Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now
than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light…
Over the past few days, several parishioners have reported receiving emails from scammers pretending to be Fr. Jim, requesting help obtaining iTunes gift cards. The first email is a request for a “quick favor” and asks the recipient to email back as quickly as possible. If the recipient replies to the email, “Fr. Jim” responds that he is very busy and needs help getting iTunes gift cards for a cancer patient (or for another charity or cause.) The scammer directs the recipient to purchase an iTunes gift card, scratch off the back to reveal the PIN, then email a photo of the PIN as quickly as possible.
First and foremost, please know that neither Fr. Jim, nor anyone else at the Collaborative (nor any other legitimate organization) will ever request donations via iTunes or other gift cards, money orders, or wire transfers.
This scam, and others like it, have targeted churches and other nonprofits nationwide, and several area parishes have recently been hit. The emails are not being sent from an actual Collaborative email account – our systems have not been “hacked.” They are sent from newly created public email accounts that are designed to look similar to a Collaborative email account.
If you receive such an e-mail, DO NOT REPLY. Please forward the email to email@example.com, so we can follow up with the RCAB IT Office, and then delete it.
Please read the tips below, which will help you to spot this type of email scam and other like it. If you have any questions, please email or call Tricia Amend Bombara, IT and Communications Coordinator (781-235-0045 or 781-235-1060.)
SOME TIPS FOR SPOTTING EMAIL SCAMS
1. The email seems to be from a reputable source – usually someone you know – but the actual email address is off.
With scam emails, the “From” will have the expected name, but the actual email address will be a public email address, like @gmail.com or @yahoo.com. For example, in this recent scam the email was sent from: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Fr. Jim’s actual email address is: <email@example.com>.
Any legitimate email from the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative will come from a @sjspwellesley.org, @stjohnwellesley.org, or @stpaulwellesley.com email address. If you are ever unsure about an email that purports to be from someone at the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative, please call either parish office (SJ: 781-235-0045 or SP: 781-235-1060) or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The tone of the email creates a sense of urgency.
Scam emails will create a sense of urgency in the hope that you will act quickly, without the usual caution. Sometimes, as in this recent example, it is done by pretending to be someone you know who is in urgent need of help. Other types do this by warning that one of your accounts has experienced suspicious activity or is about to expire; often, you won’t even have an account of this type, which makes you fear that someone has stolen your identity. These are huge red flags. If you receive this type of email, contact the person or organization directly using the contact details you already have for them or that are on their legitimate website. Never use any contact details or click any links provided in the email.
3. The email contains poor spelling and grammar.
You can often detect a scam email by the way it is written. Everyone makes an occasional grammar mistake or spelling error, but if the writing style is very different from what is typical for the sender, and/or it contains multiple spelling mistakes and poor grammar, that should be a big red flag.
4. The email asks for personal information.
Regardless of how legitimate an email message may appear, it is always a red flag if the message asks for personal information. A reputable organization or company will never send an email asking for passwords, credit card numbers, or the answers to security questions. Never click on any links provided in an email that requests personal information.
5. The email message sounds too good to be true, or something just doesn’t look right.
The old saying “if something seems too good to be true it probably is” is especially true when it comes to email messages. Similarly, if you receive an email message that makes you question it’s legitimacy, even briefly, it’s probably for a good reason.
Please join us this Saturday from 8:30am to 4:30pm for Trees & Trimmings, Saint John School’s annual holiday market filled with everything you need for a magical Christmas: premium quality Fraser Fir and Balsam Christmas trees (freshly cut to retain their needles and give off that fresh Christmas smell longer!), custom decorated wreaths (these are legendary!), mantelpiece greens, roping, decorations for the home, boxwoods, gifts, a bake shop, and much, much more!
There will be a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, so be sure to bring the whole family to this magical event!
All of the proceeds from this event support Saint John School and its amazing teachers and students. For more information please visit www.saintjohnschool.net.
All women of the collaborative are invited to join us for an evening of prayer, song, food and sharing. In keeping with our theme, “Blessed is She”, Svea Fraser and Barbara Viechnicki will share their experiences of their Camino Journey. All women are welcome, bring food to share and bring a friend! Here is a peak at upcoming programs!
Seasons of Hope (Grief) Laurie Jacob, MA in Theology and Ministry
Shrove Tuesday Desserts, Desserts! Lenten Reflection
Reflections Katherine Twitchell
Mass Fr. Jim Laughlin
St. Paul Parish Choir will present their annual Christmas Pops Concert – this year’s special performance is the Oratorio de Noel by Camille Saint-Saens. This 30 minute little gem is a very beautiful telling of the Christmas story in song with choir, soloists and string orchestra including the harp and organ. The program will also include new hymns to the Blessed Mother by Ola Gjielo, our favorite carols by John Rutter, performances by Fr. Laughlin and Fr. Blaney, and our famous Sing-a-long. You won’t want to miss this fabulous concert to help inspire you in the Advent and Christmas season!
This year our Collaborative Thanksgiving Mass will be at St. John Church at 9:00am on Thanksgiving morning. Please join us!
God bless you, and keep you, and walk beside you, at Thanksgiving… and always.
Please Note: This will be the only daily Mass in the Collaborative on Thanksgiving Day. There will be no 7:00am at St. John and no 9:00am at St. Paul.
Our Collaborative is blessed to have two young men pursuing a vocation to the priesthood. Chris Holownia from St. John Parish has entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Syracuse NY, and Matt Norwood from St. Paul Parish is studying at St. John Seminary in Brighton to be a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston. Chris and Matt send us updates on their progress from time to time – this week we have a homily that Chris Holownia gave at the novitiate this past summer. Please click here to read: Updates from Our Seminarians
All are welcome to share in a study of God’s Holy Word. In his letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians, Paul shares his encouragement, correction and instruction. While imprisoned in Rome for his faith in Jesus Christ, Paul calls the communities to rejoice even while difficulty and trial surround. His message could not be more relevant today. Study materials are available for purchase ($16) through the Collaborative.
Please email: email@example.com to enroll and purchase study set.
November 29 (SJ, Powers Hall, 7pm)
December 6 (SJ, Powers Hall, 7pm)
December 13 (SJ, Powers Hall, 7pm)
December 20 (SJ, Powers Hall, 7pm)
January 3 (SJ, Powers Hall, 7pm)
January 10 (SP, Parish Hall, 7pm)
January 17 (SP, Parish Hall, 7pm)
January 24 (SP, Parish Hall, 7pm)
January 31 (SP, Parish Hall, 7pm)
February 7 (SP, Parish Hall, 7pm)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8