Don't Send Money

06-16-2019Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, a very important message: A sad consequence of original sin from time immemorial has always been people attempting to defraud others. In our day fraudsters use technology to appear as a loved one or other trusted individual in our lives. You will recall a few times I have cautioned about people claiming to be me using email – often utilizing similar-looking email accounts – attempting to scam others into sending money or buying certain gift cards.

Now, the scammers have graduated to using texts, which come from what often appears to be a South Carolina cell number, obtained from a variety of sources. The scam: A person, who is not me, will suddenly text you saying that the sender is “Father Wilson” or some other iteration of my name. Perhaps “I” am desperately seeking to help someone, who is sick, poor, can’t pay a bill, or in some other distressing situation. If you text back, they will give you information about obtaining gift cards (iTunes, Steam, Amazon, etc.). You will be asked to text back the redemption codes. The phone numbers used in the deception are often disconnected within the day as the fraudster moves on to another number.

Please be vigilant. It is extremely distressing for me that anyone would use the trust you have for me as your pastor in a fraud. Please know that I will never, ever email or text anyone and ask for money for myself, for a parishioner, or any other person in distress. If you have any doubt at all, please first call the parish office, but again, if donations are ever needed for someone or something important, I will ask face-to-face. As Jesus commands us to pray for our enemies and persecutors, let us pray fervently for all the sad people who defraud others. May they have a deep and lasting conversion.

Moving on… You’ll see a flyer in this bulletin welcoming a new deacon, who is moving to our area. Deacon Al Matousek and his wife, Barbara, are relocating to Aiken from the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Deacon Al was just ordained on June 2, so please congratulate him when he arrives. They plan to be at St. Mary’s by the end of June. Welcome Deacon Al and Barbara!

As our nation celebrates Father’s Day, let us be sure to thank and pray for the men who have helped form us. We pray for fathers everywhere that they may become more holy, faithful, and committed men. As nothing can replace a good mother for a child, the same is true about the faithful witness of a good father.

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity this Sunday. Every Mass is a celebration of the Blessed Trinity as we offer the Mass to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. However, we take this Sunday to specifically contemplate this mystery more fully, the greatest revelation of our Christian faith.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit!

Father Wilson