The Catholic liturgy invites members of the assembly to bring forth the gifts of bread and wine at the Eucharist during the preparation of the gifts. The gifts of bread and wine are not only used at the altar for consecration and communion, they also represent the personal offering of self by every member of the assembly. In earlier centuries, people would bring to the altar food from their own homes along with the bread and wine. This would be their material support of food for the pastor and those who worked with him. St. Augustine in the fifth century called the procession with gifts an “Admirable Exchange,” saying, “Lord, from all you have given us, we bring you these gifts, and in return, you give us yourself.”
Like most parishes in our diocese, St. Noel depends upon members of our assembly to bring forward the gifts as representatives of the community. It is important that over the course of the year we have a variety of people undertake this service. Young and old, married and single, those related by family and those simply sharing in the same Eucharist, should at one time or another bring forward the gifts.
I encourage you therefore to offer your services for this ritual action. Our ushers coordinate the gift procession, so feel free to let them know you are willing to participate. Just come a few minutes early and let them know you are available. They will be happy to review with you the procedure for the procession. We have been encouraging the gift bearers to come around to the back of the altar and place the gifts there. This makes the action more visible to all. After the gifts are placed on the altar and the bearers return to the area in front of the altar, the priest and bearers bow together to express reverence for the gifts to be blessed and reverence for each other.
If you wish to bring forward the gifts but are unsure you can negotiate the altar steps, please inform the ushers, and the priest will come down to accept the gifts from you.
The gifts procession is a deeply symbolic action of our liturgy. Please consider being a gift bearer to enhance the Eucharist for us all
Fr. George Smiga
CITYMUSIC CLEVELAND – will give a free concert at St. Noel on Sunday, May 20th at 4:00 p.m. The orchestra will close our St. Noel Concert Series 2017-2018 season with an energetic “All Beethoven” concert, featuring superstar violinist and CityMusic favorite, Tessa Lark. Lark will perform Beethoven’s one and only violin concerto, while the orchestra will also perform the expressive Coriolan Overture and Beethoven’s much-beloved Symphony no. 8. CityMusic Cleveland will be led by conductor Avner Dorman. We hope to see you all.
SAFE & HEALTHY OHIO CAMPAIGN – This is the final weekend to sign the petition to place the Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment on the November ballot. Stop by the table in the narthex. More information is available at http://ohorganizing.org/safeandhealthy or on the St. Noel webpage (www.stnoel.org). We have books for Cuyahoga, Lake, & Geauga County.
SHARING THE MYSTERY WEEKEND – Next weekend (May 19 & 20), we celebrate “Sharing the Mystery.” Our First Communion children are invited to wear their communion attire to Mass and be part of the opening and closing processions. After Mass, they invite you to join them in the Small Hall of the Banquet Center so that they can share their stories with you. Visit their tables, meet them and their families, view their scrapbooks, taste their traditional family breads, ask them questions, and even share a memory of your own first communion with them. Please take a few moments of your busy weekend to stop and talk to them…the children will appreciate the gift of your presence.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL – SHIPWRECKED: RESCUED BY JESUS, St. Noel’s VBS 2018 adventure, takes place July 16th – 20th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. daily. Children ages 3 to entering 6th grade can attend. You can find a registration form in the kiosk, in the parish office, or print it from the parish website (https://stnoel.org/faith-formation/vacation-bible-school/). Mail your form or drop it off to the parish office by June 27th. SPACE IS LIMITED, SO REGISTER SOON. Young people entering grades 7-12 and adults can volunteer. Contact Michele (440-946-1128 x121 or [email protected] ) for more information.
TAKE OUT MAGAZINE – Families can look in the kiosk to find the May and June issues of Take Out magazine, along with a list of opportunities to EXPLORE this summer.
2018 MASS BOOK – There are times remaining for Mass Intentions for 2018. Stop in the Parish Office to schedule your Mass Intentions.
PEACE – We will have our end of the year PEACE celebration on May 15th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the Lower Level. Please mark your calendars!
SUMMER TEEN BOOK CLUB – Do you enjoy reading? Are you interested in discussing a novel with a group of peers? Contact Kaitlin at [email protected] if you are in middle school or high school and would be interested in participating in a summer book club. Also, if you are an adult parishioner who would be interested in participating or helping to lead, please email me.
“HOME IMPROVEMENT” SERIES – You can still view the live presentation about faith in our families and be part of the online discussion throughout the Easter season. Go to stnoel.org, click Faith Formation, and then click Home Improvement. See the poster on the kiosk for more details.
HOSPICE INFO EVENING – Mark Muzzillo, our parishioner and a chaplain at Absolute Hospice, will lead an informative evening on Tuesday, May 15th from 7:00-8:30pm in the Small Hall. Along with 2 members of the Absolute Hospice staff, Mark will address current issues surrounding hospice including who can qualify, what treatments are available, and what costs are involved. Mark and the team will offer accurate information that will give all who attend a thorough understanding of hospice and available services in our area. Interested in volunteering at a hospice? Necessary volunteer information will be presented, too. Please join us on May 15th.
FOOD PANTRY NEEDS – The St. Noel Pantry is in need of condiments! We could use mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, pickles/relish, Manwich, etc. The pantry is located off the hallway between the church and the main office. Donations can be dropped off anytime. Our pantry has served 567 people in 2018 through your generosity.
BABY BOTTLES CHANGE LIVES – Did you pick up a baby bottle? Our annual baby bottle fundraiser has begun and runs through Father’s Day. Get your bottle at the table in the narthex. The loose change you’re putting in your baby bottle for Womankind allows them to offer pregnant women in need free prenatal care and a full range of support services. For more information about Womankind, please visit www.womankindcleveland.com.
BAGELS – To date, we have picked up 6,081 pounds of donated bagels from Brueggers – that’s 3 tons!! Thanks to Carole Lester, Ingrid Andrusaitis, Karin Ostroske, and Rich Beckwith for their dedicated service. Thanks, also, to Steve Cesar who delivers many of those bagels to the Euclid Senior Center where they are enjoyed by many.
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).
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. On May 10th, Bingo. On May 17th, Bingo & Luncheon. Menu: Breaded Pork Chop, Red Skin Potatoes, Vegetables, Salad, Rolls, and Dessert. Cost is $6.00. For tickets, call Rosemary Baranauskas at 440-585-4548. Deadline for tickets is May 14th. On May 24th, Blind Auction and Bingo. On May 31st, Bingo, Birthdays & Anniversaries. Bring something for the food pantry and receive a free 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome!
UPCOMING BLOOD DRIVE – Our next blood drive is Sunday, June 10th from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. in the Banquet Center. You can register online at www.redcrossblood.org/. See the website for details. Thanks to the Repkos for coordinating the drive!
PASCHAL BAYLON PARISH – will hold its Spring Fling Festival May 17-20 on the parish grounds. The festival features fun, rides, games, food, casino, $10,000 raffle and entertainment! Hours are Thursday, May 17th, 5–10 p.m., Family Night, featuring a school band concert and discounted food, beverages and rides; Friday, May 18th, 5–11 p.m., featuring live music by City Heat at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 19th, 4–11 p.m. featuring live music by The Pop Tarts at 5:15 p.m. and Disco Inferno at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 20th, Noon – 6 p.m. with an outdoor Mass at Noon, live music by Light of Two Moons at 1p.m. The church is located at 5384 Wilson Mills Road in Highland Heights. For more information call 440-442-3410.
THE CONCERT OF THE SUMMER – Join us for the FREE event of the summer on August 5th from 12 noon until 10:00 p.m. at The Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe. The FEST lineup this year is full of great Christian artists, including Mandisa, We are Messengers, Big Daddy Weave, and TobyMac. We’ll also have a ton of engaging activities and displays for the entire family. Of course, The FEST would not be complete without the outdoor Mass, starting at 8:00 p.m. For more information, go online to: www.theFEST.us.
U.S. BISHOPS & IMMIGRATION – The U.S. Bishops have come out in support of HR4796, the Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act of 2018 which has more than 50 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. The Bishops continue to support the DREAM Act of 2017 (HR3440). Both pieces of legislation support the ability of DREAMERS (undocumented people brought to the USA as children) to remain in the country and earn a path to citizenship. Please see www.stnoel.org for more information and contact your elected representative to support these bills.
HOLA FUNDRAISING DINNER – Join us for an enchanted evening with Grammy-nominated Sones De Mexico as they take us on a musical tour of Mexico. Friends of HOLA is sponsoring “A Taste of Old Mexico” on Saturday, June 16th from 6-9 p.m. at the Family Life Center in Chagrin Falls, OH. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at: holaohio.eventbrite.com. Questions? Contact Kelsey at 216-767-3442 or [email protected]. HOLA is a grassroots Latino organization based in NE Ohio.