The Friday E-Pistle (March 31, 2017)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Pastoral Plan update

  • The Pastoral Plan website continues to be the primary vehicle offering ideas and links to implement the plan locally in your parish. Parish Spotlight is a new section that features what parishes are doing to implement the plan through vibrant ministries. If your parish is not on the list, please send the information to Charlene O’Connell and we will gladly add it.
  • It is not too late to use the Pastoral Plan to assist your parish in reflecting on what ministries are doing well and what ministries are needed. Congratulations, again, to Father Larry Covington and the Pastoral Council at St. Theresa Parish in Austin on the completion of their parish Pastoral Plan, Embracing the Great Commission. This is a wonderful example of using the diocesan plan as a template for designing a parish plan. St. Anthony Parish in Kyle offers another terrific example of using the diocesan plan to guide the development of a parish plan for the future growth of the parish. Congratulations to both parishes!
  • Consider adding the Pastoral Plan logo and link to your parish website. Logos can be downloaded from the Pastoral Plan website.

Special Collection: April 14

All parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for the Holy Land on Good Friday, April 14. The following announcement should be read before all services or before the collection is taken up on Good Friday:

  • Today we will take up the annual collection to support Christians in the Holy Land. Our contributions will assist the Franciscan friars and others in housing and feeding the poor, providing religious formation and education, maintaining shrines and parishes, and conducting pastoral ministry in the Holy Land. The annual Good Friday Collection is a pontifical collection requested by the Holy Father and  offers a way for all of us to help maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land.
  • Hoy recogeremos la colecta anual para apoyar a los Cristianos en Tierra Santa. Nuestras contribuciones asistirán a los frailes Franciscanos y a otros en dar albergue y alimentar a los pobres, proveyendo de formación religiosa y educación, manteniendo santuarios y parroquias, y conduciendo el ministerio pastoral en Tierra Santa. La colecta anual de Viernes Santo es una colecta pontificia requerida por el Santo Padre y la cual nos ofrece una manera a todos nosotros de ayudar a mantener una presencia Cristiana en Tierra Santa.

Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for Easter (April 16):

  • Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!  What does Easter mean for you? How have you experienced the resurrection? Where has the Risen Lord encountered you? To whom have you told the Good News? Easter is not a single day but 50. Although the apostles and disciples did not always understand, we are comforted in the fact that God is always faithful. As we journey through the 50 days of Easter, allow the Risen Lord to encounter you in the common and unexpected. Hear Him in the Scriptures at Mass and see Him in the breaking of the Bread. Truly, He is Risen!
  •  ¡Cristo ha resucitado! Verdaderamente, ¡Él ha resucitado! ¿Qué significa la Pascua para usted? ¿Cómo ha experimentado usted la resurrección? ¿Dónde le ha encontrado a usted el Cristo resucitado? ¿A quién ha usted dicho la Buena Nueva? Pascua no es un día único sino 50 días. A pesar de que los apóstoles y discípulos no siempre entendieron, nos consolamos en el hecho de que Dios siempre es fiel. Mientras viajamos a través de los 50 días de la Pascual, permitamos que el Señor Resucitado nos encuentre en lo común y en lo inesperado. Escuchémoslo en las Escrituras en Misa y veámoslo en el partir del Pan. Verdaderamente ¡Él ha resucitado!


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


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for Easter (April 16):

  • For the neophytes and all the faithful, that we will be filled with the joy of the resurrection throughout the Easter season, and witness to the presence of the Risen Lord each day, we pray ...
  • For los neófitos y los fieles, para que estemos llenos del gozo de la resurrección a través de la temporada de Pascua, y demos testimonio de la presencia del Señor Resucitado cada día, 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.

Department Categorization: