On September 11th we held a parish-wide meeting on the sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church. One hundred twenty-five parishioners attended. On September 17th, in response to that meeting, our Parish Pastoral Council decided that it was appropriate to write a letter to Bishop Perez. The letter follows:
Dear Bishop Perez,
We as a parish, like you yourself, are deeply disturbed, saddened, and angered by the recent revelations concerning the abuse of children and the failure of church authorities to handle such abuse responsibly. On 11 September 2018, we held a parish-wide meeting to discuss these issues. One hundred and twenty-five parishioners expressed strong emotions, including anger, betrayal, embarrassment, and lack of trust. Several of our key parishioners have made the decision to leave the Catholic Church. The situation is severe. Out of love for our Church, we are writing you to take action as Bishop of Cleveland and as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
As our bishop we ask you to publicly assert that our diocese is in complete conformity to the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. If there are any instances by your predecessors or yourself in which the Charter was not followed, we ask that they be made public immediately. Our only way forward is transparency. Secrecy has occasioned the present crisis. We also ask that you re-affirm in simple terms what is in place in our diocese concerning the reporting of abuse, the Review Board, the procedure for removing offenders, the apology to and assistance for victims, and the steps being taken in our seminary to form aware and responsible ministers. Our local church needs to be reminded of what we are doing already. They need to hear this from you.
As a member of the USCCB, we ask you to use all of your influence to stress to your fellow bishops how devastating this crisis is and how seriously the authority of American bishops has been eroded. We, along with many other Catholics in our country, no longer trust our bishops to monitor themselves. Some new mechanism, such as an independent oversight group composed of laity and clergy, men and women, experts, victims, and even representatives from other faiths, must be established. Such a group must have real authority to investigate charges brought against bishops in an impartial and open manner. Without such an independent entity, composed largely of laity, the claims of bishops that charges of sexual abuse are being handled appropriately will be doubted and, in some cases, dismissed.
We as a parish stand with you in the desire to restore the credibility of our church so that the work of the gospel might continue among us. We await your response to our initiatives in the hope we might work together to heal the moral catastrophe we face.
St. Noel Parish Staff
St. Noel Pastoral Council
St. Noel Parishioners
This letter has already been signed by our Parish Staff and Pastoral Council members will be in the Narthex after Masses this weekend and next weekend to accept the signatures of parishioners who wish to sign the letter.
As I said at our parish meeting, this is our Church. Now is the time that we raise our voices to insist on the accountability of our bishops. I encourage you to sign this important letter as one step toward assuring that the procedures in place to protect our children are followed, and that our bishops are held accountable.
Fr. George Smiga
PARISH ANOINTING OF THE SICK – Next weekend, October 6th & 7th, we will celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at all of our weekend Masses. The sacrament asks for God’s healing for anyone dealing with an illness or the effects of aging. Parishioners and any of their family or friends who are suffering are invited to celebrate this sacrament which will take place after the homily at next week’s liturgies.
CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN (CCC) – This weekend our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations for the CCC Campaign. By supporting this collection, you help to spread the Good News to people around the country and around the world. Half of your donation stays in our diocese to support local communications projects.
CONFIRMATION RETREAT – Please pray for all of our teens attending the Confirmation Retreat this Sunday, in preparation for celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation on October 21st.
AT HOME WITH THE WORD BOOKS are now available for pickup in the parish office for all who pre-ordered them. $7.25 per book is due upon pickup.
LECTOR WORKBOOKS – are available for pickup in the large sacristy. Please initial the sheet indicating you received your book.
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 August 2018, we collected $1,099.78. Our expenses for August were:
|Meal at St. Augustine||119.58|
|Neighbor to Neighbor Meal||320.34|
Thank you for your support.
YOUTH BELL CHOIR – is open to any young people grade 3 and up and to their families. This year we would like to invite not only children but their parents and siblings to ring together. The ringers meet for the rehearsals each Wednesday 4:45-5:45 p.m. in the church. No musical experience needed. We will learn together. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Agnieszka (Aga) Bieniek at [email protected] or (440-946-1128 x119).
CONCERT CHOIR – invites everyone to join us in a short-term singing project. This time we will participate in a nine-week choir rehearsal on Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Church, starting October 2nd. We will be part of St. Noel Music Ministry Winter Concert on Sunday, December 2nd at 4:00 p.m. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Agnieszka (Aga) Bieniek at [email protected] or (440-946-1128 x119).
PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Mark your calendar for the first of two Pancake Breakfasts whose proceeds will benefit our Youth Ministry. This will take place next Sunday, October 7th, from 10:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Tickets are not required, and a freewill donation will be accepted. Spread the news!
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR PANCAKE BREAKFAST -Teens, middle schoolers, and parents please consider volunteering to work a shift at the Pancake Breakfast next Sunday, October 7th. Please fill out volunteer form (in kiosk) with your availability and return to Kaitlin. You may also email your preference for shifts to [email protected].
“IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE DONATIONS” – Thank you, thank you for helping the Social Justice Ministry gather an assortment of gift cards, talented services, priceless gifts, and generous monetary contributions for the St. Augustine Benefit Dinner on October 18th! Invitations were mailed to your home; please be sure to return your RSVPs by October 5. Lots of fun: silent auction, Chinese raffle, live raffle, sideboards, 50/50 raffle, lottery tree, and raffles for a 55’ TV and iPad! Hope to see you there!!!!
HIGH SCHOOL TEENS NEEDED FOR ST. AUGUSTINE DINNER – Support St. Noel’s Social Justice Ministry as they host their annual Benefit Dinner on Thursday, October 18th to support St. Augustine. Teens are needed to help sell raffle tickets during the event from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Please email Kaitlin at [email protected] if you are interested.
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 this 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.
FOOD PANTRY NEEDS – The pantry is in need of the following items: condiments (ketchup, mayo, salad dressing, mustard, baking items), jelly, tuna, pasta, and spaghetti sauce in jars. You can financially support the pantry through our social justice collections and through the website.
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR MEAL – Our next N2N meal is scheduled for Thursday, October 4th. 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].
WINTER COATS/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.
BIBLE STUDY IN THE JAIL – The Lake County Catholic Jail Ministry is looking for ministers interested in assisting with women’s bible study on Tuesday nights. We are also in need of ministers on Sunday nights. Please contact Anthony (946-1128 x122) if interested.
FAIR TRADE SALE – On the weekend of October 27-28th, St. Noel is sponsoring a fair-trade sale to benefit the work of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Items for sale include fair trade chocolate and coffee, holiday items, fair trade olive oil, and much, much more. Jed Trombley and Martie Matuska, our CRS Ambassadors, have been working hard to plan the event. We’re looking for volunteers on the weekend of the event to help staff the tables, bag purchases, and work the checkout. Please contact Anthony (946-1128 x122) or sign the sheet on the kiosk if you’re interested in helping. Teens are welcome!
PARISH DAYTIME RETREAT – will be this Wednesday, October 3rd from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. “Vunerability, Acceptance and Trust,” facilitated by the Retreat Community. Sign up on the kiosk or call Fran at 440-625-1228. If you are able, a donation of $6.00 is suggested to cover lunch. All are welcome!
BREADTH OF LIFE LUNCHEON – Jan Marie Shannon, owner and founder of TILMA, Our Lady’s Store in Berea, will speak at the Breadth of Life Luncheon on October 10th. TILMA has grown from a small religious goods store into a far-reaching Apostolate, sustained by Almighty God’s Divine Providence.
The luncheon will be held at St. Noel’s Banquet Center from Noon to 2 p.m. Cost is $18 per person which includes tossed salad, roast pork, lyonnaise potatoes, vegetable and fresh fruit. All are welcome. Call Joan Bruening at 440-946-6932 for reservations by October 5th.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. On October 4th, Bingo. On October 11th, Luncheon and Bingo. Luncheon Menu: Pulled pork sandwich, potato salad, broccoli, cauliflower & carrots and dessert. Cost is $6.00. Contact Rosemary Baranonskas at 440-585-4548. Deadline for tickets is October 8th. On October 18th, Bingo. On, October 25th, Salad Luncheon, Bingo, birthdays and anniversaries. Bring something for the pantry and receive a free 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome!
DIVINE WORD PARISH – will again be hosting the program “Welcome Home to Inactive Catholics”. The 5-week program will begin this Tuesday, October 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the parish rectory. All are welcome! For more information, contact Deacon Carl Varga or Mrs. Marti Smith at 440-256-1412.
WILLOUGHBY HILLS WELLNESS RUN – For the last four years, the City of Willoughby Hills, along with the Clinic and Classic Lexus, has hosted a 5k run/walk and given part of the proceeds to the St. Noel Food Pantry. The 2018 Wellness Run is scheduled for Sunday, October 14th, and all the proceeds are going to the pantry! Please consider participating in the race; runners, walkers and pets are welcome. Registration flyers are in the Narthex and information is on the St. Noel webpage.
WILLOUGHBY HILLS CITY COUNCIL – invites you to join us for Town Hall meetings Thursdays October 11th and 25th at 6:00 p.m. Council Chambers City Hall. Please join us to discuss and answer questions regarding the Charter Amendments on the November 6th Ballot.
LAKE CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL – is hosting Open Houses for prospective students on Sunday, September 30th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and Thursday, November 8th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Please visit www.lakecatholic.org/admissions for additional information and placement exam dates.
NOTRE DAME-CATHEDRAL LATIN SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE – All 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and their families are invited to join us on Wednesday, October 3rd from 6:00-8:00 p.m. to experience how NDCL’s academic, spiritual, and extracurricular programs prepare students for lives that will transform the world. Learn why you belong at NDCL by joining us at 13000 Auburn Road, Chardon. For more information contact Michael Suso `03, Director of Admissions, at 440-279-1088 or visit ndcl.org/admisssions.aspx.
ST. EDWARD HIGH SCHOOL – is hosting Open Houses on Sunday, October 14th and November 4th from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. For information regarding admission testing dates call 216-521-2204 or [email protected].