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 10th, a Service of the Word with Ashes will take place at Noon. Evening Eucharist with Ashes will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m.
* CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER – You can explore the method of contemplative prayer on 6 Tuesdays beginning February 23rd from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the Resurrection Room. Our parishioner Emma Krueger will lead these sessions including scripture readings, meditation, Lectio Divina, imagery and music. It is not necessary to attend all sessions.
* GIFT – The Lenten GIFT session is “David & Bathsheba: The Painful Truth of Sin.” It will take place on Wednesday, February 24th from 6:00 –8:30 p.m. I will be the presenter. We will reflect on the biblical story of King David to expose the reality of sin in our lives and how it can be overcome with the grace of God. If you have not already signed up for the GIFT sessions, you can do so at the table in the Narthex.
* COMMUNAL PENANCE SERVICE – On Wednesday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m., we will hold our Communal Penance Service.
* 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 12th, the stations will be led by Deacon Dave Nethery.
* LENTEN BAGS – 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 righthand bin in the food pantry area.
* FOOD PANTRY – This Lent, you can support the 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.
* LENTEN BOOKLETS – Entitled “Pope Francis: Living Lent With Passion” can be used to guide your personal prayer for the Lenten Season. You can pick up a booklet on the table in the Narthex.
* FASTING & ABSTINANCE – 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 – Finally, we ask your participation in our Lenten Fish Fries. The Fish Fries begin on Ash Wednesday, February 10th, with a day seating from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. and an evening seating 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Fish Fries will continue on the Fridays of Lent at the usual 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. time. The price this year is $12 per person, with a reduced option for Ash Wednesday at the 11:30-1:30 session. These Fish Fries are an important fund raiser for our parish, and they are possible only through the generosity of parishioners willing to help with serving and cleanup. Please sign up on the kiosk to help.
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.
MATCHING GIFT OPPORTUNITY – Last weekend we collected $4,876, which together with the $5,525 already collected brings our matching amount to $10,401. This is 35% of our $30,000 goal. Thanks to all who have contributed. Please consider giving if you haven’t yet, so we can maximize this matching opportunity.
SHOE DRIVE – The Yane family, as part of American Heritage Girls at St. Clare Parish, is collecting new or gently used shoes (both children’s and adult sizes) to send to those who need shoes in Haiti. You can drop shoes off in the box located in the Narthex until February 14th.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL 2016 – Save the date! VBS will be held during the week of July 11th – 15th. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Mark your calendars! The annual Pancake Breakfast to benefit Youth Ministry will be Sunday, February 14th from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. The menu will include pancakes, French toast, sausage, hash browns, coffee and juice. There will be a free-will offering at the door and tickets are not required.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTION – Our next collection will be the weekend February 13th-14th. Our ushers will be in the the Narthex that weekend to accept your donations to our Social Justice Fund.
HIGH SCHOOL RETREAT – “Beauty Everywhere!” All teens in grades 9-12 are invited to spend a weekend reconnecting with God and forming new friendships on retreat February 19th-21st. More information and registration forms can be found on the table in the narthex and at stnoel.org. Sign-up is due February 14th.
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 scheduled for Sunday, February 28th from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Registration is available at: www.redcrossblood.org. The Red Cross has also developed a new tool called RapidPass that allows donors to complete the pre-screen from home before they come to the donation site. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass to learn more.
ADULT EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER AT ST. NOEL – We’re open for business beginning February 22nd! Please promote the AERC to anyone you know who might be interested in obtaining a GED or who needs extra help in Math or English (reading). Pick up a flyer on the table in the narthex.
EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS TO THE HOMEBOUND – Bringing communion to the sick and homebound is a beautiful ministry. We would like to add more ministers to our group already serving. Please contact Anthony if you are interested.
NICARAGUA TRIP – The CEO of International Partners in Mission, Joe Cistone, will lead an immersion experience to Nicaragua the week of May 19th-25th. Meet the women of CEPROSI and learn about the great work they do along with other local organizations. Participants will also encounter the beautiful sites of the country including volcanoes and Lake Nicaragua. The all-inclusive price is $2,400. Register at www.ipmconnect.org.
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 for relatives and friends of those incarcerated. 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 Camino. The next LEAF meeting is on Monday, Feb. 15th. LEAF meets on the third Monday of each month.
CAN WE TALK? – What have you heard about the Neighbor to Neighbor Meal? We have served over 200 very satisfied neighbors at the last two meals. People are still wondering what we are hoping to accomplish. Join us for a parish discussion to share our experiences and clarify our goals: Tuesday, February 16th at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Contact Sharon and Bill Waltermire at [email protected] or 440-669-2798.
SPEAKING OF WOMEN’S HEALTH: MISSION NUTRITION – The Cleveland Clinic is sponsoring an evening devoted to women’s health and nutrition issues on Thursday, March 31st in the Banquet Center. This exciting women-only event offers: Complimentary health screenings and wellness information, a sit-down dinner, an informal Q&A discussion with a panel of experts from Cleveland Clinic who specialize in nutrition, giveaways and prizes, and a retail boutique specializing in health and wellness products. Cost is $20 and reservations are required. Pick up a flyer in the kiosk.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: On February 11th, Bingo. On February 18th, at 12:00 p.m., socializing meeting; 12:30 p.m., luncheon menu: baked or fried fish, french fries, pasta salad, cole slaw, rolls & butter, cake or pie. For tickets, call Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. Cost is $6.00. Deadline for tickets and payment is February 15th. On February 25th, Bingo, Birthdays & Anniversaries. Bring something for the food pantry and get a free 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome!
BREADTH OF LIFE LUNCHEON – “Expect a Miracle: A Mother/Son Asperger Journey of Determination and Triumph.” David Petrovic, a 22 year-old college senior, author, actor, singer, and motivational speaker will explain his challenges and blessings of Asperger’s/Autism. The luncheon is being held at St. Noel Banquet Center from Noon to 2:00 p.m., on Wednesday, February 10th. Cost is $18 per person. Call or text Elaine Newman for reservations at 440-679-0203 or email [email protected] by February 8th.
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, February 14th, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. in the SJV Philomena Center of St. John Vianney Parish on Bellflower Rd. in Mentor, Ohio.
SING AND PRAISE GOD WITH JOY! – Catholic Renewal Ministries’ Traveling Charismatic Mass for February will be held at Divine Word Parish on Friday, February 19th, at 7:00 p.m. The church is located at 8100 Eagle Rd. in Kirtland. Fr. Dave Woost will be the celebrant. Healing prayer teams will be available after mass for individual prayer. For more information, please contact Fr. Bob Franco at 440-327-2201 or CRM at 440-944-9445.
WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER WEEKEND – Love is patient, kind, not jealous or pompous, not inflated, rude or quick-tempered. How are you doing when it comes to loving others, especially your spouse? The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is February 12th-14th in Hudson, Ohio. Apply at greatmarriagesohio.org or call 330-305-9963.
SAINT JOSEPH ACADEMY GALA – “Celebrate the Academy,” is being held on February 20th, from 6:00-11:00 p.m., at Saint Joseph Academy, 3470 Rocky River Dr., Cleveland. The gala, which includes live and silent auctions, is a crucial fundraiser to benefit critical scholarship and academic initiatives. This year’s theme is “Some Enchanted Evening…Gather and Grow.” For more information contact Carolyn Novak at 216-251-6788 or email at [email protected].
JESUIT RETREAT – Upcoming Retreats and Programs: On February 8th, “What is it like to walk The Way – El Camino de Santiago?” An International Perspective. The evening will feature personal reflections on walking this pilgrimage by Steve Flynn and Brenna Davis. Time is 7:00-9:00 p.m. Cost is $20.
On February 12th-14th, Women’s Lenten Retreat: Resting in God’s Love and Mercy. Facilitated by Donna Marie Flanagan-Kaminsky. Cost is $155. For additional information or to register, call 440-884-9300 or visit www.jrh-cleveland.org.
“ORDINARY LIVES, EXTRAORDINARY MISSION” – Are you due for a “spring awakening” in your Catholic faith? Dr. John Woods is coming to St. Gabriel’s in Concord on March 12th from 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Visit dynamiccatholic.com/events or call Debbie at 259-1867 for more information.
CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY – Is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving at-risk children, in the love and spirit of the Christ Child. You are invited to attend an Informational Coffee on March 9th, 10:30 a.m. at Parmadale. For more information or to make reservations, please call Annette Gorris at 440-526-6138 or Carol Janas at 440-526-5972.