When St. Noel Church was built in 1983, it was decided to create an outdoor Marion Shrine adjacent to the large window in the music area. A statue of Mary and Jesus, entitled “Our Lady of the Smiles,” was purchased from Demetz Studios in Milan, Italy. The statue was designed by Sr. M Angelica Ballan, who still works for the studio today. It was made of fiberglass, cast from an original statue carved in wood.
Over the last 34 years the statue became tarnished and cracked because of our Northern Ohio winters. Attempts to clean the statue were not successful. In November of this year the statue was removed to undergo a complete restoration.
The work was made possible by a donation from an anonymous parishioner.
The statue has now been returned to its original setting. It looks as perfect as it did when installed in 1983.
I would like to thank the parishioner who made this restoration possible. The generosity displayed is typical of so many members of our community whose contributions of time, talent, and financial support, allows us to maintain our property and carry out Christ’s work.
If you stop by the music area after Mass this weekend, you will be able to see that Mary’s smile, once hidden under decades of dirt, is now again clearly in view.
Fr. George Smiga
RETIREMENT FUND FOR RELIGIOUS – This weekend our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to 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.
CHURCH DECORATORS NEEDED! We need assistance decorating the Church immediately following the 10:00 a.m. Mass on Christmas Eve morning. What better way to celebrate the true reason for the season with your family? The more the merrier, please call the parish office to sign up today! 440-946-0887.
CONCERT SERIES – This Sunday, at 5:00 p.m. CityMusic Cleveland will perform Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, Wagner (arr Mottle) Wesendonck Lieder for soprano and orchestra, and Schubert Symphony No. 3 with soloists: Miho Hashizume, violin, Jonathan Bagg, viola and Chabrelle Williams, soprano and with Stefan Willich as conductor. This concert is free with a free will offering.
BULLETIN ARTICLES – Due to the upcoming holidays, all articles for the December 24th bulletin are due in the office by Monday, December 11th and for the December 31st bulletin, Monday December 18th.
CHRISTMAS PROJECT – Be sure to bring your cash donations, $10 Giant Eagle or Target gift cards, and gift basket items to the table in the Narthex by noon this Sunday, December 10th. You can sign up on the kiosk to assemble baskets (4:30 p.m.) and wrap baskets (6:00 p.m.) this Wednesday, December 13th, or to deliver baskets this Saturday, December 16th at 9am. Thank you for your generosity, and for sharing the light of Jesus with those in need this Christmas.
LITURGICAL MINISTER SCHEDULES have been emailed. If you have not received one, please stop in the parish office or pick one up in the kiosk.
LITURGICAL MINISTERS – Sign-up sheets for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are on the bulletin board by the kitchenette. Please sign up if you are able to assist with these Masses.
CHURCH LAUNDRY VOLUNTEER – We are in need of laundry volunteers. The rotation is once every 5 or 6 weeks, and we can accommodate your schedule. If you are interested and want to volunteer your services, please call Connie Carr at 440-286-3204.
ADVENT REFLECTION BOOKLETS – are available on the table in the Narthex. Please help yourself.
OFFICE VOLUNTEER NEEDED for Monday evenings. Please call the parish office at 440-946-0887 if you would be interested in volunteering every other Monday evening from 6:00–8:30 p.m.
PRIME TIME– Prime Time will be meeting this Sunday, December 10th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the Teen Center.
PEACE– There will be no PEACE on Tuesday, December 12th. I encourage you to help with the Christmas Project in any way possible. Our last PEACE for the 2017 year is on December 19th. Pizza will be provided.
YOUNG NEIGHBORS IN ACTION – Youth Ministry will be taking a group of high school students on a week-long Catholic service trip to St. Paul on the Lake, Grosse Point Farms near Detroit, Michigan July 8-14. Young Neighbors in Action is a Catholic service learning experience committed to exploring our church’s mission in the world while connecting people to meaningful service opportunities. The trip is open to anyone in grades 9-12 but space is limited. Deposits of $50 are due by Monday, January 8th. Registration forms and more information are available on the kiosk.
CEPROSI CHRISTMAS CARDS – Cards from our Nicaraguan partners are available for purchase in the narthex. Thanks for your support of CEPROSI.
UPCOMING BLOOD DRIVE – Our next blood drive is Sunday, December 17th from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Banquet Center. You can register online at www.redcrossblood.org/. Give the gift of life for the holidays.
LEAF – Our next LEAF meeting is Monday, December 18th at 7:00 p.m. in the Nativity Room. If you have a loved one or family member who is incarcerated, consider attending LEAF (Listening, Empowering, Assisting Families). LEAF is a non-denominational ministry where relatives and friends of those incarcerated can join with others in conversation and fellowship. Meetings, which take place on the third Monday of each month, are anonymous and registration is not required. Visit www.leafministry.org or call the St. Noel parish office at 440-946-0887 for more information.
FREE FRESH PRODUCE – Our next senior market is scheduled for Monday, December 18th from 2-4 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Last month we served 55 families totaling 98 people. The Senior Produce Market is designed to give low-income seniors access to fresh produce throughout the year. St. Noel is happy to partner with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Please spread the word.
COMMONWEAL LOCAL COMMUNITIES – Commonweal Local Communities began in 2013. They consist of readers and friends of Commonweal who gather in their local communities for critical conversation on issues that matter the most. The next gathering is scheduled for Monday, December 18th at 6:00 p.m. in the Resurrection Room. 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]). Learn more at: https://pages.commonwealmagazine.org/clc/
CLOTHING BIN – The clothing bin outside the food pantry is for clothing items only. We do not accept used toys, dishes, glasses, and other household items. There are other agencies who will accept these items. Thank you.
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – has made a difference in the lives of the men and women who spend time before the Blessed Sacrament on Mondays between 1:00-9:00 p.m. 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.
We are looking for someone to cover the evening time of 7:00-8:00 p.m. Are you free and able to fill this time slot? Please call Jan at 440-951-5593 or the church office at 440-946-0887. If you are unable to make a definite commitment, please stop in anytime during Eucharistic Adoration and you will be richly blessed.
JANUARY 2018 HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – The Hospitality Committee needs more volunteers to serve coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts at the 5:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m. Masses. The commitment is for once every four or five weeks beginning in January 2018. Please call Betty Louis at 440-942-4009 or the parish office at 440-946-0887 if you are interested in serving.
AUGUSTINE RAFFLE CALENDARS – are being sold to support the Hunger Center. They are $25 each (checks payable to St. Augustine) with chances to win throughout the year. They make good Christmas gifts. Calendars are available in the parish office until December 18th.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. On December 14th, Bingo. No Meetings on December 21st and 28th. Meetings will resume on January 4, 2018. Everyone is welcome!
MYANMAR – Pope Francis visited Myanmar where a terrible humanitarian crisis is taking place. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, and countless people have lost their lives. To support the relief efforts of Doctors Without Borders and to raise awareness of what’s happening, an interfaith coalition is hosting a benefit on December 10th at LaVilla Banquet Center in Cleveland. There is no cost to attend, but tickets are required, and donations encouraged. Contact Anthony if you would like to attend. See the kiosk for details.
NET NEUTRALITY – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently released a statement supporting net neutrality. Read the statement on the St. Noel webpage. See the St. Noel Facebook page for an easy way to help.
DIVORCED OR SEPARATED and struggling with the holidays? Join us for a special 4-week mini support group for those having difficulty facing the holidays as a result of separation and divorce. This special program is intended to offer practical advice, support, and the skills to get through the holidays and move forward. Building new holiday traditions, identifying and managing the emotions of divorce, opening opportunities for growth and new beginnings, and turning a corner and facing a new year are some of the topics that will be covered. Attend one session, all four, or anything in between. We will meet Thursday evenings from 7:00-9:00 pm, on December 14, 2017 and January 4 and 11, 2018, at St. Noel Church, 35200 Chardon Rd., Willoughby Hills. To register or for more info: call Karen @ 440-352-8282 or email: [email protected]
FLOCK OF FRIENDSHIP (Singles 40 and over) – On Friday, December 15th at 7:00 p.m., join us for our monthly game night at St. Paschals’ Life Center. This is one of our best-attended events and is good for old and new members. Please bring a snack to share, money for pizza, and your favorite game. RSVP Jim at 440-944-1552 to let him know you are coming.