It is hard to believe, but one week from this Wednesday, February 26, Lent – the Church’s annual retreat – begins. “The annual observance of Lent is the special season for the ascent to the holy mountain of Easter. Through its twofold theme of repentance and baptism, the season of Lent disposes both the catechumens (those to be baptized) and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery. Catechumens are led to the sacraments of initiation by means of the rite of election, the scrutinies, and catechesis. The faithful, listening more intently to the word of God and devoting themselves to prayer, are prepared through a spirit of repentance to renew their baptismal promises” (Ceremonial of Bishops, 249).
Ash Wednesday (and Good Friday) is a day of universal fast and abstinence in the Church. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. According to the USCCB: “The norms on fasting (not eating between meals) are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding from age 14 onwards.”
In an effort to help lead us through this time of retreat, the Parish of Saint Noel will offer several opportunities as we prepare to renew our baptismal promises.
To begin, on Ash Wednesday, the Distribution of Ashes will take place within the context of a Liturgy of the Word at 12:00 noon, and again, within the celebration of Mass at 7:00 pm.
The following week, for three evenings in a row: Mon., Mar. 2; Tue., Mar. 3; and Wed., Mar. 4, I will offer a Lenten Parish Mission: Her Joy, Her Sorrow, Her Glory: A Marian Reflection in Art Throughout the Centuries. Each evening will begin at 7:00 pm in the church. Drawing on my background in art history, I will help us to “read the art,” unpacking the theology contained within the images. You will never look at art the same! We will begin with Scripture, view the art related to the topic for each night, and close with Night Prayer. The evening will last about one hour, with time for questions for those who wish to stay. Come for one night or all three, and invite your family and friends, as all are welcome!
Be on the lookout for a mailer for your refrigerator similar to the one received at Advent. More opportunities to exercise prayer, fasting, and almsgiving all throughout the Lenten season will be arriving at your door!
Peace and prayers,
FOOD PANTRY – so far in 2020, the pantry has served 226 people. Currently, we are in need of “Chunky” or “Progresso” soup, pasta, and strawberry jelly.
BLOOD DRIVES – Our first blood drive in 2020 is scheduled for February 23rd from 9-1pm in the Banquet Center. You can register to donate at redcross.org. Walk-ins are always welcome!
FAMILY FAITH FORMATION RESOURCES – Copies of the February 2020 Take Out Magazine are available (one per family) in the kiosk and on the table in the narthex.
HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE – needs volunteers to serve coffee and doughnuts on Saturday at the 5:00 p.m. Mass. The commitment is for once a month. Anyone interested in helping, please call Betty Louis (440) 942-4009 or the St. Noel Office at (440) 946-0887.
FISH FRY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Please support our Lenten Fish Fries. You can sign up on the kiosk to help. The first Fish Fry is this Friday, February 28 from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST SUCCESS – Thank you to all who supported the Youth Group pancake breakfast and to all those that helped serve. We raised $924.60 for our Youth Group ministry! Next Youth Group event will be serving the fish fry on Friday, April 3 with Stations of the Cross after. More details to follow.
LITURGICAL MINISTERS– The new schedule for Ministry Scheduler Pro (MSP) is now completed through the end of May and available to view as assigned.
St. Noel Concert Series: Benefit Concert for Lake County Homeless Shelter – Join us on Sunday, March 8th at 4:00 p.m. at St. Noel Church for this special concert. The Choir of Hope (Agnieszka Bieniek, director) and the Lithuanian Community Choir Exultate (Rita Cyvas-Kliorys, director), soloists, and an orchestra will present the concert “Gabriel Fauré and Friends.” In part I, you will hear compositions of Gabriel Faure, Ola Gjeilo, and Clause Debussy, and in part II, a beautiful Requiem by Gabriel Fauré. The concert is free and open to the public. A free will offering will be collected, with 100% of it going to support the Lake County Homeless Shelter – Project Hope for the Homeless. A small reception with Lithuanian specialties will be served in the Narthex after the concert. If you can’t come to the concert but still would like to support Lake County Homeless Shelter – Project Hope for the Homeless, you can give a monetary donation or any items from the list below each weekend from February 8 to March 8 in the Narthex. Items needed for Project Hope for the Homeless: gift cards to Giant Eagle, Walmart, and gas stations ($5 and $10 value only); large size shampoo, hair conditioner and body wash; bath towels (new or gently used), 1 gallon zip-loc bags; 13 and 30 gallons garbage bags; coffee (regular and decaf); 8-12 oz cold/ hot cups. For more information please contact Agnieszka (Aga)Bieniek at [email protected]. Thank you so much for your support.
BLOOD DRIVES – Our first blood drive in 2020 is scheduled for February 23rd from 9-1pm in the Banquet Center. Please sign up on the kiosk if you are interested in helping. Register to donate at redcross.org.
HOMILIES ONLINE – Fr. Terry’s written homilies are now available on our website (stnoel.org). Click “Liturgy & Sacraments” to get to the “Homilies” page. Thanks to Janice Kaluza for this service!
THANK YOU – to HoneyBaked Ham in Willoughby and Mayfield. On 2/6, the Mayfield store donated 822 lbs of hams, and our neighbors were thrilled to receive them at our monthly meal. On 2/10, the Willoughby store donated 1850 lbs of hams, and those at the Euclid Senior Center were the happy beneficiaries. Together, the stores donated 2,672 lbs of spiral-sliced hams!! Special thanks to Steve & Anthony Cesar for all their help!
TEATIME FOR PEACE – celebrate the 4-year anniversary with a wonderful interfaith dialogue on Saturday, February 29th at West Shore UUC Church in Rocky River. See the kiosk for details.
RECYCLE OLD RELIGIOUS ITEMS – St. Mary Mission from Lancaster, PA will be in the Diocese of Cleveland the week of March 2nd collecting used religious items that are no longer needed. Items accepted include: vestments, crucifixes, statues, rosaries, chalices (not pottery), medals, relics, prayer books, bibles, linens, candle holders/racks, altar ware, wall hangings/banners, etc. They will not accept: hymnals, furniture, holy cards, and textbooks. Please bring your used items to the parish office. Deadline is March 1st.
2019 HUNGER MINISTRIES @ ST. NOEL – The Food Pantry, Senior Market, and Neighbor to Neighbor Meal, make up the hunger ministries at St. Noel. Here are the numbers for 2019: the Pantry served 1,756 people and distributed 27,714 lbs of food. The N2N meal served 3,109 people and distributed 8,618 lbs of food. The Senior Market served 1,697 people and distributed 37,484 lbs of food. View the full results on our webpage. Our parish makes a difference! Thanks be to God and to you!!
VOTER REGISTRATION & INACTIVE VOTER STATUS – Did you know that after no voting activity in 2 federal election cycles (4 years), a voter, in the state of Ohio, is placed on inactive status? The March primary is fast-approaching and you must be registered by Feb 18th in order to vote. Regaining “active” status or registering to vote is easy. Check your voting status on your county Board of Elections (BOE) webpage. Register to vote online at voteohio.gov. Don’t let March go by without having your voice heard.
COMMONWEAL LOCAL COMMUNITY – Monday, February 24th at 6:30pm in the Resurrection Room. Two articles from the January issue will be discussed. Strange Gods: Idolatry in the twenty-first century and a review of The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism became the Religion of Modernity. A discussion guide is available at the kiosk, and links to the articles are at https://clcnetcleveland.blogspot.com E-mail your interest to Jack Rakosky, [email protected] gmail.com to be on our mailing list.
GREETINGS FROM THE PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY – The LIGHT of Jesus shines within all of us. Perhaps you can bring LIGHT to someone who is in need of spiritual, physical, or emotional healing by bringing them a Prayer Shawl or Pocket Prayer Square. These items can be picked up free of charge at the parish office during office hours. We are in great need of people to crochet and knit as well as monetary donations to continue our new ministry. Please give prayerful thought to answering our call for help. Come to our next meeting on March 3rd, 11-12:30pm, in the Resurrection Room, to see what we’re all about. For information or to make a monetary donation, contact Candice Minello at 440-336-0991 or by email at [email protected].
SERVERS NEEDED: We are in need of servers for all of our weekend liturgies. Altar serving is open to anyone age 10 (or in 4th grade) and older: kids, teens, adults. Parents can even serve with their children. Anyone is welcome. Serving is a wonderful way to fully participate in liturgy. Why not give it a try? If interested, please call the parish office, 440-946-0887.
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.
UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS FREE HEALTH SCREENING – More than half of those with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) have no symptoms. University Hospitals is offering two no-cost PAD health screenings. The first one will be offered on Saturday February 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center, 27100 Chardon Road, Suite 100, Richmond Heights, Ohio 44143. The second health screening will be offered Saturday, February 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at University Hospitals Bedford Medical Center, 44 Blaine Avenue, 4th Floor, Bedford, Ohio 44146. Please see the flyer on the kiosk for additional information.
LENTEN SERIES– Bethany Retreat Center Experience the transforming power of the PSALMS as we reflect on what the psalms tell us about God, ourselves and others. 5 Thursdays during Lent: Feb. 27 – March 26, 9:30AM -11:00AM. Facilitated by Sister Mary Theresa Betz, SND spiritual director and retreat director. $25.00 for the series. For further information or to register contact Sister Jennifer Kramer, SND 440-279-1143 or [email protected] Register by February 17.
NOTRE DAME YOUNG ADULT RETREAT – A retreat for young adults in their twenties and thirties: Are you interested in taking time away with God? Perhaps the Encounter: Ignatian Silent Retreat weekend designed to help young adults personalize and deepen their relationship with God is for you! The retreat will be held at Bethany Retreat Center in Chardon, OH. It starts on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m. and concludes at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 8th. Mass is included in the retreat. The cost is $50 and includes private accommodations, meals and supplies. Scholarships are available. For more information or to register, contact Sr. Kelley Rush, SND at [email protected] or 440-241-3124.
WILLOUGHBY HILLS COMMUNITY PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Willoughby Hills Recreation will hold their annual all-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, March 8th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Willoughby Hills Community Center. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at Willoughby Hills Community Hall. Please call the Recreation Department if you need additional information 440-975-3540.
PRE-PLANNING SEMINAR – Please join us on March 7, 2020 for a burial pre-planning seminar. The seminar will be held at All Souls Cemetery 10366 Chardon Rd. Chardon, OH 44024. Attendees will receive a personal reference file and special discount coupon. Reservations are appreciated. Please contact 216-641-7575 Ext 4 or [email protected] with any questions.