind?
  • El levantamiento de Lázaro en el Evangelio de hoy es la última de siete señales que manifiestan la re-creación de Dios que se hace presente en Cristo. Escuchamos a Jesús decir "YO SOY la resurrección y la vida". En respuesta, Martha, y nosotros proclamamos, "Hemos creído que tú eres el Cristo..." ¿Creemos que Cristo trae vida nueva algún día o que la vida nueva es con Cristo ahora? Jesús llama a Lázaro de la tumba y de
     todo lo que lo ata, como una señal para todos los discípulos ¿Cómo estamos experimentando la vida nueva a través de las disciplinas cuaresmales de la oración, el ayuno y el servicio Cristiano? ¿Qué tumba nos está invitando Jesús a que dejemos atrás?


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Retiro Cuaresmal en español: 1 de abril

Un Retiro Cuaresmal en español se llevará a cabo en el Centro de Retiros Católicos en Belton el día 1 de abril de 9:30 a 2:30 p.m. Este es un día de reflexión para prepararnos para el Viaje Cuaresmal. El Padre Víctor Mayorga, párroco de St. John the Evangelist en San Marcos, liderará el día. El costo es de $30 e incluirá el almuerzo. Para obtener más información, llame al (254) 780-2463 o visite


Stewardship and Development

Red Mass Committee

The Red Mass Committee organizes the annual Diocese of Austin Red Mass for the judiciary and legal community and welcomes input from judges, attorneys, paralegals and administrative assistants. The committee is looking for new members. Come and gather on March 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Doc's at 38th and Lamar in Austin. For more information and to RSVP, contact Margaret Kappel.

PDS Training

The diocese will offer PDS training at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin on March 28. Participants can attend any or all of these sessions. The schedule is as follows:

  • 9 a.m. to noon: For new users or for those that would like to review the basics
  • Noon to 1 p.m.: (Just added) Lunch session. Vanco/PDS will discuss online and electronic giving (eGiving) and integration into PDS. Lunch will be provided by Trinity Publications and ACS Technologies.
  • 1 to 4 p.m.: Covers advanced reporting on families, members, contributions, exports and financials.

Click here to register.


Office of Vocations

Women’s Discernment Retreat: March 31-April 2

The Heart of Mary Women’s Discernment Retreat will be held March 31-April 2 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. All women, ages 18-45, are invited to encounter the beauty of a vocation and the possibility of this call in their own lives. The retreat will be led by the Consecrated Sisters of the Apostles of the Interior Life (AVI). There will be talks and time for prayer as well as “one-on-one” conversations with the sisters while experiencing community life with other young women discerning the will of God. For more information or to register, visit or call (512) 949-2430.


Family Life

Prepare-Enrich Facilitators Training

A training for facilitators to administer the "Prepare" premarital inventory will be offered on March 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. This training will provide valuable assistance to those who help couples preparing for marriage and to discuss the inventory results in a manner that has been shown to effectively reduce later marital conflict. Registration fee is $100 per person and $120 per couple (includes a Prepare-Enrich Facilitator’s package containing Prepare forms, one free administration and other needed materials). Lunch will be provided. For more information, call (512) 949-2470.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (April 2):

  • That freed from the bonds of the death ensnaring tomb, the Elect and all the faithful may be free to fully offer witness to God’s recreating love through prayer, fasting and Christian service, bringing light and life to all people, we pray …
  • Que los liberados de las ataduras de la muerte y la captividad de la tumba, los Elegidos y todos los fieles sean libres para que den testimonio de la creación de Dios a través de la oración, el ayuno y el servicio Cristiano, llevando luz y vida a toda la gente, oremos...


Blessings and congratulations to …

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

  • Rev. Dennis Strach II, CSC, April 2, 2016
  • Rev. Thomas Niemira, April 4, 1965
  • Rev. Rayapu Pothireddy, April 6, 1994
  • Very Rev. William Wack, CSC, April 9, 1994
  • Rev. James Martin, CSC, April 17, 1993
  • Very Rev. Matt Iwuji, April 21, 1974
  • Rev. Richard Dee Du, MF, April 22, 1999
  • Rev. Msgr. William Brooks, April 24, 1976
  • Rev. Kenneth Nielson, April 24, 1999
  • Rev. Msgr. Don Sawyer, April 27, 1974
  • Rev. Ramon Frayna, April 29, 1986


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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