Happy New Year!
The First Sunday of Advent is, liturgically speaking, New Year’s Day. For just as the natural world has its calendar and its seasons marking the earth’s relation to the sun, so the Church abides by her own calendar and her own seasons, her own manner of reckoning time. But the big difference is this: for the Church, it is all in relation to a Person, not a thing. The Church’s worship makes our lives revolve around Jesus.
Sister Mary Jean (d. 1988) was a Dominican sister, and a prolific author and illustrator, especially of children’s literature. I wish to share these words of hers as we enter into this new Church Year:
“Nothing in all the world’s literature is so full of joy as the prayers of the Church for Advent and for Christmas. Every nation has its heritage of beauty in art, poetry, and music: no matter what foreign tyrant takes over the government, the people will cling to this last greatest wealth of literature. But the liturgy of the Church is a vast storehouse of wealth from which all may draw who possess one Faith. National differences disappear as all the earth cries out, today as two thousand years ago: “To thee have I lifted up my soul; in thee, O God, I put my trust… Show, O Lord, thy ways to me and teach me thy paths…”
“There is a joy in the Advent prayers that nothing on earth can equal, because they are so perfectly in accord with the spirit of those who did receive the Redeemer. They might be the very words of Mary, or Joseph, or the shepherds. Following these prayers yearly, as the Church urges us to do, makes us one in spirit with the humble ones who saw him and understood. It makes the Incarnation a living thing, not an incident of the long ago but a tremendously important part of our lives which recurs again and again. Two thousand years are nothing in the eyes of God, who is eternal. Today we are as certainly given the opportunity of receiving or rejecting him as were the people of Bethlehem on a starry night long ago when the Word was made flesh, and came to dwell among us.”
Peace and prayers,
RETIREMENT FUND FOR RELIGIOUS – Ushers will be in the Narthex this weekend after all masses to accept your donations for the Retirement Fund for Religious. Help make a difference in the lives of senior sisters, brothers, and religious order priests who benefit from the annual appeal.
FAMILY FAITH FORMATION RESOURCES – Copies of Celebrating Sunday and the December TakeOut Magazine are available (one per family) in the kiosk and on the table in the Narthex.
ADVENT & CHRISTMAS REFLECTION BOOKLETS – “Waiting in Joyful Hope 2019-2020 can be found on the table in the Narthex. Please help yourself.
ADVENT TEA – Ladies, please reserve the date -Saturday, December 7th at 1:00 p.m. for the Advent Tea. Enjoy reflective time prior to the rush of the Christmas Season. This year’s theme is “Friendship of Women.” Sign up this weekend in the Narthex after all Masses. Cost is $20.00 per person; proceeds support the Social Justice Ministry. Everyone is asked also to bring a food item for the food pantry. We are always looking for new hostesses. If you are interested, please stop by and talk to us. Contact Karen Spehar 216-481-6579 or Annie Zahradnik 440-724-2532. We hope to see you there.
CHRISTMAS PROJECT 2019 UPDATE – Thanks to your warm generosity to the annual Christmas Project, we are well on the way to our goal of $16,000 to serve 100 families in the Lake County area. We are still in need of cash and gift card donations, as well as pre-selected gift basket items. Visit the Christmas Project table in the Narthex to join in the spirit and choose how you can help:
- Donate a gift of cash or $10 Giant Eagle or Target gift cards.
- Pick up a ticket to purchase one or more pre-selected gift basket items.
- Sign up on the kiosk to help assemble and wrap baskets on TUESDAY, December 10th, or to deliver baskets on Saturday, December 14th.
Bring your cash donations, gift cards, and basket items to the Christmas Project table before or after weekend Masses or weekdays to the parish office by December 8th at noon. Together we will touch the lives of those who most need the love and support we know as the true meaning of Christmas. We’re almost there and we are grateful for your efforts!
JUST 4 FUN COMMITTEE – Parishioners of St Noel, along with their families and friends, are invited to join us on Friday, December 20th at 6:45 p.m. for our Christmas Movie Night! All are invited to watch the movie ELF (rated PG) which will be projected on the big screen in the Banquet Center’s large hall beginning at 7:00 p.m. (run time 1 hr. 37 min.) Seating will be set up theatre style. Cookies and Hot Chocolate will be served! Wear your “Ugly Christmas Sweater” and join in on the fun! Hope to see you all there!
SUMMER SERVICE WITH YNIA – We have one spot left!! Young Neighbors in Action, a week-long service trip for high school youth, has been a part of our parish youth ministry since 1996. This summer, we’re headed to South Bend, IN from July 12-17. We have reserved spaces for 10 teens and 2 adult chaperones. One spot remains! Your $50 deposit reserves a spot and can be dropped off at the parish office. Visit cmdnet.org to learn more about YNIA or contact Anthony for more information (440-946-1128 x122).
SPECIAL NEED – Parishioner needs under pads for the bed (hospital chucks). Please contact Anthony if you can help.
FOOD PANTRY NEEDS – So far in 2019, the pantry has served 1497 people with the equivalent of 13,841. Special thanks to the United Way of Lake County and to Mentor United Methodist Church for recent donations to the pantry. Thanks, also, to all who donated egg cartons; we have enough now and are no longer accepting egg cartons. Thanks to all who support the pantry!!
NOEL CONCERT SERIES– Offer yourself and your loved ones a gift of music during this Advent- Christmas season. Four concerts will be presented at St. Noel this December.
- Sunday, December 8th at 4:00 p.m.- St. Noel Music Ministry (Freewill offering) Hodie Alleluia! CONDUCTOR: Agnieszka Bieniek FEATURING: St. Noel Church Choir, Youth Bell Choir, Adult Bell Choir, Soloists and Instrumentalists. PROGRAM: Traditional and contemporary Christmas songs from around the world. Please join us for a small reception in the narthex after the concert.
- Wednesday, December 11th, 7:30 p.m.- Apollo’s Fire Christmas Oratorio– J. S. Bach GUEST CONDUCTOR: Julian Wachner FEATURING: Molly Netter, soprano, Daniel Moody, countertenor, Steven Soph, tenor, Jesse Blumberg, baritone and Apollo’s Singers. Bach’s festive Christmas Oratorio is a feast of orchestral colors, with trumpets, timpani, flutes, oboes, bassoon, and strings. Tickets can be purchase by phone: 216-320-0012, Toll Free: 800-314-2535 or via e-mail: [email protected].
- Sunday, December 15th at 5:00 p.m.- CityMusic Cleveland (Freewill offering) Fire and Ice CONDUCTOR:Stefan Willich SOLOISTS, TBA, PROGRAM: Giaocchino Rossini – Overture to CinderellaJoseph Suk – Meditation on the old Czech chorale “St. Wenceslas” Franz Joseph Haydn -Symphony No.59 (“Fire”),Arcangelo Corelli – Christmas Concerto, Op.6, no.8, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – German Dances, K.605 (“Sleigh Ride”),Engelbert Humperdinck – Knusperwaltzer (Gingerbread Waltz), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Prayer from Suite No. 4 (“Mozartiana”),Manuel de Falla El Amor Brujo – Ritual Fire Dance.
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – We are looking for someone who can come to Eucharistic Adoration on Mondays between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Many parishioners are richly blessed each Monday as they spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. Each Holy Hour that you make in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament releases his grace and power upon you, your family and your parish. If you are free and would like to experience this encounter with Jesus, please call Jan at 440-951-5593 or the church office.
SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT – (formerly Parish Daytime Retreat) will meet this Wednesday, December 4th, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The program for December is: “The Gospel of Matthew: Opening up the Scriptures for the Upcoming Liturgical Year”, presented by Sharon Waltermire. Lunch will be provided. There is no charge, but if you are able a $6.00 donation to cover lunch is appreciated.
For any questions call Fran at 440-625-1228.
All are welcome!
MARY’S HANDS – The next meeting of Mary’s Hands Prayer Shawl Ministry will be Tuesday, December 3rd from 11a.m.-12:30p.m. in the Resurrection Room. Prayer Shawls are created by hand and threaded with prayers and blessings for healing of the recipient’s body, mind, and spirit. Knitters, crocheters, and anyone who would like to learn, are welcome. Instructors can be available to help learners. Shawl makers can also participate on an at-home basis only so spread the word! Contributions for yarn and supplies and donations of yarn are always welcome! Please contact Joyce Puin (440-473-1238), Nikki Rini (440-823-0413), and Candice Minello (440-336-0991) for more information.
ST. AUGUSTINE CALENDARS are now available in the parish office. Your $25.00 donation for each calendar gives you the opportunity to win throughout the calendar year and support a worthwhile cause.
Please complete the numbered card insert and mail to the St Augustine Hunger Center, 2846 West 14th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113. Checks are payable to St. Augustine. Winners will be mailed a check on Wednesday of each week.
BLOOD DRIVE – Volunteers are needed for the next blood drive on December 29th. Sign up on the kiosk.
CHRISTMAS SERVICE OPPORTUNITY – Witness to God’s mercy by signing Christmas cards to our neglected neighbors including all inmates at the Lake & Geauga County Jails, detained youth, local homeless, those in nursing homes, Catholic Charities programs and domestic violence victims. Enjoy good food, prayer, and fellowship. December 2nd or December 4th. See the flyer on the kiosk for details or visit stnoel.org.