Don’t Get Scammed!

Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection
Next weekend, as our national Thanksgiving Holiday approaches, please find the second envelope in your packet to support the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), or go to We Share and make a contribution. As we know, CCHD is the anti-poverty program of the U.S. Bishops, whereby the bishops strive to find programs to help the poor help themselves. Thanks to those who support the poor through the CCHD second envelope! Please see the bulletin insert for more information.

Website Developer Visit
Also next weekend will be a visit from the people of Talgrace, who are the developers of our new website.  They will be at Incarnation on Saturday and Sunday to take video footage for the website. They will be at our liturgies, interview parishioners and take footage of the parish plant. Please pardon any disruption they might cause for this once a year event. Also, if you have some good news about Incarnation Church which you would like to share on video, please call the office and talk with Stacy.

New Minister Trainings
I am grateful to staff and worship commission members who have been working so hard to help parishioners share their time and talent with Jesus and the Church. In addition to the ministry formation for all ministers two weeks ago, this past Monday, twenty new lectors and Eucharistic ministers gathered for training.

Thanks to those new ministers who heard the Lord calling them into ministry through stewardship cards during stewardship weeks! Also this week on Thursday, worship commission members gathered current Mass coordinators for a meeting. Coordinator duties were reviewed, concerns and questions were received. Thanks were given to coordinators and I am thankful for worship commission members Kathy Lamlein, Patricia Pecqueux, Deb Ruemmele and Stacy Stang as we strive for improvement and excellence!

Little Things Mean a lot
At the liturgical minister “updatings” several weeks ago, input from those ministers offers me the opportunity to offer a few reminders to parishioners regarding receiving Jesus at Holy Communion. Before making those specific reminders, it is important to reiterate the seemingly small details that reinforce the great mysteries of Faith. As Catholics we know the great power that underlies the liturgy. Most every action has a deeper meaning. When considering receiving Holy Communion, please be reminded of the following small, and yet, important details:

When we are the next person to receive, we should make a reverence to Jesus with a slight bow. If we are to receive him in the hand (which is best during times of pandemic), we should ready our hands at that time. Our hands should be well above our belt and held out in front of us making a throne for him in our non-dominant hand, dominant hand under.

à Jesus and his real presence (grace) is an unmerited gift. When receiving communion we should do just that: receive him as gift. Therefore, we should not reach out to take Jesus from the minister. After Jesus is received in your hand, take him into yourself!

à The word “Amen” means “I believe” or “it is so.”  Communicants are encouraged to make this witness to Jesus heard and enthusiastic! It is a sign of how we want all our responses to Jesus to be!

à Those who wish to receive Jesus on the tongue are encouraged to try to be at the end of any communion line (not just the priest’s line.)

Beware of Scammers and Phishers
Parishioners, it is time for the quarterly reminder that:  NO PRIEST OR STAFF MEMBER WILL TEXT, EMAIL OR CALL TO ASK THAT GIFT CARDS BE PURCHASED FOR ANY REASON!!

Scammers and phishers come up with heart wrenching stories about the need to help a fellow parishioner. Most times the stories are tragic, involving such critical things as cancer. They will use text messaging, emails and perhaps phone calls and pose as me or a staff member.

The scam usually involves purchasing several hundred dollars’ worth of some kind of gift cards.  Through continued short interactions and lots of positive and gracious language which build a false sense of trust, scammers will ask that pictures of the front and back (after scratching off the cover of card number) of the cards be sent to them. With that information, the cards can be redeemed electronically from anywhere in the world, with no way of tracing. The money is gone for good.

So far we have two instances of wonderfully generous parishioners purchasing cards. The scammer was posing as me. Fortunately, those parishioners contacted the office directly with the cards and did not take pictures to be sent to the scammer. Those parishioners were able to return the cards for a refund.

Please note that an organized, legitimate parish program like Christmas Kindness is a very different matter. Christmas Kindness is not a personal request and it has specific, public instructions to donate.

Sincerely and with Love in Christ,

Fr. Pat

 

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