The Friday E-Pistle (June 2, 2017)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

The following priests have been appointed as parochial vicars effective July 3, 2017:

  • Rev. Greg Gerhart, San José Parish in Austin.
  • Rev. Francisco Rodriguez, St. Albert the Great Parish in Austin.
  • Rev. Rito Davila, Emmaus Parish in Lakeway.
  • Rev. Darrell Kostiha, St. Mary, Church of the Assumption Parish in West.
  • Rev. Sang Quan, St. John Neumann Parish in Austin.
  • Rev. John Boiko, Santa Teresa Parish in Bryan.
  • Rev. Kurtis Wiedenfeld, St. Thomas More Parish in Austin.
  • Rev. Everardo Cazares, St. William Parish in Round Rock.
  • Rev. Augustine Ariwaodo, St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station.
  • Rev. Melesio Espinoza, St. Martin de Porres Parish in Dripping Springs.
  • Rev. Brian Phillips, St. Anthony Marie de Claret Parish in Kyle.
  • Rev. Jesse Martinez, St. Elizabeth Parish in Pflugerville.
  • Rev. Joseph Daheim, St. Helen Parish in Georgetown.
  • Rev. Douglas Jeffers, St. Louis Parish in Austin.
  • Rev. Jared Cooke, St. Joseph Parish in Bryan.

Other Appointments

  • Rev. Richard Tijerina, in residence at San José Parish in Austin, effective July 3, 2017.
  • Rev. Bruce Nieli, CSP, as Minister to Priests, effective July 1, 2017.

Priestly ordinations

All are invited to attend the ordination of Deacons Jared Cooke, Joseph Daheim, Douglas Jeffers, Jesse Martinez and Brian Phillips to the priesthood, tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at St. William Parish in Round Rock.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the feast of Corpus Christi (June 18):

  • “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” The Jews were as repelled by the idea of eating human flesh. Who is Jesus? He is fully God and fully human who wants us to be entirely united with the Holy Trinity. He gives his entire self – body, blood, soul and divinity. Which is more difficult for us? To believe that God loves each of us so completely that he gives Himself to us under the appearances of bread and wine? Or to re-give ourselves totally and completely in each Eucharistic liturgy by saying “Amen” and by receiving the gift of our Lord in the Eucharist?
  • "¿Cómo puede este hombre darnos su carne como alimento?" Los judíos estaban refractarios ante la idea de comer carne humana ¿Quién es Jesús? Él es completamente Dios y completamente humano y quiere que estemos enteramente en unidad con el Espíritu Santo. Él se entrega completamente -su cuerpo, sangre, alma y divinidad ¿Qué es más difícil para nosotros? ¿Creer que Dios nos ama tan completamente y se entrega a si mismo a nosotros bajo la apariencia de pan y vino?¿O darnos en reciprocidad a nosotros mismos totalmente en cada Liturgia Eucarística al decir "Amén" y al recibir el don de nuestro Señor en la Eucaristía?


Stewardship and Development

Building a Vibrant Parish Seminar

What components make up a vibrant and engaged parish community? What are some best practices that churches are using with success? How can your parish engage more people by communicating the Gospel and leading them to Christ? The Diocese of Austin invites parish staff to attend this one-day seminar at Christ the King Parish in Belton on June 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (lunch included). Click here to register online.  Presented by Tracy Earl Welliver, Liturgical Publications, this seminar presents easy to understand characteristics and actions of a vibrant parish. The goal is to provide you with the tools needed to engage and evangelize parishioners 1 percent at a time. For more information, contact Margaret Kappel at (512) 949-2444.


Diaconate Formation

Project Stephen

  • English- and Spanish-speaking men wishing to explore the permanent diaconate are invited to Project Stephen – a monthly gathering for men and their wives to pray, listen, and discern in community. Project Stephen meets year-around, on the third Thursday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin. Men must first discuss their interest in the diaconate with their pastors and receive their consent to attend. When a new formation class begins (every three years), men will be invited to apply. For more information, e-mail
  • Los hombres de habla inglesa y española que desean explorar el diaconado permanente están invitados al Proyecto Estéban - una reunión mensual para los hombres y sus esposas para orar, escuchar y discernir en comunidad. El Proyecto Estéban se reúne alrededor del año, el tercer jueves de cada mes de 7-9 p.m. en el Centro Pastoral en Austin. Los hombres deben primero discutir su interés con sus pastores y recibir su consentimiento para asistir. Cuando se inicia una nueva clase de formación (cada 3 años), se invitará a los hombres a aplicar. Para más información, envíe un correo electrónico a


Finance Office

Open enrollment

The open enrollment period for health insurance will begin June 1 and end on June 22. During this time, an employee may enroll, add or drop coverage without a qualifying event. Dependent children are eligible until age 26 without student status. All changes made during this time period will be effective July 1, 2017. All employees currently enrolled in the plan will automatically be enrolled unless they terminate coverage. Completion of paperwork is not required unless employees wish to add, drop or change plans. If you have any questions, please contact Krystal Reyes at (512) 949-2424.


Catholic Schools


Similar to #GivingTuesday the Diocese of Austin is partnering with other dioceses to encourage participation in the Catholic alternative to online giving on Nov. 28 through #iGiveCatholic. Funds raised through this day will go to the specific parish, school, or ministry as directed by the donor. #iGiveCatholic will go from midnight Nov. 28 to 11:59 p.m. More information about marketing and training dates to come. Visit to learn more about this initiative.


Evangelization and Catechesis

Upcoming classes, training

  • The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis & Family Life will host a free workshop featuring representatives from two industry leaders in the production and distribution of Catholic digital programming. Whether you’re a pastor, deacon or parish catechetical leader — you’re invited to attend. Augustine Institute/Lighthouse Catholic Media and Ascension Press will be at the diocesan Pastoral Center on June 8 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Advance registration is requested:
  • ­­­­­­The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis & Family Life invites you to an important training to introduce the Theology of the Body as it relates to teens. "YOU. Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body" training will be June 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center. "YOU" provides the tools to navigate teens through challenging topics, including gender, pornography and same-sex “marriage.” For more information or to register for the training, please click here.
  • The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family Life will offer the 2017 Summer Adult Formation & Certification Program beginning June 5. All classes count for certification credit for DREs, catechists, Catholic school teachers, youth ministers, etc. All adults are welcome to attend these classes whether seeking certification or just to learn more about the faith. Please visit our webpage for more information or to register.

Women’s Conference

The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis & Family Life is pleased to announce that registration for the 2017 second annual Diocesan Women’s Conference “Healing the Body of Christ” to be held on Sept. 23 at Santa Cruz Parish in Buda is now open. The day includes Mass with Bishop Daniel Garcia, surprise guest testimonials, confession, Eucharistic adoration, intercessory prayer teams, great women's fellowship and Catholic books and gifts for purchase. To register, visit:


Weekly notes

Pope Francis' prayer intention

Please consider Pope Francis' prayer intention for the month of June:

  • That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people …
  • Que los responsables de las naciones se comprometan con decisión a poner fin al comercio de las armas, que causa tantas víctimas inocentes ...

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the feast of Corpus Christi (June 18):

  • That by receiving the grace of our Lord’s complete self-gift under the sign of bread and wine, we would recognize the nourishment we receive to be faithful disciples bringing Christ’s true presence to our world …
  • Que, al recibir la gracia de la completa entrega de nuestro Señor bajo el signo del pan y el vino, reconozcamos el alimento que recibimos para ser discípulos fieles llevando la verdadera presencia de Cristo a nuestro mundo ...

Parish website updates

A reminder to all parishes that content posted on their websites should be reviewed and updated regularly. Please pay special attention when pastor and associate pastor changes are made.

Annual Men’s Mass

The ninth annual Men’s Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Daniel Garcia on July 22 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. A reception will follow the Mass in Bishop’s Hall.

Presentation on exorcism

Very Rev. Jeffrey Grob will present “Understanding the Reality of the Evil One” on June 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Austin. Rev. Grob is the chancellor for the Archdiocese of Chicago and wrote his doctoral dissertation on the revision of the rite of exorcism.  RSVP at


Ethics and Integrity in Ministry

EIM Workshop

Click here to login to your EIM account in order to find the EIM Workshop schedule and to Sign Up for a Workshop (bottom right of your account page). 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, including instructions on how to login to your EIM account, click here.

EIM Workshops are scheduled by the EIM Office in coordination with the EIM site administrator at parishes, schools and other diocesan agencies; other staff members should work with their EIM site administrator regarding workshop requests. 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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