The resolution establishing World Refugee Day was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in February of 2001. Each year on June 20th, we have an opportunity to reflect on the reality of refugees in our world, and how we as individuals and as a Church might respond. The refugee agency of the UN reports that in 2015, 65.3 million people throughout the world, roughly the population of France, were forcibly displaced from their homes. This is the first time in history that this number has exceeded 60 million human beings.
Of those 65.3 million people, about 21 million are forced to flee and seek refuge in another country. These are refugees, and of that 21 million, less than 1% are submitted for resettlement worldwide. The United States traditionally resettles about half of those individuals, amounting to 85,000 people in fiscal year 2016. President Obama authorized the entry of 110,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017. President Trump, in Executive Order 13769, reduced that number to 50,000, and the State Department eventually raised the figure to 75,000 people.
The Catholic Church teaches that every human person, being created in the image and likeness of God, is entitled to dignity and respect. Furthermore, the Church views assisting those in need as a fundamental duty of all believers. We welcome the stranger with the same love and compassion Jesus modeled in his life, remembering that Jesus, too, was a migrant and a child of refugees.
We can take pride in the work of the Church in resettling these most vulnerable members of the human family. Still, we know that the vast majority of refugees spend years in resettlement camps awaiting their opportunity to start a new life in another country.
On Tuesday, spend some time reflecting on what it would be like to be forced from your home and remember our sister and brother refugees in your prayer. You can pick up information on the table in the narthex and read the material posted on the kiosk. Visit www.justiceforimmigrants.org, a site maintained by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to learn more about how you can make a difference.
In the words of Pope Francis, “I express my solidarity with migrants around the world and thank all those who help them: welcoming others means welcoming God in person.”
|The goal of the Endowment Fund is to provide for the future needs of St. Noel Church. Each year the fund uses a small percentage of its earnings for present purposes. To show appreciation to the parish for its support of the Endowment, the fund is covering the cost of coffee and doughnuts for the month of June.|
PETER’S PENCE COLLECTION – Next weekend, our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to the Peter’s Pence collection. Proceeds from this collection fund emergency relief assistance to those throughout the world who suffer from war, oppression, and natural disasters.
SOCIAL JUSTICE/ST. AUGUSTINE – On Sunday, June 25th, our volunteers will be serving the meal at the St. Augustine Hunger Center. There is a sign-up sheet on the kiosk if you are able to lend a hand.
PASCHAL BAYLON – Fr. George Smiga will be speaking at our monthly Eymard Spiritual Group on June 20th, where we gather to pray, socialize, enjoy food and enrich our faith. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. for a social, followed by a Novena and pot luck dinner. George will speak at 7:00 p.m. For additional information, please contact St. Paschal at 440-442-3410.
THE REFUGEE RESPONSE – At last February’s GIFT session, parishioner Cori Sieger shared the mission of The Refugee Response and the work it does to empower refugees to become self-sufficient and contributing members of the Northeast Ohio community. The Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program, a working farm business, has selected three work dates that provide exciting learning opportunities alongside the refugee farm trainees. The dates are Saturday, July 15th (mid-season clean-up), Thursday, August 17th (clean, clear and construct), and Saturday, September 23rd (put the farm to bed, batten down the hatches!). To volunteer, please register with Rachel Browner ([email protected] or 216-225-1551). Volunteer registrations are limited and must be scheduled at least one week in advance.
TAKE OUT – The summer issue of “Family Faith on the Go” magazine is available in the kiosk. It is chock-full of ways to make summertime a sacred time. Pick up a copy today.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD will be held only at the 11:00 a.m. Mass throughout the summer months.
LEAF – Our next LEAF meeting is this Monday, June 19th at 7:00 p.m. in the Nativity Room. If you have a loved one or family member who is incarcerated, consider attending LEAF (Listening, Empowering, Assisting Families). LEAF is a non-denominational ministry where relatives and friends of those incarcerated can join with others in conversation and fellowship. Meetings, which take place on the third Monday of each month, are anonymous and registration is not required. Visit www.leafministry.org or call the St. Noel parish office at 440-946-0887 for more information.
MAKER FUN FACTORY VBS 2017 – Register soon! Vacation Bible School takes place July 10th – 14th, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. daily. Children ages 3 through entering 6th grade can attend. Find registration forms in the parish office or print one at http://stnoel.org/faith-formation/vacation-bible-school/. Drop your form off or mail it to the parish office. Deadline for registration is June 28th.
VBS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Young people entering grades 7-12 and adults can volunteer at Vacation Bible School. Contact Michele (440-946-1128, ext. 121 or [email protected]).
RECENT BLOOD DRIVE – Our blood drive on Sunday, June 11th, was a great success. We had over 20 pints donated! Thanks to Maureen Witucki, Audrey Zorman and Wendy Zorman for their help. Our next drive is scheduled for August 13th.
BABY BOTTLES CHANGE LIVES – Thanks for your support this year. Womankind is very grateful; please bring your bottles to the church office (even if they’re not filled). We need all the bottles back. For more information about Womankind, please visit www.womankindcleveland.com.
CEDAR POINT – Youth Ministry is hosting a trip to Cedar Point on Sunday, July 9th, and all young people in grades 6-12 are invited! We will leave from St. Noel at 8 a.m. and return to St. Noel at 12 a.m. Tickets are $50 and checks can be made out to St. Noel. Be sure to pack a lunch that we will eat at the park and bring money for dinner. Snacks will be available throughout the day. Adult chaperones are also needed. Sign up by contacting Sean McCafferty ([email protected]). Permission slips and payment are due by June 30th. Permission slips can be found at stnoel.org
FRESH THYME MARKET – Did you know that St. Noel picks up donated food from the Fresh Thyme Market two days a week? We’re grateful for their generosity and encourage you to stop by Golden Gate and check them out. If you’re interested in picking up food for our Food Pantry (and beyond), please call Anthony (440-946-1128, ext. 120).
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: On June 22nd, socializing meeting, Luncheon Menu: pork chops, red skin potatoes, vegetables, salad, rolls & butter, dessert. For tickets, call Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. Cost is $6.00. Deadline for tickets is June 19th. On June 29th, Bingo, Birthdays and Anniversaries. Bring something for the food pantry and receive a free 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome!
50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – Mass will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 30th at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Registrations are now being accepted for couples married 50 years. Forms are available in the kiosk or the parish office. The deadline for registration is Monday, June 19th. Please return the completed form to the parish office.
FOOD WASTE – according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, one-third of food produced for human consumption worldwide is annually lost or wasted along the chain beginning with farms and ending up in our kitchens. That amounts to 2.8 trillion pounds or enough to feed 3 billion people. God’s gifts and bounty are meant to be shared with all, and awareness is the first step. Go to stnoel.org to learn more.
A GREAT DAY WITH DAD – The best gift you can give is your time. This Father’s Day weekend, make sure to invite Dad (and the rest of your family) to spend time with you at The FEST on Sunday, August 6th. The perfect family day, this year’s FREE event is full of great music — including for King & Country, Crowder, Matt Maher and Laura Story — and a host of fun activities. Of course, the highlight of the whole day is our Outdoor Mass, beginning at 8:00 p.m. You and Dad are not going to want to miss any of this, so make sure to head out to the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe for a day full of faith, family, friends and fun. Questions? Check out www.TheFEST.us.
DIVORCE RECOVERY FOR CATHOLICS – An 8 week support group designed to meet the needs of those who are divorced or separated will begin Tuesday, June 20th and conclude on August 8th, at St. John Vianney Church, 7575 Bellflower Rd., Mentor. The group meets from 7:00-9:00 p.m. For more information or to register, call Catholic Charities at 800-242-9755, or email [email protected]. There is no charge, all materials are provided and is open to people of all faiths.
HOPE OVER HEROIN – HOH is a non-profit that unites churches, business leaders and recovery agencies. They’re hosting an event at the Lake County Fairgrounds on August 25-26th and are looking for church participation. Visit hopeoverheroin.com for more information. If you’re interested in helping with this event, please contact Anthony at (440-946-1128 x122.)
FUNDRAISING DINNER FOR OHIO’S LATINO WORKERS AND FAMILIES – Come and hear the stories of NE Ohio’s Latino immigrant families! Friends of HOLA is sponsoring “Out of the Shadows”, an evening of authentic Mexican dining, with guest speakers and music. It will be held at Ursuline College, Fritzsche Center, 2550 Lander Rd., Pepper Pike, on Saturday, August 12th, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 each. They are available Online at : https://outoftheshadowswithhola.eventbrite.com Questions? Contact Lisa at 440.897.2413 or [email protected]
FLOCK OF FRIENDSHIP (Singles 40 and over) – On Friday, June 23rd at 7:00 p.m., join us for our monthly game night at St. Paschal’s Life Center. This is one of our best attended events and is good for old and new members. Please being a snack to share, money for pizza, and your favorite game. RSVP Dan at 440-944-1552 to let him know you are coming.
THE REFUGEE RESPONSE BENEFIT DINNER Please join us on Saturday, August 26th, 2017 for a summer evening on our nation’s largest urban farm, the Ohio City Farm, overlooking our lakefront city skyline. Enjoy exciting culinary experiences from Cleveland’s premiere chefs featuring produce from the farm, traditional music, story sharing and dance from members of the refugee community. You will be able to see the empowering impact of the Refugee Response in sharp relief as we aid refugee families moving from hardship to home. For more details and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://www.refugeeresponse.org/benefit-2017.
OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL – Come join us on June 23rd, 24th & 25th for our 27th annual festival. Home cooked Ethnic food, games, amusement rides, casino, live entertainment, lots of fun for all! Plenty of parking at ABB parking lot with shuttles to and from Church grounds. Times 5:00 p.m.-midnight, Friday & Saturday; Sunday 1:00-9:00 p.m.
WILLOUGHBY HILLS WELLNESS RUN – For the last two years, the city of Willoughby Hills has hosted a 5k run/walk and given part of the proceeds to the St. Noel Food Pantry. We recently received a check for $1752.34 from the 2016 event! The 2017 Wellness Run is scheduled for Sunday, October 1st. Would you like to help at the event? Please call Anthony at 440-946-1128 x122 if interested.