My Dear Parishioners,
I want to alert you to a scam that unfortunately has been perpetrated in our local area. The archdiocese issued a warning about fraudulent e-mails asking for money recently but this is the first time I heard that the scam was committed through a phone text. Apparently, someone sent a text from someone claiming to be me. It came from a 202 area code, but I hear that there are apps now that can spoof numbers to make them even appear local. The message told the recipient that I was busy with a patient in the hospital and I had forgotten to get a gift for my niece’s birthday. It asked them to purchase a $300.00 Google Play gift card and gave them an account to deposit the funds in. While I appreciate the parishioner’s willingness to do me a favor, please be assured that I would never ask for money for myself or my family. Once the parishioner actually deposited the funds in the account, they were told that really my niece needed an additional $700.00. Thankfully they did not make that deposit. Please beware of any unsolicited texts or emails claiming to be from me and asking for any type of “untraceable” funds. You can always call the rectory and ask if you are unsure. The authorities have been alerted to this situation, but I am not sure how much they can do.
Archbishop Chaput has asked that the following letter be communicated this weekend.
God Bless You!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Here in the United States there are great needs for evangelization and sharing the message of Christ and the beauty of the Church. The Church at home needs to be strengthened. Soon, as a diocese, we will take up the Catholic Home Missions Appeal (CHMA), which supports the neediest dioceses in the United States. This appeal makes the most basic faith programs possible and shares the gospel message with our brothers and sisters in dioceses where Church communities are struggling.
If you were to cross the Diocese of Colorado Springs, you would see the stunning mountain valleys and peaks of the Continental Divide to the west, and the wide expanses of the Great Plains to the east. However, the Diocese of Colorado Springs is a mission diocese because the terrain poses so many challenges for priests and ministers. Each weekend, priests of the diocese traverse the mountain routes or drive hundreds of miles across the plains to preside over Sunday Masses. The lack of priests and ministers makes it difficult for the diocese to serve all of the region’s Catholics. Without regular pastoral care, people, especially young adults, are susceptible to leaving the Church.
But your generosity to the Catholic Home Missions Appeal supports assists ministry efforts across the diocese. Your support gives young adults the opportunity to make retreats, go on pilgrimages, participate in service projects, and attend vocational discernment events. These ministry centers also offer daily and Sunday Masses, RCIA classes, regular confession times, Eucharistic adoration, Bible studies, and other opportunities to build community.
Your support of this appeal makes a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters right here in the United States. Please prayerfully consider how you can support the appeal this year. Thank you for strengthening the Church at home.
Gratefully and with best wishes in Jesus Christ,
+ Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.