Father Garcia is new vicar general of the diocese



Father Garcia is new vicar general of the diocese
MARCH 2014
V O L U M E 3 2, N U M B E R 3
Father Garcia is new vicar general of the diocese
On March 3, Father Danny
Garcia took ofÀce as the vicar
general and moderator of the
curia for the Diocese of Austin.
Prior to this post, he served for
19 years as the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin.
A tight-knit Catholic family shaped Father Garcia into
the man he is today. His parents formed the foundation for
their son and three daughters, a
foundation that was reinforced
by their grandparents next door
Postage Paid
at Austin, Texas
FATHER DANNY GARCIA began his position as vicar
general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of
Austin on March 3. (Photo courtesy Matt Pardo of St.
Vincent de Paul Parish)
Austin Diocese
6225 Hwy. 290 East
Austin, Texas 78723
Lenten promises
need only bring us
closer to Christ.
Page 19
and the community of Blessed
Sacrament Parish, only a few
blocks from their home.
Raised in the small town of
Cameron, about 75 miles northeast of Austin, life was primarily
composed of the four aspects
that deÀne many small towns:
church, family, school and athletics. Many days after school were
spent at the Cameron Ice Plant,
where his paternal grandfather,
also named Daniel, worked. To
distinguish the three generations
of Garcia men, his grandfather
was known as “Daniel,” his
father as “Dan,” and the youngest as “Danny,” a name that has
stuck throughout his life.
Although he played many
sports as a child, from the time
he joined the city league at the
age of 6, Father Garcia discovered an unparalleled love for
baseball. He excelled on the
diamond, both on the pitcher’s mound and as a shortstop,
throughout high school. When
he was not playing baseball, he
enjoyed watching one of his
favorite professional teams, the
Chicago Cubs, a passion that
prepared him for his vocation
that often involves sharing in
the pain of loss.
When a devastating electrical
fire destroyed Blessed Sacrament Parish during his ninth
grade year, Father Garcia’s family began attending St. Monica
Parish. The pastor, Msgr. Louis
Pavlicek, often encouraged the
young Garcia boy to consider
the priesthood through attending the Explore summer program at St. Mary’s Seminary in
Houston, which exposes teenage boys to seminary life.
“But I always resisted because I felt that the goal of
Explore was for one sole reason:
that is to go to be a priest (and
that was the last thing I ever
wanted to do). I knew it was an
option, but I never wanted to
look at that possibility,” Father
Garcia said.
It was not until two years
after high school, while preparing to transfer to Texas A&M
University to pursue his dream
of becoming a medical doctor
that Father Garcia began to consider the possibility of becoming
a priest. While discerning, he
decided to postpone school and
instead worked in his hometown
for another two years before
ultimately entering the seminary.
“Even after I said yes, I
went to the seminary more to
convince myself I shouldn’t be
there. I told my family I was
going to discern whether or not
God wants me to be a priest. I
went to the seminary in 1982 at
age 22. Each year I kept saying
‘I’ll give it a try.’ And every year
it was a positive year. I began to
Ànd out that the call God was
giving me was being afÀrmed by
my experience,” Father Garcia
said. He was ordained by Bishop
John McCarthy in May 1988.
A few years after ordination,
Father Garcia met a couple of
“Winter Texans” from Michigan
who would eventually become
almost like “second parents.”
They invited the young associate
pastor from St. Louis Parish in
Austin to visit them the following summer at their home on
the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, and for the last 22 years, he
has traveled north each summer
to enjoy the peacefulness and
“I think one of the most
important things for a priest is
to not be uncomfortable being around families. Not being
married, having my own wife
or kids, I just love to be with
families,” Father Garcia said.
During his 19 years as pastor
of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in
Austin, he has been welcomed
into the homes of numerous
families and individuals to share
many precious moments of life.
He has also worked hard to
maintain his relationship with his
own family back home. He often
drives back to Cameron to visit
his father on his days off. Over
the course of his mother’s 11 year
battle with leukemia, a battle she
ultimately lost last year, he would
accompany her to appointments
at MD Anderson in Houston.
See GARCIA on Page 3
Scouts honor the lifelong dedication of
Deacon Bill Scott.
Page 4
Benedict XVI joins Pope
Francis and new cardinals for prayer service.
Page 9
Las promesas de
Cuaresma son un reto,
pero no una carga.
Página 27
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40 days of growth, not competition or guilt
Lent is here again. It seems every year it comes
around just when I have all but given up on my
New Year’s resolutions or when I have somehow
managed to bury my Bible and prayer journal in
my nightstand despite my best intentions just a few
short weeks ago.
I will admit I have struggled with Lent in the
last few years –– partly because life has been somewhat chaotic but mostly because I have a tendency
to lose my focus. I forgot Lent was about me growing in holiness and about my relationship with the
Lord. Instead, I focused on what everyone else was
giving up or doing more of, which ultimately made
me feel like a failure and completely unworthy.
This Lent I am doing my best to remember that
this growing in holiness thing is not a competition
and it is not about guilt. It’s not about doing more
than someone else, and it’s not about measuring up
to the goals my “friends” have set.
My Lenten promises are just that –– mine; they
were discerned by me and are speciÀc to me and
my relationship with God. As Bishop Vásquez says
in his interview (Page 19), Lent is a time of grace
and conversion –– this year, more so than ever, I
am in need of both.
I pray God will give me the grace I need to keep
my inner-competitor and guilt-plagued conscious at
bay. God is good and a lot can happen in six weeks,
I just need to keep my focus on him.
family are parishioners of
St. Margaret Mary Parish in
Cedar Park. She has been
editor of the Catholic Spirit
since 2007.
10 things to remember for Lent
Editor’s note: Lent is truly a journey to the
foot of the cross. Here are 10 things written by
Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., that
I found helpful as I began to think about what
my Lenten promises would be. This list was Àrst
published on the website for the U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops (www.usccb.org), which has a
lot of helpful Lenten resources. Check it out!
1. Remember the formula. The church does
a good job capturing certain truths with easy-toremember lists and formulas: 10 Commandments,
seven sacraments, three persons in the Trinity. For
Lent, the church gives us almost a slogan — prayer,
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2. It’s a time of prayer. Lent is essentially
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an act of prayer spread out over 40 days. As we
pray, we go on a journey, one that hopefully brings
us closer to Christ and leaves us changed by the
encounter with him.
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Editor: Shelley Metcalf; (512) 949-2400,
3. It’s a time to fast. With the fasts of Ash
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Wednesday and Good Friday, meatless Fridays,
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and our personal disciplines interspersed, Lent is
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the only time many Catholics these days actually
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fast. And maybe that’s why it gets all the attention.
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“What are you giving up for Lent? Hotdogs? Beer?
Spanish translation: Gina Dominguez
Jelly beans?” It’s almost a game for some of us, but
Columnists: Barbara Budde, Mary Lou Gibson and
fasting is actually a form of penance, which helps
Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.
us turn away from sin and toward Christ.
Correspondents: Burnie Cook, Amy Moraczewski, Peggy
4. It’s a time to work on discipline. The 40
Moraczewski, Enedelia Obregón, Michele Chan Santos
days of Lent are also a good, set time to work on
and Mary P. Walker
personal discipline in general. Instead of giving
something up, it can be doing something positive.
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5. It’s about dying to yourself. The more
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more than self-control; it’s about Ànding aspects
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and being resurrected in a puriÀed form.
6. Don’t do too much. It’s tempting to make
Lent some ambitious period of personal reinven-
tion, but it’s best to keep it simple and focused.
There’s a reason the church works on these mysteries year after year. We spend our entire lives
growing closer to God. Don’t try to cram it all in
one Lent. That’s a recipe for failure.
7. Lent reminds us of our weakness. Of
course, even when we set simple goals for ourselves
during Lent, we still have trouble keeping them.
When we fast, we realize we’re all just one meal
away from hunger. In both cases, Lent shows us
our weakness. This can be painful, but recognizing
how helpless we are makes us seek God’s help with
renewed urgency and sincerity.
8. Be patient with yourself. When we’re confronted with our own weakness during Lent, the
temptation is to get angry and frustrated. “What a
bad person I am!” But that’s the wrong lesson. God
is calling us to be patient and to see ourselves as he
does, with unconditional love.
9. Reach out in charity. As we experience
weakness and suffering during Lent, we should
be renewed in our compassion for those who are
hungry, suffering or otherwise in need. The third
part of the Lenten formula is almsgiving. It’s about
more than throwing a few extra dollars in the collection plate; it’s about reaching out to others and
helping them without question as a way of sharing
the experience of God’s unconditional love.
10. Learn to love like Christ. Giving of ourselves in the midst of our suffering and self-denial
brings us closer to loving like Christ, who suffered
and poured himself out unconditionally on cross for
all of us. Lent is a journey through the desert to the
foot of the cross on Good Friday, as we seek him
out, ask his help, join in his suffering, and learn to
love like him.
OfÀcial appointments
• Very Rev. Daniel Garcia has been appointed
vicar general and moderator of the curia of the Austin Diocese.
• Paulist Father Ed Koharchik has been appointed pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin.
• Schoenstatt Father as Johnson Nellissery has
been appointed parochial vicar of St. Paul Parish in
• Holy Cross Father William Wack has been
appointed dean of the Austin Central Deanery.
• Deacon Neil Fahlund has been appointed to
San José Parish in Austin.
March 2014
Mass, rally bring people together in support of life
It was a full house at San
José Parish in Austin for the
annual Pro-Life Mass, celebrated by Bishop Joe Vásquez
on Jan. 25.
Prior to the Mass, a living rosary was prayed by religious education students.
Children pantomimed the
Joyful Mysteries while older
students led the congregation in prayer. The Knights
of Columbus then processed
in carrying a statue of Our
Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Americas
and of the unborn.
Various priests from the
diocese concelebrated the Mass,
which is sponsored by the diocesan OfÀce of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living.
In his homily –– delivered
in English and Spanish ––
Bishop Vásquez noted the
celebration was being held on
the Feast of the Conversion
of St. Paul, a turning point in
the history of the early church.
A well-educated and observant Jew, Paul –– who never
physically met Jesus –– was a
persecutor of the early church
who later became “an ardent
follower of Jesus Christ” and
eventually “a great apostle and
teacher of the nations.”
“Paul’s conversion be-
gins with a unique encounter
with Jesus Christ,” the bishop
said. “This is recounted in the
Acts of the Apostles where
Paul is literally knocked to the
ground and blinded. His life
was turned upside down.”
Paul’s heart was changed
and he became an apostle
for Christ and his church,
Bishop Vásquez said. “Eventually, he not only dedicated
his life to serve the church,
but also shed his own blood
for love of Christ … Christianity owes much to this great
Bishop Vásquez said that
at the 41st anniversary of Roe
v. Wade, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legalization of abortion, “we
gather once again to pray, asking God to move the hearts
of those who do not share
our understanding of the great
value of human life.”
On Jan. 23, 1973, the U.S.
Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, afÀrmed the legality of
a woman’s right to have an
abortion under the Fourteenth
Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees a person’s right to privacy. The
ruling allowed for legal abortions during the entire pregnancy but set up conditions
for states to regulate abortion
during the second and third
The Catholic Church
Continued from Page 1
“My mother was always
the strength of our family.
Just as any family, we’ve had
our struggles, and I’ve always
admired how my mother was
able to weather the storms of
life and relied on her faith to
not lose hope,” he said.
In his time as a priest,
Father Garcia said the most
meaningful moments have
been when he can “accompany a person and their family
in the last moments of life.”
While these moments may become less frequent as he takes
on many of the administrative
responsibilities involved in his
new role, a well-respected retired priest in the diocese recently suggested he bring to
his new job the “pastoral care
of a shepherd.”
ReÁecting on this, Father
Garcia said, “It’s my hope
that I bring to the role of vicar
general and moderator of the
curia my pastoral sensitivity in listening to my brother
priests, religious and deacons,
and the people of God. My
life as a priest has been very
rich. I’ve had some wonderful experiences at every parish
I’ve been at, challenging but
very life giving. The people
of God have helped me to be
the priest I am. I hope that my
experience at every parish collectively serves me in the position I’m about to take.”
As vicar general, he serves
as the principal deputy to
Bishop Vásquez, exercising
the bishop’s ordinary executive power over the entire
diocese. Thus he is the highest ofÀcial in the diocese after
the bishop. As moderator of
the curia, Father Garcia coordinates administrative duties
and oversees those who hold
ofÀce in diocesan administration.
“The Diocese of Austin
is blessed to welcome Father
Garcia,” Bishop Vásquez said.
“I look forward to working
closely with him in the years
to come.”
for the annual Pro-Life Mass on Jan. 25.
After the Mass and lunch, many pro-life
supporters marched to the Capitol for the
annual Pro-Life Rally. (Photos by Enedelia
J. Obregón)
teaches that all life is sacred
from conception until natural
“Every human being is
created by our loving God
and entrusted at conception
with a unique mission or vocation in life,” the bishop said.
“That we are God’s children,
made in his image and invited
to have a role in bringing others to salvation, is our glory
and honor.”
The bishop acknowledged
that “we can be motivated by
anger and even hatred against
those who do not value life.”
“It can be frustrating,”
he said. “Frustration accomplishes nothing and distracts
us from two things, which
are faith in God and the loving witness of our lives. If
we possess these, then we are
able to respond completely
different without anger or hatred.
“Let us pray for our own
conversion –– that we will
witness to the supreme value
of human life by respecting
all persons, particularly the
weak, the poor, the sick and
the abandoned.”
Bishop Vásquez concluded
with words from Pope Francis, “who has not only spoken
about, but shown us through
his actions, the great value” of
each person.
“He warns us not to be
enticed by the ‘culture of
waste’ that treats persons as
things to be discarded,” Bishop Vásquez said. “He says,
‘All life has inestimable value
–– even the weakest and most
vulnerable, the sick and old,
the unborn and the poor––
are masterpieces of God’s cre-
ation, made in his own image,
destined to live forever, and
deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.’”
After Mass, the bishop
blessed dozens of roses for
those in attendance to take
and share. Many at the Mass
also attended the Pro-Life
march and rally at the Texas
Mary and Natividad Ruíz
from Sacred Heart Parish in
Elgin started attending two
years ago after talking to the
youth group about life issues.
“We are very much against
abortion,” Mary Ruíz said.
“We want people to see that
so many people support life.”
Sisters Amy, 15, and Laura
Pressman, 13, came from St.
Louis Parish in Waco with
friend Gigi López, 14.
“We’re walking because
we’re pro-life and want to
save babies,” López said.
“It’s important to support this,” Amy said. “We
are witnesses to people who
don’t know what it’s about.
We want to support the unborn.”
“It’s a big deal to show
people that life begins at conception,” Laura said. “Babies
are helpless and we should
protect them. I want to do
this again next year.”
Bishop Vásquez gave the
invocation for the rally at the
“Today … we recommit
ourselves in our efforts to
change the law and provide
protection for the most vulnerable in our society –– the
unborn,” the bishop said. “We
pray for all those who have
been victimized by abortion.
Bring about healing to those
who suffer and help them recognize you as a God of mercy
and compassion.”
Praying, fasting for life
40 Days for Life, a pro-life campaign that brings together
the body of Christ in a spirit of unity through prayer, fasting
and peaceful activism, will be active during Lent at four locations in Austin and one location in Waco. 40 Days for Life
is not an of¿cial ministry of the Diocese of Austin; however,
Catholics are encouraged to participate if they are able.
For more information on the Austin locations, visit www.
For more information on the Waco location, visit http://
www.prolifewaco.com or contact John Pisciotta at (254)
644-0407 or [email protected]
Deacon Bill Scott: A life-long, dedicated Scout
When Deacon Bill Scott
joined the Cub Scouts in 1942,
he began an adventure that has
lasted more than 72 years. On
Feb. 8, the Boy Scouts honored
him for his leadership, dedication
and service with a testimonial
dinner at St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station. More than
250 family members, friends and
Scouts, as well as local dignitaries,
joined in the celebration.
Deacon Scott’s resolve to
volunteer with scouting began
shortly after he joined. While on
a camping trip with friends, his
Scoutmaster challenged them to
“give back” in gratitude for their
experiences. Ever since, he has
taken that challenge to heart.
When asked how his Catholic faith inÁuenced his life as a
Scout, Scott said that scouting
and Catholicism complement
each other.
“The Scout Oath and the
Scout Law are a code of honor
that you can live. I’ve tried to
do that,” Scott said. In fact,
one of the components of the
Scout Law is “reverence,” which
manifested itself in his service as a
deacon. He was ordained in 1988.
Scouting is known for its
comprehensive leadership
training and skill development
programs, and Deacon Scott
has enthusiastically invested
his hard-earned expertise in the
development of countless young
men and women.
He was the first to attain
the rank of Eagle in Troop 383,
sponsored by St. Joseph Parish
in Bryan, and he became the
troop’s junior assistant Scoutmaster in 1952. Over the years,
he has served as a Scoutmaster
and held many leadership positions in troops and the Arrowmoon District of scouting. He
founded Troop 1074 sponsored
by St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in
College Station, and also helped
establish Explorer Post 735, a
co-ed scouting group that focused on high adventure.
“Big Daddy” is Deacon
Scott’s nickname within the
scouting community, which
reflects not only his size, but
also his fatherly concern for
youth. Susan Guinn Alonso, who
grew up without a father in her
home, stated that he served as a
strong male role model in her life.
Through him and her experience
with Explorers, she learned that
she could achieve more than she
had ever imagined possible.
She also credits Deacon Scott
with guiding her to the right career. When he helped her secure
a summer job at the Texas A&M
Transportation Institute, Alonso
got to meet engineering students.
This experience gave her conÀdence in her engineering abilities,
causing her to change her mind
about her college major. Today
she is a petroleum engineer. Taking the lead from her mentor, she
too has “given back” through
participation in Cub Scouts with
her sons.
While Deacon Scott’s scouting exploits are legendary, he is
especially famous for his cooking skills. Over the years, he has
fed thousands upon thousands
at scouting, church and community events. At the dinner,
one of the testimonials that
generated a lot of laughter was
the story of a cooking project that did not go as planned,
melting part of a Dutch oven in
the process. As a tribute to his
love of camp food, the dinner
included a Dutch oven dessert
cook-off by area Scouts and
leaders, where attendees voted
on the winners.
The event offered a few
surprises. Judge George Boyett
was also a young Scout when
Deacon Scott Àrst joined. He
SCOTT, seen
here with wife
Estelle, was
honored for his
commitment to
scouting Feb.
8 in College
Station. (Photo
by Mary P.
explained that one of their early
activities was planting 1,000 pine
seedlings at Camp Arrowmoon,
near Hearne. The next year, they
returned to plant 1,000 more.
Today many of these seedlings
have matured into trees that are
50 feet tall in a beautiful setting
that will now be named the “Bill
Scott Pine Grove.”
In addition, the mayors of
Bryan and College Station and
the county judge proclaimed
Feb. 8, 2014 as “Bill Scott
Day.” The proclamation reads:
“Through his support of the
Boy Scouts of America, Bill
helps to assure that that the lessons of service, character, and
integrity are passed on to future
generations of young boys.” He
also received a commendation
from the State of Texas.
In addition to honoring
Deacon Scott, the speakers also
praised his wife, Estelle, who
supported his endeavors as a
true friend of scouting.
Several young Scouts were
present, including Patrick Patke
and Zack Russell of Troop 383
who are currently working toward the rank of Eagle. They
were inspired to learn about the
Àrst Eagle Scout of their troop
and enjoyed working with other
Scouts to honor a man who
shared his “Big Daddy” heart
with so many others. Members of area troops cooked and
served a delicious chicken barbecue dinner in celebration of
Deacon Scott’s dedication and
love of scouting.
Be Not Afraid!
Saturday, April 26, 2014 — Austin, TX
God’s merciful love
continues to spread over the
men and women of our time.
Here alone can those who
long for true and lasting
happiness find its secret.
“Jesus, I trust in You!”
— Blessed John Paul II
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Sponsorship opportunities and tickets now
available. For more information, visit us online
or contact Christina Vehar at 512.651.6103
or [email protected]
March 2014
Register soon for summer youth programs
The diocesan OfÀce of Youth, Young Adult and
Campus Ministry has summer programs planned to
help youth (pre-teens and teens) deepen their faith; help
the needy; volunteer at local service agencies; attend
youth-oriented worship services and get to know other
Catholic kids and teens.
What makes these programs special is how they
strengthen the faith of the children and teens who
attend, said Tori Baker, one of the organizers of the
Cross Training retreat for high school freshmen,
which is held at Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center in
“It’s more meaningful because it unites the Diocese of Austin global community,” Baker said. “You
meet kids from all around Central Texas. I went to
Catholic camps as a teen and they were very positive
for me. I was able to see that it’s OK to be Catholic and that I can be proud of my faith. It’s special
because you are surrounded by so many people who
are Catholic and want to do the same things you
For questions and information about any of
these programs, contact Adrian Sanchez, administrative assistant for the OfÀce of Youth, Young
Adult and Campus Ministry, (512) 949-2464 or
[email protected]
The following programs are all accepting campers
at this time:
prayer experiences and engaging learning activities based
on the life of Jesus and Catholic social teaching. It also
introduces young adolescents to service, which takes
place at local agencies and centers that assist people in
need, including the Capital Area Food Bank, Catholic
Charities of Central Texas and Mobile Loaves and
Fishes. Middle schoolers will spend Friday and Saturday
night at St. Austin Parish.
“Servus Dei is high-energy,” said Morag Sell, the
youth ministry coordinator for the program. “It’s a
wonderful way for our young people to tap into their
generosity. It gives them a practical, hands-on experience of caring for those who are less fortunate.”
Servus Dei is a fairly short camp; therefore, it is a
good choice for students who have not done this type
of camp before. There is also a high adult to student
ratio. Some of the chaperones are parents and others
are youth ministers; all are EIM certiÀed. There are still
openings for chaperones.
Together Encounter
Christ (TEC) Retreats
When/where: June 2729 or Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center in
Cost: $100, scholarships
are available
Age of participants: Incoming high school juniors
through young adults in their
Register: Applications
are available at www.tec-ctx.org.
What it is: TEC is a three-day overnight retreat
hosted at Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center. Teens experience a fresh, faith-Àlled atmosphere away from home,
school and work. Young people meet, reÁect and share
how they see themselves, their ideals and their hopes
and dreams while Ànding God’s presence in their lives.
TEC is a fun and spirit-Àlled retreat where young adults
explore and deepen their faith. Weekends are Àlled with
Servus Dei
witness talks, group discussions, personal reÁections,
When/where: June 19-21 at St. Austin Parish in prayer, recreational activities and live music.
Cost: $85 per child, $45 per adult chaperone (adults
Cross Training
must be EIM compliant)
When/where: July 17-20, Eagle’s Wings Retreat
Age of participants: Incoming sixth through outCenter in Burnet
going eighth graders
Cost: $185 (includes accommodations, meals, supRegister: Through your parish youth minister
What it is: Servus Dei is a three-day social justice plies, T-shirt). Application and non-refundable deposit
adventure for young adolescents. The program provides are due by July 3.
Age of participants: Incoming ninth graders.
There is a limit of 65 participants, so register soon.
Register: Go to www.austindiocese.org and search
for “Cross Training”
What it is: “Cross Training is designed to prepare
you for high school,” said Tori Baker, who is on the
Cross Training committee. “It teaches you how to keep
your faith through high school. It gives the students
tools and leadership skills they can continue to use
through the youth ministry at their home parishes.”
Cross Training is an overnight camp designed speciÀcally for incoming high school freshmen throughout
the Diocese of Austin. This camp offers a great chance
to meet new friends, see how God Àts in with everyday life and learn how service can make a difference in
the world. There will be presentations, prayer, service
projects, worship and many social activities.
Co-Ed High School Softball Tournament
When/where: July 27 at McMaster Athletic Complex in Georgetown
Cost: $175 per team; the tournament can accommodate up to 14 teams. Parishes can bring as many
teens as they like; some parishes enter two teams in the
Age of participants: High Schoolers –– incoming freshmen through graduating seniors can participate.
Register: Through parish youth ministers
What it is: The annual co-ed high school softball
tournament builds community through fun and fellowship among the youth of the Austin Diocese. Youth
sign up for the tournament as part of their parish team.
Each parish team will be randomly placed in one of
two divisions: Angels or Saints. Each division will play
round robin, and the tournament will conclude with
an all-star game, Angels versus Saints. Each team will
contribute one male and female player to their division’s all-star team. Teams must have an even number
of boys and girls.
The tournament has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere
where each parish usually sets up a tent and barbecues
between games.
“It’s a lot of fun and a great way to meet teams from
around the diocese,” said Logan Mayes, the tournament
organizer and the youth minister at St. Thomas More
Parish in Austin.
Barbara Budde honored for commitment to social justice
Barbara Budde, a lay Associate of the Dominican Sisters
of Peace, was honored with a
Servant of Justice Award from
Roundtable, the association of
Catholic diocesan social justice
directors, at an awards banquet
being held during the organization’s 29th Annual Symposium
in Washington.
Budde has worked for Diocese of Austin in various roles
since 2000 and currently serves
as the Secretariat Director for
Justice and Charity. In addition, she is in her third term as
a member of the Roundtable
board, having served two terms
from February 2005 to February
2011. She was the Board Chair
during Roundtable’s transition
from the auspices of the National Pastoral Life Center to
its own independent 501(c)3
organization in 2009.
Budde was chosen for the
award largely for her leadership
of the organization during that
challenging time of change.
“I am humbled,” Budde said
upon receiving the award. “My
participation [in the transition]
was an accident of history. I
could have been on the board at
another time and another board
chair would have brought his or
her gifts to this challenge.”
She also expressed deep
gratitude to all the board
members who served with her
during that time, recognizing
the many contributions they
brought. She made particular
mention of Robert Gorman,
Rob Shelledy, and Scott Cooper, who received the award
alongside her. “No one of
us could do this alone, I am
grateful that the team is being
recognized,” she said.
The Servant of Justice
Award honors a Roundtable
member or former member
who has made unique contribu-
tions to the achievement of the
Catholic vision of social justice
in their diocese or region. Instituted in 2010, the award honors
individuals whose work has
made an impact on signiÀcant
numbers of people, has helped
in eliminating social, economic,
or political injustice or discrimination, or has helped in safeguarding basic human dignity
and rights as deÀned in Catholic
social thought. Recipients also
“have shown evidence of linkBARBARA BUDDE
ing faith and justice, in light of
Catholic social teaching, through
education which leads to action or social structures that con(advocacy, empowerment, and tribute to the building of God’s
organizing) on issues, policies, kingdom on Earth.”
Celebrating Catholic Schools
Event honors those committed to Catholic education
The sixth annual Celebrating Catholic Schools Dinner and
Awards Ceremony was held Jan. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel
in Austin. The event brought together many people to celebrate
the gift of Catholic education in the Austin Diocese. Funds raised
through the event will be returned to the Catholic schools in the
diocese to aid in their ¿nancial assistance programs.
Bishop Joe Vásquez and Ned Vanders, the superintendent of
Catholic schools, presented honorees from each Catholic school
an award for their leadership and service. This year more than
700 people attended the event, which was the largest crowd to
Sister of St. Joseph Carol Cimino, the Superintendent of
Schools for the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y., was the keynote
speaker for the evening.
St. Ignatius Catholic School in Austin (represented in
photo at right by Holy Cross Father Bill Wack) was given
the “Perfect Attendance” Award for having the most supporters in attendance at the dinner. The “Spirit Stick” was
awarded to St. Joseph Catholic School in Bryan and the
“Best Performance in a Supporting Role” award went to St.
Louis Catholic School in Austin. (Photos by Shelley Metcalf)
Jeff Blaszak
Msgr. Mark Deering
Janice Hutyra
St. Joseph Catholic
School, Bryan
St. Louis Catholic
School, Waco
St. Mary’s Catholic
School, West
Scott and Lisa
Bro. Joseph Harris,
Tim and Laura
St. Austin Catholic
School, Austin
Cathedral School of St.
Mary, Austin
St. Gabriel’s
Catholic School,
Darla Christman
Darlene Howard
David Koch
St. Theresa’s Catholic
School, Austin
St. Louis Catholic
School, Austin
St. Michael’s Catholic
Academy, Austin
Paul Curtin
Emily Hurlimann
Santa Cruz Catholic
School, Buda
St. Dominic Savio
Catholic High School,
Bruce and
Renee Matous
Holy Trinity
Catholic High
School, Temple
March 2014
Msgr. Harry
Sacred Heart Catholic
School, La Grange
Ray Sanchez
St. Helen Catholic
School, Georgetown
St. Joseph Catholic
School, Killeen
Christy McNaughton
Joanne Selucky
Kenneth Young
Holy Family Catholic
School, Austin
Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Catholic School, Granger
Reicher Catholic High
School, Waco
Agnes Nowaski
John Vondrak
St. Mary’s Catholic
School, Temple
St. Ignatius Martyr
Catholic School, Austin
Education to the Highest Power
Dinner & Awards Ceremony
JANUARY 25, 2014
Seton Healthcare Family
Rev. Jerry A. Smith
Rev. Bud Roland / St. John Neumann Catholic Church
Dr. Ned F. Vanders
Photo not available:
Geronimo Rodriguez
San Juan Diego Catholic
High School, Austin
Cook-Walden Funeral Homes & Cemeteries, Honoree Reception with Bishop Vásquez
Parker School Uniforms, Khaki & Plaid Reception
Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union, After School Party
The ABE Charitable Foundation
A. J. Gallagher Risk Management
Facts Management Co.
Frost Bank
Bill and Marlene Glade
John Paul II Life Center
Mel's Lone Star Lanes
Merrill Lynch, Office of Ron Riehs
St. Edward’s University
Steel Branding
Leslie and David Blanke
Dr. Lilian and John Jay Blankenship
Cathedral School Advisory Board
Cathedral School PTC
Church Management Resources/
Trinity Publications
Community Counseling Service
Congregation of the Holy Cross
Faithful Servant II
Flynn Construction
Friends of St. Gabriel’s Catholic School
Friends of St. Ignatius Martyr
Catholic School
Friends of St. Theresa’s Catholic School
Fund Evaluation Group, LLC
Lance and Jennifer Giambelluca
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt-Riverside
Jackson Galloway Associates, PLLC
Will and Candace Kapavik
Dr. Dennis and Mary Lynch
Members of ND Club of Austin and Friends
Paul and Christy McNaughton
Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery
and Prayer Garden
Our Lady of Wisdom University Parish
St. Gabriel’s Saber Dad’s/Spiritual Life
St. Ignatius Catholic School Booster Club
St. Ignatius Catholic School PTO
Steier Group
St. John Neumann Knights of Columbus
Council 10836
Vanguard Contractors, L.P.
Wells Fargo
Jim and Glenda Bowen
Architectural Engineers Collaborative
Austin Title Company
Catholic Life Insurance
Central Market
Mary Teresa Doty
Veronica Gonzalez
Ed and Margie Sharp
Herman and Kimberly Juarez
Ed and Margie Sharp
Ann Skaggs
Scott and Becky Snyder
TCB Quality Landscaping
Elizabeth Vondrak
Wallace Group/Pfluger Associates, L.P.
Proceeds from this event were returned to schools for tuition assistance
Even as Daughters leave, their mission lives on
After serving the Austin
community for more than 110
years, the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul have
made the difÀcult decision to
withdraw from Austin. The
sisters currently serving here are
part of a restructuring which affects several dioceses and archdioceses across the country. This
decision was reached in order to
better allocate the current number of active Daughters into the
areas of greatest need. They will
continue to serve the Diocese
of Austin in Waco at several
locations, including Providence
Hospital and Reicher Catholic
High School.
The relationship between
the Daughters of Charity and
Seton Healthcare Family, which
began in 1902, is changing, but
will not cease to exist. In 1999,
Ascension Health was formed
when the Daughters of Charity
National Health System in St.
Louis, Mo., and the Sisters of
St. Joseph Health System in Ann
Arbor, Mich., combined. Seton
is part of this health system,
which is the largest Catholic
health system in the U.S.
Although a future without
the physical presence of the
Daughters creates an undesired
void, Seton associates are determined to carry on the Daughters
of Charity’s mission “to care for
and improve the health of those
we serve, with a special concern
for the poor and vulnerable.
We are called to be a sign of
God’s unconditional love for
all and believe that all persons
by their creation are endowed
with dignity.” Seton continues
the Catholic tradition of service
established by the founders of
the Daughters: Vincent de Paul,
Louise de Marillac and Elizabeth
Ann Seton.
Seton joins a growing number of Catholic institutions operating under similar conditions.
Sacred Heart Health System in
Pensacola, Fla., faced similar
circumstances to Seton Healthcare Family. They successfully
transitioned to lay leadership
and are continuing to serve in
the spirit of the Daughters of
Charity who founded that hospital in 1915. As will occur at
Seton, the Daughters continue
to serve on the Board of Sacred
Heart Health System.
Sister Helen Brewer will sit
on both the Seton Healthcare
Family Board, as well as the Seton Family of Hospitals Board.
She has served at Seton for the
last 15 years and stated with
conÀdence, “The laity can, and
will, continue the mission. Seton
will continue to be a Catholic
institution. They can do it!”
ConÀdence in this transition
comes after years of pragmatic
planning by the Daughters of
Charity and with the important
approval of the Vatican. The
sponsorship of the Seton Family of Hospitals and Ascension
facilities was transferred to the
sponsorship of what is designated a non-congregational
“public juridic person” in 2011.
Sister Brewer explained this
term, “A public juridic person
is a body assuming the responsibilities of sponsorship of the
Catholic health systems, ministries and missions of religious
congregations, including the
Daughters of Charity or other
religious congregations. The
group – lay, religious or mixed
– commits to continue the ministries as Catholic and in the
name of the church.”
Charles Barnett, Chairman
of the Board of Seton Healthcare Family, said everyone at
who have most
recently served
the Austin area
include (from left)
Sisters Sharon
Groetsch, Jean
Ann Wesselman,
Gertrude Levy,
Catherine Brown,
Helen Brewer and
JT Dwyer. (Photo
courtesy Carl McQueary/Seton)
Seton knows the importance of
the task at hand.
“All of us who are part of
this ministry recognize the responsibility we have to continue
the Vincentian Family charism,
to care for the poor and reach
out to the community,” said
Continuity of the Daughters’
Mission at Seton has been an
ongoing process and includes
several Laity Formation and
Chaplaincy programs. Over the
last decade, 30 Seton leadership
team members have completed
a two-year formation program
taught at the Aquinas Institute in
St. Louis. Also, a Local Heritage
Pilgrimage is attended quarterly
by 40 Seton associates. And a
pilgrimage to France is offered
every two years, during which
Seton leaders, donors and associates walk in the footsteps of St.
Vincent de Paul and St. Louise
de Marillac.
Ken Gladish, president and
CEO of Seton Foundations,
said the entire communities
beneÀts when Seton associates
go through these formation
“Our 12,000 employees
carry the mission out into the
community. They are active
outside of work, internationally,
Young adults invited to Taizé gathering
Registration is now open for the ecumenical young adult Taizé gathering that
will take place March 21-23 in Austin. This event is part of the Taizé Community’s
“Pilgrimage of Trust Across the Earth.” People of all ages are invited to participate
in the conference, with a special invitation to young adults between the ages of 18
and 35. Following the model pioneered in Taizé, France, its purpose is to bring
young people together for prayer, reÁection, workshops and fellowship. More
information is available at http://www.taize.fr/texas. For more local information,
contact the OfÀce of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry at (512) 949-2465 or
[email protected]
nationally and locally,” Gladish
said. In 2012, Seton Healthcare
Family contributed $398 million
in charity care and more than
$340 million in medical services
throughout the community.
Examples include the Seton
McCarthy, Seton Kozmetsky
and Seton Topfer community
health centers, located in working class neighborhoods serving
many patients without medical
insurance. This is a long way
from the humble beginnings of
Seton InÀrmary in 1902.
Founded by the Daughters of
Charity, Seton began as a 40-bed
facility in Austin. Today the Seton Healthcare Family has grown
to an 11-hospital system, which
includes the only regional Level
1 trauma centers: University
Medical Center Brackenridge and
Dell Children’s Medical Center of
Central Texas; and Seton Medical Center Williamson in Round
Rock, a Level 2 trauma center.
In late 2014, with the
groundbreaking of the new Seton teaching hospital, the care
and Catholic mission of Seton
will continue to grow. The hospital, which will be associated
with the University of Texas
at Austin’s new Dell School of
Medicine, will be situated on
what is now a parking lot at
the Frank Erwin Center. Jesús
Garza, president and CEO of
Seton Healthcare Family said,
“The new hospital will have the
Seton name on it and the facility
will include a chapel blessed by
Bishop Vásquez.”
As the Daughters prepare
for their new assignments, a
pillar of their community, Sister
Gertrude Levy, said, “I will miss
all of you (in Austin) and will
keep you in my prayers.” She
has served at Seton Medical
Center Austin for the last 40
years and, at 94 years old, still
works full time.
Preparations are underway
for a farewell Mass July 11 at 3
p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin. Bishop Vásquez
will preside at Mass and all the
Daughters who served at Seton
over the years will be invited.
The public is encouraged to attend and take this opportunity
to extend gratitude and prayers
to the sisters.
Editor’s note: Information
for this article was obtained
through several Seton Healthcare Family leaders and sisters of
the Daughters of Charity. Watch
for future articles on the history
of the Daughters of Charity in
Austin and their work in Central
Struggling couples invited to Retrouvaille
Are you and your spouse struggling to stay married? Do you feel alone?
Are you frustrated or angry with each other? Do you argue … or have you
just stopped talking to each other? Does talking about it only make it worse?
Retrouvaille (pronounced retro-vi) helps couples through difÀcult times in their
marriages. For conÀdential information about Retrouvaille or how to register
for one of the program weekends in 2014 (March 28-30 or Sept. 19-21), call
1-800-470-2230 or visit www.helpourmarriage.com.
DCCW convention is April 7-8
The 65th Annual Austin DCCW Convention April 7-8 at the Double Tree Hotel
in Austin. This year’s theme is “Exploring the Dynamics of the Catholic Woman.” For
“Contemplating the Presence of God in our Daily Lives,” a day of reÁection, will more information, contact Cynthia Wissmann at (512) 353-1699 or [email protected]
be held March 22 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center
in Belton. Participants will take time to reÁect on personal aspects of their lives that
Married couples who are looking for a getaway and time to reconnect with
help identify who they are as a child of God. The cost is $35 per person.
“Healing Our Image of God,” a weekend retreat, will be held April 11-13 at one another are invited to a Worldwide Marriage Encounter April 11-13 at the
Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Father Matt Linn will present this Wingate Hotel in Round Rock. The weekend begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. and ends
opportunity to be healed of the distorted images we have of God and embrace the Sunday around 4 p.m. This is an opportunity for husbands and wives to escape
unconditional love and mercy that await each of us. The cost is $195 (private room), the daily distractions of life and focus on each other. For more information or to
$160 (shared room), $85 (commuter). For more information or to register for these apply to attend, contact Steve and Linda Jaramillo at (512) 677-WWME (9963) or
[email protected]
retreats, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436 or [email protected]
Retreats presented at Cedarbrake
Weekend designed for married couples
March 2014
Pope Francis creates 19 new cardinals
On a feast day commemorating the authority Jesus gave
to St. Peter and his successors
–– the popes –– Pope Francis
created 19 new cardinals in the
presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI.
To the great surprise of
most people present, the retired pope entered St. Peter’s
Basilica about 15 minutes before the new cardinals and
Pope Francis. Wearing a long
white coat and using a cane,
he took a seat in the front
row next to Lebanese Cardinal
Bechara Rai, patriarch of the
Maronite Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict’s presence
at the consistory Feb. 22, the
feast of the Chair of Peter,
marked the Àrst time he had
joined Pope Francis for a
public prayer service in the
basilica. Pope Benedict resigned Feb. 28, 2013, becoming the first pope in almost
600 years to do so.
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of
Washington, said all the already
existing cardinals went over
to greet Pope Benedict. “The
ushers kept saying, ‘Please, your
eminences, take your seats, the
Holy Father is coming,’ and we
thought, ‘But, but ....’”
Before beginning the service, Pope Francis walked over
to Pope Benedict, who removed
his zucchetto to greet Pope
Francis. The scene was repeated
at the end of the consistory.
The new cardinals, including Cardinal Gerald Lacroix
of Quebec and Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England,
publicly recited the Creed and
swore obedience to the pope
and his successors before receiving from Pope Francis a red
hat, a ring and the assignment
of a “titular church” in Rome,
becoming part of the clergy of
the pope’s diocese.
After they received their red
hats, each of the new cardinals
walked over to Pope Benedict
and greeted him.
Cardinal Lacroix, accompanied by his mother and father
at an afternoon reception, said
Pope Benedict’s presence “surprised me so much that I broke
down in tears.”
When he went to greet the
retired pope, he said he told
him, “Holy Father, you are
the one who called me to be a
Only 18 of the archbishops Pope Francis had chosen
to be among the first cardinals created during his pontiÀcate were present. The oldest
of the new cardinals –– and
now the oldest cardinal in
the world –– Cardinal Loris
Capovilla, 98, was not present
at the ceremony although he
became a cardinal the moment
Pope Francis pronounced his
name. A papal delegate will
deliver his red hat to his home
in northern Italy.
In his homily Pope Francis
did not mention the standard
point that the cardinals’ new
red vestments are symbols of
the call to serve Christ and his
RETIRED POPE BENEDICT XVI and Pope Francis are pictured seconds after meeting
each other during a consistory at which Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 22. Pope Benedict’s presence at the ceremony marked
the ¿rst time he had joined Pope Francis for a public liturgy. (CNS photo by Paul Haring)
church to the point of shedding
their blood if necessary. Rather,
he focused on their being called
to follow Christ more closely, to
build up the unity of the church
and to proclaim the Gospel
more courageously.
The Bible, he said, is Àlled
with stories of Jesus walking
with his disciples and teaching
them as they traveled.
“This is important,” the
pope said. “Jesus did not come
to teach a philosophy, an ideology, but rather a ‘way,’ a journey
to be undertaken with him, and
we learn the way as we go, by
After listening to a reading
of Mark 10:32-45, Pope Fran-
cis also spoke about the very
human, worldly temptation of
“rivalry, jealousy (and) factions”
the Àrst disciples faced.
The reading is a warning to
the cardinals and to all Christians to put aside concerns of
power and favoritism and “to
become ever more of one heart
and soul” gathered around the
Lord, he said.
Pope Francis told the new
cardinals, who come from 15
different countries –– including
very poor nations like Haiti and
Ivory Coast –– that the church
“needs you, your cooperation
and, even more, your communion, communion with me and
among yourselves.”
“The church needs your
courage,” he said, “to proclaim the Gospel at all times”
and “to bear witness to the
The pope also told the cardinals that the church needs
their “compassion, especially
at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries
throughout the world,” and
for so many Christians who
face discrimination and persecution. “We must struggle
against all discrimination,” he
“The church needs us also
to be peacemakers, building
peace by our actions, hopes and
prayers,” he said.
Pope tells cardinals they are servants, not courtiers
Celebrating Mass with the
newest members of the College of the Cardinals one day
after their elevation, Pope
Francis urged them to regard
their new role not as one of
worldly honor but of humble
service and sacriÀce.
“A cardinal enters the
church of Rome, not a royal
court,” the pope said in his
homily Feb. 23, during morning Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
“May all of us avoid, and help
others to avoid, habits and
ways of acting typical of a
court: intrigue, gossip, cliques,
favoritism and preferences.”
“May our language be that
of the Gospel: ‘yes when we
mean yes; no when we mean
no,’” he said. “May our at-
titudes be those of the beatitudes and our way be that of
Pope Francis celebrated
the Mass with 18 of the 19
men he had raised to the rank
of cardinal the previous day
in the same basilica. Cardinal
Loris Capovilla, who at age
98 is now the oldest member
of the college, was absent on
both occasions for reasons of
The 18 new cardinals, clad
in the green vestments of the
liturgical season of ordinary
time, sat in a near semicircle
around the main altar. More
than a hundred of their fellow
cardinals, also serving as concelebrants, sat in rows at the
front of the congregation.
Retired Pope Benedict,
whose appearance at the previous day’s consistory had surprised practically all the par-
ticipants, did not return to the
basilica for the Mass.
Pope Francis’ call for humility echoed a letter he had sent
the new cardinals shortly after
the announcement of their elevation in January, telling them
that a red hat “does not signify a promotion, an honor or a
decoration; it is simply a form of
service that requires expanding
your vision and enlarging your
heart,” and that they should
celebrate their new distinction
only in an “evangelical spirit of
austerity, sobriety and poverty.”
In his homily, the pope said
that “Jesus did not come to
teach us good manners, how to
behave well at the table. To do
that, he would not have had to
come down from heaven and
die on the cross. Christ came to
save us, to show us the way, the
only way out of the quicksand of
sin, and this is mercy.”
“To be saint is not a luxury,”
he said. “It is necessary for the
salvation of the world.”
Quoting from the day’s
reading from the Gospel according to St. Matthew, in which
Jesus enjoins his disciples to
love their enemies and pray
for their persecutors, the pope
said cardinals are called to live
out that injunction with even
“greater zeal and ardor” than
other Christians.
“We love, therefore, those
who are hostile to us; we bless
those who speak ill of us; we
greet with a smile those who
may not deserve it,” he said.
“We do not aim to assert ourselves; we oppose arrogance
with meekness; we forget the
humiliations that we have endured.”
The pope’s words recalled
his previous day’s talk to the
cardinals –– whose traditional
scarlet garb is said to symbolize
the blood of martyrs –– when
he called on them to pray for
“all Christians suffering from
discrimination and persecution”
and “every man and woman suffering injustice on account of his
or her religious convictions.”
Following the Mass, the
pope appeared at the window
of his ofÀce in the Apostolic
Palace and addressed a crowd in
St. Peter’s Square before praying
the noon Angelus.
He said the weekend’s gathering of the world’s cardinals
was a “precious occasion for
experiencing the catholicity of
the church, well represented by
the varied origins of the members of the College of Cardinals,
gathered in close communion
around the successor of Peter.
And may the Lord gives us the
grace to work for the unity of
the church.”
Pope: Go directly to confession, go now
If you haven’t been to confession recently, don’t wait,
Pope Francis told people at
his weekly general audience.
One may walk into the confessional with a heavy heart, but
forgiveness brings freedom and
“If a lot of time has passed,
don’t lose even one more day.
Go,” the pope said Feb. 19,
promising that “the priest will
be good. Jesus will be there and
he’s even nicer than the priest.”
“Be courageous. Go to
confession,” the pope told an
estimated 20,000 people at his
weekly general audience in St.
Peter’s Square.
“Even just on a human level
in order to vent, it’s good to
speak to a brother, confessing
to the priest these things that
weigh so heavily on your heart,”
the pope said. “Don’t be afraid
of confession.”
Pope Francis said he wanted
to follow up on his previous
audience talks about baptism,
Communion and conÀrmation.
Those sacraments give new
life, he said, but sin eats away
at that new life and can destroy
it, which is why Jesus gave his
disciples the power to forgive
sins in the name of God and the
Christian community.
“Some say, ‘I confess only
to God.’ Yes, you can say, ‘God
forgive me,’ but our sins are also
against our brothers and sisters,
against the church,” which is
called to be holy, he said. “This
is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness from our brothers and
sisters and from the church in
the person of the priest.”
Pope Francis said he knows
some might say to him, ‘but,
Father, I’m ashamed.’ Shame is
good, it’s healthy to have a bit of
shame,” because “shame makes
us more humble.”
“Sometimes when you’re in
line for confession, you feel all
sorts of things, especially shame,
but when your confession is
over, you’ll leave free, great,
beautiful, forgiven, clean, happy
–– this is what’s beautiful about
confession,” he said.
The pope asked people at
the audience to think about how
long it’s been since they have
been to confession. “Don’t say
it out loud, OK? But respond
in your heart: When was the last
time you confessed. Two days?
Two weeks? Two years? Twenty
years? Forty years?”
Citing the “beautiful, beauti-
ful” Gospel story of the Prodigal
Son who returned home after
squandering his father’s inheritance, Pope Francis said the
father didn’t even wait for the
son to Ànish asking forgiveness.
“He hugged him, kissed him and
threw a party.”
“I tell you,” the pope said,
“every time we go to confession, God embraces us and
POPE FRANCIS hears confessions druing World Youth
Day in Rio de Janeiro. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
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March 2014
New panel appointed to oversee Vatican Ànances
In a move reÁecting both
his drive to reform the Vatican bureaucracy and his oftstated desire to include laypeople in the leadership of the
church, Pope Francis established a new panel, to include
almost as many lay members
as clerics, to oversee the finances of the Holy See and
Vatican City State.
Another new ofÀce, to be
headed by Cardinal George
Pell of Sydney, will implement
the panel’s policies.
The Vatican announced
the changes in a statement
Feb. 24, explaining they would
“enable more formal involvement of senior and experienced experts in Ànancial administration, planning and reporting, and will ensure better
use of resources,” particularly
for “our works with the poor
and marginalized.”
The Council for the Economy will include “eight cardinals and bishops to reÁect
the universality of the church”
and “seven lay experts of different nationalities with strong
professional Ànancial experi-
ence,” the Vatican said. They
will “meet on a regular basis
and to consider policies and
practices and to prepare and
analyze reports on the economic-administrative activities
of the Holy See.”
The lay members of the
new council will exercise an
unprecedented level of responsibility for non-clerics in
the Vatican, where the highest ofÀces have always been
reserved for cardinals and
bishops. The Vatican did not
release any names of council
Reporting to the council
will be the new Secretariat
for the Economy, which will
exercise “authority over all the
economic and administrative
activities within the Holy See
and the Vatican City State,”
including budget making, financial planning, hiring, procurement and the preparation of detailed Ànancial statements.
“I have always recognized
the need for the church to
be guided by experts in this
area and will be pleased to
be working with the members of the new Council for
the Economy as we approach
these tasks,” Cardinal Pell said
in a statement released by the
Archdiocese of Sydney, which
said he would take up his new
position at the Vatican “by the
end of March.”
Cardinal Pell is a “man
who’s got financial things at
his Àngertips, and he’s a man
who’s very decisive, and I think
he’s a got a good understanding
of how Roman affairs work,”
South African Cardinal Wilfred
F. Napier of Durban, who sat
on one of the advisory panels
that reviewed the arrangements
before the pope’s decision, told
Catholic News Service.
Pope Francis established
the council and the secretariat
with an apostolic letter given
“motu proprio” (on his own
initiative), dated Feb. 24, with
the title “Fidelis dispensator et
prudens” (“Faithful and prudent
steward”), a quotation from the
Gospel according to St. Luke.
The same letter provides for the
appointment of an auditor general, “who will be empowered to
conduct audits of any agency of
the Holy See and Vatican City
State at any time.”
The motu proprio makes
no mention of the Institute
for the Works of Religion,
commonly known as the Vatican bank.
The pope acted on recommendations from the PontiÀcal Commission for Reference
on the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See,
which he established in July
to review accounting practices
in Vatican ofÀces and devise
strategies for greater Àscal responsibility and transparency.
According to the Vatican,
the commission “recommended
changes to simplify and consolidate existing management structures and improve coordination
and oversight across” the Vatican bureaucracy, and called for
a “more formal commitment to
adopting accounting standards
and generally accepted financial management and reporting
practices as well as enhanced
internal controls, transparency
and governance.”
The recommendations were
“considered and endorsed” by
the pope’s eight-member advisory Council of Cardinals,
which met for its third session
Feb. 17-19, and the 15-member
Council of Cardinals for the
Study of the Organizational
and Economic Problems of the
Holy See, which met for the last
time Feb. 24, since it ceased to
exist upon the establishment of
the new council.
According to Cardinal Napier, a member of the defunct
council, at least some of the
prelates on the new panel will
be drawn from the former
15-member body.
“Something really to be
needed to be done,” Cardinal Napier said of the pope’s
actions. “For instance, there
was no serious budgeting that
you could call budgeting. ... It
was quite clear that some of
the procedures and processes
that were in place were not
adequate for today’s world.”
The conclave that elected
Pope Francis in March 2013
took place amid controversy provoked by the previous
year’s “VatiLeaks” of confidential correspondence sensationally documenting corruption and incompetence in
various parts of the Vatican
Among other measures in
his Àrst year, Pope Francis established a special commission
to investigate the Vatican bank,
expanded the scope and enforcement of Vatican City laws
against money laundering and
the Ànancing of terrorism, and
set in motion an overhaul of the
church’s central administration,
the Roman Curia.
Upcoming Events
June 27-29: Going Deeper into
the Water with Fr. Boniface Onjefu
Join us as we take the time to reflect on personal aspects of our own lives that help identify who we
are. As we acknowledge and embrace the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. Wanda Gibson, spiritual director and recent graduate of the DIEM, will present this day. Cost: $35 (incl. lunch)
Fr. Matt Linn will present this weekend retreat on healing our image of God. This is an opportunity to
be healed of the distorted images we have of God and embrace the unconditional love and mercy that
await each of us. Cost: $195 (private room), $160 (shared room), $85 (commuter)
The Dominican Sisters of Mary will present this day. More information soon. Cost: $35 (incl. lunch)
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The Desert Solitude retreat begins Friday, June 6 and concludes Wednesday, June 11. This is a 5-night/6day silent retreat with Centering Prayer as the focus. This is a wonderful time to come to Cedarbrake
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Pope asks families to pray for October synod
Pope Francis asked families to pray for the success
of the extraordinary Synod
of Bishops on the “pastoral
challenges to the family in the
context of evangelization,”
which will take place at the
Vatican in October.
In a letter to the world’s
families, released by the Vatican Feb. 25, the pope wrote
that the synod would be dedicated to the “challenges of
marriage, of family life, of the
education of children; and the
role of the family in the life of
the church.”
Pope Francis has said the
synod will take up the subject of church teaching and
practice on marriage, including the eligibility of divorced
and civilly married Catholics
to receive Communion –– an
issue he has said exempliÀes a
general need for mercy in the
church today.
In his letter, the pope
noted the October gathering
would be followed by an ordinary Synod of Bishops on
the same subject next year,
and by the World Meeting
of Families in Philadelphia in
September 2015. Pope Francis is expected to travel to
Philadelphia for the latter
“In your journey as a
family, you share so many
beautiful moments: meals,
rest, housework, leisure,
prayer, trips and pilgrimages and times of mutual
support,” the pope wrote.
“Nevertheless, if there is no
love then there is no joy, and
authentic love comes to us
from Jesus.”
In a message released by
the Vatican, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of
the PontiÀcal Council for the
Family, wrote that Pope Francis “looks at families with the
gratitude of one who discerns
the work of God accomplished through the love of
man and woman, fathers and
mothers, sons and daughters,
brother and sisters, grandparents and grandchildren.”
The archbishop, whose office is helping organize the
Philadelphia gathering, wrote
that the pope “asks Christian
families to feel the responsibility of their mission in this
time of ours, so confused and
Letter from Pope Francis to families
Dear families,
With this letter, I wish, as it were, to come into your homes to speak about an event which will take
place at the Vatican this coming October. It is the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is being convened to discuss the theme of “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of
evangelization”. Indeed, in our day the Church is called to proclaim the Gospel by confronting the new
and urgent pastoral needs facing the family.
This important meeting will involve all the People of God – bishops, priests, consecrated men and
women, and lay faithful of the particular Churches of the entire world – all of whom are actively participating in preparations for the meeting through practical suggestions and the crucial support of prayer. Such
support on your part, dear families, is especially signi¿cant and more necessary than ever. This Synodal
Assembly is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation and mission in the Church and in society;
to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the
life of the Church. I ask you, therefore, to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may illumine
the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task. As you know, this Extraordinary Synodal
Assembly will be followed a year later by the Ordinary Assembly, which will also have the family as its
theme. In that context, there will also be the World Meeting of Families due to take place in Philadelphia in
September 2015. May we all, then, pray together so that through these events the Church will undertake
a true journey of discernment and adopt the necessary pastoral means to help families face their present
challenges with the light and strength that comes from the Gospel.
I am writing this letter to you on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. The evangelist
Luke tells us that the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph, in keeping with the Law of Moses, took the Baby
Jesus to the temple to offer him to the Lord, and that an elderly man and woman, Simeon and Anna, moved
by the Holy Spirit, went to meet them and acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah (cf. Lk 2:22-38). Simeon
took him in his arms and thanked God that he had ¿nally “seen” salvation. Anna, despite her advanced
age, found new vigour and began to speak to everyone about the Baby. It is a beautiful image: two young
parents and two elderly people, brought together by Jesus. He is the one who brings together and unites
generations! He is the inexhaustible font of that love which overcomes every occasion of self-absorption,
solitude, and sadness. In your journey as a family, you share so many beautiful moments: meals, rest,
housework, leisure, prayer, trips and pilgrimages, and times of mutual support… Nevertheless, if there
is no love then there is no joy, and authentic love comes to us from Jesus. He offers us his word, which
illuminates our path; he gives us the Bread of life which sustains us on our journey.
Dear families, your prayer for the Synod of Bishops will be a precious treasure which enriches the
Church. I thank you, and I ask you to pray also for me, so that I may serve the People of God in truth and
in love. May the protection of the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph always accompany all of you and
help you to walk united in love and in caring for one another. I willingly invoke on every family the blessing
of the Lord.
From the Vatican, 2 February 2014
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
March 2014
San Antonio missions closer to becoming World Heritage Site
Just as an incredible amount
of time and craftsmanship went
into the construction of San
Antonio’s centuries-old Spanish
missions, compiling the World
Heritage Site nomination document was a labor-intensive undertaking in its own right.
The document was sent in
January to the Paris headquarters of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.
Seven long years of work
on the project have paid off
though, as the San Antonio Missions are now one step closer to
a World Heritage Site designation, where they would join the
ranks of the Statue of Liberty,
the Grand Canyon, Stonehenge
and Angkor Wat.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Sally Jewell announced Jan. 17
that the ofÀcial U.S. nomination
had been made.
“We are very happy and
excited about the news,” said
Father David Garcia, director of
the Old Spanish Missions, “and
at the same time, we are a little
cautious because the attempt to
get the U.S. government to pay
the dues for the World Heritage
Program to UNESCO have
stalled for now, so we are a little
disappointed in that.”
The United States has withheld payment of dues to UNESCO (U.N. Educational ScientiÀc
and Cultural Organization) for
the past two years based on a
law prohibiting funding of any
branch of the United Nations
that admits Palestine as a full
member. Congressional efforts
are underway to change this, as
there is apprehension it could
possibly affect affirmation of
San Antonio’s Àve missions as
a World Heritage Site.
Lead author of the nomination, historian Paul Ringenbach,
is hopeful this will not be a
problem. An initial draft was
sent off in the fall, he related,
resulting in suggestions for minor changes and the nomination
team was told to resubmit the
corrected Àles by Feb. 1.
“If they thought they were
absolutely not going to consider
it,” he said, “why would they ask
us to send it to them?”
The core San Antonio Missions World Heritage team was
assisted by a larger advisory
committee, including Father
Garcia, plus additional helpers
involved in research, writing,
map preparation and countless
contributors. Mission descendents and indigenous members
of the local community also
had input, as did national and
international experts.
“This project has been a
great collaboration of the community from our local scholars
and leaders to experts from
around the globe,” said archaeologist Susan Snow of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The missions are: San
Jose, Concepcion, San Juan,
Espada and San Antonio de
Valero, better known as the
No stone was left unturned
in compiling a compelling dossier to make the case that San
Antonio’s 18th-century string
of mission complexes meets
UNESCO’s criteria. “We have
rewritten portions of it doz-
ens and dozens and dozens of
times,” Ringenbach told Today’s
Catholic, newspaper of the San
Antonio Archdiocese.
The project began in 2006
when Virginia Nicholas, president of the San Antonio Conservation Society, learned that
a tentative U.S. list for World
Heritage Site nominations was
being reopened.
Nicholas formed a group to
compile the nomination materials, but at Àrst their proposal
did not elicit many positive responses. “They didn’t think
that our missions were unique
enough or different enough,”
said Ringenbach. There were
already missions on the World
Heritage List from Argentina,
Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico.
“A site has to be of out-
standing universal value,” noted
Ringenbach. “So what outstanding universal value did we have
that the other sites did not have?”
Other countries had more
impressive mission churches,
but those involved in the project felt nobody could beat the
historical completeness of San
Antonio’s missions in visually
demonstrating their socioeconomic impact on the Spanish
colonial frontier in the formation of the city of San Antonio
and culture of its people.
This proved to be a turning
point for advancing the nomination, along with the convening of a panel of international
experts in a variety of pertinent
Àelds to tour and discuss the San
Antonio missions in April 2012.
“Many people who originally did
not support the San Antonio
Missions were sold after they
saw them,” Ringenbach said.
The Ànal 344-page dossier
included highly detailed maps,
photos, slides, plans and extracts, along with extensive bibliography and glossary and was
accompanied by audio-visual
materials. The properties’ history, authenticity, integrity, state
of conservation, management
and guidelines for protection
and monitoring were all detailed.
The next step in the process
will be an on-site inspection
sometime within the next year.
“Our missions have a value
for the whole world,” said Father Garcia. “We certainly believe that. We’re going to hope
for the best and work for the
best and see how it goes.”
PEOPLE WALK outside Mission San Jose in San Antonio in 2012. It is one of ¿ve mission churches under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of San Antonio that have been
nominated for a World Heritage Site designation. (CNS photo/Carol Baass Sowa, Today’s
Catholic newspaper)
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Seek ‘restorative justice,’ not death penalty for Tsarnaev
In light of the proposed
death penalty for 20-year-old
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, “Jesus
weeps ... again” at the injustice,
the Conference of Major Superiors of Men said in a Feb. 19
“Christ calls us to love our
enemies and travel the long, difÀcult, but humanizing and liberating road to reconciliation,” the
conference said.
The CMSM statement came
in response to U.S. Attorney
General Eric Holder announcing the federal government will
seek the death penalty against
Tsarnaev, currently being held in
federal prison for his alleged role
in the Boston Marathon attacks.
The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty in nearly
all cases, saying that “the cases
in which the execution of the
offender is an absolute necessity
are very rare, if not practically
nonexistent.” For some, Tsarnaev’s case is no exception.
“The death penalty is sort of
an illusion (that) we can protect
life by taking it,” said Catherine
Jarboe, director for Catholic
State Networks and Organiza-
tions at the Catholic Mobilizing
Network to End the Use of the
Death Penalty. “We’re perpetuating the cycle of violence.”
CMSM said it weeps for “all
the harm done” at the bombings in April, including the harm
Tsarnaev and his family felt.
“Dzhokhar both significantly contributed to the harm
yet also experienced harm,” the
CMSM said. “Our political leadership continues to deepen the
harm and wounds by advancing
the use of the death penalty.”
CMSM is made up of the
leaders of men’s religious orders
who represent more 17,000
Catholic religious brothers and
priests in the U.S.
Tsarnaev, along with his
brother, Tamerlan, was accused
of planting two homemade
pressure-cooker bombs by the
Ànish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013, killing three
and injuring some 260 people,
according to The Associated
Press. Tamerlan died in a police
shootout several days later.
At a Feb. 12 hearing, U.S.
District Judge George O’Toole
Jr. scheduled a Nov. 3 trial date
for Tsarnaev, the AP said. This
date comes nearly a year prior
to the earliest date his lawyers
Jarboe said a key issue of the
death penalty is that it “takes
focus away from the victim
and (puts it) squarely on the
She also said the death
penalty, which can take up to
months and years of trials, delays the beginning of the healing
process for the victims’ families.
Prosecutors predict the trial
itself will last 12 weeks, The
Boston Globe said. After that,
if Tsarnaev is convicted, it could
take around six weeks to present evidence to jurors, who will
either recommend the death
penalty or life imprisonment.
The U.S. is one of few “developed” countries to allow the
death penalty, the CMSM said,
“which speaks to a serious cultural deÀciency.”
Thirty-two states practice
death penalty as a legal sentence,
a study from the Death Penalty
Information Center said, as well
as the U.S. Government and
Military. Massachusetts does
not practice the death penalty,
but since Tsarnaev’s actions
constitute as a federal crime, his
trial will occur in federal court.
“The nature of the conduct
at issue and the resultant harm
compel this decision,” Holder
said in a Jan. 31 statement.
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Austin, Smithville,
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Bryan-College Station,
Brenham, Caldwell
Àring squads for execution, the
AP said. State law allows lethal injection as the method of
punishment, but Republican
State Sen. Bruce Burns, who
sponsored the bill, said states
often struggle to acquire the appropriate drugs.
On Feb. 17, a pharmacy in
Tulsa, Okla., refused to provide
pentobarbital, a lethal drug, for
the Feb. 26 execution of convicted killer Michael Taylor, who
is on death row in Missouri. As
of Feb. 20, the state of Missouri found a new supplier of
the drug.
pray during
a candlelight
vigil held after
the Boston
bombings on
April 15, 2013.
Tsarnaev has
been charged
in the bombings. (CNS
photo by Jessica Rinaldi,
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Central Austin
The CMSM said restorative
justice is the more dignified
“The truth is that the death
penalty fails to humanize our
lives,” the CMSM said. “The love
is about increasingly becoming a
people of empathy, compassion
and the courage to transcend our
destructive habits.”
Apart from Tsarnaev’s case,
there have been other recent developments regarding the death
penalty around the country.
On Feb. 11, the Wyoming
Senate voted against considering
a bill that would have allowed
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March 2014
In thanksgiving for the
generosity of the faithful
Diocese of Austin
My sisters and brothers in Christ,
Thank you for your continued generosity to
the Catholic Church. As your bishop, I remain
grateful for the prayers and support of my
ministry. I am also well pleased with the tremendous response of the people in our diocese to
so many good and worthy causes and Catholic
programs and ministries. Your generosity allows the mission of Christ to Áourish in Central
It is my pleasure to present in this special
supplement of the Catholic Spirit the annual accountability report, which covers the Àscal year
ending June 30, 2013, for the Diocese of Austin. This report includes Ànancial information
Catholic Spirit photo
for the Central Administrative OfÀces of the
diocese, as well as summaries of our 127 parishes’ Ànances and the special collections
that we use to support the work of the church locally, nationally and universally.
For many of us, the last year has given us an opportunity to realize how much God
has blessed us in our lives, and to reÁect on how we are responding to those gifts
from God. Your gifts have allowed our local church, the diocese and our parishes, to
strengthen existing programs and provide more services and beneÀts for our Catholic
families in Central Texas.
Also, over the past year, we have witnessed many other great events, including the resignation of our Holy Father, Benedict XVI and the election of our new Holy Father,
Pope Francis. What a memorable year it has been for Catholics.
Pope Francis has captured the hearts and minds of so many people around the world.
His ability to connect with the faithful in new and creative ways is inspiring. His daily
reminder about the “culture of encounter with Christ” is a gentle reminder to go out
and share the good news of the Gospel to all people, especially the poor and marginalized. He reminds us that “charity and love are a life choice, a way of being, of living,
it is the way of humility and solidarity.”
I am also excited to announce the launch of a new initiative in our diocese this year.
We have begun the process to build a new pastoral plan for the diocese for the next
three to Àve years. We have already begun a series of listening sessions and focus
groups and will offer an electronic survey. I need your input and feedback, please consider participating in whatever way you can.
I continue to pledge to you that I will be a good steward of the resources you entrust
to my care as the bishop of this diocese. The challenges are daunting at times, but
I am constantly reminded that God is faithful. He promises to walk with us and to
provide what we need to continue his work.
I am thankful for all who have heeded that promise and listen to God’s call to use
your gifts and talents to foster his kingdom in Central Texas. Our faith is a precious
gift from God, and what we do in response to that gift forms our legacy for future
I offer my prayers in thanksgiving for your generosity and faithfulness.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez
Bishop of Austin
The numbers reÁect the diocese’s blessings
Thank you for your faith and continuing generosity to the Diocese of
Austin. Our ability to carry out the
mission of Christ in Central Texas is
dependent on your support. This annual report provides a summary of the
Ànancial results of our activities and
The accompanying Ànancial statements are those of the Central Administrative OfÀce (CAO) of the Diocese of Austin. The CAO provides
programs and services to parishes,
schools and other Catholic organizations in Central Texas. The accompanying Ànancial statements have been
extracted from the audited financial
statements of the CAO. The Ànancial
statements do not include the parishes,
missions, schools and certain other
diocesan activities. The Ànancial statements of the parishes can be found on
Page 18 of this insert. The accompanying Ànancial statements also do not
include the activities of The Catholic Foundation – Diocese of Austin
The activities of the CAO include
general operations for the support
of parish and diocesan programs,
centralized insurance programs for
property/liability/workers’ compensation and health insurance for all parish
and school facilities and employees, a
centralized diocesan investment and
loan program (DIAL) for parishes and
schools and management of diocesan
As an entity that provides programs and services to parishes and
schools within the diocese, the CAO
generally operates on a breakeven
basis. For the Àscal years ended June
30, 2013, and 2012, revenues were
greater than expenses and net assets
Total revenues increased in 2013,
primarily due to increases in investment income, insurance premiums and
the Catholic Services Appeal. Consistent with solid returns in the broad
Ànancial markets, investment income
increased in 2013. This investment income was from realized and unrealized
gains on investments, dividends and
interest income. Insurance premiums
increased primarily due to increases
in the number of employees and dependents covered by the group health
insurance plan combined with a small
rate increase in the premiums charged
to parishes and schools. Contributions
to the Catholic Services Appeal were
nearly 8 percent higher in 2013. These
increases were somewhat offset by decreases in contributions received from
the Our Faith Our Legacy (OFOL)
capital campaign as the pledge redemption phase was completed in
Total expenses increased in 2013,
which was primarily due to a $2.7 million distribution from the CAO to the
Foundation related to the establishment of two endowments for Catholic Schools in the Foundation. This
increase was offset by a $2 million
decrease in OFOL distributions from
See CFO on next page
Statements of Financial Position*
June 30, 2013 and 2012
Cash and cash equivalents, primarily interest-bearing
Pledges receivable
Receivables from parishes and schools
Other receivables
Prepaid expenses
Unrestricted investments
Investments restricted by bond covenants
Interest in remainder trust
DIAL notes receivable
Land, buildings, and equipment, net
Bond issuance costs, net
Total Assets
Liabilities and Net Assets
Accounts payable and accrued expenses
Collections held for transmittal
Pledges Payable
Interest Payable
DIAL deposits
Self insurance reserve
Line of credit payable
Notes payable
Bonds payable
Current portion
Long term portion
Discount on bonds payable
$ 155,554,111
Total Liabilities
Net assets:
Temporarily restricted
Permanently restricted
Total net assets
$ 155,554,111
Total Liabilities and Net Assets
*The Statements of Financial Position were extracted from the audited ¿nancial statements of the Central Administrative Of¿ce of the Diocese of
Austin. The entire document is available at www.austindiocese.org.
March 2014
Statements of Activities*
Years ending June 30, 2013 and 2012
Revenues, gains and other support:
Catholic Services Appeal
Cathedraticum assessments
Contributions and bequests
Our Faith Our Legacy Capital Campaign
Special collections
Interest income from DIAL notes
Investment income
Insurance premiums
Program service fees
Catholic Spirit
Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center
$ 5,132,082
$ 4,755,123
Total expenses and losses
Change in net assets
$ 828,697
Total revenues, gains and other support
Expenses and losses:
Pastoral services
Formation and religious education
Catholic schools
Social services
Religious personnel care and development
Catholic Charities
Communications and Catholic Spirit
DIAL deposit interest
Insurance program
Facilities and information technology
Distribution to Foundation
Interest on debt
OFOL Distributions
* The Statements of Activities were extracted from the audited ¿nancial statements of the Central Administrative Of¿ce of the Diocese of Austin.
The entire document is available at www.austindiocese.org.
Continued from Page 16
the CAO to the Foundation in 2013.
OFOL distributions were lower in
2013 as the pledge redemption phase
was completed. Additionally, there
were increases in pastoral services,
and fundraising expenses offset by
decreases in insurance expenses and
facilities expenses. Pastoral expenses
were higher in 2013 primarily due to
additional Ànancial assistance provided
to poor parishes. Fundraising expenses
were higher in 2013 due to costs of
the increased offertory program offered by the diocese to all parishes.
Insurance expenses were less in 2013
due to favorable claims experience
combined with effective management
of risks. Facilities and information
technology expenses were less in 2013
because repairs and maintenance costs
associated with deferred maintenance
were incurred in 2012.
Year over year, despite very volatile
financial markets, high unemploy-
ment and the worst recession since
the Great Depression, Sunday and
Holy Day collections at parishes in
our diocese have increased every year.
The strong and steady commitment to
stewardship and generosity of Catholics in our diocese is truly remarkable.
As we look to the future, we will
be challenged by increasing health
care costs. The financial impact of
proposed new health care legislation
is unknown. We will strive to continue
to provide quality health care to parish
and school employees that is in accord
with the teachings of the church while
minimizing cost increases. Additionally, we continue to work with a few
financially challenged parishes and
schools that have signiÀcant debt, deferred maintenance or operating costs
by providing Ànancial assistance in the
near term and working on long-range
Ànancial plans to balance their budgets
over time.
We are thankful for the endowment funds created with your gifts
to the OFOL campaign. The endowments will serve as a strong Ànancial
foundation for the church in Central
Texas. Distributions from endowments in the Foundation to the CAO
will continue to assist in serving the
increasing needs of seminarians, retired priests, Catholic Charities, Catholic schools, the diaconate and campus
ministries. Approximately 4 percent
of the net fair market value of the
endowments (averaged over the prior
three years) is used to support these
This annual Ànancial report is one
way the diocese reports on the Ànancial results of its activities and ministries. Accountability is an important
part of our stewardship responsibilities. Each year, the diocese subjects itself to the scrutiny of an independent
audit. The audited Ànancial statements
are available at www.austindiocese.org.
Diocesan leadership has established
and regularly confers with the Diocesan Finance Council, which focuses
on Ànancial policies, procedures and
activities of the local church. Current
members of the Finance Council are
also listed on the website.
As our diocese continues to grow,
we remain thankful for our many
blessings. We have more seminarians than many dioceses in the country. With advances in health care and
medicines, our retired priests are living
longer and leading more active lives,
subsequently more care is needed
for an increasing population. We are
opening new parishes and schools,
and as newcomers continue to Áock to
Central Texas from all over the country, the needs of the poor and vulnerable continue to increase.
Through God’s many blessings, the
mission of Jesus continues in Central
Texas. We are thankful for your generous Ànancial support. Your sacriÀcial
gifts allow us to meet the needs of our
growing population. May God bless
you for the sacriÀces made to nurture
the Catholic faith in Central Texas.
Mary Beth Koenig has served
as the Chief Financial OfÀcer of the
Austin Diocese since 2002. She and
her husband have three children and
they are parishioners of St. Theresa
Parish in Austin.
Parish Ànancial information*
Years ending June 30, 2013 and 2012
Cash and cash equivalents
DIAL Deposits
Investments (includes building funds)
Plant assets
Total Assets
Accounts payable to Central Administrative Of¿ce
Other accounts payable
Funds held in trust
Notes payable
Bonds payable
Other liabilities
Total Liabilities
Net Assets
Sunday and Holy Day Collections
Building Funds
Gifts, Bequests and Grants
Fundraising (net of related expenses)
Program fees
Investment income
Our Faith ~ Our Legacy Collections (Parish Share)
Other Income
Total Revenues
Pastoral services
Religious development
Social services
School subsidies
Plant operating and maintenance
Diocesan assessment
Interest expense
General and administrative
Other expenses
Total Expenses
Revenue Over Expenses
$ 13,025,153
$ 11,945,434
$ 414,880,768
$ 395,266,498
$ 56,377,421
$ 53,226,292
$ 19,696,927
$ 16,369,333
*This unaudited
summarized ¿nancial information
includes the consolidated balances
and activities of all
127 parishes and
missions in the Diocese of Austin.
Special collection totals
Special collections are a vehicle by which Catholics can reach beyond their own immediate needs and assist the work of the Catholic Church
at the diocesan, national and international levels. The following collections were taken up in diocesan parishes in the 2012-2013 ¿scal year.
Propagation of Faith.............................................................................$171,738
Taken up Oct. 20-21, 2012, this collection helps the Society of the
Propagation of Faith bring the Gospel to developing countries.
Catholic Campaign for Human Development ...................................$145,747
Taken up Nov. 17-18, 2012, this collection supports the Catholic
Campaign for Human Development, which empowers the poor to
claim their economic rights and reclaim their dignity.
Clergy and Religious Retirement Fund .............................................$225,441
Taken up Dec. 8-9, 2012, this collection helps retired priests,
brothers and sisters with their medical expenses.
Feast of the Holy Family ......................................................................$149,989
Taken up Dec. 29-30, 2012, this collection supports Pro-Life
Activities, Annunciation Maternity Shelter and Our Lady of Angels
Maternity Shelter.
Catholic Higher Education ..................................................................$128,793
Taken up Feb. 9-10, 2013, this collection helps support Catholic
higher education and campus ministries in our diocese.
World and Home Missions ..................................................................$169,759
Taken up Feb. 13, 2013, this is a combined collection for the
church in Latin America, the African American and Native American home missions, Catholic home missions and Eastern Europe.
Catholic Relief Services .......................................................................$196,763
Taken up March 9-10, 2013, this collection supports the Holy
Father’s Relief Fund, Migration and Refugee Services, and the
Department of Social Development and World Peace.
Holy Land...............................................................................................$143,530
Taken up March 29, 2013, this collection supports the shrines
and the people of the Holy Land.
Seminarians and Priests......................................................................$196,214
Taken up April 6-7, 2013, this collection supports the
education and formation of diocesan seminarians and priests.
Peter’s Pence ........................................................................................$171,308
Taken up June 29-30, 2013, this collection helps the Holy
Father respond to requests for emergency funds from the most
disadvantaged throughout the world.
Total special collections ...................................................................$1,699,282
March 2014
Lenten promises are challenging, not burdensome
VÁSQUEZ is the ¿fth
bishop of the Austin
Diocese. He shepherds more than
530,000 Catholics in 25 Central
Texas counties.
Editor: Bishop, the season of
Lent began with Ash Wednesday
on March 5. What does this season
mean to us as Catholics?
Bishop Vásquez: The season of
Lent is a time of grace and conversion. It is based upon Jesus’ own
encounter with evil and confrontation with the devil in the desert. Ash
Wednesday initiates 40 days of preparation to celebrate the mystery of the
Resurrection of Our Lord, which we
celebrate on Easter Sunday. For us
as Catholics, Lent is a time of prayer,
reÁection and charitable works. This
season is a calling for us to live out
our Catholic faith more deeply, and
speciÀcally it is a time to prepare
ourselves to experience the love of
the Risen Lord.
Editor: There are three pillars
of Lent. Will you explain them for
Bishop Vásquez: The three
pillars of Lent are mentioned on the
Àrst day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, in
the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus tells us
three things that we are encouraged
to do, not only for his time –– he was
telling people that a good Jew would
do this –– but also for us as Catholics
today. Those three pillars are fasting,
prayer and almsgiving. They are the
things that we need to concentrate on
during this season of Lent.
The Àrst pillar is fasting. Jesus
tells us very clearly in that Gospel
reading to be careful not to put on
a show for people. “But when you
fast, anoint your head and wash your
face, so that you may not appear to
be fasting, except to your Father who
is hidden.” We don’t fast for others.
We fast because God is asking us
to fast and we are doing it for God.
Jesus tells us very carefully that when
we fast we are to not act like the
hypocrites. We are to comb our hair,
wash our face and groom ourselves
properly, so that only God knows we
are fasting.
In a similar way, Jesus talks about
prayer in that Gospel reading. When
we pray, we are not to be hypocrites
or to show off to everybody that we
are praying. “But when you pray, go
to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret,”
Jesus tells us. Who knows that we are
praying? Only God.
Also, Jesus discusses almsgiving,
which involves giving to the poor and
taking care of the needy. “But when
you give alms, do not let your left
hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret
will repay you.” He tells us that there
is no need to tell others that we are
taking care of the poor and needy,
facilitate our growth in holiness and
in our ability to see the needs of our
brothers and sisters and respond to
“The call to fast means abstaining from meat
and cutting back on our food intake for the day.
This could mean eating smaller meals, or it could
mean eating one large meal for the day, or it could
mean eating just two small meals for the day. The
purpose is not to get caught up in measuring our
portions; it is meant to help us focus on the great
love that God has for us and our love for him.”
–– Bishop Joe Vásquez
only God needs to know that we
helping others.
Jesus is telling us that our concentration is to be on God. These
three active spiritual practices of the
church are to help us grow in holiness. They are a challenge to all of
us because as humans we tend to put
ourselves at the center of the world.
These practices the Jesus is referring
to move us to put God at the center,
not ourselves.
Often we start something and are
unable to fulÀll it or maybe we set
our goals too high and are unable to
meet them. For example, take the
challenge to pray more. I encourage
people to be practical in their expectations of themselves. If we want to
pray more, then let’s start by praying
5 minutes more a day. Don’t start
with praying an hour more a day (unless you are already doing it) because
for many that is just not possible.
Rather I encourage everyone to make
their Lenten promises achievable. It
may be as simple as learning to pray
the rosary or reading a passage of
Scripture every day, maybe just a few
lines –– not a whole chapter. Just
take a few lines of Scripture and pray
with them.
Or if I want to help the poor,
then how can I do that in a simple,
yet helpful way? We have wonderful
ways to help people through Catholic Charities of Central Texas and
the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
I encourage people to reach out to
Catholic organizations to see how
they can help. Another way to help
would be to clean out closets and
give away clothes that we don’t wear
–– give them to the poor. I also encourage people to visit those who are
in the hospital, or stop to say hello to
someone who may be ill or conÀned
to their home. These are very practical things that are achievable and they
are not demanding on us.
In a very distinct way, I think
Jesus is asking us not to fast, pray or
give alms to the point that they burdensome. These three pillars should
Editor: What are the Catholic
Church’s teachings or requests of
us as far as fasting and abstinence
are concerned during Lent?
Bishop Vásquez: During Lent
we have some basic guidelines that all
Catholics are to do. On Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent, all
Catholics are asked to abstain from
eating meat. This is a Lenten norm
that is given to us so that we can experience in a small way the supreme
sacriÀce that Jesus gave for us ––
dying on the cross. Abstaining from
meat is a small way for us to deny
ourselves; it is a sign that we are giving something up because God gave
us his son, Jesus Christ, who gave
himself completely and totally for us,
to save us from sin.
As Catholics, we are called to fast
on Ash Wednesday and on Good
Friday. That doesn’t mean that those
are the only days that we can fast but
those are the two days on which the
church asks us to unite as one body
by offering up this simple practice.
The call to fast means abstaining
from meat and cutting back on our
food intake for the day. This could
mean eating smaller meals, or it could
mean eating one large meal for the
day, or it could mean eating just two
small meals for the day. The purpose
is not to get caught up in measuring
our portions; it is meant to help us
focus on the great love that God has
for us and our love for him.
Editor: Do you have a particular spiritual practice that you
would like to share with us?
Bishop Vásquez: This Lent I
hope to do more spiritual reading.
Hopefully, this will lead me to reÁect
more deeply on the daily Scriptures
or the OfÀce of Readings that are
given to us by the church. Of course,
I would like to do a little more praying
as well. And there are a few things that
I need to do less of, such as spending too much time on the Internet.
Perhaps instead I will try to write more
letters or call my family members more
often. I need to examine the activities
that distract me from God, and work
on doing things that lead me closer to
him. I encourage all of us to Ànd ways
that we can be closer to Our Heavenly
Father this Lent.
Editor: What is your prayer for
all of us as we move through Lent
and closer to the celebration of the
Bishop Vásquez: My prayer for
us, brothers and sisters, is that we
will truly experience the grace of God
during this season of Lent. May each
of us experience a deeply profound
conversion of heart, mind and soul, so
that we will be more focused upon loving God and loving our neighbor and
come to joyfully celebrate the Resurrection at Easter.
From Ashes to Easter...
to consider this
Lent is donating to the “From
Ashes to Easter”
collection, which
bene¿ts missionary efforts
in and out of the
Diocese of Austin. These boxes
were distributed
to parishes at the
beginning of Lent
and will be collected the week
after Easter. In
2013, more than
$100,000 was given to missionary efforts via this Lenten collection, which is
now in its 25th year. Everyone, including youth, is encouraged to give “a little
each day of Lent” or consider donating online at www.lentbox.org.
The diocese seeks input for new pastoral plan
The Diocese of Austin has begun
the process of developing a new
Pastoral Plan that will serve as a road
map for the future and will build
upon our successes of the past. As
the committee of diocesan staff and
volunteers has started this process,
we have prayed the “Prayer for Developing a Pastoral Plan.” Therefore,
I offer more information about the
Pastoral Plan process with the help of
this beautiful prayer.
Good and gracious God, all
that we have comes from you and
we give you praise!
We are indeed grateful to God for
having recently completed “Living
Our Legacy: Christ-Centered Com-
munities” in 2013. Many of the goals
and objectives of that plan were
realized and integrated into the work
of the diocesan ofÀces. With the
completion of that plan, we now, as
a church, take the time to reÁect and
evaluate where have we been and
where are we headed. Therefore, we
take the time to also give thanks and
praise to God!
We have entered a new time in
the Diocese of Austin and we seek
your guidance and wisdom as we
discern your will for the future.
The pastoral planning process is
a time to join together in prayer and
support as we embark on this journey
to create a new vision for the Diocese
of Austin. We know the demographic
makeup of our diocese is rapidly
changing. More people are moving
into the Central Texas area and we
are challenged to meet the needs
of the people. The changing demographics of Central Texas will have
tremendous effects on the future of
our diocese and the Catholic Church.
This new pastoral plan will allow us
to prayerfully reÁect on our future
and how the diocese and its parishes
and schools can make the greatest
impact in people’s lives and in the
wider community.
Pour forth your Holy Spirit into
the hearts of your people and your
In Central Texas, we are part of
the global, universal Catholic Church.
Pope Francis has captivated the
imagination of the world in exciting
and inspiring ways. Now is the time
to help Catholics undertake the challenges Pope Francis is putting before
us: to create a culture of encounter;
to go out to the perimeters; to meet
the needs of the marginalized; to
focus on the joy of the Gospel and
the person of Jesus Christ; and to be
a church of mercy and compassion.
May the joy of the Gospel
transform our minds to see fresh
possibilities and be prophetic
Pope Francis invites us to join
with him in going out in search of
others to bring them the light and the
joy of our faith in Christ. Following
his example, we have an opportunity to be Catholics Àlled with great
enthusiasm for our faith. The Gospel
is Àlled with joy, may our hearts be
Àlled with that joy so much so, that
we freely share the love of Christ
with others.
See PLAN on Page 21
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4100 Duval Rd., Bldg IV, Ste 202, Austin
(512) 577-6181
12912 Hill Country Blvd, Bldg F, Ste 238, Austin
(512) 470-9470
To advertise in the Catholic Spirit Medical Services Directory, call (512) 949-2443,
or e-mail [email protected]
The Vitae Clinic
Oak Hill
Eye Care
Braces for Children and Adults
Jeremy Kalamarides, D.O.
The Jefferson Building
1600 W. 38th St, Ste 115
Austin, TX 78731
The Vitae Clinic, Inc., provides wellness, prenatal, delivery and
postnatal care for women, expectant mothers and babies in accord
with the teachings of the Catholic Church in conformity with the
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare services.
Examination & Treatment
of Eye Disease
Lasik Surgery
Contact Lenses & Optical
David W. Tybor, O.D.
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
(512) 288-0444
6000 W. William Cannon
Bldg A, Suite 100, Austin
Michael Dillingham, D.D.S.
2 convenient locations in Austin
Call (512) 836-7924 or (512) 447-5194 to
schedule a complimentary consultation
Joseph M. C. Leary, M.D.
William Stavinoha, M.D.
Diplomate, American Board of Otolaryngology
Pediatric and Adult
Including Ear Diseases Sinus Surgery
Thyroid and Neck Surgery
6811 Austin Center Blvd., Ste. 300
Austin, Texas 78731
(512) 346-8888
Dominion Family
Family Practice –– Board CertiÀed
11671 Jollyville Road #102
Austin, TX
(512) 338-5088
Board certiÀed in Family
Medicine & Internal Medicine
(512) 834-9999
6301 Parmer Ln. W. Suite 102
Austin,TX 78729-6802
March 2014
Collection for the Propagation of the Faith
The special collection for the Propagation of the Faith was taken up Oct. 19-20. If your parish Ànds an error, call the diocesan Finance OfÀce at (512) 949-2400.
For more information about this collection, visit www.onefamilyinmission.org/society-propfaith/i-am-a-missionary.html.
Austin Central Deanery
Austin, Holy Cross
Austin, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Austin, St. Austin
Austin, St. Ignatius
Austin, St. Julia
Austin, St. Mary Cathedral
Austin, San Jose
Miscellaneous - Silguero
Austin Central Deanery Totals
Austin North Deanery
Austin, Holy Vietnamese Martyrs
Austin, Sacred Heart
Austin, St. Albert the Great
Austin, St. Louis
Austin, St. Theresa
Austin, St. Thomas More
Austin, St. Vincent de Paul
Cedar Park, St. Margaret Mary
Lago Vista, Our Lady of the Lake
Austin North Deanery Totals
Austin South Deanery
Austin, Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolores) $918.00
Austin, St. Andrew Kim
Austin, St. Catherine of Siena
Austin, St. John Neumann
Austin, St. Paul
Austin, St. Peter the Apostle
Austin, San Francisco Javier
Lakeway, Emmaus
Austin South Deanery Totals
Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery
Bastrop, Ascension
Elgin, Sacred Heart
Lockhart, St. Mary of the Visitation
Luling, St. John
Martindale, Immaculate Heart
Smithville, St. Paul
String Prairie, Assumption
Uhland, St.Michael
Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery Totals
Brenham/La Grange Deanery
Brenham, St. Mary
Chappell Hill, St. Stanislaus
Dime Box, St. Joseph
Ellinger/Hostyn Hill, St. Mary
Fayetteville, St. John
Giddings, St. Margaret
La Grange, Sacred Heart
Lexington, Holy Family
Old Washington, St. Mary
Pin Oak, St. Mary
Rockdale, St. Joseph
Somerville, St. Ann
Brenham/La Grange Deanery Totals $8,154.66
Bryan/College Station Deanery
Bremond, St. Mary
Bryan, St. Anthony
Bryan, St. Joseph
Bryan, Santa Teresa
Caldwell, St. Mary
College Station, St. Mary
College Station, St. Thomas Aquinas $4,355.56
Franklin, St. Francis of Assisi
Frenstat, Holy Rosary
Hearne, St. Mary
Bryan/College Station Deanery Totals $14,864.11
Georgetown/Round Rock Deanery
Andice, Santa Rosa
Corn Hill, Holy Trinity
Georgetown, St. Helen
Granger, Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Hutto, St. Patrick
Manor, St. Joseph
PÀugerville, St. Elizabeth
Round Rock, St. John Vianney
Round Rock, St. William
Taylor, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Taylor, St. Mary of the Assumption
Georgetown/Round Rock Totals
Killeen/Temple Deanery
Belton, Christ the King
Cameron, St. Monica
Copperas Cove, Holy Family
Cyclone, St. Joseph
Harker Heights, St. Paul Chong Hasang $3,925.00
Killeen, St. Joseph
Marak, Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Rogers, St. Matthew
Rosebud, St. Ann
Salado, St. Stephen
Temple, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Temple, St. Luke
Temple, St. Mary
Westphalia, Visitation
Killeen/Temple Deanery Totals
Lampasas/Marble Falls Deanery
Bertram, Holy Cross
Burnet, Our Mother of Sorrows
Goldthwaite, St. Peter
Horseshoe Bay, St. Paul the Apostle $1,455.82
Kingsland, St. Charles Borromeo
Lampasas, St. Mary
Llano, Holy Trinity
Lometa, Good Shepherd
Marble Falls, St. John
Mason, St. Joseph
San Saba, St. Mary
Sunrise Beach, Our Lady of the Lake
Lampasas/Marble Falls Totals
San Marcos Deanery
Blanco, St. Ferdinand
Buda, Santa Cruz
Dripping Springs, St. Martin de Porres $824.49
Johnson City, Good Shepherd
Kyle, St. Anthony Marie de Claret
San Marcos,Our Lady of Wisdom
San Marcos, St. John
Wimberley, St. Mary
San Marcos Deanery Totals
Waco Deanery
China Spring, St. Phillip
Elk, St. Joseph
Gatesville, Our Lady of Lourdes
Hamilton, St. Thomas
McGregor, St. Eugene
Mexia, St. Mary
Tours, St. Martin
Waco, Sacred Heart
Waco, St. Francis on the Brazos
Waco (Hewitt), St. Jerome
Waco, St. John the Baptist
Waco (Bellmead), St. Joseph
Waco, St. Louis
Waco, St. Mary of the Assumption
Waco, St. Peter Catholic Center
West, Church of the Assumption
Waco Deanery Totals
Grand Totals
Austin Diocese begins developing a new pastoral plan
CATHOLICS from the
Waco area gathered at
Reicher Catholic High
School for one of the Pastoral Plan Listening Sessions. The Austin Diocese
is developing a survey for to
get further input for the new
Pastoral Plan. For more
information, visit
(Photo courtesy Scott
Continued from Page 20
Give us the insights we need
to strengthen our church. May we
always be a sign of faith, hope and
charity, a refuge where all are welcomed in Jesus’ name.
We are called to be Catholics who
invite all people, no matter their social
or cultural background, to hear the
Lord’s message of joy and compassion. And we welcome them to join
us in the fullness of the Catholic faith.
We must continue to foster and live
Gospel values in our communities,
promoting the dignity of the human
person, the importance of the family
and the common good of our society
so that we may always be transformed
by Jesus Christ. Where are we now?
What does the future hold? How do
we become a church of joy, compassion, mercy –– a church of vibrant
faith, nurturing worship and strong
witness? These questions are at the
heart of our reÁection for the development of a new Pastoral Plan.
May we be good stewards of
your many gifts, serving the marginalized and living as true disciples. May the fruits of our pastoral
plan sustain the poor, give hope to
the sick, comfort the suffering, provide strength to the family, inspire
us to action, welcome our distant
brothers and sisters and in doing
so, bring greater glory to you.
To be successful we need the participation, insights and wisdom from
the people throughout our diocese.
You are key to the development of the
plan and you play a critical role in the
process. During January and February,
listening sessions were held in which
attendees helped us identify key issues
that need our attention in our diocese.
Many of the groups cited concerns
about the changing structure of the
family and the need for Catholic adults
to know more about their faith in order to share it with others. Participants
named three wishes for their parish
communities to help people nurture
and deepen their Catholic faith. Many
groups highlighted their concerns for
young people and young adults and
how they can be more included in parish life.
Through the intercession of
the Blessed Virgin Mary, our
Mother, and the protection of St.
Joseph may we discern and implement what is best for our diocesan
church and all the faithful people of
Central Texas.
A Steering Committee for the
Pastoral Plan has been formed of
people from around the diocese, and
over the next several months they will
begin to review all the data that has
been collected. The next phase for
developing the Pastoral Plan is for as
many Catholics as possible to complete a survey available on the diocesan
website at www.austindicoese.org. This
survey affords you the greatest opportunity to make your voice heard. One
aspect of the survey process that is
very important is to hear from Catholics who are no longer part of our faith
communities. If you know of someone
who is not a part of a parish, please
invite them to complete the survey so
their experience and wisdom may be
included in the discernment process.
Continue to check the Catholic Spirit,
the diocesan web site and Facebook
page for updates and information
about the new Pastoral Plan for the
Calm our fears, unite us as
church, so that we may be of one
mind and one spirit, working with
joy for the growth of your Kingdom. We pray all these things in
the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Bishop Joe Vásquez invites the
faithful to take part in this journey to
deepen and nourish our faith, our relationship with Christ, our worship and
our witness. Please pray for the success of the Pastoral Plan and all those
involved in preparing for the future of
the Diocese of Austin.
Encountering Christ in the puriÀcation process
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (278-280) asserts that only
a priest, deacon or acolyte may purify
the sacred vessels used during Mass.
Initially as acolyte and now, as deacon,
it is a most hallowed duty for me to
purify the same ciboria and chalices
that carry Jesus’ precious Body and
Blood to God’s people at Mass.
I am overwhelmed each time
with an imposing sense of his True
Presence and a piercingly humble
reverence. Some light-heartedly, but
mistakenly, refer to the puriÀcation
of the sacred vessels as “doing the
dishes.” But puriÀcation is much more
than the proper disposing of what
remains of the sacriÀcial offering of
Jesus’ precious Body and Blood. It is
much more than simply cleansing the
sacred vessels.
Through puriÀcation, as in the Eucharistic celebration and at Holy Communion, I experience the transcendent
Christ present in my very midst. It is
as if I meet him and his Holy Family
at the presentation in the temple; or
join Jesus, Elijah and Moses on the
mountaintop at the TransÀguration; or
encounter him with the two disciples
on the road to Emmaus; or witness
his ascension into Heaven. PuriÀcation is an act of reverence and the act
of consuming and worshipping every
Àber of Christ.
The priest consecrates the bread
and wine and, through transubstantiation, makes present the precious
Body and Blood of our Lord. He creates an unbroken continuity between
the Àrst worshipping community at
the Last Supper, when Jesus gave all
of humanity this sign of his presence,
including the worshipping community
of the current day. At communion,
not only do we receive the Lord, but
he receives us.
At a retreat with university students in the 1960s, the future Pope
John Paul II (then the Archbishop of
Cracow) spoke of Holy Communion
as a “marvelous exchange.”
“We give our humanity to him
who wants to give us his divinity in
sacramental communion, that mystery
of faith,” he said.
Certainly, the two most sacred
moments at Mass are the consecration and the reception of the Eucharist for each individual. Therefore, it is most compelling, too, for
the priest, deacon or acolyte to be
entrusted with the unconsumed
portions of the Body and Blood of
our Lord. He is sacredly charged to
safeguard and properly administer
that which sanctiÀes and elevates the
spiritual essence of the children of
God. He is obligated in his actions
to exalt the most Holy Eucharist
through which each one of us is
united to God and to one another in
PuriÀcation elicits great humility,
joy and love. I suggest there exists, as
well, an innate sadness for those in
our community absent from the table
of the Lord, evidenced by that which
is visible in the vessels and in Holy
Eucharist not consumed, but reserved
in the tabernacle.
The most sacred heart of Jesus
surely must be Àlled with sorrow for
those missing from his sacriÀcial offering, be it because of illness or outright
rejection of his love. When we partake
of the Eucharist, we are immersed in
the inÀnite love Christ has for us. As
described by Blessed John Paul II,
the Eucharist is both sacrament of his
presence and sacrament of our expectation, in which we “draw nearer to the
key moments of our salvation.”
Pope Francis reminds us that the
Àrst disciples, after encountering the
gaze of Jesus, went forth to proclaim
him joyfully. The Samaritan woman
became a missionary after speaking
with Jesus. St. Paul, who heard the
voice of the Lord and was converted,
immediately proclaimed Jesus. Just as
the people in the Bible encountered
Jesus, we experience him Àrsthand in
the Eucharist.
In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis
tells us every Christian is a missionary
disciple, that we are all called to mission.
Where better to commence our need for
mission than with those absent from our
Eucharistic community?
As St. Peter Julian Eymard said,
“[b]e the apostle of the divine Eucharist, like a Áame which enlightens and
warms, like the angel of his heart who
will go to proclaim him to those who
don’t know him and will encourage
those who love him and are suffering.”
May we all work on purifying
ourselves so that we can go forth and
bring Christ to all we meet, especially
those who are lost. May we help them
Ànd their way back to the loving presence of Our Lord and Savior.
in the diocesan Of¿ce of Canonical
and Tribunal Services. He serves at
St. William Parish in Round Rock.
The Austin Capital Area Chapter of
St. Mary’s University appreciates
the following supporters of its
4th annual golf tournament held on
May 18, 2013:
3rd Annual Celebrate Life Dinner
Thank you!
$500 Hole Sponsors
Knights of Columbus Council 8156, St.
Catherine of Siena
Southwest Chiropractic, Dr. David
Texas Capital Bank—Drink sponsor
$200 Hole Sponsors
Austin Shoe Hospital
Best Western Plus
Brown Distributing
Central Texas Recognition
Crossroads BBQ, San Antonio, Helen
Darren Mazur
Isi’s BBQ and Beans
Law Of¿ces of Frank Herrera, Jorge
The Range
Rex Goliath Wines
JB Rogers Landscaping
Gene Sekula and Family, Class of 1970
St. Mary’s University Of¿ce of Alumni
STMU Rattler Nation
Smokey Mo’s BBQ, Parmer @ McNeil
Rd., #918-0002
T. Bass & Co.
Cash and RafÀe / Prize Donors
Alamo Draft House
ARS, Jim Acker
Brett Bass
Capital Cleaners
Carrabba’s Italian Grill, 11590
Research Blvd.
Circle Brewing
Dr. Gonzalo Garza
Forest Creek Golf Club
Jack Allen’s Kitchen
Mexican Manhattan Restaurant, San
Antonio Riverwalk
Onion Creek Country Club
Perry’s Steakhouse
Peter Pan Mini-Golf
Plum Creek Golf Club
Quality SeafoodMarket
Round Rock Express
Sam’s Boat
Scholz Bier Garten
Threadgill’s Home Cooking, South
World Headquarters
Woodrow Washateria, Amy
and Michael Lefkowitz
Thank you for your support!
Save the date for the 2014 Tournament
May 17, 2014 at Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle
For more information, visit www.stmarytx.edu/alumni/
or call Gene Sekula at (512) 799-5420.
March 2014
Seminarian shares his experience working with CRS
When I received my letter of acceptance from the North American College
in Rome, many thoughts raced through
my mind. How exciting it would be to
continue my priestly formation in Rome,
the heart of the church! My anticipation
grew as my departure date grew nearer.
Little did I know that what would grab
my attention more than the beautiful
basilicas while walking along the streets
of the Eternal City were the men and
women in the streets begging for help.
I immediately found myself in a
crisis of faith. What does it mean to
be a Christian, a man studying to be a
priest, when my brothers and sisters
are going to bed with nothing to eat? I
sought the Lord’s help, and by his grace
I grew in love for the poor; I committed
myself to them through volunteer work
at a soup kitchen and through sharing
my own resources that arose from living a simpler life. However, after a few
months of providing short-term help
for the men and women I had come to
know, I felt overwhelmed and helpless.
There was so little that I could do to
genuinely help the poor out of poverty.
I needed help.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) came
to my seminary to give a presentation on
what our call as Christians to love our
neighbor means in our quickly globalizing world. I took the opportunity to
join them on a Global Fellows Trip to
Sierra Leone in West Africa in order to
learn more about their work and how I
could respond to the needs of the poor.
I learned that more than half of the
people in Sierra Leone live on less than
$1 a day and that the cry of the poor that
I had heard in the streets of Rome rings
throughout the world. But, after spending a week on the ground with the CRS
staff and witnessing the great work they
do, I no longer felt helpless.
I was so impressed with the qual-
ity of CRS’ work and ediÀed by their
commitment to Catholic social teaching
that I wish CRS had a presence in every
city. I couldn’t recommend them highly
enough. CRS provides humanitarian
relief and development assistance in
accordance with Catholic teaching to
the poor and marginalized regardless of
creed in more than 90 countries and territories around the world.
While in Sierra Leone, I met Adimone Morie, a woman displaced during
the civil war that plagued Sierra Leone
from 1991-2002. A widow at 60 years
old, Adimone was living in a hut she
made with palm branches; she told me
she probably would not be alive if it
weren’t for CRS’ help.
CRS, which is the ofÀcial overseas
relief and development agency of the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,
came to Adimone’s village and listened
to the community to assess their needs.
After much dialogue, CRS agreed to
provide materials and instruction to
build 100 houses for the rehabilitation of
families displaced by the war; Adimone’s
village provided the labor, which gave
them an immense sense of self-worth.
Now, Adimone feels safe and healthy in
her home that provides shelter for her
large family, and CRS continues several
other programs in her village, which
thrive due to the trust established.
Though CRS is not involved in
explicit proselytism, they are evangelizing by responding generously to Jesus’
teachings in Matthew 25: “whatever
you did for one of these least brothers
of mine, you did for me.” And their
evangelization through love for the least
does bear the fruit of conversion. In the
spring of 2012, after having drilled a well
for a community in Ethiopia, the entire
village decided to become Catholic –
knowing nothing more about the faith
other than their experience of being
loved! If being Catholic means to love
your neighbor, even across the world,
they wanted to be Catholic.
What impressed me besides CRS’
commitment to Catholic social teaching
was the quality of their work. First of all,
CRS enters a country for the long haul;
they have been in Sierra Leone for more
than 50 years, but their goal is to work
themselves out of a job.
Not content merely to provide
handouts, CRS develops relationships
with the communities they enter in order
to involve that community in their own
deliverance from poverty. For example,
much like the houses in Adimone’s
village, the decision to build the well
in Ethiopia only came after getting to
know the village, asking for their input
in determining their needs, and employing their men and women to accomplish
the task. The process that preceded the
construction of that well demonstrates
CRS’ commitment to respect the dignity
of each human person, which is directly
linked to the quality of their care.
As I close, I would like to make
an appeal on behalf of our brothers and sisters, echoing the words of
Pope Francis: “Poverty in the world is
a scandal. In a world where there is so
much wealth, so many resources to feed
everyone, it is unfathomable that there
are so many hungry children, that there
are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty
today is a cry.” But we are not without
hope. Pope Francis continues: “Where
do I Ànd hope? In the poor Jesus, Jesus
who made himself poor for us... How
can I become a little poorer in order to
be more like Jesus, who was the poor
That question is what led me to CRS.
I Ànd hope in CRS because they seek to
be the loving hands of the poor Jesus;
I can be conÀdent that CRS uses the
money I donate to build up the Kingdom of God, a society in which none of
our brothers and sisters are left without
food, shelter, education and most importantly, love. May Pope Francis’ question
ring softly in our hearts; may the Holy
Spirit inspire us to respond generously
to the cry of the poor, and may CRS be
a source of hope for all of us as we strive
to love God in our neighbors.
A special collection for Catholic
Relief Services will be taken up in all
parishes in the Austin Diocese March
29-30. For more information about
CRS, visit www.crs.org.
is a seminarian of
the Diocese
of Austin.
He spent
time in Sierra Leone
with Catholic Relief
Greg Gerhart)
Spirit Fiduciary Partners
Spirit Stewardship Ministries
lic Investing
Catholic Stewa
Brien L. Smith,
N. Cameron
Woolverton, CFP®
i it t
d hi i i t i
[email protected]
(979) 694-9100
College Station
(512) 537-1718
(866) 694-9100
Legend abounds for the only Welsh man to be canonized
Welshmen all over the world
celebrate March 1 as St. David’s Day
honoring the only saint from Wales
to be canonized in the Western
Church. David, or Dewi in Welsh,
has an unreliable history, but many
writers concede that he was the most
important British churchman of his
time, the late sixth century.
On St. David’s Day, it is a long
standing tradition in Wales to wear
a leek (an onion-like vegetable) in
remembrance of a battle against the
Saxons. David is said to have told the
Welsh to wear leeks in their hats to
distinguish them from the enemy.
Much of his life’s story and fame
rests on a biography written in 1090
by Rhygyfarch, the bishop of St.
David’s, according to editor Dom
Basil Watkins writing in “The Book
of Saints.” He is remembered as a
powerful preacher, the founder of
about 12 monasteries and the defender of the faith against the Pelagian
movement. Tessa Paul explains in the
“Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia
of Saints” that this heresy claimed it
was possible to Ànd salvation without
help of divine grace.
Tradition describes David as having a grand lineage with his father
thought to be of the princely family
named Sant. However, the circumstances of his birth are clouded by the
stories that his mother was not a willing partner for his birth in about 520.
In due course, David was ordained a
priest. Editor Michael Walsh writes
in “Butler’s Lives of the Saints” that
he next went to study under a Welsh
hermit, St. Paulinus, who lived on a
remote island. St. Paulinus was blind
from much weeping over the sins of
the world and David is said to have
restored his sight.
Over the next several years, David
set about spreading the faith in western
Britain. He founded between 10 or 12
monasteries in Wales and England. Father Thomas Donaghy writes in “Lives
of the Saints” that the ruins of many of
these monasteries may yet be seen at
every crossroad west of Herefordshire.
David was an austere priest and
became renowned for the harshness
of his monastic rule. His principal
monastery was at Mynyw (Menevia),
a remote corner of Wales. Paul writes
that the monks lived by hard labor
and were not allowed to use oxen to
help plow the Àelds. Their diet consisted of salt and some vegetables and
water. Rosemary Guiley writes in the
“Encyclopedia of Saints” that David
earned the nickname “the Waterman”
(or “Aquaticus”) because of his strict
monastic rule prohibiting alcohol.
This monastic regime was modeled
after that practiced by St. Anthony in
the desert. Biographer Malcolm Day
asserts in “A Treasury of Saints” that
David’s favorite exercises were genuÁections and total immersion in cold
David presided over two synods called to combat Pelagianism.
The Àrst was at BreÀ (or Brevi) in
550. Tessa Paul writes that while he
was preaching to a crowd, the earth
beneath him swelled into a small
hill so that more people could see
and hear him. This led to him being
made head of the Church in Wales
by popular acclaim. He also presided
at the Synod of Victory at Caerleon
around 569.
David moved his see from Caerleon to Menevia where he ruled his
monastery for many years. He lived
to a very old age and his death in
about 601 took place at Mynyw. His
Ànal words to his monks were “Keep
your faith, and do the little things
you have seen and heard with me.”
He was canonized in 1120 by Pope
Callistus II. He was regarded as the
patron of Wales from the 12th cen-
tury. He is also the patron of bards,
poets and doves.
But there is more to St. David than
his reputation for strict monastic rule.
There are the legends. Rodney Castleden describes them in “The Book
of Saints.” He was supposed to have
made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where
he was consecrated as archbishop by
the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Then there
are the stories of his father’s kinship
with King Arthur, but there is no evidence to corroborate these stories.
Other legends were recorded
by medieval writers who wrote that
David’s birth was foretold 30 years
in advance by an angel appearing to
St. Patrick. In another story, an angel
appeared to David’s father, Sant, in a
His March 1 feast day is not on
the General Roman Calendar, but is
celebrated by the Church of England
and the Episcopal Church in the U.S.
There are more than 50 place names
and dedications to David in South
Wales today.
a member of St. Austin Parish in Austin.
She is also active in
the Ladies of Charity of Austin.
Our Lady’s Annual
Field of Flowers Day
Sunday, April 6th from 12 to 4pm
Experience the legendary meadows of bluebonnets and
and monuments. A professional photographer will be available
for complimentary photos. Lunch served from 12 to 2pm
330 Berry Lane
Georgetown, Texas 78626
March 2014
For Your
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Austin (CCRA) will host a
conference March 7-8 in the parish hall of
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Austin.
Friday’s events will be from 7 to 10 p.m.
and Saturday’s events will be from 8:30
a.m. to 10 p.m. Speakers will include Father Robert Becker, Father John Kim and
Carmen Frankel from the Archdiocese of
San Antonio. Register at www.ccraustin.
org or by calling (512) 563-7851.
A Lenten conference for women
entitled “Walking with Mary: Crushing
the Head of the Serpents of Today’s Culture” will be held March 8 from 8 a.m.
to 3 p.m. at San José Parish in Austin.
Paulist Father Bruce Nieli and Missionary Catechist of Divine Providence Sister
Mary Lou Barba will be the presenters.
Registration is $25, which includes lunch
and materials. For more information,
contact Rosie Castillo at (512) 441-2748
or Lydia Ruiz at (512) 523-8327. Registration forms are available at www.
The Ladies of Charity of Austin
will hold a Day of ReÁection March 8
at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin.
The day will begin with Mass at 9:30
a.m. followed by a short coffee hour.
The keynote speaker will be Daughter
of Charity Sister Patricia Connolly from
San Antonio. She will speak on “Rooted
in Christ – Serving the Body of Christ
Now” including reÁections from Pope
Francis. There will be time for discussion and questions. The day will conclude with a light luncheon. For more
information, or to make reservations for
the day, call (512) 440-7959 and leave a
Theology on Tap will be held
March 11 at Santa Rita Cantina (Escarpment Village, 5900 W. Slaughter
Ln. in Austin). David Thies will discuss
“Putting Your Trust in God.” Music
and fellowship begins at 6 p.m. and the
presentation starts at 7 p.m. For more
information, contact Jennifer Kodysz at
(512) 949-2467.
Catholic Scripture Study of Austin meets on Wednesdays from 9:30 to
11:30 a.m. at St. Louis Parish in Austin.
The weekly two-hour Bible study consists of prayer, small group discussion
and guest lecturers. This year the course
is studying Joshua and James. Register
online at www.cssaustin.org. For more
information, contact Rosemary Howard
at (512) 345-3687.
Catholic Scripture Study of Cedar
Park meets on Wednesdays from 6:30
to 8 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11
a.m. at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Cedar
Park. The weekly Bible study consists of
prayer, small group discussion and guest
lecturers. This year the course is studying
Joshua and James. For more information,
contact Bob Gorski at (512) 636-2927 or
[email protected]
A men’s discernment dinner for
single, Catholic men ages 18 and older
will be held on the second Wednesday
of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at
the Borromeo House in Austin. Men
with an openness to a priestly vocation
and discernment are invited to dinner,
evening prayer, and a presentation. For
more information, contact Father Brian
McMaster, diocesan Vocation Director,
at (512) 949-2430 or (512) 450-4073.
The newly formed Federation of
Societies of Guadalupanos will celebrate the installation of its bylaws with
a Mass and reception March 15 at 8:30
a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in
Austin. For more information, contact
Eva Barron at (512) 964-1953.
A training session for those who
would like to be a Gabriel Project Angel
will be held March 15 from 9 a.m. to 4
p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in
Austin. The training is free and includes
materials, resources and lunch. Registration is required to attend. For more detailed information, contact Briana Feiler at
[email protected] or (512)
Evangelium Vitae (1995) states,
“The dignity of human life must never
be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil.” Therefore,
Catholics gather to pray a Rosary for
Mercy as a form of witness against statesanctioned killing on the evenings that
the state of Texas executes death row
inmates. Scheduled in March are the
executions of Ray Jasper (March 19) and
Anthony Doyle (March 27). Unless a
stay of execution is granted, participants
will meet at 6 p.m. in front of St. Ignatius
Martyr Parish in Austin to pray for the
condemned, the victims, the families,
and all victims of violence.
People from throughout the Austin Diocese will collectively make or
renew their “Total Consecration to
Jesus through Mary” on the Feast of
the Annunciation of the Lord. Rosary
and Mass will be celebrated March 25
at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin (6 p.m.),
Santa Cruz Parish in Buda (6:30 p.m.),
St Thomas Aquinas Parish in College
Station (5:30 p.m.), St. Joseph Parish in
Killeen (5 p.m.), Immaculate Heart of
Mary Parish in Martindale (6:30 p.m.),
and St. William Parish in Round Rock
(5:30 p.m.). For more information, visit
The 65th Annual Austin DCCW
(Diocesan Council of Catholic Women) Convention is April 7-8 at the
Double Tree Hotel in Austin. This year’s
theme is “Exploring the Dynamics of the
Catholic Woman.” For more information,
contact Cynthia Wissmann at 512-3531699 or [email protected]
The annual Chrism Mass will be
held April 15 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Vincent
de Paul Parish in Austin. During the Mass,
the holy oils will be blessed and distributed to all parishes.
Registration is now open for the
ecumenical young adult Taizé gathering that will take place March 21-23
in Austin. This event is part of the Taizé
Community’s “Pilgrimage of Trust Across
the Earth.” People of all ages are invited
to participate in the conference, with a
special invitation to young adults between
the ages of 18 and 35. Following the model
pioneered in Taizé, France, its purpose is
to bring young people together for prayer,
reflection, workshops and fellowship.
More information is available at http://
www.taize.fr/texas. For local information,
contact the OfÀce of Youth, Young Adult
and Campus Ministry at (512) 949-2465 or
[email protected]
“Contemplating the Presence
of God in our Daily Lives,” a day of
reÁection, will be held March 22 from 9
a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic
Retreat Center in Belton. Participants will
take time to reÁect on personal aspects of
their lives that help identify who they are
as a child of God. The cost is $35 per person. For more information or to register,
contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436 or
[email protected]
The Federation of Societies of
Guadalupanos of the Diocese of Austin
will conduct a Guadalupano OfÀcers’
Retreat on March 29 from 8 a.m. to 3:30
p.m. at Santa Cruz Parish in Buda. The
cost of the retreat is $20, which includes
continental breakfast, lunch and materials.
All ofÀcers of Guadalupanos are required
to attend and any Guadalupano member
is also encouraged to attend. For information, contact Teresa Morales at [email protected] or (512) 773-4768.
Are you and your spouse struggling to stay married? Do you feel
alone? Are you frustrated or angry with
each other? Do you argue … or have
you just stopped talking to each other?
Does talking about it only make it worse?
Retrouvaille (pronounced retro-vi) helps
couples through difÀcult times in their
marriages. For conÀdential information
about Retrouvaille or how to register for
one of the program weekends in 2014
(March 28-30 or Sept. 19-21), call 1-800470-2230 or visit www.helpourmarriage.
The Austin Rosary Crusade will
celebrate its 39th anniversary March 29
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Ignatius Martyr Parish Hall in Austin. The day, which
will be held in Spanish, will include the
rosary, the sacrament of reconciliation,
Mass, a healing service and presentations
by Deacon Hector Rosales. Music will be
provided by the mariachi choirs from St.
Ignatius and Cristo Rey Parish in Austin.
A light breakfast will be served. Lunch
is $5 per person. For more information,
contact Ignacio Moreno at (512) 4434111.
An English Cursillo Weekend for
women in the Diocese of Austin will be
held April 3-6. For more information or
applications, contact Robin Spencer at
(254) 220-3883 or [email protected]
Together in God’s Love, a marriage
preparation retreat presenting an overview
of the church’s teachings on the sacrament of marriage, will be offered April
4-6 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center
in Belton. Couples will explore four key
aspects: faith, communication, sexuality
and stewardship and time will be given
to engage in conversation, self-reÁection
and journaling on these topics. To register
or for more information, contact Sara
Lockey at (512) 949-2495 or [email protected]
Married couples who are looking
for a getaway and time to reconnect with
one another are invited to a Worldwide
Marriage Encounter April 11-13 at the
Wingate Hotel in Round Rock. The weekend begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. and ends
Sunday around 4 p.m. This is an opportunity for husbands and wives to escape the
daily distractions of life and focus on each
other. For information, contact Steve and
Linda Jaramillo at (512) 677-WWME
(9963) or [email protected]
NFP Classes...................
A series of classes on the Billings
Ovulation Method of natural family
planning will begin March 30 at 3 p.m. at
St. Luke Parish in Temple. To register or
for information, e-mail Amanda and Ryan
Ransom at [email protected]
A series of classes on the SymptoThermal Method of natural family
planning will begin April 9 at 8 p.m. and
will be held online. For information and
to register, visit http://register.ccli.org.
An introductory class on the
Creighton Model of natural family
planning will be held April 10 from 7 to
9 p.m. at St. John Neumann Parish in
Austin. For more information, contact
Claudia Meserole at (512) 949-2489 or
[email protected]
Send in your items!
CATHOLIC SPIRIT offers this page, “For Your
Information,” as a “community bulletin board.”
Items of general interest of upcoming parish and
diocesan events, including parish social events,
will be printed at no charge at the discretion of
the editor. The deadline for material is the 10th
of the month, with publication occurring the
łrst week of the following month. Material may
be e-mailed to [email protected]
org or faxed to (512) 949-2523.
Parish and community events................................
St. Louis Parish in Austin will
present a parish mission featuring John
Michael Talbot March 6-8 at 7 p.m.
each evening. Talbot is a Contemporary
Christian musician and author of 26
books. Tickets are not required, but a
love offering will be collected each evening. For more information, contact St.
Louis Parish at (512) 454-0384.
The Knights of Columbus Council 7197 of St. Luke Parish in Temple
will host Àsh fry dinners on the Fridays
The Diocesan Council of Catholic
Women has completed a burse for
the Clerical Endowment Fund (CEF)
in honor of Bishop Michael J. Sis.
The totals for the burse as of Jan. 31,
2014, are listed below by council.
Austin Council
Brazos Valley Council
Central Council
Eastern Council
Northern Council
Southern Council
Temple Council
Western Council
Previous Balance
The Clerical Endowment Fund provides low-cost loans to parishes. Interest
from the loans is used to educate diocesan
seminarians. For information, contact either Father Ed Karasek at (254) 826-3705
or Mary Ann Till at (512) 353-4943.
of Lent (except Good Friday) as well as
a free soup dinner on Ash Wednesday
from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Grilled and fried Àsh
dinners are $8 for all you can eat. Proceeds beneÀt the numerous charitable
efforts of the council.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
in Austin will host a Fish Fry on the
Fridays of Lent: March 7, 14, 21, 28
and April 4, 11 and 18. The cost is $8
per plate, which will include Àsh, fries,
hush puppies and coleslaw. Drinks and
desserts are $1 more per item.
The Knights of Columbus Council 6366 of St. Mary Parish in Caldwell
will sell fried Àsh dinners for the six
Fridays of Lent (March 7, 14, 21, 28;
April 4 and 11) from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Plates are $8 each and will be available
via drive-through only at St. Mary’s
Gym. Proceeds will beneÀt the KC’s
scholarship fund.
The ninth annual golf tournament beneÀting Our Lady of Guadalupe
Parish in Austin will be held March 15
at Roy Kizer Golf Course. The cost is
$85 per player, which includes green fee,
range balls, breakfast and lunch. See the
registration form at www.golf.olgaustin.
org or contact Mo Renteria at (512) 4747230 or [email protected]
Advocates for Christ Today
(ACT), a student group from St. Mary
Catholic Center in College Station, is
organizing Stampede for Need, a 5K fun
run/walk on March 22 in Central Park in
College Station. Registration starts at 8
a.m. and the race will begin at 9. All proceeds go directly to the Bryan/College
Station Conference of the St. Vincent
de Paul Society. Visit www.aggiecatholic.org/stampede4need for details and
registration information.
Father Nathan Cromley and Father Michael Therese Scheerger
from the Brothers of Saint John will
be present a series of monthly lectures
entitled “Evangelization in the Modern
World.” The workshops will be held
March 23, April 27 and May 11 at St.
Mary Cathedral in Austin. Mass will be
at 5:30 p.m. and the lecture will follow
in the Bishop’s Hall. Participants are encouraged to bring their Bibles. For more
information, contact Celia Martinez at
(512) 441-9914 or [email protected]
Mother Assumpta Long, OP and
the Dominican Sisters of Mary will
host the “Open Wide the Doors” Golf
Tournament, Reception and Auction
March 24 at Cimmaron Hills Country
Club in Georgetown. Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., and play will begin
with a Shotgun Start at 12:30 p.m. The
evening reception begins at 5:30 and
will include a Tex-Mex buffet, award
ceremony and both a silent and a live
auction. Funds raised at this event will
support the “Open Wide the Doors”
Capital Campaign for the Texas Priory.
Sponsorship opportunities at a variety
of levels are available. For more information and to register, visit at www.
The Àfth annual Savio Bookfair
will be held April 5 at the Lakeline
Barnes & Noble (14010 US Hwy 183
in Austin) from 1 to 4 p.m. Stop by and
try out robotics in the Children’s Amphitheater from 1 to 2 p.m. then check
out the students as they perform poetry,
theater, show choir, choir and band in
the café from 2 to 4 p.m. A percentage
of Barnes & Noble purchases will beneÀt the St. Dominic Savio Catholic High
School Library. Submit the “Bookfair ID
#11296001” at checkout. Also, participants can go to bn.com/bookfairs from
April 5 to 10 to shop; don’t forget the
Bookfair ID
The Ladies Guild of St. William
Parish in Round Rock will host a Tea
and Fashion Show April 5 at the St. William Pavilion from 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets
are $10. Everyone is invited to enjoy a
variety of teas, Ànger sandwiches, scones
with clotted cream and lemon curd and
other delicious breads. There will also be
a silent auction. The proceeds from the
event will help provide scholarships to
graduating seniors from St. William Parish. For tickets or for more information,
contact Teri Blazek at (512) 255-7116
or Linda Hernandez at (512) 709-1440.
St. Joseph Parish in Cyclone will
host its annual Springfest April 13 in the
Parish Hall. A meal of home-fried chicken, sausage, dressing and noodles will
be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other
activities will include a silent auction and
a variety of home-made items.
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March 2014
Las promesas de Cuaresma son un reto, pero
no una carga
VÁSQUEZ es el quinto
obispo de la Diócesis
de Austin. Es pastor
para casi 500,000
Católicos en 25
condados en el
Centro de Texas.
Editora: Señor Obispo, la temporada de Cuaresma comienza con el
Miércoles de Ceniza el 5 de marzo
¿Qué signiÀca esta temporada para
nosotros como Católicos?
Obispo Vásquez: La temporada de
Cuaresma es un tiempo de gracia y conversión. Está basada en el encuentro del
propio Jesús con el mal y su confrontación con el demonio en el desierto.
El Miércoles de Ceniza inicia 40 días
de preparación para la celebración del
misterio de la Resurrección de Nuestro
Señor, el cual celebramos el Domingo de Pascua. Para nosotros como
Católicos, la Cuaresma es un tiempo de
oración, reÁexión y trabajo caritativo.
Esta temporada es una invitación para
nosotros para que vivamos nuestra fe
Católica más profundamente, y especíÀcamente es un tiempo para prepararnos a nosotros mismos a experimentar
el amor del Señor Resucitado.
Editora: Hay tres pilares de la
Cuaresma ¿nos los explicaría?
Obispo Vásquez: Los tres pilares
de la Cuaresma son mencionados en el
primer día de la Cuaresma, el Miércoles
de Ceniza, en el Evangelio de Mateo.
Jesús nos dice que hay tres cosas que
estamos alentados a hacer, no solo para
su tiempo –él estaba diciendo a la gente
que un buen judío haría esto- pero
también para nosotros los Católicos de
hoy. Aquellos tres pilares son el ayuno,
la oración y el dar limosna. Esas son
la cosas en las que necesitamos concentrarnos durante esta temporada de
El primer pilar es el ayuno. Jesús
nos dice muy claramente en la lectura
del Evangelio que seamos cuidadosos
de no montar un espectáculo para la
gente. “Pero cuando ayunes, unge tu
cabeza y lava tu cara, de manera que no
parezca que estás ayunando, excepto
para tu padre que está en lo oculto”.
No necesitamos ayunar para los demás.
Ayunamos por que Dios nos está
pidiendo que ayunemos y lo estamos
haciendo por Dios. Jesús nos dice con
cuidado que cuando ayunemos no actuemos como los hipócritas. Debemos
peinar nuestro cabello, lavar nuestra
cara y arreglarnos con propiedad, de
modo que solo Dios sepa que estamos
De manera similar, Jesús nos habla
sobre el orar en la lectura del Evangelio. Cuando oramos, no debemos ser
hipócritas o presumir a toda la gente
que estamos orando. “Cuando ores, ve
a tu aposento, cierra la puerta y ora a
tu Padre en lo secreto”. Jesús nos dice
¿Quién sabe que estamos orando? Solo
También, Jesús habla sobre el dar
limosna, lo cual involucra dar a los
pobres y cuidar de los necesitados.
“Cuando des limosna, no dejes que
tu mano izquierda sepa lo que hace tu
mano derecha. De manera que cuando
des limosna sea en secreto. Y tu Padre
que ve en lo secreto te recompensará”.
Él nos dice que no hay necesidad de
decir a otros que estamos cuidando de
los pobres y los necesitados, solo Dios
necesita saber que estamos ayudando a
Jesús nos dice que nuestra concentración debe estar en Dios. Estas tres
prácticas espirituales activas de la iglesia
nos ayudan a crecer en santidad. Son
un reto para todos nosotros por que
como humanos tendemos a ponernos
a nosotros mismos como el centro del
mundo. Estas prácticas a las que Jesús
se reÀera nos mueven a poner a Dios
en el centro, no a nosotros mismos.
Con frecuencia comenzamos algo
y no podemos terminarlo o tal vez
nos ponemos metas muy altas y no
podemos alcanzarlas. Por ejemplo,
tomemos el reto de orar más. Yo invito
a la gente a ser práctica en sus expectativas de sí mismos. Si queremos orar
más, entonces comencemos por orar
5 minutos más al día. No empecemos
con orar una hora más al día (al menos
que usted ya lo esté haciendo) por que
para muchos esto es simplemente imposible. Mejor, yo invito a toda la gente
a hacer sus promesas de Cuaresma algo
alcanzable. Puede que sea tan simple
como aprender a rezar el rosario o leer
un pasaje de la Escritura todos los días,
tal vez unas cuantas líneas –no un capítulo completo. Solo tome una cuantas
líneas de la Escritura y ore con ellas.
O si deseo ayudar a los pobres,
entonces, ¿cómo puedo hacerlo de
un modo simple, pero útil? Tenemos
maneras maravillosas de ayudar a la
gente a través de Caridades Católicas
del Centro de Texas y la Sociedad de
St. Vincent de paul. Yo invito a la gente
a acercarse a organizaciones Católicas
para ver de qué manera pueden ayudar.
Otra manera de ayudar sería limpiar
closets y regalar la ropa que no usamos
– darla a los pobres. También invito a
la gente a visitar a aquellos que están
en el hospital, o a visitar a alguien que
puede que esté enfermo o conÀnado en
su casa. Estas son cosas muy prácticas
que son factibles y que no son demandantes.
De una manera muy especial, creo
que Jesús nos está pidiendo que no
ayunemos, oremos o demos limosna
hasta el punto de que sea gravoso para
nosotros. Estos tres pilares deben facilitar nuestro crecimiento en la santidad y
en nuestra habilidad de ver las necesidades de nuestros hermanos y hermanas y responder a ellas.
Editora: ¿Cuáles son las ense-
ñanzas o requerimientos de la Iglesia Católica hacia nosotros respecto
al ayuno y la abstinencia durante la
Obispo Vásquez: Durante la
Cuaresma tenemos algunos lineamientos básicos que todo los Católicos
deben cumplir. Durante el Miércoles
de Ceniza y en los días viernes durante
la Cuaresma, a todos los Católicos se
nos pide abstenernos de comer carne.
Esta es una norma de Cuaresma que se
nos ha dado de manera que podamos
experimentar en una pequeña manera
el sacriÀcio supremo que Jesús ofreció
por nosotros – morir en la cruz. Abstenernos de carne es una manera paqueña
en la que nosotros nos negamos a nosotros mismos algo; es una señal de que
estamos renunciando a algo por que
Dios nos dió a su hijo, Jesucristo, quien
se entregó a sí mismo por completo y
totalmente por nosotros, para salvarnos
del pecado.
Como Católicos, estamos llamados
a ayunar durante el Miércoles de Ceniza
y el Viernes Santo. Eso no signiÀca que
esos son los únicos días que podemos
ayunar pero esos son los dos días en
que la iglesia nos pide unirnos como un
solo cuerpo a través del ofrecimiento
de esta simple práctica. El llamado a
ayunar signiÀca abstenernos de carne
y disminuir la ingesta de alimentos del
día. Esto puede signiÀcar comer comidas más pequeñas, o puede signiÀcar
comer una comida grande para todo el
día, o puede signiÀcar sólo comer dos
comidas pequeñas durante el día. El
propósito no es concentrarnos en me-
dir nuestras porciones; es para ayudarnos a enfocarnos en el gran amor que
Dios tiene por nosotros y en nuestro
amor por Él.
Editora: ¿Tiene usted alguna
práctica espiritual particular que le
gustaría compartir con nosotros?
Obispo Vásquez: Esta Cuaresma
espero hacer más lectura espiritual.
Espero que esto me lleve a reÁexionar
más profundamente en las Escrituras
diarias o en los OÀcios de Lectura que
la iglesia nos da. Claro que me gustaría
orar un poco más también. Y hay algunas cosas que necesito hacer menos,
tales como pasar menos tiempo en el
internet. Tal vez, en lugar de ello trataré
de escribir más cartas o llamar a mis
familiares con más frecuencia. Necesito
examinar las actividades que me distraen de Dios, y trabajar en hacer cosas
que me lleven más cerca de Él. Nos
aliento a todos a encontrar maneras
en las que podamos estar más cerca de
nuestro Padre Celestial esta Cuaresma.
Editora: ¿Cuál es su oración por
nosotros mientras pasamos por la
Cuaresma y nos acercamos a la celebración de la Resurrección?
Obispo Vásquez: Mi oración por
nosotros, hermanos y hermanas, es que
experimentemos verdaderamente la
gracia de Dios durante la temporada de
Cuaresma. Que cada uno de nosotros
experimentemos una profunda conversion de corazón, mente y alma, de
manera que estemos más enfocados en
amar a Dios y amar a nuestro prójimo
y lleguemos a celebrar alegremente la
Resurrección y la Pascua.
De las Cenizas a la Pascua...
considerar esta
Cuaresma es
donando a la
colecta “De las
Cenizas a la
Pascua”, la cual
bene¿cia esfuerzos misioneros
dentro y fuera
de la Diócesis
de Austin. Dichas alcancías
fueron distribuidas a las parroquias al comienzo de la Cuaresma y serán recogidas la semana posterior a
la Pascua. En 2013, más de $100,000 fueron dados a esfuerzos misioneros
a través de esta colecta de Cuaresma, la cual está ahora en su 25vo. año.
Todos, incluidos los jóvenes, están invitados a dar “un poco cada día de la
Cuaresma” o a considerar donar en línea en www.lentbox.org.
Programas Católicos Juveniles planeados para el verano
han ido a este tipo de campamento antes. También
existe un radio elevado del número de adultos por
número de estudiantes. Algunos de los chaperones
son padres de familia y otros son ministros juveLa Oficina Diocesana de Juventud, Jóvenes niles; todo están certiÀcados por el programa de
Adultos y Ministerio Universitario tiene programas EIM. Todavía hay sitio para chaperones.
de verano planeados para ayudar a la juventud (preadolescentes y adolescentes) a profundizar en su fe,
ayudar a los necesitados, ser voluntarios en agencias
locales de servicios, asistir a servicios de culto orientados hacia jóvenes y conocer a otros niños y adolescentes Católicos.
Lo que hace a estos programas especiales es
cómo fortalecen la fe de los niños y adolescentes que
Cuándo/Dónde: Del
asisten a ellos, dijo Tori Baker, una de la organiza27 al 29 de Junio o del 30 de
doras del retiro Cross Training para estudiantes de
agosto al 1ero. de septiemprimer año de preparatoria, el cual se lleva a cabo en
bre en el Centro de Retiros
el Centro de Retiros Eagle’s Wings en Burnet.
Eagle’s Wing.
“Es más signiÀcativo por que une a la comuCosto: $100, hay becas
nidad global de la Diócesis de Austin,” dijo Baker.
“Conoces a chicos de todo el Centro de Texas. Yo
Edad de los particifui a campamentos Católicos como adolescente y
pantes: Desde jóvenes infueron muy positivos para mí. Pude ver que estaba
bien ser Católica y que podía estar orgullosa de mi gresando a 2do. grado de preparatoria hasta adultos
fe. Es especial por que estás rodeada por mucha jóvenes en sus 20s.
Registro: Los formatos para registrarse están disgente que es Católica y quiere hacer las mismas cosas
ponibles en www.tec-ctx.org
que tú haces”.
Qué es: TEC es la experiencia de un retiro de
Para preguntas e información sobre cualquiera de
estos programas, contacte a Adrián Sánchez, asistente tres días con sus noches ofrecido en el Centro de
administrativo de la Oficina de Juventud, Jóvenes Retiros Eagle’s Wing. En él, los adolescentes exAdultos y Ministerio Universitario al (512) 949-2464 o perimentan una atmósfera fresca llena de fe lejos de
su casa, escuela y trabajo. Los jóvenes se conocen,
escríbale a [email protected]
reÁexionan y comparten cómo se ven a sí mismos,
sus ideales, esperanzas y sueños mientras encuentran
la presencia de Dios en sus vidas. TEC es un retiro
divertido lleno de espíritu donde los adultos jóvenes
exploran y profundizan su fe. Los Ànes de semana
están llenos de pláticas de testimonio, discusiones
grupales, reÁexiones personales, oración, actividades
recreativas y música.
Christ (TEC)
Los siguientes programas están todos aceptando
campistas en este momento:
Servus Dei
Cross Training
noveno grado. Existe un límite de 65 participantes, así
que regístrese pronto.
Registro: Vaya a www.austindiocese.org y busque
“Cross Training”
Qué es: “Cross Training está diseñado para prepararte para la preparatoria,” dijo Tori Baker, quien
está en el comité de Cross Training. “te enseña
cómo conservar tu fe a través de la preparatoria. Da
a los estudiantes las herramientas y habilidades de
liderazgo que pueden continuar usando a través del
ministerio juvenil o en sus parroquias de origen”.
Cross Training es un campamento diseñado especíÀcamente para jóvenes ingresando a la preparatoria
a lo largo de la Diócesis de Austin. Este campamento
ofrece una gran oportunidad para conocer nuevos
amigos, ver cómo Dios entra en la vida diaria y cómo
el servicio puede hacer una diferencia en el mundo.
Habrán presentaciones, oración, proyectos de servicio,
culto y muchas actividades sociales.
Co-Ed High School Softball
Cuándo/Dónde: El 27 de julio en McMaster
Athletic Complex en Georgetown
Costo: $175 por equipo; el torneo puede acomodar
hasta 14 equipos. Las parroquias pueden traer tantos
adolescentes como deseen; algunas parroquias inscriben
dos equipos en el torneo.
Edad de los participantes: Preparatorianos –
desde jóvenes entrando al primer año hasta aquellos
que se están graduando.
Registro: A través de los ministerios juveniles de
las parroquias.
Qué es: El torneo anual cooperativo educacional de softball construye comunidad a través de
diversión y compañerismo entre la juventud de la
Diócesis de Austin. La juventud se inscribe al torneo
como parte de su equipo parroquial. Cada equipo
parroquial será colocado al azar en dos divisiones:
Ángeles o Santos. Cada división jugará bajo el sistema round robin, de todos contra todos, y el torneo
concluirá con un juego de all-star, de Ángeles contra
Santos. Cada equipo contribuirá con un jugador
masculino y uno femenino al equipo all-star de su
división. Los equipos deben tener el mismo número
de chicos y chicas. El torneo tiene una atmósfera
amigable, relajada, donde cada parroquia usualmente
pone una tienda de campaña y hace barbacoa entre
“Es muy divertido y una gran manera de conocer
equipos de toda la diócesis,“ dijo Logan Mayes, el
organizador del torneo y el ministro juvenil en la
Parroquia de St. Thomas More en Austin.
Cuándo/Dónde: Del 19 al 21 de Junio en la Parroquia de St. Austin en Austin
Cuándo/Dónde: del 17 al 20 de julio en el Centro
Costo: $85 por niño, $45 por adulto chaperón (los de Retiros Eagle’s Wing en Burnet
adultos deben haber cumplido con los requisitos de
Costo: $185 (incluye alojamiento, comidas, materiaEIM)
les, playera). La aplicación y el depósito no reembolsable
Edad de los participantes: Desde lo que están tienen como fecha límite para ser recibidos, el 3 de julio.
entrando al sexto grado hasta los que están saliendo del
Edad de los participantes: Jóvenes ingresando al
octavo grado.
Registro: A través del ministerio juvenil de su
La recién formada Federación de Sociedades de Guadalupanos celebrará la instalación de sus estatutos
Qué es: Servus Dei es una aventura de justicia
social de tres días para adolescentes jóvenes. El con una Misa y recepción el día 15 de Marzo a las 8:30 a.m. en la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
programa provee de experiencias de oración y activi- en Austin. Para mayor información, contacte a Eva Barron en el (512) 964-1953 o escríbale a [email protected]
dades de aprendizajes basadas en la vida de Jesús y
Parejas casadas que están buscando un escape y tiempo para reconectar mutuamente están invitados al
en las enseñanzas sociales Católicas. También intro- Encuentro Mundial Matrimonial en español los días 25 a 27 de abril. Esta es una oportunidad para los esposos
duce a los jóvenes adolescentes al servicio, el cual se y esposas de escapar de las distracciones diarias de la vida y enfocarse uno en el otro. Para registrarse, contacte
lleva a cabo en agencias locales y centros que asisten a Rubén y Elvira Galván al (512) 247-7604.
a personas necesitadas, incluyendo el banco de aliLa Cruzada del Rosario de Austin celebrará su trigésimo noveno aniversario el día 29 de Marzo de 8
mentos llamado Capital Area Food Bank, Caridades
Católicas del Centro de Texas y Mobile Loaves and a.m. a 4 p.m. en el salón principal de la Parroquia de St. Ignatius Martyr en Austin. El día, el cuál se llevará
Fishes. Los jóvenes de secundaria pasarán las noches a cabo en español, incluirá el rosario, el sacramento de la reconciliación, la Misa, un servicio de sanación
y presentaciones por parte del Diácono Héctor Rosales. La música la proveerán los coros mariachis de las
de viernes y sábado en la Parroquia de St. Austin.
“Servus Dei tiene mucha energía,” dijo Morag parroquias de St. Ignatius y Cristo Rey de Austin. Un ligero desayuno será servido. La comida del medio día
Sell, el ministro juvenil coordinador del programa. costará $5 por persona. Para mayor información, contacte a Ignacio Moreno al (512) 443-4111.
La Federación de Sociedades de Guadalapanos de la Diócesis de Austin conducirá un Retiro para
“Es una manera maravillosa para que la gente joven
aprovecha su generosidad. Les da experiencia prác- OÀciales Guadalupanos el 29 de Marzo de 8 a.m. a 3:30 p.m. en la Parroquia de Santa Cruz en Buda. El
tica sobre cuidar a aquellos que son menos afortu- costo del retiro es de $20 por persona; el cual incluye el desayuno continental, comida del medio día y los
materiales. La asistencia de todos los oÀciales guadalupanos en la Diócesis de Austin es requerida y cualnados”.
Servus Dei es un campamento corto; por lo quier miembro de las sociedades está también invitado a asistir. Para mayor información, contacte a Teresa
tanto, es una buena opción para estudiantes que no Morales en [email protected] o llámela al (512) 773-4768.
Próximos eventos
March 2014
La Diócesis da la bienvenida al Padre García
como vicario general
El 3 de marzo, el Padre Danny García tomó el cargo de vicario
general y moderador de la curia
para la Diócesis de Austin. Una
familia profundamente Católica
comenzó en
su posición
como vicario
general y
moderador de
la curia para
la Diócesis de
Austin el 3 de
marzo. (Foto
cortesía de
Matt Pardo de
la Parroquia
de St. Vincent
de Paul).
formó al Padre García en el hombre que es hoy. Sus padres formaron las bases de su hijo y sus tres
hijas, unas bases que fueron reforzadas por sus abuelos en la casa
de al lado y la comunidad de la
Parroquia del Blessed Sacrament
(Sacramento Bendito), apenas a
unas cuadras de su hogar.
Criado en el pequeño pueblo de Cameron, alrededor de
75 millas al noreste de Austin,
donde la vida estaba principalmente compuesta de cuatro
aspectos que deÀnen la mayoría
de los pueblos pequeños: la iglesia, la familia, la escuela y el deporte. Muchos días después de
la escuela los pasó
en la Cameron Ice
Plant (Planta de hielo Cameron), donde
su abuelo paterno,
también llamado
Daniel, trabajaba.
Para distinguir a las
tres generaciones de
hombres García, su
abuelo era conocido
como “Daniel,” su
padre como “Dan,”
y el más joven como
“Dany,” un nombre
que se quedó con
él durante toda su
Aunque jugó
muchos deportes en
su infancia, desde
que se unió a la liga
de la ciudad a la edad
de 6 años, el Padre
García descubrió un
amor sin paralelo por el béisbol.
Sobresalió en el diamante, tanto
en el montículo como lanzador,
como parador en corto hasta la
preparatoria. Cuando no estaba
jugando béisbol, disfrutaba viendo a uno de sus equipos favoritos
profesionales, los Chicago Cubs,
una pasión que lo preparó para
su vocación que con frecuencia
involucra compartir el dolor de
la derrota.
Cuando un fuego eléctrico devastador destruyó la Parroquia del Blessed Sacrament
(Sacramento Bendito) durante
su noveno año escolar, la familia
del Padre García comenzó a
asistir a la Parroquia de Santa
Mónica. El pastor, Monseñor
Louis Pavlicek, con frecuencia
animaba al joven García a considerar el sacerdocio a través
de la asistencia al programa de
verano Explore en el Seminario
de St. Mary’s en Houston, el cual
expone a muchachos adolescentes a la vida del seminario.
“Pero siempre me resistí por
sentí que el objetivo de Explore
era una sola razón: ir para ser
un sacerdote (y eso era la última
cosa que yo quería hacer). Sabía
que era una opción, pero nunca
quise mirar la posibilidad,” dijo
el Padre García.
No fue sino hasta dos
años después de la preparatoria, mientras se preparaba para
transferirse a la Universidad
de Texas A&M para perseguir
su sueño de convertirse en un
medico, que el Padre García
comenzó a considerar la posibilidad de convertirse en sacerdote. Mientras discernía, decidió
posponer la escuela y trabajó en
su ciudad natal por otros dos
años antes de entrar, Ànalmente,
al seminario.
“ Aún después de haber
dicho que sí, fui al seminario
más para convencerme a mí
mismo de que no debería de
estar ahí. Dije a mi familia que
iba a discernir si Dios quería
o no que me convirtiera en
sacerdote. Me fui al seminario
en 1982 a la edad de 22 años.
Cada año yo seguía diciendo
‘lo voy a intentar’ y cada año
era un año positivo. Comencé
a encontrar que la llamada
que Dios me estaba dando era
aÀrmada por mi experiencia,“
dijo el Padre García. Fue orVer GARCIA en la Pag. 30
La diócesis se prepara para el futuro con un nuevo plan
La Diócesis de Austin
ha comenzado el proceso de
desarrollar un nuevo Plan
Pastoral que servirá como mapa
carretero para el futuro y que se
construirá basado en los éxitos
del pasado. Mientras que el
comité de empleados diocesanos
y voluntarios ha comenzado
este proceso, hemos orado la
“Oración para el Desarrollo
del Plan Pastoral”. Por lo tanto,
ofrezco más información acerca
del Plan Pastoral con la ayuda de
esta bella oración.
Dios bueno y lleno de gracia ¡todo lo que tenemos viene
de ti y te alabamos!
Estamos en verdad agradecidos por haber completado recientemente “Viviendo Nuestro
Legado: Comunidades Centradas
en Cristo” en 2013. Muchos de
los objetivos y metas de ese plan
fueron tomadas en cuenta e integradas en el trabajo de las oÀcinas
diocesanas. Al haber completado
ese plan, nosotros ahora, como
iglesia, tomamos tiempo para reÁexionar y evaluar dónde hemos
estado y hacia donde vamos. Por
lo tanto, ¡también nos damos
tiempo de dar gracias y alabar a
Hemos comenzado una
nueva etapa en la Diócesis de
Austin y pedimos tu guía y sabiduría mientras discernimos
tu voluntad para el futuro.
El proceso de planeación
pastoral es un tiempo para reunirnos en oración y apoyo mientras
nos embarcamos en este viaje
para crear una nueva visión para
la Diócesis de Austin. Sabemos que la cara demográÀca de
nuestra diócesis está cambiando
rápida-mente. Más gente se está
mudando hacia el área del Centro
de Texas y nosotros tenemos
el reto de cubrir las necesidades
de la gente. Los cambios demográÀcos del Centro de Texas
tendrán un tremendo impacto
en el futuro de nuestra diócesis
y la Iglesia Católica. Este nuevo
plan pastoral nos permitirá orar y
reÁexionar sobre nuestro futuro y
cómo la diócesis y sus parroquias
y escuelas pueden tener el más
grande impacto en la vida de las
personas y en la comunidad.
Derrama tu Espíritu Santo
sobre los corazones de tu
gente y sus ministerios.
En el Centro de Texas so-
mo por nuestra fe. El Evangelio
está lleno de gozo; que nuestros
corazones estén tan llenos de ese
gozo de manera que libremente
compartamos el amor de Cristo
con otros.
Danos la intuición que
necesitamos para fortalecer
nuestra Iglesia. Para que
siempre seamos un signo
de fe, esperanza y caridad,
un refugio donde todos sean
bienvenidos en el nombre de
Estamos llamados a ser
Católicos que invitan a toda la
gente, sin importar sus ante-
verdaderos discípulos. Que
los frutos de nuestro plan pastoral sustenten a los pobres,
den esperanza a los enfermos,
conforten a los que sufren,
provean de fuerza a la familia,
nos inspiren a la acción, den
la bienvenida a nuestros hermanos y hermanas distantes
y al hacerlo, te den una mayor
Para ser exitosos necesitamos la participación, la opinión
y la sabiduría de la gente a lo
largo de nuestra diócesis. Ustedes son clave para el desarrollo
del plan y ustedes juegan un rol
mos parte de una Iglesia Católica global, universal. El Papa
Francisco ha cautivado la imaginación del mundo de maneras
emocionantes e inspiradoras.
Ahora es el tiempo de ayudar
a los Católicos a enfrentar los
retos que el Papa Francisco ha
puesto ante nosotros: crear una
cultura de encuentro; salir a la
periferia; conocer las necesidades de los marginados; enfocarnos en el gozo del Evangelio
y en la persona de Jesucristo; y
ser una iglesia de misericordia y
Que el gozo del Evangelio
transforme nuestras mentes
para que veamos nuevas posibilidades y seamos visionarios proféticos.
El Papa Francisco nos invita
a unirnos a él al salir a buscar a
otros para traerlos a la luz y al
gozo de nuestra fe en Cristo.
Siguiendo su ejemplo, tenemos
una oportunidad de ser Católicos llenos de un gran entusias-
cedentes sociales o culturales, a
escuchar el mensaje de gozo y
compasión del Señor. Y les damos la bienvenida al unírsenos
en la totalidad de la fe Católica.
Debemos continuar fomentando y viviendo los valores del
Evangelio en nuestras comunidades, promoviendo la dignidad
de la persona humana, la importancia de la familia y el bien
común de nuestra sociedad de
manera de que siempre seamos
transformados por Jesucristo
¿Dónde estamos ahora? ¿Qué
nos traerá el futuro? ¿Cómo nos
convertimos en una iglesia de
gozo, compasión y misericordiauna iglesia de fe vibrante, culto
ediÀcante y fuerte testimonio?
Estas preguntas están en el
corazón de nuestra reflexión
para el desarrollo de un nuevo
Plan Pastoral.
Que siempre seamos buenos administradores de tus
muchos dones, sirviendo a los
marginados y viviendo como
crítico en el proceso. Durante
enero y febrero, se llevaron a
cabo sesiones para escuchar
en las cuales los asistentes nos
ayudaron a identiÀcar elementos clave que necesitan nuestra
atención en nuestra diócesis.
Muchos de los grupo citaron
preocupaciones sobre el cambio
estructural de la familia y la necesidad de los adultos Católicos de
conocer más sobre su fe para
poder compartirla con otros.
Los participantes nombraron
tres deseos para sus comunidades parroquiales para ayudar a
la gente a nutrir y profundizar en
su fe Católica. Muchos grupos
pusieron énfasis en sus preocupaciones por los jóvenes y los
adultos jóvenes y cómo pueden
ser mayormente incluidos en la
vida parroquial.
A través de la intercesión
de la Santísima Virgen María,
nuestra Madre, y la protección
de San José, que discernamos
e implementemos aquello que
sea mejor para nuestra Iglesia
diocesana y para todos los
Àeles del Centro de Texas.
Un comité directivo para el
Plan Pastoral ha sido formado
por gente de alrededor de la
diócesis y en los próximos meses
comenzarán a revisar todos los
datos que han sido recogidos. La
próxima fase para el desarrollo
del Plan Pastoral es en el que tantos Católicos como sea posible
completarán una encuesta disponible en el sitio web diocesano
en www.austindiocese.org. Esta
encuesta le brinda la más grande
oportunidad para hacer escuchar
su voz.
Un aspecto del proceso del
cuestionario que es muy importante es el escuchar algo de
Católicos que ya no son parte
de nuestras comunidades de fe.
Si usted sabe de alguien que no
es parte de una parroquia, por
favor invítelos a completar la
encuesta para que su experiencia y sabiduría sea incluida en
el proceso de discernimiento.
Continúe revisando el Catholic
Spirit, el sito web diocesano y la
página de Facebook para encontrar actualizaciones e información
sobre el nuevo Plan Pastoral para
la diócesis.
Calma nuestros temores,
únenos como iglesia, para
que seamos de una mente y
un espíritu, trabajando con
gozo por el crecimiento de tu
Reino. Oramos todo esto en el
nombre de Jesucristo, Nuestro
Señor. Amén.
El Obispo Vásquez invita a
los Àeles a tomar parte en este
viaje para profundizar y nutrir
nuestra fe, nuestra relación con
Cristo, nuestro culto y nuestro
testimonio. Por favor oren por el
éxito del Plan Pastoral y de todos
aquellos involucrados en la preparación del futuro de la Diócesis
de Austin.
familias. Por no estar casado,
ni tener mi propia esposa e
hijos, me encanta estar con
familias,” dijo el Padre García.
Durante sus 19 años como
pastor en la Parroquia de St.
Vincent de Paul en Austin, él ha
sido bienvenido en los hogares
de numerosas familias e individuos para compartir muchos
momentos preciosos de la vida.
Él también ha trabajado para
mantener su relación con su
propia familia en su tierra natal.
Con frecuencia vuelve a Cameron a visitar a su padre en sus
días libres. A través del curso de
la batalla de 11 años de su madre
contra la leucemia, una batalla
que ella perdió el año pasado, él
la acompañó a sus citas al MD
Anderson en Houston.
“Mi madre fue siempre
la fuerza de nuestra familia. Como cualquier familia,
hemos tenido nuestras luchas,
y siempre he admirado cómo
mi madre fue capaz de librar
las tormentas de la vida y conÀar en su fe para no perder la
esperanza,” dijo.
En su tiempo como sacerdote, el Padre García dijo que
los momentos más signiÀcativos
han sido cuando “puede acompañar a una persona y su familia
en los últimos momentos de la
vida”. Mientras que esos momentos pueden convertirse en
menos frecuentes mientras que
él se encarga de las muchas responsabilidades administrativas
involucradas con su nuevo cargo, un muy respetado y retirado
sacerdote en la diócesis le sugirió
que traiga a su nuevo trabajo el
“cuidado de un pastor”.
Reflexionando en esto, el
Padre García dijo, “es mi esperanza traer al rol de vicario general y moderador de la curia mi
sensibilidad pastoral de escuchar
a mis hermanos sacerdotes, religiosas y diáconos, y a la gente de
Dios. Mi vida como sacerdote ha
sido rica. He tenido maravillosas
experiencias en cada parroquia
en la que he estado, grandes
retos pero dadores de vida. La
gente de Dios me ha ayudado
a ser el sacerdote que soy. Espero que mi experiencia en cada
parroquia colectivamente me
sirva en la posición que estoy
por asumir”.
Como vicario general, él sirve
como el principal asistente del
Obispo Vásquez, ejercitando el
poder ejecutivo ordinario del
obispo sobre la diócesis entera.
Por lo tanto, él es el más alto
oÀcial de la diócesis después del
obispo. Como moderador de
la curia, el Padre García coordina deberes administrativos y
supervisa a aquellos que tienen
un cargo en la administración
“La Diócesis de Austin
es bendecida al recibir al Padre García,” dijo el Obispo
Vásquez. “Espero con interés
el trabajar de manera cercana a
él en los años venideros”.
La próxima fase para el desarrollo del Plan Pastoral es en
el que tantos Católicos como sea posible completarán una
encuesta disponible en el www.austindiocese.org.
Continúa de la Pag. 29
denado por el Obispo McCarthy en Mayo de 1988.
Unos años después de su ordenación, el Padre García conoció a una pareja de “Texanos de
Invierno” de Michigan quienes
se convirtieron eventualmente
en casi sus “segundos padres”.
Ellos invitaron al joven pastor
asociado de la Parroquia de St.
Louis en Austin a visitarlos el
próximo verano en su casa en la
Península Superior en Michigan
y por los últimos 22 años, él
ha viajado hacia el norte cada
verano para disfrutar la paz y la
“Creo que una de las cosas más importantes para un
sacerdote es no sentirse incómodo estando rodeado de
March 2014
in Austin held its annual Grandparents’
Day celebration in
January. Students
wrote special messages of thanks to
their grandparents on
colorful leaves. (Photo
courtesy Suzanne
COUPLES from Sacred
Heart Parish in Rockne and
St. Mary in String Prairie received certi¿cates signed by
Bishop Vásquez to recognize
their many years of marriage. (Photos courtesy Gerri
Scouts from the Temple and Belton area traveled to the John Paul II
Residence for Priests in Georgetown to
perform a program of Christmas music
and readings. (Photos courtesy Paula
Westphalia held its semi-annual pancake and sausage
breakfast in conjunction with a Scott & White blood drive
on Jan. 12. (Photo courtesy Bill Reid)
attend the Diocesan Catholic Youth
Conference in Waco,
and they participated
in the March for Life
on Jan. 25. (Photos courtesy Drigelio Albadan)
on a food chain
lesson as they
explored owl
A GROUP from St. John Vianney Parish
meets weekly to knit and crochet caps for
hospital and nursing home patients. They
delivered more than 80 caps to Texas
Oncology in Round Rock and 35 caps to
Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.
(Photos courtesy Rilla Chaka)
Students from St. Mary’s
Catholic School in Taylor
met their accelerated reading
goals for the second nine
weeks. (Photos courtesy
Tabby Darilek)
THE CHOIR from St.
Joseph Catholic High
School in Bryan raised
money for Hospice
Brazos Valley during its
annual Christmas Concert. (Photo courtesy
Christine McDonald)
Send photos by the 10th of the month to [email protected]
St. Joseph Catholic High School in
Bryan are performing
Shakespeare’s “Much
Ado About Nothing.”
(Photo courtesy Patty
Santa Cruz Parish in Buda prepared
a meal in thanksgiving for the work of
several parish organizations. (Photo
courtesy Maria Cecilia Rocha)
St. Patrick
Parish in Hutto
attended the Diocesan Catholic
Youth Conference in Waco in
January. (Photo
courtesy Paul
of Central Texas
(ICA) donated
$1,200 to the
Gabriel Project
as part of their
2013 Christmas Charitable Giving. Blaise D’Mello, ICA Committee member, presented the donation to Allison Cavazos, director
of Social Services for Catholic Charities.
(Photo courtesy Ramona Kar)
IN DECEMBER, the youth
from Sacred Heart Parish in
LaGrange served lunch to
those working on a Habitat
for Humanity house, which is
near the parish. The juniors
and seniors from the parish
also collected food for the local food pantry. (Photos courtesy Debbie Greene)
donated $3,000 to Saint
Louise House, an Austin supportive housing
program for homeless
women and their children. (Photo courtesy
Melissa Carreon)
pilgrimage to the Holy Land in January. (Photo courtesy
Terri Schexnayder)
THE YOUTH of St. Joseph Parish
in Mason created a display of 56
white crosses on the church lawn.
The crosses represent the 56
million babies aborted since 1973.
(Photo courtesy Judy Uherek)
YOUTH AND ADULTS from San José Parish in Austin attended the Diocesan Catholic
Youth Conference Jan. 17-19 in Waco. This
year San José celebrates its 75th anniversary. (Photos courtesy Erik R. Diaz)
ON JAN. 8,
the parishioners of St.
John the
Evangelist Parish
in Marble
Falls broke
ground on a
new church
building, which will hold twice as many people as the current
church. The new church is expected to be completed by the
end of the year. (Photo courtesy Suzanne Graham)
Send photos by the 10th of the month to
[email protected]