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Highlights of this Month’s Newsletter

The month of November is full of wonderful solemnities that encourage us to celebrate and prepare for the end of a liturgical year.  We celebrate the saints and all their accomplishments, contributions and examples of holiness.  We remember our dearly departed on All Soul's day and reminisce about how they participate in the formation of the body of Christ.  We also celebrate the end of the liturgical year with the Solemnity of Christ the King, the king of us all and of the universe. He reigns from the cross and is always present in our hearts and lives.

In this issue of our catechetical bulletin, we focus on so many activities happening around our diocese.  We will learn about how St. Mary’s Parish, San Saba has one of the largest kindergarten class in their religious education program. We also have a lot to share about our diocesan adult confirmation, Dicipulo Misionero formation at St. Margaret Mary and the parent formation opportunities being offered at San Juan Mission, Moody. 

In closing we pray that the many saints celebrating their feast days continue to keep us in their continuous prayers: Saint Martin de Porres, Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Saint Albert the Great, Saint Gertrude the Great, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Saints Roque González, Alfonso Rodríguez, and Juan del Castillo, Priests and Martyrs, Saint Cecilia, Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro, priest and martyr,  Saint Andrew Dung Lac and his companions, martyrs, Saint Catherine of Alexandria and St Andrew the Apostle.  We ask that all these holy men and women pray for us.

Gustavo Rodriguez
Director of Evangelization and Catechesis

The second presentation of the

“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

This leadership series in Spanish continues monthly at St Margaret Mary in Cedar Park. The next class will be Saturday November 9 from 9:00am-1:30pm. Formando Discipulos de Cristo will be presented by Gustavo Rodriguez, Director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.
               Me gustaría motivar estos talleres ya que nos ayudan a comprender el liderazgo en la iglesia” 
Julia (participante) Parroquia de St Margaret Mary  
Liderazco Parroquial con Adrian Herrera (Diocesis de Houston-Galvestion )- Octubre 2019

The Diocesan Adult Confirmation Mass was held October 16, 2019, at St Albert the Great Parish in Austin. Very Reverend James Misko, Vicar General, confirmed 94 men and women from 15 different parishes. Dates for upcoming Diocesan Adult Confirmation Masses are as follows (locations not yet finalized):
Spring 2020:  April 18     
Fall 2020: October 31

 The newly confirmed from San Jose Parish in Austin.

Northwest of Temple on Hwy 317 lies the quiet town of Moody, TX. On Wednesday evenings the children and youth of Our Lady of San Juan Mission gather with DRE Cindy Vega and her catechists for faith formation. This month I had the privilege of speaking with parents about the family as the Domestic Church and various forms of prayer. What a beautiful community and worship space!    
Maryrae Stein
Associate Director of Catechesis and Formation


Over a hundred miles away from the Pastoral Center in the western part of our diocese is St. Mary’s Parish in San Saba. The small rural parish nestled in the beautiful hill country is blessed with a tight-knit community and faithful followers.

Silvestre Barco is the DRE for the parish. The parish has a new RE building as of two years ago and the program consists of about 127 students and remarkably about 30 of those are kindergarteners! I was a little confused at first thinking I must have misunderstood what he told me but 30 is correct and the number continues to grow every year.

In a time when we feel so many parents are waiting until their children are older to bring their students to RE, St. Mary’s is experiencing the opposite. Much of the community is Hispanic and there are more and more young families that have multiple children that attend the program.

Silvestre said,

“Families come to the parish because of their families; tradition to follow the footsteps of their parents and grandparents to be strong in their Catholic faith.”

There is one bilingual kindergarten class with one lead catechist, three aides and all are bilingual. Families feel more comfortable knowing that their children will be taught in Spanish instead of English. About 95% of their families are Spanish speaking, this makes them feel more at ease to know their children can be taught in Spanish. More Hispanics are becoming involved by teaching RE and continuing to teach at home—the domestic church.

He says it is important to be more involved and suggests attending both masses (English/Spanish) even though it is time-consuming. The interactions show you care for the kids, gives the opportunity to listen to parents and ask for assistance.

Silvestre’s final thought,

“It is overwhelming to see so many little faces wanting to learn about God; it is very touching to see them wanting to know Jesus. So be open-minded, listen to your catechists and their recommendations and ideas and be open-minded to parents and parish families. Pray every day God continues to bless you and gives you the patience to continue every Wednesday.”

So, if you are ever in San Saba stop by and for a visit and a lot of little smiles!


Bootcamp Reflections

We held Bootcamp on Wednesday, October 2, and as promised we shared much-needed information, reassuring hugs and, of course, a little strenuous exercise to get everyone ready for the task at hand!

We had ten new DREs join us and reviewed policies, curriculum, sacramental formation, certification, EIM and so much more.

Bootcamp equips all DREs with the necessary knowledge, courage, and wisdom to encounter all responsibilities that come your way. Everyone left filled with knowledge, ready to tackle their tasks, and most especially ready for a break from workouts!

Mark your calendar for Monday, January 13, for DRE Orientation Day at the Pastoral Center! If you have any questions, call Carolyn.

Carolyn Martinez                                        
Coordinator of Catechesis
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 here.
Here are a few “SAVE THE DATES”:
  • Effective Catechetical Leadership class, Developing Disciples of Christ, begins via Zoom Technology on Tuesday, November 5. Classes meet from 10 am-noon twice monthly.
  • Morality, 16-hour, course begins on Thursday, November 7. Only a few spots remain; register at
  • Joe Paprocki, Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox Workshop, will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 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 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 2019-2020
Click to Register

Periodically we will highlight supplemental resources that are available for your perusal.

Launched in 2017, CatholicBrain provides an innovative solution for Pre- K – 8th-grade faith formation and religious education. The digital platform allows participation by students and parents and gives provides options for teachers and catechists. If you are interested in evaluating Catholic Brain, here is a link to an informational webinar being launched specifically for the Diocese of Austin during November.
Cedarbrake Retreat Center, Belton TX 

One Day Retreat - Grandparents Day of Reflection  Thurs Nov 14, 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Join Cheryl Maxwell as she explores the many ways in which grandparents can make a positive difference in the faith life of their grandchildren. The cost is $40 and includes lunch.
One Day Retreat - Parent Bereavement Retreat  Sat Nov 23, 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
This retreat is for parents, grandparents or guardians/foster parents who have lost a child or grandchild. Louis A. Gamino and Franciscan Father Albert Haase will help lead this retreat. Gamino is an author, speaker and licensed psychologist at Baylor Scott & White Health. The cost is $40 and includes lunch.
Weekend Retreat - Silent Advent Retreat,  Fri  Dec 6, 6 pm – Sun Dec 8,11:30 AM
The Silent Advent Retreat will be Dec. 6-8, at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. This popular annual retreat is a great way to slow down and connect with our Lord as we enter into the Advent Season. Mass, confession, and adoration will be part of the weekend. The cost for the weekend is $225 single, $190 per person double.
Weekend Retreat Jan. 3-5, 2020  Second Annual Biblical Institute with Fr. Bill Burton
Begins on Friday, January 3, 6:30 PM The Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles In this workshop, Fr. Bill Burton will consider both the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles and seek to understand and interpret these two books as a single account.

YM Summit  Tuesday, November 5, 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
The Youth Ministry Summit is a gathering of all parish youth ministers for formation and community. The discussion will focus on Christus Vivit.
Forming Disciples of Christ, Part 1 Tuesday, November 19, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
DRE Certification class offered via Zoom
Basic Teachings / Enseñanzas Basicas – Saturdays,  9:00 AM - 3:00 PM  Pastoral Center/Centro Pastoral
November 9  Creed / el Credo
November 16 Liturgy & Sacraments / Liturgia y los Sacramentos
November 23  Christian Morality / la Moralidad Cristiana
Discipulo Misionero Classes Saturday, November 9, 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
St. Margaret Mary Parish Hall, Cedar Park  Formar Discipulos de Cristo
TOB with DR. PHI  Tuesday, November 19, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
This is a series of webinars covered different topics of Theology of the Body.


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:

Monday December 9 @ 4:30pm, St Luke in Waco

Tuesday November 12 @ 6pm, St. Louis in Waco

N. Austin/Round Rock/Georgetown
Thursday December 5 @ 11am - Christmas gathering at the Grove restaurant, Cedar Park.

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

Lampasas/Marble Falls:  
November 15, 10 am,
St. John, Marble Falls
January 24, 1 pm
St. John Marble Falls 
San Marcos: 
November 21, 10 am
St Martin de Porres, Dripping Springs 
November 15,  6:30 pm 
St. John, Luling
January 10, 6:30 pm
St. Mary of the Assumption, String Prairie
February 21, 6:30 pm
Sacred Heart, Rockne
November 18, 10 am
St. Mary, Brenham

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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