The recent revelations of abuse of minors by priests within the Church and the subsequent cover up by church authorities has disturbed and angered us all. For the last two weekends I have preached on aspects of this catastrophe (copies of these homilies are available on our website, stnoel.org). I must admit that as I prepare my homilies, the sexual abuse crisis looms so large that it is difficult not to make it the topic of every liturgy. However, this is not realistic. It is important for us as a community to focus on the Good News of the Gospel for all our benefit and strength. Therefore, in the upcoming weeks I am planning to speak on this dismal situation only as new developments or circumstances warrant. Yet I would not in any way want my decision to be seen as a reluctance to face the variety of issues challenging our Church. Silence on the part of church leaders has been, in large part, the reason that the terrible crimes of sexual abuse were able to continue.
Our staff met at length to discuss how we might effectively address the feelings and questions which have arisen in the last few weeks. We have decided to schedule a parish meeting concerning this crisis on Tuesday evening, September 11th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Large Hall of our Banquet Center. All parishioners are encouraged to attend. We are a parish family, and when a family is in trouble, it is important to allow feelings and questions to be offered and addressed. Our entire staff will be present on the 11th, and we will join with you in processing the present crisis. Let me say at once that I have no easy answers nor much inside information. I do, however, have knowledge of how the church functions – and in this case disfunctions – which may provide a context for the unfolding events.
I hope you will be able to join us on September 11th to express your thoughts, pose questions, and hopefully support one another as we seek to cope with this critical period in the life of our Church.
Fr. George Smiga
SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTION – This weekend, our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to our Social Justice Fund.
USHERS NEEDED – We are in need of additional ushers for the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Your commitment would be once a month. If interested contact the parish office at 440-946-0887.
BOUNDLESS COMPASSION motivated Jesus’ life and mission. As disciples of Christ, we are called to be compassionate to others and ourselves. Emma Krueger, our parishioner and experienced retreat leader and spiritual director, will lead a 6-week immersion experience using Joyce Rupp’s book, “Boundless Compassion: Creating a Way of Life.” Participants will purchase their own books and meet on seven Friday mornings (10:00 – 11:30) beginning on September 14th, OR seven Tuesday evenings (6:30 – 8:00) beginning September 18th. You can sign up on the kiosk in the narthex or by contacting Michele ([email protected] or 440-946-1128, x 121). You can call Emma for more information (440-391-0045). Rupp’s book and companion book (Prayers of Boundless Compassion) can be found at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.
PROTECTING GOD’S CHILDREN – The Diocese of Cleveland’s “Protecting God’s Children” program is a continuing effort to instruct and inform everyone about the protection of children from sexual abuse. To report any past or present suspected inappropriate behavior toward children by priests, deacons, religious, lay ecclesial ministers, or personnel associated with the Church, please contact the Diocesan Response Service office at 216-334-2999 or via e-mail at [email protected]. Reports of suspected abuse will be made to the county children’s service agency or a municipal police department or county sheriff’s office where the child resides or where the abuse is believed to have occurred. See www.clevelandchildprotection.org for the link to the listing of the names and telephone numbers of the children’s service agency in each of the eight counties of our Diocese, along with additional information about safe environment programs and procedures.
FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION – Our first family session is Sunday, September 16th. Join us after the 11:00 a.m. Mass (about 12:15 p.m.) in the Banquet Center Small Hall for a light lunch and an introduction to each other and our year. The whole family is welcome, and the Playroom will be available for little ones. We’ll finish by 1:30 pm. If you have not done so yet, please be sure to contact Michele ([email protected] or 440-946-1128, ext. 121) if you plan for your child to prepare for First Communion this year.
CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD – This program for children ages 3-5 and Kindergarten happens during the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass. A calendar and registration form can be found in the kiosk in the Narthex or on the parish website (stnoel.org). Three year olds and those new to the program can attend an orientation session on Sunday, September 23rd in the Lower Level. The full group begins on Sunday, September 30th. Please turn in or mail in your registration form and payment so that we can count you in for this year. Questions? Contact Michele ([email protected] or 440-946-1128 x121).
CALLL – This program for children in Grades 1-5 begins on Wednesday, September 19th with a family evening. Join us from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Banquet Center Small Hall. At least one adult should plan to attend. A CALLL calendar and registration form can be found in the kiosk in the Narthex or on the parish website (stnoel.org). Please turn in or mail in your registration form and payment so that we can count you in for this year. Questions? Contact Michele ([email protected] or 440-946-1128 x121).
FAMILY FAITH FORMATION – begins with your choice of evenings: Wednesday, September 19th (6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Banquet Center Small Hall) OR Sunday, September 23rd (6:00-7:30 p.m.) in the Lower Level. An FFF calendar and registration form can be found in the kiosk in the Narthex or on the parish website (stnoel.org). Please turn in or mail in your registration form and payment so that we can count you in for this year. Questions? Contact Michele ([email protected] or 440-946-1128 x121).
YOUTH MINISTRY KICK-OFF – If you are in grades 6-12, you are invited to our Youth Ministry Kickoff at the pavilion at Coulby Park (28730 Ridge Rd. Wickliffe 44092). We will be having a picnic and bean bag toss competition on Sunday, September 16th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Please RSVP to Kaitlin at [email protected] or 440-946-1128 ext.120. I am in need of a couple more cornhole board sets for the picnic. Please let me know if I can borrow your set. Thank you!
HEAD FOR THE CURE 5K WALK/RUN – Do you know someone who is suffering from brain cancer? Do you like to support causes through walking or running? St. Noel’s Youth Ministry will be joining together as a team to participate in the Head for the Cure 5K walk/run on Saturday, October 6th at Edgewater Park. The mission for this organization is to raise awareness and funding for brain cancer research. Middle schoolers and teens (grades 6-12) can register individually or with their families to participate. Let’s come together to support a great cause! Contact Kaitlin at [email protected] for more details on registration.
UPCOMING CONFIRMATION CANDIDATES (FALL 2019) – A letter with information about Confirmation preparation was mailed to current ninth graders. When you receive your letter, please be sure to promptly reply as instructed. If you are expecting to prepare for Confirmation and did not receive a letter, please contact Kaitlin (440-946-1128, ext.120). On Sunday, September 23rd, upcoming candidates will be acknowledged at the 11:00 a.m. Mass in a Rite of Affirmation to begin their journey toward Confirmation next fall. Lunch and a brief Family Meeting will follow from 12:15-1:30 p.m. We will discuss the format for preparation, qualifications for sponsors, and requirements to be confirmed. Please email Kaitlin at [email protected] with any questions or concerns.
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR MEAL – Our next N2N meal is this Thursday, September 6th. If you haven’t been to a Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) meal, please join us in the Banquet Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the meal is served at 6:00 p.m. It’s a wonderful evening with 300+ of our neighbors. Interested in helping? Contact Sharon Waltermire at [email protected].
JAIL MINISTERS – Members of St. Noel, along with other Catholic parishes, lead communion services every Sunday at the Lake County jail. We are looking for new people interested in this meaningful ministry. Call Anthony to learn more (946-1128 x122).
N2N RESOURCE ROOM – The Neighbor to Neighbor Meal offers a resource room at each meal. Professionals from the community are available to consult with neighbors, free of charge. We are looking for nurses, doctors, and lawyers to volunteer their time occasionally in the Resource Room. Please contact Anthony to learn more (440-946-1128 x122).
WINTER COAT/JACKETS NEEDED – the Neighbor to Neighbor Resource Room will offer coats & jackets beginning in October. Any gently used or new items can be dropped off at the parish office or in the clothing bin outside the food pantry. Join us this Thursday at the N2N meal!
FREE VOICE LESSON – This summer our Director of the Music Ministry, Agnieszka (Aga) Bieniek is offering a free voice lesson to all adults from our parish 16 years old and older. For more information and to schedule your appointment please contact Agnieszka (Aga) Bieniek at [email protected] or at 440-946-1128 x119. Don’t miss this unique opportunity.
DISTRICT MINISTRY CONFERENCE – The Lake/Geauga district of Catholic parishes is hosting its 4th annual ministry conference from 9 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 29th at St. Gabriel Parish in Concord, OH. Bishop Perez will offer the keynote address, and workshops are available for anyone involved in parish ministry. The conference aims at developing discipleship and our commitment to live as followers of Jesus. You can learn more about the conference at: http://www.st-gabriel.org/lake-geauga-district.html. If interested in attending, please call Anthony at the parish; St. Noel will cover your cost. The conference will be great for both professional ministers and those who serve as volunteers. Please consider joining us.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. On September 6th, Bingo. On September 13th, Bingo & Bake. On September 20th, Luncheon & Bingo. Luncheon Menu: Cavatelli & meatballs, sausage, salad, French Bread and dessert. Cost is $6.00. Deadline for tickets is September 17th. Contact Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. On September 27th, Bingo, birthdays and anniversaries. Bring something for the pantry and receive a free 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome!
BREADTH OF LIFE – will kick off the 39th season on Wednesday, September 12th with speaker Matt Lewis presenting “The Urgent Message of Marian Apparitions.” We will look at the 20th Century apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, Akita, and Kibeho, finding a common urgent plea from the Blessed Mother. Lewis will also discuss what Marian Consecration is and why you need to do it.
The luncheon will be held at St. Noel’s Parish Hall in Willoughby Hills from Noon to 2 p.m. Cost is $18 per person which includes Caesar salad, chicken marsala, oven roasted redskin potatoes, vegetable and carrot cake. All are welcome.
NEWMAN FOUNDATION – Catholic college students at secular campuses in the Diocese of Cleveland are supported in their faith through the Newman Foundation of Northern Ohio. The foundation’s annual fundraiser dinner is Friday, October 5th at St. Michael Woodside in Broadview Hts. Tickets are $45. Contact Anthony for more information on this important organization in the diocese.
BOOK FEES – St. Mary Church in Painesville is working with a young lady, a US citizen, whose mom was recently deported. She is the first in her family to enroll in college (Notre Dame College of Ohio) and is in need of financial assistance with books & fees. If you are interested in helping, please call Anthony (946-1128 x122) and/or make a donation to the Social Justice Fund. This work of mercy is a concrete way to help those impacted by our current immigration policies.
SAINT PASCHAL/SAINT CLARE – is offering a bereavement support group entitled “Walking in Hope” to provide support to anyone who has lost a significant person in their life. The six-week workshop begins this Tuesday, September 4th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Saint Paschal Rectory Parlor. There is no charge for the workshop and is open to both parishioners and non-parishioners.
ALL SOULS CEMETERY – The Catholic Cemeteries Association invites you to attend a 1-hour pre-planning seminar on Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 p.m. at All Souls Cemetery, 10366 Chardon Rd., Chardon. RSVP at 216-641-7575, ext. 4.
WILLOUGHBY HILLS CITY COUNCIL – invites you to join us for Town Hall meetings on Thursdays September 13th and 27th & October 11th and 25th at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall to discuss and answer questions regarding the Charter Amendments on the November 6th Ballot.