Fr. John Gerritts - July 14, 2019
Recently someone or a group of people was sending out
emails pretending to be me. In some cases they are saying I need your help and
other times asking that you purchase gift cards for me. Sometimes my name is
spelled correctly and other times it is not. It seems this is happening to
other priests who are in other parishes. It doesn’t appear they have “hacked”
into my email contacts, since some who are receiving the messages are not among
my contacts. Yes I have changed my email password. No it was never “1234”.
To help identify if an email is coming from me, I have
taken a few steps. I have only one email account, and the address includes
“@stpatrickofhudson.org”. There is now a picture of me on a bicycle attached to
my emails. I have also included my name, our parish, and my phone number to the
emails. There is also a scripture verse from the Gospel of John – of course my
favorite book in the Bible since I am named for the evangelist. Finally, a year
ago or more I started signing my emails to our staff using simply my initials
“jg”. I will include my initials with my name when I sign all emails (though
please forgive me in advance if I do forget once in a while).
While these steps hopefully help you to know when an
email is actually coming from me, please continue to be vigilant. I would never
ask directly for a monetary contribution or to purchase something for me
without a telephone, text, or in person confirmation. I would never ask you to
send money to me directly, only to our parish. Finally, we will continue to
review our use technology to maintain security of information.
On a more important note, the big question I am
getting is whether or not I won the bicycle. Thanks to all who had their
picture taken or submitted a photo. We will have a great directory. Life Touch
is donating $5 for every household who had their picture taken to our charity
fund. This will help us assist many more people. Everyone seems very pleased
with the quality of the photos – I can’t wait to see all of them. If you did not
get your picture in this edition, in six months we can set another day for
photos to be taken if we have fifteen households wanting their picture taken.
Life Touch will then reprint the entire directory and provide a new copy to
everyone who initially received one plus to those who are newly added.
We didn’t quite make our goal of 650. But don’t worry,
the committee chairs who presented the challenge are letting me have the bike
but…I have to host a bike ride. So I am looking at doing something in either
August or September. It will be a fun little ride and include an ice cream
treat. Watch the bulletin for more details — and the streets to see me on my
Finally, Father Jim Brinkman will be with us this
weekend because I am traveling with our high school students on a mission trip
to Huntingburg, Indiana. Huntingburg is in southern Indiana, near the Kentucky
boarder. I will hopefully have a report from our mission trip in next week’s
bulletin. Please keep the over fifty students and chaperones who are traveling
on the mission trip in your prayers this week. Also pray for the over fifty
kids, middle and high school helpers, and adults who will be participating in
Vacation Bible School this week down at our school. We have a lot going on this
week with two major events for our youth. Thank you for supporting our youth
and offering your prayers for them.
Clergy Sexual Abuse in the Church
Our Parish Council formed a task force to investigate ways Saint Patrick Parish can respond to the issues of clergy sexual abuse within our Church, including hosting a Mass of Healing in October and a listening session in November. Please click here
to learn more about the Task Force's recommendation to Bishop Powers.