The Friday E-Pistle (Sept. 1, 2017)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Official appointments

  • Very Rev. Basil Aguzie, MSP, as Dean of the Austin Central Deanery, effective Aug. 7, 2017.
  • Very Rev. Edward Karasek as Dean of the Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery, effective Sept. 1, 2017.
  • Very Rev. Albert Laforet Jr. as Dean of the Bryan/College Station Deanery, effective Aug. 1, 2017.
  • Very Rev. Will Straten as Dean of the Georgetown/Round Rock Deanery, effective Sept. 1, 2017.

Statement on Hurricane Harvey

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez and Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Garcia issued the following statement on Aug. 29:

Together with our brother bishops, we urge all people of good will to be united with those suffering as a result of the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. We are deeply concerned about the parishes, communities and people that have been and will continue to be impacted by the storm.  We urge all people to continue to follow the safety directives of the local emergency management officials. Even as the hurricane has been downgraded, some victims will feel the long-term effects of the storm system for years to come.

We encourage the faithful of the Diocese of Austin to be spiritually united with the communities affected through prayer and support. Because we believe that “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress” (Psalm 46:1), our neighbors require our resolve to help them in their time of need. Considering the unprecedented flooding and the disheartening circumstances in which our brothers and sisters find themselves, we are reminded that Jesus requires us to help our neighbors out of mercy and love (cf Luke 10:29-37).

Special collection

At the request of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, all parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for those affected by Hurricane Harvey this weekend or as soon as possible to assist those affected by the hurricane.

How to help

Catholic Charities of Central Texas is coordinating our diocesan relief efforts for families impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We encourage you to visit for more information on how to offer help and to provide assistance for the victims of the storm.

If you have been affected by floods, call the Disaster Response Hotline: (512) 766-7111 or email

Offices closed

All diocesan offices will be closed on Sept. 4 in observance of Labor Day. Diocesan offices will reopen on Sept. 5.

Labor Day

As followers of Jesus, we are called to judge economic choices and institutions by how they protect or undermine the life and dignity of the human person, support the family, and serve the common good. This Labor Day, reflect on dignity of work by visiting to read the annual Labor Day statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 17):

  • To sin is to turn inwardly, caring about one’s self. It is possible to seem nice and caring when our real motivation may be our own future benefit. Jesus asks us to forgive freely. Our attention should be on God and on others. In the Lord’s Prayer we pray to be forgiven by the same measure we forgive others. Will we be like the generous king who forgives greatly or the wicked, selfish servant who is only interested in self?  How often will we forgive?
  • Pecar es volvernos hacia nosotros mismos, preocupándonos por nosotros mismos. Es posible parecer agradables y que nos preocupamos cuando nuestra motivación real puede que sea nuestro propio beneficio futuro. Jesús nos pide que perdonemos libremente. Nuestra atención debe de estar en Dios y en los demás. En el Padre Nuestro pedimos ser perdonados con la misma medida que nosotros perdonamos a los demás ¿Seremos como el rey generoso que perdona grandemente o el siervo malo, egoísta que sólo se interesa por si mismo? ¿Qué tan seguido perdonaremos?


Stewardship and Development

PDS Training

The diocese will offer a beginner and advanced PDS training session at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin on Sept. 12. There will be a morning session from 9 a.m. to noon for new users or for those that would like to review the basics. The afternoon session from 1 to 4 p.m. will cover advanced reporting on families, members, contributions, exports and financials. A PDS feedback session forum has been added from noon to 1 p.m. where PDS developers will be available to discuss functionality you would like on your “wish list” in Church Office.  Lunch will be provided. You are welcome to attend these sessions one at a time, take both in one day or come and join us just for the feedback session. Click here to register for the sessions. For questions, contact Lisa Rosenberger at (512) 949-2450.

CSA Training

  • Priests, parish secretaries, business administrators, CSA coordinators and stewardship and development administrators are strongly encouraged to attend a training session for this year’s Catholic Services Appeal.
  • Participants may attend the session that is most convenient for them.
  • At least one person from each parish must attend.
  • New pastors and newly ordained priests are encouraged to attend.
  • Topics covered will include previous CSA results, raising awareness, parish materials, the CSA case statement, conducting the appeal and return procedures.
  • Parish CSA materials will be distributed at this time.
  • Participants must RSVP in order to receive their materials.

Please RSVP online by Sept. 20 for one of the following sessions:

  • Sept. 26, 10–11:30 a.m., Austin–Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center
  • Sept. 26, 1:30-3 p.m., Austin–Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center
  • Sept. 27, 10–11:30 a.m., Austin–Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center
  • Sept. 27, 1:30-3 p.m. Austin–Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center
  • Sept. 28, 9–10:30 a.m., Kyle–St. Anthony Marie de Claret Parish, Joseph Room, Holy Family Building

Please note that there is a time change in the following training sessions due to the Priest Convocation the week of Oct. 2.

  • Oct. 10, 9-10:30 a.m., Waco-St. Jerome Parish, Jordan Hall
  • Oct. 10, 1:30-3 p.m., Temple-St. Luke Parish, Parish Hall
  • Oct. 11, 10–11:30 a.m., Burnet–Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, Parish Hall
  • Oct. 12, 9-10:30 a.m., College Station–St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Youth Room
  • Oct. 12, 1:30-3 p.m., Giddings-St. Margaret Parish, Parish Hall


Worship Office

Adult Confirmation

Diocesan Adult Confirmation will be celebrated Nov. 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Santa Cruz Parish in Buda. The registration deadline is Oct. 30. The registration form can be downloaded from the Worship Office web page. Contact the Office of Worship for questions about the celebration or registration at (512) 949-2429 or email


Weekly notes

Pope Francis' prayer intention

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

  • That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen …
  • Por nuestras parroquias, para que, animadas por un espíritu misionero, sean lugares de transmisión de la fe y testimonio de la caridad ...


Bishop Vásquez’ prayer requests

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer requests for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept. 17):

  • That as faithful disciples we may create a community of loving care where others are welcome and forgiveness flows freely …
  • Por que, como discípulos fieles, podamos crear una comunidad de cuidado amoroso donde los otros sean bienvenidos y el perdón fluya libremente ...
  • For those who continue to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, that their suffering may be soothed by caring neighbors and their needs supplied through the generous support of others …
  • Por aquellos que continúan recuperándose de las consecuencias del Huracán Harvey, que su sufrimiento sea aliviado por su prójimo amoroso y sus necesidades suplidas a través del generoso apoyo de los demás...


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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