This will be my last bulletin letter to you as pastor of St. Noel. Next weekend Fr. Terry Grachanin will be writing to you for the first time as your new pastor.
This letter today, however, provides a suitable way for me to leave some last thoughts with you.
The first, of course, is my thankfulness for 28 years as your pastor. Serving you in this role has truly been the highlight of my ministry as a priest. I will never forget all that we have been able to accomplish and all the relationships we have shared. Thank you and thank you again.
As I have said many times in my homilies, no person is perfect. Therefore, I would like to apologize to anyone I may have hurt, ignored, or disappointed over my time as pastor. I hope you will forgive me for my inadequacies.
I would also like to ask all of you a favor. As Fr. Terry begins his ministry here, please promise me you will never say to him “Fr. George did it this way.” As St. Noel moves into the future, what we were able to do together should be treasured, but never made the norm for new things to come.
Finally, as much as I treasure the many relationships we have formed over the years, I want you to know that I do not intend to return to St. Noel to preside at funerals or weddings. This is not Bishop Perez’s decision or Fr. Terry’s decision. It is mine. I make it because I firmly believe that the parish must establish its relationship to its new pastor, and he must establish his relationship to the parish. Having the former pastor showing up to preside at special events will only complicate this process. I will, of course, be informed of the funerals and weddings taking place at St. Noel and will find an appropriate way of expressing my sympathies or congratulations. But I consider it important not to insert myself into those occasions. I hope you will understand and respect this.
One last request. Please pray for me as I will pray for you. I look forward to hearing the great things both new and old which St. Noel will continue to offer in order to give glory to God and build the kingdom of Christ.
Fr. George Smiga
FAREWELL FOR FR. GEORGE – This will be Fr. George’s last weekend as pastor of St. Noel. He will preside at all three weekend liturgies. After the 11:00 Mass on May 26th there will be a reception in the Banquet Center until 3:00 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. At 1:00 and 2:00, Fr. George will offer a short expression of his thanks to all who are present. We hope you will be able to stop in to the reception this weekend.
MEMORIAL DAY – Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. this Monday, May 27th. There will be no Eucharistic Adoration on Memorial Day and the parish office will be closed.
USHERS NEEDED – We are looking to train additional ushers for the 11:00 a.m. Mass. This is a great way to serve the parish! Please call the parish office if interested at 440-946-0887.
PRAYER LIST – Our prayer list in the bulletin has grown quite long and has not been updated in a while. We are asking you to contact the parish office (440-946-0887) if you would like your name or the name of a loved one to remain on the list after the weekend of June 16th. We will begin a new prayer list the following weekend. Thank you to all who faithfully pray for those on our list.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD – will be held only at the 11:00 Mass throughout the summer months.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTION – Next weekend, our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to our Social Justice Fund.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND – For April 2019, we collected $537.98. Our expenses for April were:
|Meal at St. Augustines||282.01|
Thank you for your support.
TAKE OUT MAGAZINE – Families can look in the kiosk to find the June issue of Take Out: Family Faith on the Go entitled “God-given Gifts.” In this edition you can find 4 ways to encourage your kids to explore and expand their natural gifts this summer…and more!
HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – The Hospitality Committee needs volunteers to serve coffee and doughnuts at the 5 p.m. & 11 a.m. Masses. The commitment is for once every four or five weeks. Please call St. Noel parish office, 440-946-0887 if you are interested in serving.
BABY BOTTLES CHANGE LIVES – Our annual baby bottle fundraiser has begun. Please take an empty bottle from 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.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL – Registration is now open for “ROAR: LIFE IS WILD, GOD IS GOOD,” our St. Noel VBS 2019 adventure that takes place July 15th – 19th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. daily. Children ages 3 to entering 6th grade are invited to 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 28th. 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.
AERC – The AERC program is growing. We have increased the numbers of students coming on Mondays, and we are in need of tutors in math, language arts and social studies. We provide all the materials you need to work with the students. All the lessons are in the GED test prep book. You do not have to be a teacher. If you feel you can help someone achieve their goal of getting a GED, please contact Anthony Camino at 946-0887.
BAGELS – Since December 2016, we have picked up and distributed over 7 tons (14,033 lbs.) of bagels from Brueggers in Willoughby. Many thanks to Brueggers and to Steve Cesar, Ingrid Andrusaitis, Rich Beckwith, and Karen & Bruce Fraley for their dedicated service.
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR MEAL – Join us at the next N2N meal on Thursday, June 6, 2019. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; dinner is served at 6:00 p.m. Be the presence of Christ to your neighbor; we have a wonderful time together! There will be no N2N meal in July.
GO APE! If you are in grades 6-12, you are invited to attend Go Ape, which is a high ropes course with zipline. We will be meeting at the Strongsville location on Saturday, June 8 at 11 a.m. The cost for youth ages 10-15 is $33 and for ages 16 or older is $50. Please contact our youth minister, Kaitlin, at [email protected] if you are interested in attending. If you’ve never heard of Go Ape, check out their website at www.goape.com for more details. Adult chaperones are needed!
PARISH RETREAT – Join us for the next retreat on Wednesday, June 5th from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. “Join the Dance of the Divine”: the subtitle is: “The Father says: ‘Welcome’, the Son says: “Come, follow me’, and the Spirit enfolds us into the Divine Dance.” We will start with prayer and greeting, followed by lunch. All are welcome!
DEATH PENALTY FILM SCREENING – Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 18th from 7-8:30 p.m. in the St. Noel Banquet Center, 35200 Chardon Rd., Willoughby Hills. We will view the film, “In The Executioner’s Shadow”, and follow with a discussion on capital punishment. The film documents the lives of 2 individuals and 1 married couple impacted by the death penalty. To learn more about the film, visit stnoel.org or intheexecutionersshadow.com.
BLOOD DRIVE – Our next blood drive in 2019 is scheduled for June 23rd. Schedule online at redcrossblood.org.
WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY – The Association of Specialists in Aging invites you the Fairport Harbor Senior Center, 1380 East Street, on Wednesday, June 12th from 2-4 p.m. to commemorate Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The theme this year is “Lifting Up Voices”. See the flyer on the kiosk for more details.
FLAG RETIREMENT CEREMONY – The Catholic Cemeteries Association is hosting a flag retirement ceremony on Saturday, June 15th at Calvary Cemetery, 10000 Miles Ave in Cleveland. The ceremony begins at 1:00 p.m. Tattered, worn or faded American flags can be brought to the ceremony or to one of the eight CCA offices. Visit clecem.org or call 216-641-7575 for more information.
THE EVENT OF THE SUMMER – For 19 years The FEST has been bringing families together from across our Diocese and beyond. This year’s Catholic Family FESTival will take place on Sunday, August 4th from 12 noon until 10 p.m. at The Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe. Joining us on the main stage will be Christian artists: Jordan Feliz, Tenth Avenue North, Matt Maher, and Casting Crowns. Mark your calendars for the highlight of the summer as we celebrate the faith that is passed down through Generations of families. The FEST….a day of faith, family and fun…all for FREE. It will be the highlight of your summer!! For more information, go to www.theFEST.us