The 40 days of Lent, which begin this Wednesday, are a special time for prayer, charity and spiritual growth. I am listing below the opportunities which our parish is providing to celebrate this season.
- ASH WEDNESDAY – February 14th, a Service of the Word with Ashes will take place at Noon. Evening Eucharist with Ashes will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m.
- GIFT – This year we will hold two of our GIFT sessions in Lent. On Wednesday, February 21st, Sister Lisa Marie Belz, OSU, of Ursuline College, will present on “Jesus the Man and Christ the Lord: Images of Jesus in the New Testament.” She will lead us through an examination of scripture passages that show how Jesus’ identity as true God and true human can help us live as his disciples. On Wednesday, March 21st, I will present a talk on “Angels, Animals & Angst: A Journey Through the Book of Tobit.” About 200 years before Christ, the Book of Tobit was written to show how God controls and guides our lives. The book unfolds as a religious novel with episodes that are both humorous and powerful.
- PARISH LENTEN SERIES – Our parishioner Brian Myers will present a unique Lenten experience to encourage faith in our homes, entitled “Home Improvement: Give Your Faith a Remodel.” This series will begin in-person on Monday, February 26th, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in the Small Hall of the Banquet Center, and continue on-line throughout the remainder of Lent and into the Easter season.
- COMMUNAL PENANCE SERVICE – On Wednesday, March 14th we will hold our Communal Penance Service. Please note that this year the service will begin at 7:30 p.m.
- STATIONS OF THE CROSS – Every Friday of Lent at 7:30 p.m., there will be an opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross. This Friday, February 16th, I will be leading the stations.
- LENTEN BAGS & TAGS – We will be collecting items for Forbes House (the Lake County shelter for victims of domestic violence), Project Hope (the Lake County homeless shelter), Birthright, and St. Augustine Hunger Center. Tags indicating the items needed for each agency can be found in the narthex. Please use a plastic bag for your items, closing it with the yarn and tag provided. If you do not have your own plastic bags, please help yourself to the plastic bags which are on the table. Return filled bags to the right-hand bin in the food pantry.
- LENTEN BOOKLETS – entitled “Not by Bread Alone,” by Michelle Francl-Donnay can be used to guide your personal prayer for the Lenten season. You can pick up a booklet on the table in the Narthex.
- FOOD PANTRY – As always, I encourage you this Lent to support our food pantry by using the specially designed bags to take with you when you shop for food. Simply fill the bag with items, such as peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, macaroni & cheese, and paper products. This can be returned to the rolling cart in the food pantry. When you return a full bag, you can take another one.
- CRS RICE BOWLS – provide a hands-on way for both families and individuals to experience the Lenten Season in addition to providing much-needed support for the initiatives of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The Rice Bowls and online resources (www.crsricebowls.org) give participants real life connections to people around the world struggling for justice and a glimpse into their lives and culture. Pick up your Rice Bowl in the Narthex.
- FASTING & ABSTINENCE – Catholics 14 years and older are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, adult Catholics (18-59 years) are also asked to fast – that is, limit their food to a simple full meal and two lesser meals.
- FISH FRIES – As I mentioned last week – please support our Lenten Fish Fries. You can sign up on the kiosk to help. The first Fish Fry is Friday, February 16th from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Each Lenten season invites us to grow in our faith as we prepare to celebrate the great Feast of Easter. Please consider including one or more of the opportunities above as part of your Lenten observance.
Fr. George Smiga
ADORATION – On Monday, February 12th, Adoration will be 1:00-6:00 p.m. due to First Reconciliation at 6:30 p.m.
NOEL COLLECTION ENVELOPES – are available for pick up in the parish office. Each box contains an entire year of donation envelopes.
ASH WEDNESDAY – is this Wednesday, February 14th. The sign-up sheet for Liturgical Ministers for the 7:00 p.m. Mass is on the bulletin board by the kitchenette.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Join us this Sunday, February 11th, for the Pancake Breakfast to benefit our Youth Ministry. This will take place from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Tickets are not required, and a free-will donation will be accepted.
NOEL FISH FRIES – will be held on Fridays, February 16th – March 23rd in the Banquet Center from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. The cost is $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12, and no cost for children 5 and under. These Fish Fries are an important fundraiser for our parish and they are possible only through the generosity of parishioners willing to help with serving and clean-up. Sign-up sheets are on the kiosk. Randy also needs volunteers to help set up on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. If you can help, please call the Banquet Center at 440-946-6635.
BLACK AND INDIAN MISSION COLLECTION – Next weekend, February 17th & 18th, our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations for the Black and Indian Missions.
2018 MASS BOOK – The Mass Book is open, and we are currently offering Mass Intentions throughout the remainder of the year. Please stop by the Parish Office if you would like to schedule Masses.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. On February 15th, Luncheon and Bingo. Menu: lemon chicken, potatoes, salad, mixed vegetables, rolls & butter, dessert. For tickets, call Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. Cost is $6.00. On February 22nd, Bingo, Birthdays and Anniversaries. Bring something for the food pantry and receive a free 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome!
CLOTHING SHED – Thanks to all who have contributed clothing to our outdoor shed. In 2017, roughly 36,003 garments were donated to the shed, enough to clothe an estimated 4,364 people. Our sponsoring agency, St. Pauly Textile, distributes clothing in 44 countries, including the USA, and St. Noel raised $2,188.57 in 2017 through your donations (we receive $.04/lb). Remember that accepted items are clearly marked on the shed; thank you for supporting this ministry!
BREADTH OF LIFE – “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry” will be Cindy Russo’s topic at the February 14th Breadth of Life Luncheon. Cindy is the U.S. representative for the Disciples of Padre Pio in Rome, Italy. A 3-year old relative with terminal cancer was cured when Padre Pio answered a prayer request to intercede for the child’s healing. Cindy, who owns a chalice used by Padre Pio in the 1960s, will share the chalice and her amazing story of faith around the world.
The luncheon will be held at St. Noel’s Parish Hall in Willoughby Hills from Noon to 2 p.m. Cost is $18 per person which includes tossed salad, lemon pepper cod, parsley redskin potatoes, vegetables and dessert. All are welcome. Call Joan Bruening at 440-946-6932 before February 9th.
UPCOMING BLOOD DRIVE – Our next blood drive is Sunday, February 25th from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Banquet Center. You can register online at www.redcrossblood.org/. See the website for details.
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, February 26th 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/
FREE FRESH PRODUCE – Our next senior market is scheduled for Monday, February 26th from 2-4 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Because the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is closed on February 19th, we need to reschedule the date to February 26th. Please spread the word. Our January market served 125 people.
MEN – Want a spiritual jump start? Make plans to attend the 18th annual Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Northeast Ohio “Answer the Call” conference at Holiday Inn Rockside in Independence. The conference on Saturday, February 24th will be a day of speakers, music, fellowship and much more. The conference begins with a light breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and concludes with 4:00 p.m. Mass. Register or for further information at www.cmfneo.com.
FLOCK OF FRIENDSHIP (Singles 40 and over) – On Friday, February 23rd at 7:00 p.m., join us for our monthly game night at St. Paschal’s 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 440-227-9189 to let him know you are coming.
HEROIN AWARENESS – Materials are available in the narthex and will continue to be available in the kiosk. Remember, do not flush your used meds. Instead bring them to a secure collection bin. We have one at the Willoughby Hills City Hall. Go to lakeopiatetaskforce.org for more info.
MEALS ON WHEELS – is the largest program at the Council on Aging and provided well over 150,000 meals to homebound seniors in 2017. March for Meals is our biggest fundraiser of the year. This year, March for Meals will be held on Saturday, March 10th at the Great Lakes Mall. For additional information, call Jennifer at 440-205-8111, Ext. 240 or email [email protected].