The Friday E-Pistle (July 7, 2017)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Convocation of Catholic Leaders

On July 1-4, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops convened an unprecedented gathering of key leaders from dioceses and Catholic organizations from all across the country in order to assess the challenges and opportunities of our time, called the Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America. The convocation, held in Orlando, Florida, was part of an ongoing initiative of the Bishops' Working Group on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person. The gathering assembled Catholic leaders for a strategic conversation, under the leadership of the bishops, on forming missionary disciples to animate the Church and to engage the culture. Bishop Garcia and I, as well as a delegation of diocesan staff attended this gathering.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 23):

  • A parable is an interesting literary form that throws together or compares familiar events or items, while also providing a spiritual teaching. The parable of the grain and the weeds involves a concern about non-believers who are part of the early community of followers of Jesus. The disciples are restrained from removing them. How quick are we to try to root out someone we perceive as less perfect or less desirable than ourselves? Do we make room for God’s greatness and counterintuitive ways?
  • Una parábola es una forma literaria interesante que junta o compara eventos o temas familiares, mientras que provee también de una enseñanza espiritual. La parábola de la semilla y la mala hierba aborda la preocupación sobre los que no creen que son parte de una comunidad temprana de seguidores de Jesús. A los discípulos se les prohíbe removerlos ¿Qué tan ansiosos estamos por remover a alguien a quien percibimos como menos perfectos o menos deseables que otros? ¿Hacemos espacio para la grandeza de Dios y sus maneras ajenas a la intuición?


Stewardship and Development

Diocesan National Collections

The national collections material ordering system is available to all dioceses. All USCCB collection materials for parishes may be ordered through this system. This includes collection envelopes and bulletin inserts. Each parish is currently set up to receive one Pastor Kit. The online ordering system,, is free of charge (as are materials). It is only available for dioceses to order on behalf of their parishes and is not available for individual parish use. The system will be available to order materials between June 1 and Sept. 15. If you need to make changes to your current collection materials or have any questions about the online system, please 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, before attending, must first discuss their interest in the diaconate with their pastors and receive his consent. 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 deseen 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 todo el 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 inicie una nueva clase de formación (cada 3 años), se invitará a los hombres a aplicar. Para más información, envíe un correo electrónico a


Weekly notes

Pope Francis' prayer intention

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

  • That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life ...
  • Por nuestros hermanos que se han alejado de la fe, para que, a través de nuestra oración y el testimonio evangélico, puedan redescubrir la cercanía del Señor misericordioso y la belleza de la vida cristiana ...

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 23):

  • For the Church, that as disciples of Christ we would allow the tiny seed of faith to grow in us, so that God may plant further seeds in others through our faithfulness and service …
  • Por la Iglesia, para que, como discípulos de Cristo, permitamos que la pequeña semilla de la fe crezca en nosotros, de manera que Dios pueda plantar más semillas en otros a través de nuestra fidelidad y servicio...

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.


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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