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

Spring 2013

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

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

Associate Director of Stewardship and Development

Jean Bondy

Associate Director of Catholic School Development

The Catholic Diocese of Austin

The Triduum is the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, Our Savior. The Triduum, beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, concentrates on the central events of our salvation — Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection. For us as Catholics, it is a great opportunity to draw near to the Church and to participate in these aweinspiring liturgies. It is important to know that the Triduum and the celebration of Holy Week should not be seen as historical reenactments for us in which we are somehow spectators. Rather, we are drawn into the very life-saving mystery of our faith during this time. We are drawn into these mysteries of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus; and, through our active participation, we experience the reality of these mysteries anew. The Triduum and Holy Week are about how Christ is still actively saving us today. By entering into the liturgical action of these holy days, we are drawn into a deeper conversion.

Holy Week has a number of timeless traditions that add such richness to our journey of faith in Christ. Our participation in Palm Sunday is our entrance into Holy Week and an expression of our desire to accompany Christ in a closer, more intimate way. Through the procession, we not only remember Jesus Christ’s triumphant arrival in Jerusalem, but we also accompany Christ on his journey to the Cross. As we pray with the readings of Holy Week, we may see ourselves in many of the persons mentioned: perhaps in the crowd that welcomes Jesus, which eventually becomes the mob that cries out for his Death; in the weeping women of Jerusalem; in Peter who speaks so boldly about his willingness to die with Jesus but then denies him; in the disciples who fall asleep when Jesus asks them to stay awake and pray with him; in Simon who helps Jesus carry his Cross; or in the women who are present at the Crucifixion and then gather at Jesus’ tomb. {continued on page 2}


{continued from page 1} The washing of the feet, which happens on Holy Thursday, has been a tradition from very early on in the Church. From the Gospel of John, we know that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet during the Last Supper. “He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.” The evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper shows the intimate connection between the institution of the Eucharist and the washing of the feet. This is what Christian life is all about — worshipping and receiving our Lord in Holy Communion, and humbly serving him in our brothers and sisters. The veneration of the Cross on Good Friday is a solemn and moving celebration in which we are reminded that the Cross is our salvation. Jesus suffered and died on the Cross to save us. Christ’s willingness to enter into his Passion and Death reveals the glory of his Resurrection; therefore, we enter into these celebrations with a lively hope in our resurrection. The high point of the Paschal Triduum is the Easter Vigil, which takes place after nightfall on Holy Saturday. The liturgy begins with the blessing of the fire and the procession with the paschal candle. After the proclamation of Scripture readings tracing the history of salvation, we celebrate the full Christian initiation of candidates for baptism. In the liturgies of Easter Sunday, we renew our baptismal promises and are sprinkled with the Easter water, deepening our appreciation for the new life of grace which flows in our hearts through Jesus Christ. My prayer is that your celebration of Holy Week will be powerful and prayerful moments, especially for those who are about to become Catholic. I pray that these special days will be times of grace for all of us, and that we will encounter Christ waiting for us. I pray that we will find Christ in others, especially in those who are suffering, for Christ is especially present in them. May we all experience the life-giving love of Jesus Christ and come to share in his Resurrection as a result of these holy days. –Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin

(1416-1507), Hermit Optional Memorial – April 2

St. Francis of Paola was just 13 when he entered the Franciscan order after a pilgrimage to Assisi. At 15, he became a hermit and embraced austere penances as part of his solitary, contemplative life. Before long, other like-minded young men joined him, and in 1436, he founded the Order of Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis of Paola believed that heroic mortification was necessary for spiritual growth and added the observance of a perpetual Lenten fast to the traditional monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Known for his holiness and humility, St. Francis was often called upon to arbitrate disputes, and eventually he was sent by Pope Sixtus IV to serve King Louis XI of France. Called from contemplation to active ministry, this humble hermit suddenly found himself settling international disputes and ministering to kings! “Be peace-loving,” he counseled. “Peace is a precious treasure to be sought with great zeal.” He remained in the French court until his death, and founded many monasteries in France. May the humility and flexibility of this steward saint inspire us to use our gifts in new ways and new places as God directs us. Adapted from Sharon Hueckel, Steward Saints for Every Day, Copyright © 1999, the National Catholic Stewardship Council, Inc., Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

UPCOMING DIOCESAN EVENTS April 13 Deacon Ordination, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Cedar Park

IS ONLINE! Scan this QR code with your smart phone or mobile device, or visit www.austindiocese.org/reflections to read the latest issue.

diocese of austin

April 14 Catholic Charities of Central Texas Benefit, Renaissance Hotel May 8 Assembly of Catholic Professionals, Hyatt Regency

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For event information, visit www.austindiocese.org

SPRING 2013


2012 2013

Year of Faith A Time of Renewal and Enrichment When Pope Benedict declared that this would be a Year of Faith, among his many hopes is the desire for each and every Catholic to grow in our faith to learn more about our faith, to improve the way we live it, and to share this precious gift of faith with others. Every Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and is often referred to as a “little Easter.” At Sunday liturgy, we pray, sing, stand, sit, kneel, and listen.Usually we are very aware of what we are doing, but sometimes we participate as if we were in a hypnotic trance, not quite certain where we are in the Mass. Following the homily, as we stand to profess our faith in the Creed we may not be fully attentive to what we are proclaiming. And yet, the Creed contains the heart of what we believe as Catholics. The Creed professes the entire history of our salvation, from creation to the end times. Nestled in the middle of the Creed we proclaim the mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection. What do we believe about Jesus’ Death and Resurrection? In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul describes the reality:

What does it mean to “walk in this newness of life?” It means we believe that because Christ rose from the dead, he is profoundly and intimately with us today as much as he was with his followers 2000 years ago. To proclaim that Christ rose from the dead also means we are called to be witnesses for others in the same way the first disciples were witnesses to the truth of the Resurrection. To what do we witness? We witness to the presence of Jesus Christ through the way we live out our belief in him. It means we act differently, think differently, pray differently, because the resurrected Christ is within us, and of this we are witnesses. As we continue on in our proclamation of the Creed, we proclaim that we “look forward to the resurrection of the dead . . .” Jesus’ Resurrection not only points to a new reality of his presence with us, it also points to our own resurrection. Our Catholic faith really challenges us to live knowing that life on earth is not the end, that there is new life with Christ in eternity. We are also called to witness to this truth, to live today and every day in anticipation of the joy of our own resurrection. Celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ throughout the Easter Season, become more aware of Christ’s presence within you, and more dedicated to the responsibility and joy of sharing his presence with others.

“We were buried . . . with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4).

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SPRING 2013


Charitable Intentions Using your assets to do well If you had unlimited financial resources, what would you do to make the world a better place? Fund the cure for cancer? Wipe out hunger? Or end homelessness? Or, something else? Despite altruistic intentions, few people can contemplate such world-changing generosity. Still, charitable giving is woven into the fabric of American life whether it is dropping coins in to the Salvation Army kettle during the holidays or bequeathing an endowment to a church or school. Today there is fresh attention on doing well with money thanks to a new breed of super-philanthropists. Anyone can be a philanthropist Of course, you need not be an industry tycoon or ultra-rich celebrity to put your money to work for causes and organizations you believe in. Philanthropy is for everyone, whether you have significant wealth or modest assets. Because of technology, anyone can now take advantage of giving methods that are easy and cost-effective to use. It’s definitely brought Middle America into the charitable giving universe. For many donors, gifting financial assets directly is the most straightforward way to benefit a charitable organization or cause. Currently, you may make unlimited gifts of financial assets to your church, school or diocese and receive a tax deduction for your generosity, within certain limits, if it is properly documented. Generous options for giving A direct gift is not the only – nor always the most advantageous – way to be generous. Actually, several interesting options exist that you may want to consider for enabling your philanthropy. Many of these techniques are quite common. Complex rules govern their creation and maintenance, so you will need the help of your wealth, tax and legal advisors to fully understand them and determine which could be appropriate for you and how philanthropy fits into your long-term financial planning. Among the most common options are: • A charitable remainder trust • A charitable lead trust • A donor advised fund • A gift of a life insurance policy • A gift to an existing foundation, such as the Catholic Foundation – Diocese of Austin, is considered the most enduring of these options. An endowment within the foundation may be established and maintained for almost any level of gift because of advanced technology and outsourced services. The bottom line is don’t hesitate to give if you are so inclined because there are effective ways to do so. Just as important, there are also ways to restore gifted assets back to your estate, if that is a concern, through wealth replacement planning with your wealth advisor. Ed Bowen, CIMA®, ChFC®, CLU®, Frost Wealth Advisor

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SPRING 2013


It is impossible to miss the news that the Texas Legislature is in session. So many people claim that religion and politics don’t mix, but that is not what our bishops say. As disciples we are called to work for the transformation of society — and one way we do that is through the political process. We come not as a special interest group, but as a faith community with a set of values that we believe would enrich life for everyone in our state. We value life from conception until natural death; we are concerned for the health and welfare of all; we favor justice for immigrants and the incarcerated and we support good quality education where parents are supported in making the best choices for their children. Always we come with a priority question: how will this legislation support and uphold the life and dignity of the human person, especially those who are poor and vulnerable? With that perspective we do not fit neatly into any partisan framework. We would not, for example, automatically reject legislation that would raise taxes. Increased spending to insure quality education for our children, to support adult stem cell research for medical advances, to provide health insurance for poor children and the elderly, to provide more training for prison guards, are all good things that will make our state healthier, safer and a better place to live, even if it will mean a sacrifice. Equally, we do not automatically support every government program that purports to help. We do not support state funding for abortions or embryonic stem cell research.

diocese of austin

Following legislation is not easy, which is why the Texas bishops hired excellent staff at the Texas Catholic Conference to pay attention to bills of interest to us as a Catholic community. They have set up an excellent website (www.txcatholic.org) that has the legislative agenda of our bishops; they are already tracking bills that have been filed and they have prepared extremely helpful one-page issue papers on many of these issues. We do not have to be the experts; we only have to make use of the wealth of materials that are available to us. It is our call, our duty to make use of that information and to act on it. What can you do, what should you do, to be part of God’s transformation of our world? First and foremost, we can all pray, for our elected officials, their staffs and all of us, that we may have hearts and minds that are open to support the life and dignity of every person and to find the good that will benefit all, no matter the sacrifice. Second, we can become educated on the issues. Third, we can participate in legislative advocacy. The Texas Catholic Conference has a mechanism to send out alerts; you can sign up on their website at www.txcatholic.org. You can join Bishop Vásquez and many other bishops from our state at Catholic Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. Contact Barbara Budde at barbara-budde@austindiocese. org or (512) 949-2471 or Marie Seale at marie-seale@ austindiocese.org or (512) 949-2486 or visit the Faithful Citizenship page of the diocese at www.austindiocese. org/faithfulcitizenship/.

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SPRING 2013


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

Leaving a Legacy R e m e m b e r i n g Will and Candace Kapavik are parish-

ioners at St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption in West, Texas, where they are involved in various church and school activities. Will currently serves as an RCIA sponsor, participates in That Man is You, presents gifts at Mass, and is involved with many of the facilities building needs. Candace is in her third term on the St. Mary’s School Board, is a member of the Building committee, presents gifts at Mass, and serves as co-room mother at St. Mary’s Catholic School where their daughter Marisa is a third grader. Their strong support for Catholic Education led to them being honored last year during Celebrating Catholic Schools event in Austin. Will and Candace are also strong supporters of the Diocese of Austin seminarian program. In 2005, their business, Associated Concrete Contractors, was the General Contractor for the construction of the St. Mary’s Parish Center and donated the site work, underground utilities, and concrete work.

Y o u r

C h u rc h

During the spring of 2012, Will, Candace, their daughter Marisa, and Isabella (a foreign exchange student that they were hosting from Brazil and graduate of Reicher Catholic High School) had the privilege of participating in a group tour with St. Mary’s parishioners to the Holy Land. Will is from San Angelo, Texas and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. He began his construction business in the late 1970s in the DFW area, but eventually branched out nationwide. Candace is from Malone, Texas. She has a Bachelor of Science from Southwest Texas State University (Texas State University) and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Texas at Dallas. Their corporate office is located in West, Texas where the nationwide operations for construction and cattle are managed. Will and Candace Kapavik have included the Catholic Church in their will.

Reflections Spring 2013  

The quarterly newsletter from the Stewardship & Development Office of the Catholic Diocese of Austin. In this issue: Holy Week, Year of Fait...

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