This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. In this Sunday’s gospel, Mary and Joseph take the child Jesus to Jerusalem, where Simeon joyfully proclaims that the child is “a light for revelation and glory for your people.” Before Mary and Joseph have time to bask in the glow of these words, Simeon goes on to sadly prophesy that this same child is “destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel and a sign that will be contradicted,” and this will bring sorrow for his mother. What an emotional roller coaster ride! Mary and Joseph return with Jesus to their home in the town of Nazareth, where Jesus “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” Through all their ups and downs, the Holy Family’s faithfulness to God brought grace to their home and to the world.
Our families certainly experience ups and downs. We easily find God in the joyous times. However, it is often in the challenging times – in the times that bring sorrow – that our faithfulness strengthens. When we tenderly give care to our parents who are aging, when we firmly set boundaries with our family member battling addiction, when we patiently counsel our teenager experiencing anxiety, when we bravely hold the hand of our loved one suffering from a terminal illness…we grow and become strong. We are filled with wisdom and the favor of God is upon us.
Knowing that the Holy Family experienced difficulties along with joys can comfort us. Knowing that their faithfulness to God brought grace into the world can inspire us. We are all holy families. As we begin this new year, let’s resolve to meet a new individual or family, perhaps over coffee and donuts, at a GIFT session, or at the parish spaghetti dinner. Let’s find opportunities to tell our story and ask others about their story. Let’s take a risk, sharing not only our joys, but our sorrows.
Sharing our struggles may be a gift that lasts far beyond this Christmas season – a gift that helps us all grow strong in faithfulness to God and brings God’s grace into the world.
Fr. George Smiga
ADORATION – There is no adoration on January 1st. Adoration will resume on Monday, January 8, 2018.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTION – Next weekend, our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to our Social Justice Fund.
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR MEAL – Join us at the next N2N meal on Thursday, January 4, 2018. If you haven’t been to a N2N meal, it would be a wonderful way to start off your new year!
SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND – For November 2017, we collected $724.57. Our expenses for December were:
|Meal at St. Augustine||221.36|
|Neighbor to Neighbor Meal||90.00|
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.
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 & PEACE – Prime Time will resume on January 7th and PEACE will resume on January 9th. Wishing you a Happy New Year!
CALLL AND GOOD SHEPHERD – CALLL resumes on Wednesday, January 3rd. Good Shepherd resumes on Sunday, January 7th. Happy New Year!
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.
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.
PARISH DAYTIME RETREAT – Join us on Wednesday, January 3rd from 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. for “Gifts Given are not to be Hidden,” facilitated by the Retreat Community with guest speaker Anthony Camino. Start the New Year with a day of prayer, reflection, and community. There is no charge. A donation of $6.00 is suggested to cover lunch, if you are able. Call Fran at 440-625-1228 or sign up on the kiosk.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Meetings will resume on January 4, 2018. Everyone is welcome!
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.
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, January 22nd 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/
DIVORCED OR SEPARATED? Wondering what the New Year will bring? Join us for this special program intended to offer practical advice, support, and the skills to move forward. We will meet Thursday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m., on January 4th and 11th 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]
RETROUVAILLE WEEKEND – Has your marriage become unloving or uncaring – your relationship cold, distant – thinking about a separation or divorce? Then the Retrouvaille program may help. Join us on the weekend of January 19-21, 2018. A registration fee of $150 is required to confirm your reservation. Retrouvaille is supported by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, but open to couples of all faiths. For more information or to register, call Marce or Liz Gliha at 440-357-6580 or 1-800-470-2230, or online at www.helpourmarriage.org.
THE FEST INTERNSHIP – Looking to do something extraordinary this summer? The FEST is looking for marketing and communications, event planning, and logistics management interns to join the team that puts together our annual Diocesan Family Festival. Interns will be a part of a fast-paced team and will play a critical role in the marketing, planning and coordination of annual event for 40,000+ people.
Interns will provide support and have responsibilities including public speaking, marketing, mailings, digital and social media, press releases, logistics, event planning, and more. Interns must have strong people skills, work ethic, critical thinking, organizational skills, and reliable transportation. For more information or to apply, please send your resume to [email protected] by January 20th.