Next Sunday we celebrate Easter. Easter is not one feast day, but rather a 50-day feast. The celebration begins with Easter Sunday, then lasts 50 days to the Feast of Pentecost, which this year falls on May 20th. Thus, Easter and Pentecost are not two separate feasts, but rather the days which mark the beginning and end of the great Easter celebration.
Easter was the first feast to develop beyond a one-day celebration and this is fitting since it is the most important feast in our faith tradition. The length of the Easter season was patterned on the Jewish feast of “Shavuot” or “The Feast of Weeks.” It represented a period of seven weeks (“a week of weeks”) plus one day. It began with the Feast of Passover and concluded with the 50th day, the day of Pentecost.
Christians began to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection as a new Passover from death to life, a new exodus from slavery to freedom, and a new covenant that was established in Him. Images of Christ as the Paschal Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7) and as the First Fruits (1 Cor. 15:23) are the earliest Easter images used by St. Paul.
What we are faced with then at Easter is a 50-day celebration. A time in which we recall and reclaim the hope and joy of our baptismal faith.
For some, Easter Sunday may seem to be the end-point of Lent. On Easter Monday, we are tempted to return to life as usual. But to do this is to mis-interrupt the whole flow of the Paschal season. We must not cut the celebration short! Our faith is not primarily about the penances of Lent, but the new life of Easter. To follow Christ is not primarily to sacrifice, but to rejoice.
So, let us make this Easter a prolonged time of joy – a 50-day celebration. Our music for the next 50 days will be filled with alleluias. Our worship space will speak of resurrection. But the true celebration must be in us. We are the primary witness of Easter joy. Let us then spread that joy to our world – especially in the next 50 days.
Fr. George Smiga
LITURGICAL MINISTERS – Please sign up for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Sign-up sheets are on the bulletin board outside of the kitchenette.
NOEL’S VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION DINNER -will be held on Friday, April 6th at 6:30 p.m. The evening will include: appetizer, dinner, dessert, beer & wine, and live music! All St. Noel volunteers are invited to attend. Reservations are necessary, please call the parish office (440-946-0887) before Wednesday, March 28th.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND – The next collection will be the weekend of April 7 & 8.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND – For February 2018, we collected $832.00. Our expenses for February were:
|Meal at St. Augustine||226.18|
Thank you for your support.
MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH – will be held on Sunday, May 13th in the St. Noel Banquet Center. Reservations are required. There will be two seatings (10:00 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.). Adults are $18, children 6-12 years are $8, and children 5 years and younger are free. For additional information visit stnoelbanquetcenter.com. For reservations, please call the Banquet Center at 440-946-6635.
CONFIRMATION MEETING – Confirmation meeting will be held on April 8th from 10:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m. in the Small Hall. We will attend 11:00 a.m. Mass together. Lunch will be provided.
PEACE– There will be no PEACE for the next couple of weeks. We will resume on April 10th. I hope your family has a blessed Holy Week and Easter celebration.
MIDDLE SCHOOL RETREAT – Mark your calendars for our upcoming Middle School Retreat on Sunday, April 22nd from 11-4. The Mercyhurst Retreat team will be hosting our daylong retreat. Registration and details to come.
ONLINE LENTEN SERIES – All parishioners are invited to reflect on faith in our families as part of our Lenten series. To watch the video of the live presentation or join the ongoing online discussion, go to stnoel.org, click Faith Formation, and then click Home Improvement. See the poster on the kiosk for more detailed instructions.
ENCOUNTER OUR NEIGHBORS – We encounter Jesus this week in Jerusalem, a community he knew well. We prayerfully enter our own communities too, encountering those who are hungry and thirsting for justice. How does our Lenten journey motivate us to serve those we meet in our daily lives? Visit crsricebowl.org for more.
LENTEN BAGS & TAGS – Please return your filled bags to the bin outside the Food Pantry. Thank you for supporting these excellent agencies.
LENTEN BAG HELP – Can you deliver Lenten Bags to Project Hope in Painesville? Please call Anthony if you can help (946-1128 x122).
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR MEAL – Join us at the next N2N meal on Thursday, April 5th. If you signed up to attend, please remember to come. We have a wonderful time together!
BIKE BLESSING – Rev up your motorcycle and ride over to St. Noel on Saturday, June 2nd after the 5:00 p.m. Mass. Fr. George will offer a blessing for all riders as the cycling season begins. Please RSVP to Scott Andrew Mills if you plan to attend (440-477-5883 or www.MaverickInsurance1.com).
PARISH DAYTIME RETREAT – will be on Wednesday, April 4th, from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Celebrating Easter “Turning Sorrows into Alleluia,” facilitated by the Retreat Community. There is no cost. A $6 donation is suggested to cover lunch, if you are able. Call Fran at 440-625-1228. All are welcome!
SAINT PASCHAL/SAINT CLARE PARISH CLUSTER – is offering a bereavement support group entitled “Walking in Hope.” The six-week program begins Tuesday, April 3rd from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Saint Paschal Baylon Parish Parlor. There is no charge and it is open to all. If you have any questions, please call Corky Mondello at 440-449-3584 or the parish office at 440-442-3410.
DIVORCE RECOVERY FOR CATHOLICS – is designed to meet the needs of those who are divorced or separated. The eight-week support group will begin, Thursday, April 5th and conclude on May 24th, at St. Gabriel Parish, 9925 Johnnycake Ridge, Concord. The group meets from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Religious Education Office. For more information or to register, call 1-800-242-9755 or email [email protected]. There is no charge, materials are provided, and it is open to people of all faiths.
THE INSTITUTE OF CATHOLIC STUDIES – at John Carroll University will be hosting an evening with Bishop Nelson J. Perez on Sunday April 8th at 7:30 p.m. in the LSC Conference Room in the DJ Lombardo Student Center. This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Institute of Catholic Studies at John Carroll University. For additional information, please call the Institute of Catholic Studies at 216-397-4558.
PRE-PLANNING SEMINAR – St. Noel is hosting a Funeral Pre-Planning Seminar on April 10th in the Banquet Center. Learn about the Catholic burial tradition, cremation, funeral, estate and elder care planning. Ensure your family is fully informed to make educated decisions before the need arises. Bob DeJohn from the Catholic Cemetery Association will lead the program, and a local attorney, estate planner, financial planner, and funeral director will also be available to answer questions. Please RSVP to Anthony (440-946-1128 or [email protected]) to attend this important seminar.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Holy Thursday, March 29th, NO MEETING.
MARCUS’ LANTERN FOUNDATION (affiliated with Deepwood Foundation) is having their annual fundraiser Friday, April 13th at St. Noel Banquet Center. There will be dinner and dancing, music by the Castaways, big board raffle, Chinese auction and open bar. Tickets are $65 a person. Call Mary Lintern at 440-477-7066 for ticket information.
THE FEST – Mark your summer calendar…and plan to join us on Sunday, August 5th for The FEST – our 18th Annual Catholic Family FESTival held in Wickliffe. The FEST is the perfect family day. It includes great national Christian artists: TobyMac, Big Daddy Weave, Mandisa, and We are Messengers. The FEST also has great activities and displays for the entire family. The FEST is a day of faith, family and fun all for FREE. The FEST concludes with an inspiring outdoor Mass with Bishop Nelson Perez. It’s the highlight of summer for thousands from across our region. For more information, go online to: www.theFEST.us.