As you may remember, St. Noel is exploring the establishment of initiatives of Advocacy in our parish. The monthly Neighbor to Neighbor meal has begun and held its third dinner last Thursday. The next meal will be January 7th.
Today I would like to share good news concerning another initiative – one in education. Over the last months about 20 parishioners have been researching the possibility of establishing a GED program at St. Noel. The GED enables those who have not graduated from high school to obtain a high school diploma. This diploma is a requirement for most jobs and provides the opportunity for advancement in employment. We have decided to offer preparation for the GED at our parish by founding “The Adult Education Resource Center at St. Noel.” The center will not only prepare candidates to take the GED, it will also help adults who have a high school diploma to grow in their reading and math skills. Classes will be held at St. Noel on Monday and Thursday night.
The center needs your help. We are looking for parishioners to serve as tutors and mentors for the adults who participate. We also need people to co-ordinate the evening sessions and a parishioner with computer skills. We are hoping that someone can donate a computer and printer to be used in the classes, since basic computer skills are necessary to take the GED. Training for the tutors and mentors will take place in January and February. The first session will start in the spring.
If you have any questions about the Adult Education Resource Center, you may email [email protected] or contact the parish office.
I would like to thank Annie Zahradnik and all the members of her committee who have allowed this initiative to become a reality. Now is the time for more parishioners to step forward to make it a success. What more beautiful way to serve Christ than to enable some of his brothers and sisters to read, know mathematics, and thereby provide for themselves and their families.
The goal of the Endowment Fund is to provide for the future needs of St. Noel Church. Each year the fund uses a small percentage of its earnings for present purposes. To show appreciation to the parish for its support of the Endowment, the fund is covering the cost of coffee and doughnuts for the month of December.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTION – This weekend our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to our Social Justice Fund.
FEAST OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION – is Tuesday, December 8th. Masses will be at Noon and 7:00 p.m. Sign-up sheet for Liturgical Ministers is on the bulletin board by the kitchenette. Please sign up if you are able to help.
RETIREMENT FUND FOR RELIGIOUS – Next weekend our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations for the Retirement Fund.
BULLETIN ARTICLES – Due to the holiday printing schedule, all articles for the December 26th-27th bulletin and January monthly calendar events must be in the office by Monday, December 14th. Articles for January 2nd-3rd bulletin must be in the office by Monday, December 21st.
VOLUNTEERS FOR CHRISTMAS DECORATING – We will be decorating the Church for Christmas on Sunday, December 20th at 12:15 p.m. If you would like to help decorate, please call the parish office at 440-946-0887.
AUGUSTINE RAFFLE CALENDARS are being sold to support the Hunger Center. They are $25 each and offer 366 (leap year) chances to win throughout the year. They make good Christmas gifts. Calendars will be available after Masses the weekend of December 12th and 13th.
ADVENT REFLECTION BOOKLETS – Copies of “Living Advent with Joy & Peace” are available for your Advent prayer. You can find these booklets on the table in the Narthex.
CHRISTMAS PROJECT UPDATE – Thanks to your generosity we have reached our financial goal for the Christmas Project. If you would still like to donate money, additional funds will be used to purchase extra gift cards to add to baskets. Thank you for your support.
YOUNG NEIGHBORS IN ACTION – All high school teens who have completed 9th grade through 12th grade are invited to join Prime Time this summer on our annual summer service trip through Young Neighbors in Action. Y.N.I.A is a week-long Catholic service-learning opportunity committed to exploring our Church’s mission in the world while connecting teens to meaningful service opportunities with other young people from across the country. This summer, we will travel to Green Bay, WI June 26th-July 2nd. Space is limited and deposits are due back by February 19th. More information and registration forms are located at stnoel.org.
RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE – Our next blood drive is schedule for Sunday, December 20th from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Registration is available at: www.redcrossblood.org. Thanks to Janice Cackowski for coordinating this blood drive.
LEAF MINISTRY – Overwhelmed by a loved one’s incarceration? Holiday times can be especially difficult. LEAF (Listening, Empowering, Assisting Families) sessions take place on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at St Noel. LEAF is a non-denominational ministry where relatives and friends of those incarcerated can join with others in conversation and fellowship. Meetings are anonymous and registration is not required. For more information visit www.leafministry.org or call the parish office at 440-946-0887 and ask for Anthony. The next LEAF meeting is on Monday, December 21st.
SLEEPING BAGS NEEDED – Our friends at St. Mary in Painesville report that the homeless population is struggling. One way we can help is to offer sleeping bags that can be distributed through St. Mary’s outreach ministry. Please bring clean, useable sleeping bags to the parish anytime.
JAIL VOLUNTEERS – The St. Noel Jail Ministry is looking for additional volunteers. Members of the parish bring communion to the jail about once a month. Training is provided and all volunteers are paired with another person. Please call Anthony at the Church office if you are interested in hearing more about this meaningful ministry.
CEPROSI CARDS – We have beautiful, hand-made cards available in the Narthex. Cards sell for $2.00 and were created by our partners in Nicaragua, CEPROSI, who dye corn husks to create their designs.
TWIN BEDS NEEDED – The Social Justice Ministry recently assisted two families with housing. Only the 2 youngest children have beds. We are looking for 6 additional beds. Do you have a twin bed? Please call Anthony (946-1128 x122) if you can help.
CATHOLIC UPDATE is available in the kiosk. The theme of the December issue is “Holy Year of Mercy.”
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, December 13th, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the John Paul 2 room in the old church of St. John Vianney Parish on Bellflower Road in Mentor.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: On December 10th, Bingo. On December 17th, at 12:00 p.m., socializing meeting; 12:30 p.m., luncheon menu: roast strip loin beef, baked potato, mixed vegetables, salad, rolls & butter, cheesecake w/strawberry topping. For tickets, call Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. Cost is $10.00. Deadline for tickets and payments is December 14th. NO MEETINGS on December 24th and 31st. Merry Christmas! and Happy New Year! First 2016 meeting is January 7th. Everyone is welcome!
RETROUVAILLE WEEKEND – Someone once said “marriage may be made in heaven, but they sure take a lot of work on earth.” Have you become so distracted by outside pressure that you neglect your spouse? The Retrouvaille program can help you put your troubled marriage back on track. This program is supported by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. The next weekend will be held on January 15-17,2016. A registration fee of $150 is required to confirm your reservation. For more information or to register, call Diane or Al Miskinis (in complete confidence) at 330-665-3506 or 1-800-470-2230. Register online at www.helpourmarriage.org.
JESUIT RETREAT – Upcoming retreats and programs: On December 11-12th, Building a Vision for Retirement: The Advent of the Next Chapter of Life. The retreat begins with dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and concludes by 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Cost is $90.
On December 14th, From Advent to Christmas: Building the Spirit of Mercy, Hope & Joy. Time is 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., lunch included. Cost is $35. For questions or registration for these programs, call 440-884-9300 or visit www.jrh-cleveland.org.
DIVORCED OR SEPARATED? 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. Attend all sessions, or anything in between. We will meet Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m., on December 8th, 15th, 22nd and January 5th at St. Bede the Venerable, 9114 Lake Shore Blvd., Mentor. To register or for more info: call Karen at 440-352-8282 or email: [email protected].
HELP THE NEEDY OF NORTHEAST OHIO – The Cleveland Furniture Bank provides basic home furnishings to people in need who are trying to rebuild their lives. They are in need of couches, chairs, kitchen tables, and dressers. If you are downsizing, remodeling, redecorating or just have furniture items you no longer need, call 216-459-2265, ext. 101 or visit www.clevelandfurniturebank.org/donate to schedule a pickup of your furniture. If you have other items such as clothing, household goods, pots and pans, dishes, etc. they will pick up at the same time. Mention our church and they will waive the pickup fee.
SAINT JOSEPH ACADEMY’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT – is being held on Thursday, December 17th at 7:00 p.m. at the school, 3470 Rocky River Dr., Cleveland. The concert is free. Featured on the program will be 50 instrumental musicians and 60 vocalists, including the Saint Joseph Academy Concert Choir, Show Choir, Advanced Choir, Academy Chorale, String Orchestra, Jazz Band, Concert Band and Handbell Ensemble.
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION – The Benedictine Men’s Chorus will perform on Friday, December 18th at 6:30 p.m., at Manakiki Golf Course, 35501 Eddy Rd., Willoughby Hills. For ticket information contact Joshua Chenoweth at [email protected] or 216-421-2080 ext. 509.
BREAKFAST AND SANTA AT NDCL – Santa Claus will be making a stop at NDCL on Saturday, December 19th at the first-ever Breakfast with Santa from 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Enjoy a continental breakfast, singing of Christmas carols, crafts, and photo with Santa. Register at ndcl.org by December 10th. Questions, contact [email protected] or 440-279-1079.
WILLOUGHBY HILLS RECREATION DEPARTMENT – Will be hosting their Annual Winter Fest and Lighting Ceremony Sunday, December 6th at 5:00 p.m. at the Willoughby Hills Fire Department. Our Guest Hosts will be Dawn Kendrick – WKYC and Mr. Bobby Leach – Singer.
The Willoughby South Wind Symphony Band will be performing. Santa has promised to make a very special entrance. Join us for a night filled with fun, raffles, food, music, the lighting of Christmas Card Lane & much more.
Our Mission: Fill an Ambulance with Toys for Asa’s Angels. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and receive an entry for a special raffle (toy donations are not required to attend). This is a free event.