A message from Bishop Vásquez

Congratulations to newly ordained priests

We congratulate Fathers Jared Cooke, Joseph Daheim, Douglas Jeffers, Jesse Martinez and Brian Phillips, who were ordained to the priesthood on June 3. We thank all who served and participated in the Mass and those who planned and volunteered at the reception following the liturgy.

15th anniversary of the Charter

Fifteen years ago this month, the bishops of the U.S. gathered in Dallas to approve the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which mandates guidelines to help those who have been harmed in the past by sexual abuse, especially abuse of minors by clergy, as well as to ensure efforts are made to prevent future cases of abuse. When the bishops gathered, the Diocese of Austin had already created policies, procedures and training programs – our Ethics and Integrity in Ministry (EIM) program.

In the last audit year alone, 15,847 background checks were run, of which 5,047 were for new applicants (backgrounds are rechecked every three years). Launched less than a year ago, already more than 12,000 people have participated in our new training workshop, Fulfilling our Commitment to Heal and Protect, facilitated by one of 200 trained EIM workshop facilitators and coordinated by the more than 150 parish and school EIM site administrators throughout the diocese. Additionally, more than 19,000 minors were educated in 2015-16 using our Called to Protect programs.

To learn more about what the church has done, and continues to do, in the area of youth protection, please visit the EIM homepage and the USCCB. Together, we are fulfilling our commitment to heal and protect.


Reflection question

Gospel meditation

Consider using the following meditation for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 25):

  • Have you ever been reluctant and afraid to do something someone is asking you to do? This seems to be the case with the disciples in the Gospel today. Jesus reassures them that people may ignore and reject them but that God's love will always sustain them. God calls us to proclaim the Good News of His love and salvation to all people and by our witness to be vessels of transformation. Do you encounter obstacles to sharing the Good News? How do you overcome them?
  • ¿Ha estado usted dudoso o temeroso de hacer algo que alguien le está pidiendo que haga? Este parece ser el caso de los discípulos en el Evangelio de hoy. Jesús les asegura que puede que la gente los ignore y los rechace pero que el amor de Dios siempre los sostendrá. Dios nos llama a proclamar la Buena Nueva  de Su amor y salvación a toda la gente y a ser, por nuestro testimonio, vasos de transformación ¿Usted encuentra obstáculos al compartir la Buena Nueva? ¿Cómo los supera?


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

Upcoming retreats

  • The Regain Your Balance Retreat will be at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton June 23-25. We will explore the themes of “holding on” and “letting go.” What might you be holding onto? How do you “let go” of things, troubles, the past and worries?  Presenters, Cindy Isaacson and Sue Fowler, will help you answer these questions. The cost is $170 for a shared room, $210 for a private room and $95 for a commuter rate. For more information, call (254) 780-2436 or visit www.cedarbrake.org.
  • The Aging with Grace and Wisdom Retreat will be held at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton July 10 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. As we age, we realize life is filled with unfolding possibilities. During this retreat, participants will gain wisdom by looking at aging in the Scriptures. Judy Holsher, a retired hospice chaplain and retreat leader, will facilitate this day. Special attention will be given to six spiritual tasks of aging. The cost is $40 and includes lunch. For more information, call (254) 780-2436 or visit www.cedarbrake.org.


Finance Office

Special Collection money due

Please send funds from the World and Home Missions special collection taken up on Ash Wednesday (March 1) to the diocesan Finance Office as soon as possible. Send checks to Finance Office, Diocese of Austin, 6225 Hwy. 290 East, Austin 78723.


Criminal Justice Ministry

Volunteers needed

The Region IV Parole Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (which includes the Diocese of Austin) is seeking volunteers who may be interested in assisting formerly incarcerated men and women who are being released on parole. Assistance can be offered through various chaplaincy programs that play a significant role in providing rehabilitative, religious, spiritual and faith-based programming to aid in positive offender change. For more information, please contact TDCJ Parole Chaplain Christina Thomas at (210) 564-3861 or John Gilluly, associate director of the Criminal Justice Ministry for the Diocese of Austin, at (512) 949-2460.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 25):

  • For the faithful, that supported by the Holy Spirit’s gift of courage, we may be faithful messengers of God’s love regardless of the situation, we pray …
  • Por los fieles, para que, sustentados por el don del valor del Espíritu Santo, seamos fieles mensajeros del amor de Dios sin importar la situación, oremos...

Corpus Christi procession

St. Mary Cathedral in Austin will celebrate its annual Corpus Christi Procession on June 17 after the 5:30 p.m. Mass. All are invited to process, sing and pray from the Cathedral to the steps of the Capitol, to the Texas State Cemetery, and on to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. For more information, contact the Cathedral at (512) 476-6182.


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.