There have been reports from parishioners across our diocese who have received phone calls, emails and texts from individuals claiming to be their pastor. The latest today was from a bogus email address. The email read: “Peace unto You – Good morning how are you doing. I need a favor from you email me as soon as you get this message. God bless, Rev. Daniel, Pastor.” Usually the content of the message will include some form of request for money that is outside of the normal channels of giving, for example electronic gift cards for amazon or iTunes. These messages usually include some sense of urgency and may span over several emails, beginning with an inquiry like “Hi are you available? I have a quick request.” Some of these fraudulent attempts have gone so far as to create email accounts which look very much like an official address. Please be aware that neither our parish nor father will ever reach out to you directly via email text or social media for direct solicitation of gift cards, wire transfers or other electronic monetary transactions. If you suspect you may have received a fraudulent request, or would like to confirm the genuineness of a message, please contact our parish office (315) 673-2531. To report a fraudulent request please forward the message to: email@example.com
Dear St. Francis Parish Family,
As I was thinking and praying about his Lent; I was struck when I remembered that last year Lent came to an abrupt end. After the Second Sunday of Lent everything stopped; we had no public Mass, we had no Stations of the Cross or Benediction, we were not even able to give out Psalms or celebrate the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter) with a congregation; even the rites for the RCIA were put on hold. This year, although things will be different; we will have Lent. We already celebrated Ash Wednesday, Stations will be, but without walking around the Church with Benediction after; there will be a “Light is on For Your Confession” on March 29, Palms will be given out (at least as of today) we do have a RCIA candidate who will go through the various rites at weekend Mass, and we will, praise God, be able to celebrate the Sacred Triduum. Although many things are different, the essence of Lent remains the same.
Lent is that time for us to examine ourselves under the light of God’s grace and renew our relationship with God and His people. The traditional Lenten practices are still very helpful.
Prayer: time to reconnect with God. Perhaps you and your family could make a conscious effort to pray together before meals, come to the Stations together, attend one week day Mass as a family; to paraphrase Pope Francis: put down the phone or table, turn off the television and open a Bible.
Fasting: a great way to remind ourselves that everything we have, are and hope to be are directly or indirectly gifts form our God; to rekindle our spiritual hunger for God and the things of God.
Almsgiving: reminds us that we are called to be compassionate and generous to those who have less than we, and are in need for the basics of life. It can also help us to understand that the Church is more than our parish or Diocese; we belong the a Universal Church, that is the meaning of the word “Catholic”.
God Bless you; and may we all have a prayerful, spiritually fulfilling Lent so that we can celebrate the glory of Easter with our hearts, minds and souls renewed.