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Highlights of this Month’s Newsletter

This month has just zipped by as we have been so busy with the beginning of the catechetical year.  Catechetical, sacramental and adult formation programs are off to a great start! In this newsletter, we are excited to share with you a short reflection on what was offered at our Gender Identity workshop and remind you to register for the second offering in October.  We are blessed to have several formation opportunities within our diocese that include the Discipulo Misionero series in Spanish at St. Margaret Mary, Cedar Park; The Basic Teachings Courses at Holy Trinity in Corn Hill, and the 16-hr Ecclesiology class at St. Francis on the Brazos, Waco.  We are also taking the opportunity to highlight our amazing student intern Cynthia in this newsletter and share with you a bit about the gifts and talents she brings to our team. Remember that this newsletter also serves to send you updates, “Save the Dates”, and registration opportunities for what is being offered during the next few months. Finally, I would like to close by bringing to your attention two letters that our Vicar General, Fr. James Misko has sent to you and your pastor regarding the RCIA for Children and clarification for the baptized un-catechized.  Below you can find a link to these letters for your reference.  I would like to inform you that in order to support your RE programs, our team is developing an accompanying document to these letters.  This document will offer recommendations and best practices on how to implement or reformat your program to address particularly the baptized uncatechized at your parish. We will be sending this information shortly and following up with conversations at the deanery meetings.  Once again, I thank you for all the wonderful work you do as catechetical leaders in our diocese.

RCIA adapted for Children letter to Priests 2019

Rite of Election Letter to Pastors and DREs 2019
Gustavo Rodriguez
Director of Evangelization and Catechesis


“Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries”, but always “missionary disciples”.         – Pope Francis

The second presentation of the DISCIPULO MISIONERO LEADERSHIP SERIES began Saturday, September 21 at St Margaret Mary in Cedar Park. Completion of the Leadership Series is part of the certification track in Discipleship offered by The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. Future dates and times for classes are October 26, November 9, February 1, March 7, and April 18.  Presented in SPANISH.  To register or for more information favor de comunicarse a 512-949-2492 o


Workshop #1 "LLamados por Nuestra Nombre" presentado por Rosa Bejar

OCTOBER 26: Liderazco Parroquial con Adrian Herrera, author, catechist, youth minister and Associate Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Houston-Galveston. 


Gender Identity Workshop

Dr. Deann Stuart from the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture presented an informative and comprehensive summation of the current trends in assessment and therapeutic options for children, adolescents and adults on the transgender spectrum.  Research findings on genetic, hormonal and developmental factors were explained, as well as the most common co-existing conditions. Dr. Stuart covered protocols for medical interventions and discussed appropriate pastoral responses when working with transgender students.

This workshop will be repeated on Monday October 28th from 9:00-3:00 at the Pastoral Center. The fee is $10 and includes lunch. To register click here.

Maryrae Stein
Associate Director of Catechesis and Formation

Fall Classes for Adult Formation

The Basic Teachings program continues to be in high demand and serves as the foundation of all our certification tracks as an opportunity to begin the formation process among peers and in community. On September 21, over 90 students participated in the Sacred Scripture class.

At the Pastoral Center, over 30 students attended the English class and 20 in the Spanish. Participants came from as far as Hearne, Bryan, Marble Falls and Uhland working towards certification or simply to become more knowledgeable in their faith.

Holy Trinity in Llano had almost 20 participants consisting of parishioners and others from throughout the deanery. Holy Trinity in Corn Hill also had almost 20 participants consisting of mostly catechists and a few from neighboring parishes.

The Basic Teachings program consists of 30 hours of formation with topics including Sacred Scripture, Creed, Liturgy & Sacraments, Morality and Prayer & Spirituality. Everyone is welcomed to attend the Basic Teachings at any location that is convenient.

St. Francis Parish in Waco has been offering our 16-hour Spanish classes to their community and the response has been quite extraordinary with up to 75 participants attending classes. They are currently in the midst of the Ecclesiology class. Rosie Escobedo is the DRE for the parish and had this reflection to share:

“As the crisp fall evening blankets over our St. Francis Parish, the parking lot starts to light up, full of headlight beams of attendees eager for Fr. Eduardo Jazo's Spanish Catholic teaching course. We are well into our third class and it is growing in numbers. We commenced with the Sacred Scriptures course which resulted in 24 course completions followed by 62 this past spring for Christology. There is a myriad of attendees from lectors to Guadalupanas all excited and leaving with new knowledge and reborn love of their Catholic faith. The sense of community is thriving this season. We are so blessed to have these classes offered as most of the courses are usually offered in the Austin deaneries. We have attendees who travel from West as well as Moody. His word is reaching areas we never expected when we started these courses! Our hearts are full of joy as we see the eagerness to grow in our deanery.”

-Rosie Escobedo, St. Francis of Assisi

To register for a class, please visit: To possibly host a class at your parish, please contact

Carolyn Martinez                                        
Coordinator of Catechesis

We Just Love Our San Juan Diego Catholic High School Student Intern

I am Cynthia Lopez, a senior at San Juan Diego Catholic High School and was lucky enough to work through the Corporate Internship Program at the Diocese of Austin with the department of Evangelization and Catechesis.

When I first came to visit the Pastoral Center I was surprised of how all the departments help the parishes all around the Diocese. I was getting a tour of the building and when I walked in the department of Evangelization & Catechesis the staff immediately made me feel welcomed. My experience of working as an intern here has helped me learn new things like preparing for an event or something as simple as making copies. I remember my first year working here I got asked to make some copies, and I was scared that I would push the wrong button because I didn’t know how to work the machine. When it was time for job placements my second year the CIP director told me, “You must be doing something right because the department you were working in has requested you again.” Over the years I kept getting told I got requested and I saw that they appreciated the work I would do for them and wanted me back. During the internship I had the chance to make rosters, invoices, data entry, book orders, nametags, and be in the front table to direct the people attending classes. I know the work I am doing is helpful to the staff and helps the department move forward. Not only was I working during the school year, but I got to work during the summer for 2 years and got to experience all the events that happened during it. The summer was the busiest time for the department because all the catechists and teachers would come and take classes that were necessary to get certified. I was busy working on their certificates and making sure everything was up to date. I feel appreciated because the people attending the classes respected me and made me feel welcomed. I am grateful of getting the opportunity to work with the department because I felt like another employee, not just the intern.

Now that my last year of working here as an intern is coming to an end I want to thank all the staff members, catechist, and teachers for giving me the opportunity to work here. After college, I hope to come back and volunteer in an event and I hope the department continues to serve God’s people and continues to receive many Blessings.

Cynthia Lopez
Evangelization and Catechesis Student Intern

The Office of E & C continues to offer courses throughout the year at the Pastoral Center, in parishes, and using Zoom technology. For a list of those scheduled for Fall 2019 click on the link below.                                                   

Here are a few “SAVE THE DATES”: 

  • Gender Identity Workshops will be October 28 at the Pastoral Center. DeAnn Stuart with the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture will lead the discussion.  
  • DRE Bootcamp will be October 2nd at the Pastoral Center. A must for new DREs and a great tune-up for veterans! 
  • The “Implementing RCIA Adapted for Children” Workshop presented last Spring in English will be repeated in Spanish on October 26th at the Pastoral Center. 
  • DRE Orientation will be held on January 13 at the Pastoral Center. All-new, nearly new and those who would like a refresher are encouraged to attend.  
  • 2020 Publishers’ Days will be held on February 17 and March 23. Make plans to come visit with Publisher representatives and view their resources.  
  • Diocesan DRE Day will be held on March 31, 2020. All DREs and Coordinators are welcomed to attend.  
Schedule for Fall Formation 2019
Gender Identity Workshop on-line registration

DRE Bootcamp – October 2 

 Attention all new or nearly new DREs!
- DRE Bootcamp is back!
-Don’t let the image scare you away.
- DRE Bootcamp is an opportunity to equip yourself with the knowledge, courage, and wisdom you will need to tackle all the responsibilities thrown your way (reassuring hugs are provided at no extra charge!).
DRE Bootcamp will be held on Wednesday, October 2, at the Diocesan Pastoral Center from 9:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. You are welcome to RSVP to and we encourage all DREs to share this date with any new DRE in your deanery. Deadline for your RSVP is Monday, September 30, before 1 p.m. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Let’s Get Certified!

We continue to be impressed by the encouragement our DREs give to their catechetical teams to work towards certification. Whether it is attending a Basic Teachings class or a DRE facilitating the Catechist’s Toolbox, you all are instrumental in helping form well-equipped catechists in the classrooms. We had a very successful summer but the desire and drive continue! Please feel free to contact me at if you have questions about certification or need to develop a plan for completion.

Middle School Rally Postpone

The Middle School Rally - To the Heights was scheduled for October 5, 2019. Due to low registration, we have decided to postpone the event until the spring of 2020. Knowing that the fall is a very busy time for those in ministry as well as parents and students, we hope that a date in the spring will be beneficial to everyone. Moving forward, the diocesan middle school rally will be held annually each spring. Plan now to make this event a Lenten retreat for your students! Parishes who had registered for the event have been contacted by our office and any payments received will be refunded.

Again, we are sorry to inform you of this late decision, and any inconvenience it might cause. We look forward to seeing you in the spring as we reach To the Heights! If you have any questions, please contact

   SAVE THE DATE – you won’t want to miss it!!

          Tuesday, December 3, 10 am-2 pm
A Workshop with Joe Paprocki,
catechist, DRE, and national consultant for faith formation

Using Catholic rituals, prayers, and the Liturgy of the Word, Joe Paprocki provides suggestions on how to get catechesis to resemble Mass more than class.  Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox helps them know God personally as they prayerfully become lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ. 
Cedarbrake Retreat Center, Belton TX 

Friday, September 20, 2019, 7:00 PM – Sun Sept 22, 11:30 AM:

The Becoming an Ordinary Mystic: Spirituality for the Rest of Us retreat will be held Sept. 20-22, at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Someone once said, "Christians of the future will be mystics or they will be nothing at all." The mystic's vocation is the authentic call of each and every baptized Christian. Based upon his newest book to be released in August, Franciscan Father Albert Haase will explore the characteristics and challenges of ordinary mysticism: fostering awareness, having a healthy image of God, walking with mystery, and growing in deeper prayer life. Cost is $235 for a single room, $185 per person for a shared room, and $100 for commuters.


Saturday, October 12, 2019, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Lord Teach Me to Pray retreat

Oct. 12: Lord Teach Me to Pray, an Ignatian Prayer Series, will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Participants will learn how to deepen their prayer lives and how to help others deepen their prayer lives. Details: or (504) 439-5933.

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM

One Day Retreat - Cedarbrake on the Road - St. Albert the Great  The Listening to the Voice of God Retreat will be at St. Albert the Great Parish in Austin on Oct. 19. Grow in a deeper relationship with God by learning how the Lord speaks to us in our everyday life. Franciscan Father Albert Haase will present this day based on his bestselling book entitled, “Saying Yes: Discovering and Responding to God’s Will in Your Life.” The cost is $40 and includes lunch.

Friday, November 1, 6pm – Sunday November 3, 11:30am

Weekend Retreat - The Spiritual Journey: An Adventure of a Lifetime 

The Spiritual Journey: An Adventure of a Lifetime Retreat will be held Nov. 1-3, at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The spiritual journey is a never-ending adventure with its own unique twists and turns. Knowing the basics of its dynamic can help you navigate the spiritual terrain. During this weekend retreat, Bev Collin and Franciscan Father Albert Haase will highlight practices and attitudes that foster a healthy and exciting experience of the spiritual journey. Cost is $235 for a single room, $185 per person for a shared room, and $100 for commuters. Online registration will be available soon.



Friday, October 4, 11,18,25 7:30 PM   ROSARY -  Every Friday in October the Rosary will be prayed at 7:30 p.m. at the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Schoenstatt. For more information visit

Saturday, October 5, 8:00 AM   MASS FOR LIFE & PRAYER VIGIL -The primary goal of Sidewalk Ministry is the conversion of hearts – focusing on the soul of the mother seeking an abortion and all those with her. To that end, a monthly Mass for Life is celebrated on the FIRST Saturday of each month with that intention. The mass is followed by an opportunity to pray in community during a Holy Hour either at the mass location or "out on the sidewalk" in front of an abortion facility. This opportunity is offered in cooperation with parish respect life ministries located throughout the diocese. MASS START TIME IS 8:00 a.m. AT SAN JOSE PARISH. Please see the Sidewalk Ministry page for more information.

Saturday, October 5 & 19, November 9&23  9:00 AM - 3:00 PM BASIC TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH at Pastoral Center:  Adult formation classes open to anyone involved in ministry or wanting to learn more about the faith. Five session topics include Introduction to Scripture, Creed, Liturgy & Sacraments, Christian Morality, and Prayer/Spirituality. (30 hours, 5 classes)

Saturday, October 5, 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM ENGLISH CURSILLO: Step-By-Step Rector's Guide Workshop                  
The Diocese of Austin English Cursillo will have a Step-by-Step Rector's Guide Workshop on Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Cursillo Center in Jarrell. The fee is $15 and includes breakfast and lunch. Please contact Orie Sanchez at (254) 394-0467 to receive the material to review before the meeting.

Tuesday, October 8 & 22  10am-12noon  DRE LEADERSHIP SERIES – “Catechetical Leadership”  This is the second of 6 courses that will be offered monthly via Zoom Technology. Required for DRE Certification. DREs must purchase the ECL Leadership Series from Loyola Press and register with the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis ( There is no class fee for this series. The November class, “Developing Disciples of Christ” will be Nov 5 & 19.


Monday, October 14, 2019, 5:30 PM  FEED MY FAITH WITH FR. LEO PATALINGHUG

Feed My Faith with Father Leo Patalinghug will be held Oct. 14 at St. Martin de Porres Parish in Dripping Springs. Mass will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m. Then from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in St. Dymphna Parish Hall, Father Patalinghug, a chef and evangelist, will discuss how Catholics can feed their faith and crave to learn more about the Eucharist. The cost is $20 for adults, and $15 for youth. Register at


Wednesday Oct 16, 9:00am-12:30pm & 1:00pm-4:30pm YOUTH MINISTRY ESSENTIALS 1 (Vision of Youth Ministry & 2 (Basics of Planning and Programming). These courses are required for diocesan youth ministry certification. To register of for more information:

Thursday Oct 17, 6:00PM  WHITE MASS (for health care workers)

Doctors, nurses, administrators, emergency responders and all who work in health care are invited to the White Mass Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. Register to attend the Mass and the reception at


Saturday, October 19 @ 10:30 AM DIOCESAN ADULT CONFIRMATION MASS –  St Albert The Great Catholic Church, Austin    Parish Registration forms:! 

Wednesday, October 23, 9:00-12:30 & 1:00-4:30  YOUTH MINISTRY ESSENTIALS 3 (Prayer & Worship with Adolescents) & 4 (Social Mission and Retreat Formation). To register or for more information contact Tressi at 512-949-2464 or

Saturday, October 26, 9:00 am-12:30 pm IMPLEMENTING THE RCIA ADAPTED FOR CHILDREN –  SPANISH  Increase your understanding of the RCIA process: how to incorporate the components of proclamation of the kerygma, liturgical catechesis, celebration of the Rites, parental involvement, and participation in the church community when working with unbaptized children and teens or baptized but never catechized young people.  Un taller presentado por Luisa Negret de Pflaum Publishing sobre el proceso de RICA para los ninos. Aumentar tu entendimiento del proceso de RICA: como incluir la proclamacion de la kerygma, catechesis liturgical, la celebracion de los Ritos, participacion de los padres de familia en la comunidad parroquial cuando trabajas con ninos, jovenes, o adolescentes que no estan bautizados, o que estan bautizados y no formados. En ESPAŇOL.

Friday, October 25,  FRANCIS NETWORK – a coalition of parishes and organizations ministering to young adults. For information contact Elizabeth Lagoe at 512-949-2468,

Saturday (Sábado), October 26  9:00am-1:30pm  “Liderazco Parroquial” – el segundo tema de la serie de formación para los lideres de ministerios – se presenterá  en la iglesia de St Margaret Mary en Cedar Park.Presentado en español.

Monday, October 28, 9:30 am-3 pm GENDER IDENTITY WORKSHOP – see a flyer in this bulletin for details and registration form.


DRE Deanery Meetings 

In this Catechetical Year of Accompaniment, Stay with Us, let us remember that we not only walk with our families, parents, and students on their faith journey, but we walk with each other as leaders in ministry. When we make ourselves present to one another, we grow closer to Christ. Join your fellow DREs at your next Deanery gathering:

Oct 14, 4:30-7:00 pm Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Hall, Temple – ALL DREs, YOUTH MINISTERS & CATECHISTS WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL GATHERING – guest speakers Lucy Holloway from Loyola Press and Jennifer Kodysz from the Diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adults.

Oct 15, 6:00 pm St Louis, Waco  

N. Austin/Round Rock/Georgetown
Oct 17, 10 am St. Louis, Austin

Lampasas/Marble Falls
Oct 25, 10 am St John, Marble Falls

San Marcos: 
Oct 24, 10 am St Martin de Porres, Dripping Springs

Oct 18,   6:30 pm   IMH, Martindale

Austin South/Central
Nov 14, 10:30 am St John Neumann, Austin

Sept 30, 10 am St Anthony, Bryan 



Those serving in parishes as coordinators of adult formation, evangelization efforts, scripture studies, or RCIA are invited to join the next networking and information sharing session at St. Catherine of Siena in South Austin on Thursday, December 12th from 1-3pm. 

Gustavo Rodriguez
Director, Office of Evangelization & Catechesis
Ph. (512) 949-2542 
Maryrae Stein
Assoc. Director for Catechesis & Formation
Ph. (512) 949-2469

Carolyn Martinez
Coordinator for Catechesis
Ph. (512) 949-2461

Sue Durango
Administrative Assistant
Ph. (512) 949-2492

Diocese of Austin - Pastoral Center
6225 Hwy 290 E, Austin, TX 78723
Phone: (512) 949-2400
Fax: (512) 949-2520

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