of December 8, 2013
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New popes bring new ideas. Pope Francis has surprised many in the Church by asking us to examine the impact of our Catholic teaching and our commitment to spread the Gospel to the world.
In a desire to assess the effectiveness of Catholic teaching on family issues, the Holy Father has called a meeting of the bishops of the world (a meeting called a synod) for the fall of 2014. Family issues include the Church’s teaching on divorce, annulments, co-habitation before or in place of marriage, artificial contraception, single parent families and gay marriage. The Pope’s desire is to discover how understood these teachings are, how commonly they are followed, and whether any of them should be adapted.
The bishops have received a survey from the Vatican to prepare for the discussion at the Synod. Bishop Lennon has asked the priests of our diocese to respond to the survey, and I would appreciate your input before I respond. Although I have many insights on these issues from almost 40 years of ministry, my vocation is not that of marriage. Therefore, when it comes to following the church’s teaching on contraception, divorce, or passing on the faith to children, I am only partially competent. Therefore, I believe that I could provide a much more adequate response to the Holy Father if I could draw upon your experience and insights.
I have adapted the questions of the Vatican survey and they can be found on our parish website, www.stnoel.org. Simply click on the survey link on the home page. You will find an opening letter and a glossary of terms which explain some of the technical language used by the Vatican. There are 38 questions. You do not need to give your name. It will take you 15-20 minutes to complete the survey. Because I must have my response back to the bishop by December 20th, I will only be able to use the surveys completed by December 14th. So please complete the survey as soon as you can.
I believe that the Pope’s invitation has provided an historic opportunity for us as members of the Church to influence its future. Please take the time to include your own experience and faith. The Church needs your voice to be heard in this important effort.
Fr. George Smiga
BULLETIN ARTICLES – Due to the holiday printing schedule, all articles for the December 28th & 29th bulletin and the January 2014 monthly calendar events must be in the parish office by Monday, December 16th.
LITURGICAL MINISTERS – Sign-ups for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are on the bulletin board in the coatroom area. We only have a couple weeks until Christmas, so please sign up if you will be attending any of the liturgies.
MASS WITH ANOINTING OF THE SICK – Every one of us can be the recipient of God’s healing touch for all of our emotional, physical or spiritual problems. Come…be touched by His love this Wednesday at the 6:45 p.m. evening liturgy. Experience God’s healing through the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick during Mass. Be comforted and refreshed by Jesus in the Eucharist. Our prayer team will be available to pray with you if you wish.
CHRISTMAS PROJECT UPDATE: The response to the Project this year has been wonderful. Here are opportunities to help “wrap up” the Christmas Project:
- Return Baskets (unwrapped): Saturday, December 7th or Sunday, December 8th before or after all Masses at St. Noel. There will be representatives in the Narthex to direct you.
- Bake Cookies: Wednesday, December 11th from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Sign up for baking on the kiosk and let us know if you will be staying for the optional dinner at 5:30 p.m. (sloppy joes, carrots, celery, and chips).
- Wrap Baskets: Wednesday, December 11th at 6:00 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Sign-up on the kiosk and let us know if you will join us for the optional dinner at 5:30 p.m. (sloppy joes, carrots, celery, and chips).
- Deliver Baskets: Saturday, December 14th at 9:00 a.m. in the Banquet Center. Sign up on the kiosk and include the number of people attending. Also, please indicate if you have a GPS.
- Donate Money: Donations can be brought to the parish office or put in the collection basket. Checks can be made out to “St. Noel” with “Christmas Project” in the memo line.
CALLL – CALLL families will take part in the Christmas Project on Wednesday, December 11th. Please be sure to check your email for details.
PEACE AND PRIME TIME: On December 8th, there will be a special evening that middle school and high school families are invited to attend together. We will have guest speakers with us who will offer a unique perspective on celebrating Advent as a family. Contact Erica if your family would like to attend (440-946-1128 x20).
DRIVER NEEDED – We have a parishioner on Maplegrove Ave. who is in need of ride to Church on Saturdays for the 5:00 p.m. Mass. If you can help, please call Anthony (440-946-1128 x22).
SOCIAL JUSTICE MINISTRY – St. Noel offers many ministries to assist people and to advocate for those in need. Are you looking for a meaningful way to serve God? Call Anthony to discuss some possibilities (440-946-1128 x22).
SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND – Next weekend (December 14th & 15th), our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to our Social Justice Fund.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND – For November, 2013 we collected $1,200.00. Our expenses for November were:
|Meal at St. Augustine
Thank you for your support.
CATHOLIC UPDATE is available in the kiosk. The theme of the December issue is “Liturgy of the Hours, Sharing Your Day with God.”
Something to think about from the St. Noel Endowment Board…. When is the last time you looked at who the beneficiaries are on your life insurance, IRA or other accounts? It’s time to take a look, update if necessary. When updating beneficiaries, know that a charity like the St. Noel Endowment fund can be a beneficiary of all or part of one of these assets.
ST. NOEL FELLOWSHIP - Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: December 12th, bingo; December 19th, celebration of birthdays and anniversaries and a Christmas Luncheon including prime rib, baked potato, mixed vegetables, tossed salad, rolls & butter, and cheesecake w/strawberry. The cost of the luncheon is $13 and the deadline for tickets and payment is Monday, December 16th. Call the parish office for ticket information (440-946-0887). Bring something for the Food Pantry and get a free 50/50 ticket. Please note there will be no meeting on December 26th. The next meeting is on January 9, 2014.
THE ST. AUGUSTINE BENEFIT DINNER – Thanks to all who donated items for the auction, attended the dinner, purchased auction items, purchased raffle tickets, made monetary or food donations, participated as sponsors, purchased a program ad, and volunteered to work at the event. Through your collective support we were able to raise over $42,000 for the St Augustine Center. Congratulations to the winners of the 43” and 19” TV raffles. Please plan to join us for the 2014 benefit dinner. Details will follow.
ALL SAINTS - Parents of children who will be entering Preschool, PreK and Kindergarten next fall are invited to attend a special Open House at All Saints of St. John Vianney School, on December 10, from 8:30 - 10 a.m. A Christmas Cookie and Milk Reception will offer parents and childrenthe opportunity to learn more about the school, which is located in Wickliffe on the campus of the Center for Pastoral Leadership, 28702 Euclid Ave. To attend, kindly RSVP to Allsaints@oh.rr.com or 440-943-1395.
JESUIT RETREAT HOUSE - An Advent Weekend Retreat “And the Word Was Made Flesh” begins on Saturday, December 14th and concludes after 10:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, December 15th. Facilitated by Sr. Mary Ann Flannery, SC and Fr. Mathew Roche, S.J. The cost is $90, including room and board. For more information or to register for these programs, contact the Jesuit Retreat House (440-884-9300 or www.jrh-cleveland.org).
ADVENT DAY OF PRAYER: “Advent Seekers… Christmas Lovers… New Year Mystics…” facilitated by Father Mike Woost is on Saturday, December 14th at Bethany Retreat House in Chardon. The day will begin with coffee and pastries at 9:30 a.m. and conclude with a 4:00 p.m. Vigil Mass for the Third Sunday of Advent. Register by December 9th. Participants limited to 30. Contact Sister Jennifer Kramer (440-279-1143) or firstname.lastname@example.org to register and for more information.
ST. JOHN VIANNEY “CHORAL SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS” – You are invited to a concert on Sunday, December 15th at 3:30 p.m. at St. John Vianney Church in Mentor. Admission is free, but donations would be greatly appreciated. Please call Marge Beatty for more information (440-257-8888).
“CATHOLICS COMING HOME”- Divine Word Parish in Kirtland will conduct a series for non-practicing Catholics who may be seeking information about returning to the Church. The seven sessions are on Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. beginning January 14th. For more information, call Deacon Carl Varga or Mrs. Marti Smith (440-256-1412).
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