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...recognizing our gifts of time, talent and treasure

Fall 2012

CSA Commitment Weekend November 3-4, 2012

reflections... a newsletter from the Stewardship and Development Office

Go and Make Disciples In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. – Gal 3:26

We, the Diocese of Austin, through the Word and Eucharist, prayer, formation and education, social ministries and advocacy, embrace diverse cultures throughout the diocese so that together, as the Catholic Church, we may continue the mission of Christ in the world today.

Stewardship and Development Office Diocese of Austin 6225 Highway 290 E. Austin, TX 78723 (512) 949-2400

Most Rev. Joe S. Vásquez Bishop of Austin

Scott Whitaker Director of Stewardship and Development

Bob Vallilee

Vayan y Hagan Discípulos Por su fe en Cristo Jesús todos ustedes son s. hijos de Dios. – Gal 3,26 6 22012–2013

During November, parishes throughout the Diocese of Austin participate in the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA). Now in its 35th year, the CSA has provided ided more than $66 million of support to the ministries of the diocese. This year’s appeal will help support many diocesan ministries, including a quality education for 45 seminarians, as well as thousands of students in our 23 Catholic schools; formation and education of deacons, catechists and lay ministers; care for our retired priests; and direct assistance to countless families in need through Catholic Charities. Beyond supporting individual ministries, however, the CSA also helps bring about awareness of our faith to our diocese. This year’s theme, “Go and Make Disciples,” serves as a powerful reminder that we are all called to evangelize and share our faith.

Associate Director of Stewardship and Development

Jean Bondy Associate Director of Catholic School Development

The Catholic Diocese of Austin

“By faith, they (the Apostles) went out to the whole world, following the command to bring the Gospel to all creation (cf. Mk 16:15) and they fearlessly proclaimed to all the joy of the resurrection, of which they were faithful witnesses . . . Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote in PORTA FIDEI (13,7). {continued on page 2}


{continued from page 1} Now more than ever, as we prepare for the Year of Faith, we are aware of the need to share the Gospel message, not just within our own families and parishes, but within our entire, diocesan-wide Catholic family. We are reminded that it will take cooperation, sharing and compassion to ensure that the ministry of Christ continues throughout Central Texas. The CSA creates an opportunity to strengthen our Catholic faith by giving support to ministries with a diocesan-wide scope. As members of the Church, the Body of Christ, we each have our own roles. As parents, we have an obligation to nurture and support our children and to teach them about the faith. As parishioners, we find ways to live out our faith in our parish communities. As Catholics, we give generously — time, money, prayers and service — to our parishes, schools and diocesan communities. Our responsibility is clear — to continue the mission of Jesus. Our roles clearly define how we can make difference. The appeal provides Catholics a chance to be involved with such diverse ministries as the education of seminarians, Catholic schools, Catholic Charities, Hispanic ministry and youth ministry, to name a few. Jesus calls on the collective strength of individuals to form the body of Christ, our local church needs all parishioners in Central Texas to ensure the future of our ministries. It is this commitment to stewardship that allows the diocesan church to provide the necessary resources that one parish cannot possibly do alone. Jesus has enjoined us to build up His Church on earth. He has also assured us that He has given us everything we need to face this and all challenges. At a time when needs are increasing and resources are limited, our generosity to the CSA not only brings the hope of Christ to individuals, families and parishes throughout our diocese but also demonstrates our own hope and trust in the Lord. Please prayerfully consider supporting the Catholic Services Appeal this November.

Support CSA! Scan this QR code with your smart phone or mobile device to find out more about how you can support the Catholic Services Appeal or visit www.austindiocese.org/csa

UPCOMING DIOCESAN EVENTS October 10 Year of Faith Opening Prayer Service October 11 Red Mass For event information, visit www.austindiocese.org

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Our Lady of the Rosary Feast Day – October 7

Stewardship often takes an active voice — we talk of “a way of life” and of giving our time, our talents, and our treasure. Feast of the Holy Rosary invites us to step back and prayerfully contemplate the One who calls us into relationship and invites us to be his stewarddisciples. “It is by faith,” writes St. Bernard, “that he dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect, and penetrates even into our imagination. He lay in a manger and rested on a virgin’s breast, preached on a mountain and spent the night in prayer. He hung on a cross, grew pale in death, and roamed free among the dead and ruled over those in hell. He rose again on the third day, and showed the apostles the wounds of the nails, the signs of victory; and finally in their presence he ascended to the sanctuary of heaven. How can we not contemplate this story of truth, piety and holiness? Whatever of all of this I consider, it is God I am considering; in all of this he is my God.” Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us. Adapted from Sharon Hueckel, Steward Saints for Every Day, Copyright © 1999, the National Catholic Stewardship Council, Inc., Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

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Stewardship As a Way of Life The basic principles of Christian stewardship — accountability, generosity and the willingness to give back with increase — stem from a spirit of gratitude. People of faith acknowledge God as the giver of all creation. Everything that we have and all that we are, our skills and talents, our possessions, and life itself are gifts from God.

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We are all called to believe in stewardship. To live the stewardship life is to trust in God’s love, mercy and providence. A Christian steward acknowledges this in two ways. First, he or she understands that when one’s individual gifts of time, talent and treasure are combined with the gifts of other Christian disciples, the Church and the world are enriched, the good news of the Gospel message is brought to those who have not heard it, and people come to know firsthand the free and generous love of God. Further, Christian stewards are not afraid to keep less for themselves, realizing that the less “stuff” there is in their lives, the more room there is for God. They recall the sacrifices God continually makes for us, know the difference between needs and wants, and are willing to sacrifice a portion of their wants to meet the needs of others. Those who seek to live their lives as stewards know that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28).

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Living our lives as Christian stewards is not easy, nor is our gratitude for God’s blessings meant to lead at any time to complacency, or the acceptance of social and economic conditions, despite how good or bad they are. Rather, a close relationship with Jesus and a desire to live out our lives in imitation of his will ease our stewardship journey and motivate us to seek economic and social justice. However challenging stewardship may be, each of us takes part in one vocation — to be a disciple of Jesus. It is through our discipleship that our stewardship comes alive. More simply, stewardship is an outgrowth of a true conversion toward Christ. Jesus invites us to share in his love, and we in turn seek to bring his love to others. In this way, stewardship is built upon a close, intimate and personal relationship with Jesus through prayer, and it is this relationship with Jesus that allows us to grow closer to our parish communities through the generous sharing of our gifts. At the same time, our love of Jesus helps us to understand our responsibilities more clearly. The U.S. Bishops’ 1992 pastoral letter Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response reminds us, “stewards of God’s gifts are not passive beneficiaries.” Christ’s invitation into his love is also an invitation to contribute to his mission of teaching, serving, and healing. We are all called, then, to share in God’s plan for redemption, not only for ourselves but for others. We are also obligated to be good stewards of the Church. We have a personal responsibility to our parish and our local Church, the diocese. As parishioners, we need to find ways to live out our faith in our parish communities. As Catholics, we give generously — time, money, prayers and service — to our parishes, schools and diocesan communities. Our responsibility is clear: to continue the mission of Jesus, and our way ahead is guided and sustained by his unfailing love.

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e t a t s E ning – Planever too late, It is n o early, or to d sta r te t e g to

“DO NOT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES ON EARTH” Matthew 6:19-21

“I’d rather not think about that right now” “My assets are not significant for an Estate Plan” “That costs more than I can afford”

If you recognize any of these stat statements for neglecting estate planning, you are leaving some of your most important personal financial decisions for state or federal law to determine. If you don’t have a plan, your state has one for you but you probably won’t like it. Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own. No matter your net worth, it is important to have a basic estate plan in place. Such a plan insures that your family financial goals are in place after you die. More than 60% of Americans say they don’t have the most basic estate planning tool — a will.Your will should include a medical power of attorney. For some people, a trust may also make sense. Think of a comprehensive plan for the orderly settlement of personal and financial matters after death. Once you start the exercise of “Estate Planning,” it allows you to take inventory of your assets. Your assets include your investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, real estate or business interests, and personal items of value like gold, silver and rare coins.

ASK YOURSELF THREE QUESTIONS: 1. Whom do you want to inherit your assets? 2. Whom do you want handling your financial affairs if you become incapacitated? 3. Whom do you want making medical decisions for you if you become unable to make your own decisions? • A WILL tells the world exactly where you want your assets distributed when you die. • TRUSTS are legal mechanisms on how and when your assets will be distributed after death. • TRUSTS also allow you to reduce your state and gift taxes. Include a charity in your estate plan, whether it is a bequest, a charitable gift annuity, or an outright gift. Seek professional advice. Good estate planning takes a team — a wealth advisor, an attorney, and a CPA.

“IF SOMEONE WHO HAS WORLDLY MEANS AND SEES A BROTHER IN NEED AND REFUSES HIM COMPASSION, HOW CAN THE LORD GOD REMAIN IN HIM?” 1 John 3:17

IS ONLINE! Visit: www.austindiocese.org/donate for more information on stewardship and the Diocese of Austin. diocese of austin

T H A N K YO U . . . for your ongoing support and generosity to the Our Faith ~ Our Legacy campaign. To date, more than $16.9 million has been returned to parishes.

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FALL 2012


2013 YEAR OF FAITH 2012

A TIME OF RENEWAL AND ENRICHMENT

On October 11, 1962, Blessed John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council — one of the most important events in the history of the Catholic Church. His hope and dream was that it would prove to be a time for the Church to be more open to the Holy Spirit and to energize the people of God.

We received the gift of our faith when we were baptized either as infants or later in life, which was then nurtured by family and friends. The Year of Faith is a time to reflect on this precious gift of faith; it’s a time to renew our commitment to the one who is at the center of our faith, Jesus Christ. The Year of Faith is also a time to “pass on Last October, Pope Benedict XVI declared what we have received,” to share our faith with a Year of Faith that begins on October those around us, and then with those who 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the were once a part of our Catholic family opening of Vatican II as well as the but are no longer present. Pope 20th anniversary of the Catechism Benedict intends to launch the of the Catholic Church and Year of Faith with a gathering of concludes on the feast of Christ bishops on the topic of the New the King, November 24, 2013. Evangelization, of recapturing Pope Benedict shares the the zeal for spreading the same hope and dream for message of Jesus Christ to the Year of Faith as did his those who already know predecessor, Blessed John who he is but need to hear XXIII, that this year will be a his message in new ways. We graced time of renewal and an face many cultural and societal opportunity for all Catholics to challenges, challenges that affect enrich their faith and draw closer how we are trying to live our faith to the Church. and share the love of Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict is calling us to be proud Pop o n e Be oma nedic re R o t t X V I. P a v In his Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, the of our faith, to share it with someone else, r e hoto ©L’Oss pope outlines his reasoning and plan for the to deepen our understanding of the faith and Year of Faith. Throughout the world, Catholics are to live it in how we care for one another. The hope being called to rediscover the rich heritage of our faith and and dream is that once November 24, 2013 arrives, we to become better stewards of living our Catholic faith in all are better able to proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ with circumstances and places, whether among family members, renewed vigor and confidence. coworkers or neighborhoods. The pope challenges us to open the doors of our faith, to rediscover our basic beliefs and Vatican Year of Faith: rekindle our relationship with Jesus Christ. In order to do www.annusfidei.va/content/novaevangelizatio/en.html that the Church leadership will provide countless ways to engage the faithful at the universal Church level, in our Charlene O’Connell is the Associate for Catholic Schools Religious country, here in our own diocese, and in your local parish Education and Formation. community. During the Year of Faith, the Diocese of Austin will provide recommendations and ideas to celebrate our Religious Education and Formation is supported faith, to deepen our understanding of the faith and to live it in part by the Catholic Services Appeal. more effectively.

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NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID AUSTIN, TEXAS PERMIT NO. 1504

Stewardship and Development Office Diocese of Austin 6225 Highway 290 E. Austin, TX 78723

RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

L EAVING A LEGACY R E M E M B E R I N G

DAN AND LITA DANIEL have been parishioners of Christ the King Parish, Belton for seven years where they serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Dan has served as Grand Knight and Faithful Navigator of the Knights of Columbus Council. He is on the Spring Fest steering committee, an instituted Acolyte and IT liaison for the parish. Lita is a member of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, secretary of the Pastoral Council and a member of the festival committee. The Daniels received the 2012 Lumen Gentium award from Bishop Joe Vásquez. The Lumen Gentium award is presented to an individual or couple who humbly serve the parish with distinction and faithfulness.

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C H U R C H

Dan and Lita graduated from Sts. Peter and Paul High School in St. Thomas of the Virgin Islands. Dan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virgin Islands, majoring in Business Management (IT) and his master’s degree from Central Michigan University. Dan retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 20 years. Lita received her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Catholic University in Puerto Rico. In November, the Daniels will celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary. They are “empty nesters” and have three children/stepchildren and four grandchildren.

Reflections Fall 2012  

The quarterly newsletter from the Stewardship & Development Office of the Catholic Diocese of Austin. In this issue: Catholic Services Appea...

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