Our Church continues to struggle with the reality of the sexual abuse of minors by priests and other ministers and the failure to handle these offenses properly by our bishops. As you know our parish has written to Bishop Perez concerning this issue and has received a thoughtful reply. (Copies of the Bishop’s reply are available in the Narthex.)
Today I want to share with you the discussion that the priests of our diocese had with Bishop Perez at our convocation on October 9-12. At that meeting the Bishop reaffirmed his conviction that the church is in need of serious, meaningful reform. The U.S. Bishops must work together to hold themselves accountable in this crisis. Such changes will be considered at the Bishops’ annual meeting in Baltimore, November 12-14. Bishop Perez assured the priests that he will add his voice to those of many other bishops insisting that such reforms take place.
Regarding these issues in our local church of Cleveland, the Bishop told us at the convocation what he also stated in his letter to St. Noel: The Diocese of Cleveland is in conformity with the policies of the 2002 Dallas Charter. That document put in place a zero-tolerance policy to remove from ministry any priest, deacon or church minister who has been found to molest children on even one occasion.
Today I want to review with you how that zero-tolerance policy has been implemented in our diocese since 2002. Any report of sexual abuse of a minor is received through a dedicated hot-line of the diocese (216-334-2999). All allegations of abuse are reported at once to civil authorities and to a diocesan review board composed of ten Catholic lay people and one priest. The board conducts an initial review of the charges and if they are deemed credible, the priest or minister is placed on administrative leave. This leave temporarily removes the alleged perpetrator from any contact with children. A complete investigation follows, conducted by civil authorities and/or former FBI agents hired by the review board. If at the end of this investigation it is been established that even one act of sexual abuse has occurred, the priest or minister in question is permanently removed from ministry. There is a listing of clerics who have been placed on administrative leave or removed from ministry on the diocesan website. These names can be found at dioceseofcleveland.org, clicking the Child Protection tab, and then clicking “News and Notices.”
In conclusion, I am confident that the identification and removal of sexual predators is being effectively managed by our diocese in accord with the 2002 charter. I ask for your prayers that the U.S. Bishops will be successful at their November meeting in extending this accountability to every bishop and diocese in our country. Let us also keep in our prayers all those who have been harmed by sexual abuse and ask God to assist us in eliminating this scourge from the church we love.
Fr. George Smiga
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY – This weekend, November 3rd & 4th, we celebrate World Mission Sunday. Please keep the Missions in your prayers and be generous in this collection for the Society of the Propagation of the Faith. Our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations.
LITURGICAL MINISTERS – The sign-up sheet for Liturgical Ministers for Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd at the 9:00 a.m. Mass is on the bulletin board by the kitchenette. Please sign up if you are able to minister.
PARABLES AT URSULINE – Fr. George Smiga will be offering talks on the Parables of Jesus at Ursuline College. The series is entitled: Surprise, Shock, and Gospel: Re-Interpreting the Parables of Jesus. They will take place at Ursuline College – in the Little Theater of the Mullen Building on, November 6th & 13th at 7:00 p.m. These talks will explore new meanings derived from Jesus’ parables. They will examine what parables are, how they work, and what Jesus’ parables reveal about the Kingdom of God.
- Tuesday, November 6th: The Parables of Matthew, Including the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant and the Vineyard Workers.
- Tuesday, November 13th: The Parables of Luke, including the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.
The talks are free. All are welcome.
ANGEL CHOIR – Many children and teenagers from our parish are interested in singing this year, so we would like to invite all young people in grades 1-12 to join the Angel Choir. The rehearsals will be scheduled on Sundays between the Masses (10:15-10:45 a.m.) in the Resurrection Room, and will start this Sunday, November 4th. To sign up your child/ren or to answer any questions, contact Agnieszka (Aga) Bieniek at 440-946-1128 x119 or [email protected].
CONCERT SERIES – On Friday, November 16th at 7:30 p.m. we will host Mignarda and friends, internationally-renowned early music duo (voice and flute) that will present a perfect setting for the evocative music of the Spanish Renaissance. Mignarda and friends (Donna Stewart, Ron Andrico, Malina Rauschenfels, José Goterawill) will perform music by Spanish composers Franciso Guerrero (c.1528 – 1599) – selection of motets and Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548 – 1611)- Missa Ave Maris Stella. This concert is free and open to the public. Come and bring your friends.
NOEL BANQUET CENTER – has some dates still available in November and December for family, friends or company holiday parties. Chef Randy is prepared to give you a great deal on your event. Also, please keep the Banquet Center in mind for weddings, showers, birthday parties, anniversaries, fundraisers, etc. There will be many engagements over the holidays. Please recommend the Banquet Center. We are remodeling during the month of January, so we will be excited to show the new Banquet Center to everyone.
BE PART OF THE 2018 CHRISTMAS PROJECT – Throughout the month of November:
∙ Stop at the table in the Narthex to pick up tags to purchase items for the family baskets. You can take as many tags as you’d like!
∙ Donate $10 gift cards to Target and Giant Eagle.
∙ Make a monetary donation (cash, or checks made payable to St. Noel) that we’ll use to purchase additional gift cards and basket items.
∙ Sign up on the kiosk to assemble, wrap and/or deliver baskets in December.
For more information, contact Sandy Appeldorn (216-926-2489 or [email protected]).
AUGUSTINE CALENDARS – are available for purchase in the parish office for $25 each. Checks are made payable to St. Augustine.
CLEVELAND CATHOLIC YOUTH CONFERENCE – All St. Noel teens in high school are invited to attend the Cleveland Catholic Youth Conference (CCYC) on Dec. 15th at John Carroll University. The day consists of keynote speaker Joel Stepanek, workshops, praise & worship, Mass with Bishop Perez, adoration, dinner, reconciliation, and an opportunity to meet new friends. Feel free to check out their website at http://www.cleyouthconference.org. If you are interested in attending, please let Kaitlin know by November 19th at [email protected].
FOOD PANTRY THANK YOU – to Peyton Bizjak. Peyton held a bake sale in her neighborhood to benefit the Food Pantry and raised $75. That’s awesome!! See more of the story on our webpage, and great job, Peyton!!
VOTING RESOURCES – See the table in the narthex for information from the Ohio Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding Issue 1 and choosing political candidates. Please vote this Tuesday!!
FAIR TRADE SALE SUCCESS – Thanks to all who supported the Fair-Trade Sale this past weekend. There were beautiful & delicious items to purchase, and we sold out of most products. A limited number of coffee & chocolate products will be available after Mass (cash only). Our CRS Ambassadors and volunteers did a fabulous job!!
BAGELS – Since December 2016, we have picked up and distributed over 5 tons (10,099lbs) of bagels from Brueggers in Willoughby. Many thanks to Brueggers and to Steve Cesar, Carole Lester, Ingrid Andrusaitis, Karin Ostroske, Rich Beckwith for their dedicated service.
WINTER COAT/JACKETS NEEDED – We distributed over 55 coats at the November Neighbor to Neighbor meal. We will do it again in December and January. Bring any donations to the clothing bin outside the food pantry or to the church office. Our neighbors loved the coats!
READING GLASSES NEEDED – The N2N Resource Room is also looking for reading glasses to distribute at the Neighbor to Neighbor meal. Do you have an extra pair of readers lying around? Bring them to the Church office anytime.
PARISH DAYTIME RETREAT – will be this Wednesday, November 7th, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Season of Blessings: Meeting the Royal Family (The Saints) and Living in Gratitude. Sign up on the kiosk or call Fran at 440-625-1228. if you are able, a donation of $6 is suggested to cover lunch. All are welcome!
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. On November 8th, Bingo. On November 15th Luncheon & Bingo; Menu: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, mixed salad, green beans, pumpkin pie w/ whip cream. Tickets are $10.00, call Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. Deadline for tickets, November 12th. No Meeting on November 22nd (Thanksgiving). On November 29th, bingo, birthdays and anniversaries. Bring something for the pantry and receive a free 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome!
ADVENT TEA – Enjoy a reflective time prior to the rush of the Christmas Season at Advent Tea on Saturday, December 1st, 1:00 p.m. This year’s theme is “You and the Holy Spirit.” We are always looking for new hostesses. If you are interested, please stop by and talk us. Sign up is on November 3rd and 10th before and after the 5:00 p.m. Mass and between Masses on November 4th and 11th. Cost is $20.00 per person, proceeds support the Social Justice Ministry. Everyone is also asked to bring a food item for the food pantry. Contact Karen Spehar at 216-481-6579 or Annie Zahradnik at 440-724-2532. Hope to see you there.
COMMONWEAL LOCAL COMMUNITIES – Undergraduate, graduate students and those who have completed a degree in the last three years are invited to join us and to take advantage of a complimentary subscription. The next Commonweal gathering on Monday, November 26th at 6:00 p.m. in the Resurrection Room will observe the 50th anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton by reading his classic article, “Is the World a Problem?” You do not need to be a subscriber to attend, but you must pre-register. If interested, email your name and parish to Jack Rakosky ([email protected]). Links for coming meeting and more at: http://clcnetcleveland.blogspot.com/
IMMIGRATION ACTION NEEDED – The federal government has proposed a rule change to the eligibility requirements of those hoping to immigrate to the USA or change to immigration status to something more permanent. Public comment is needed on these proposed changes as they will have a negative effect on families trying to reunite and on those trying to enter the unskilled labor force legally. Deadline for comments is December 10th. See the website (stnoel.org) for information.
ALWAYS OUR CHILDREN – The parents support group for families and friends of gay and lesbian Catholics welcomes you to join us at our next meeting, Sunday, November 11th, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. in the SJV Philomena Center of St. John Vianney Parish on Bellflower Rd., Mentor.
ST. ANSELM WOMEN’S GUILD ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUE – will be Saturday, November 10th, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at 13013 Chillicothe Rd., Chesterland. Featuring handcrafted items from 80 area craftsmen, bake sale, snack bar and raffle. Admission is $1.00. For further information call Shirley at 216-832-5158.