The Friday E-Pistle (March 24, 2017)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Chrism Mass invitation

All are invited to the annual Chrism Mass on April 11 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin.

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.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for Palm Sunday (April 9):

  • Jesus enters Jerusalem to the acclamations of the crowds extolling him as Son of David and shouting “Hosanna” which means “Save us.” His entry resembles that of a triumphant ruler yet Jesus enters humbly riding a donkey rather than a mighty war horse. Entering into his Passion, Jesus enters into the darkness of sin, betrayal, abandonment, torture, and death all the while never turning away from God, his Father. Jesus destroys the separation between God and humanity through covenant and sacrifice. As we enter this most holy week, what darkness, abandonment, betrayal or sin causes you to cry out to Jesus, “Hosanna, Lord, save us”?  
  • Jesús entra a Jerusalén en medio de las aclamaciones de la multitud que lo exalta como el Hijo de David y le grita "Hosanna" lo que significa "Sálvanos". Su entrada recuerda a la de un gobernante triunfante, sin embargo Jesús entra humildemente montado en un burro en lugar de en un caballo de guerra poderoso. Al entrar a su Pasión, Jesús entra a las tinieblas del pecado, la traición, el abandono, la tortura, y la muerte y todo ello sin alejarse jamás de Dios, su Padre. Jesús destruye la separación entre Dios y la humanidad a través del convenio y el sacrificio. Mientras entramos en ésta, la Semana más Santa, ¿Qué oscuridad, abandono, traición o pecado le hace a usted clamar a Jesús, "Hosanna, Señor, sálvanos"?


Black Catholics

Courageous Conversation on Racism

The next Courageous Conversation on Racism will be March 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish in Austin. The event will include small group discussions on the racial equality gap. All are invited to attend.

National Black Catholic Congress

National Black Catholic Congress XII is being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando July 6-9. There will be workshops, and opportunities for individual prayer and sharing your faith with 2,000 to 3,000 other Catholics from all parts of the country. The early registration date is April 7. Registration materials, a list of the proposed workshops/keynote speakers and a schedule of events are available on the diocesan website. If you plan to attend or need more information, contact Johnnie Dorsey at (512) 217-9616.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Passion of the Lord retreat

The Passion of the Lord Retreat will be at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton April 8 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Come ponder and pray about Our Lord’s Passion as passed down to us in the Gospel of Mark. Brian Egan, director at Cedarbrake, will lead this day. The cost is $40 and includes lunch. For more information, call (254) 780-2436 or visit


Stewardship and Development

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.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for Palm Sunday (April 9):

  • For all the faithful, that we would be strengthened through Christ’s Passion to remain steadfast in times of challenge or temptation, for by his cross and resurrection, we have been set free, we pray…
  • Por todos los fieles, para que seamos fortalecidos por la Pasión de Cristo y permanezcamos firmes en tiempos de reto o tentación, ya que por su cruz y resurrección, hemos sido liberados, oremos...

Interreligious dialogue

All are invited to a four-part interreligious panel and discussion series called “May All Be One.” The series is sponsored, in part, by St. Theresa Parish in Austin and Catholic Charities of Central Texas. All sessions are free and begin at 7 p.m. For more information, visit Sessions are as follows:

  • March 29, Holy Texts and Key Figures, St. Theresa Parish, Imam Okan Dogan, Rev. Bud Roland, Dr. Larry Bethune
  • April 5, Tradition, St. John Neumann Parish, Rev. Cheryl Kimble, Rev. Larry Covington, Dr. Mustafa Koroglu
  • April 19, Living the Faith, Highland Park Baptist Church, Rev. Cheryl Kimble, Jon Campbell, Kristen Erdem, Dr. Fatih Akdag
  • April 26, Addressing Extremism, Dialogue Institute, Dr. Guner Arslan, Rev. Jody Harrison, Rev. Larry Covington


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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