During this Lenten Season we will begin to implement the initiative of our Parish Pastoral Council concerning the role of ADVOCACY at St. Noel. All Catholics realize that the command of Jesus calls us to serve others. Fewer Catholics, however, understand that our service takes place in two distinct but related ways. Catholic Social Teaching identifies a kind of service called MERCY (sometimes termed Charity) and another service called ADVOCACY (sometimes termed Justice). MERCY is meeting an immediate need of our neighbor. ADVOCACY is working to remove the root causes which create the need. If we were to use the example of shelter, MERCY would provide a clean, safe place for someone to sleep for the night. ADVOCACY would address the need for shelter with another purpose in mind: not to provide housing for one night, but to discover and remove the root-causes of homelessness. ADVOCACY would seek to discover why people are homeless and what can be done to assist them to house themselves. This could involve lobbying for more affordable housing in our area or developing job-training opportunities so that people could find employment and therefore be able to pay rent.
In Catholic teaching both MERCY and ADVOCACY are important. They are of equal value. Both are necessary to promote God’s Kingdom. MERCY and ADVOCACY are sometimes called the Two Feet of Christian Service. Both are required to walk the way of Christ.
The Parish Pastoral Council is charged to support the spiritual life of St. Noel in accordance with Catholic teaching. The council has spent the last year learning about the equal importance of MERCY and ADVOCACY. In examining the ministries of our parish, the council was pleased to realize that we have many services of MERCY. Among these we maintain a Food Pantry to provide help for those who are hungry. We serve a monthly meal at St. Augustine Hunger Center. We sponsor an annual Christmas Project. We provide emergency help for parishioners to pay utilities. We support Project Hope, which offers overnight shelter. Our parishioners visit the county jail monthly. The Council, however, realized that our our parish had only one major active ADVOCACY effort: CEPROSI, an organization which seeks to provide employment and dignity to women in Nicaragua. Therefore the Council concluded that our efforts of MERCY and ADVOCACY were not in balance. It is for this reason that the Council asked our parish staff and Social Justice Committee to identify and develop an additional ministry of ADVOCACY for St. Noel, one which would take place in our own area.
We are asking your help in determining what that ministry should be. In my letter next week I will explain how you can offer your input to the Council. My hope is that we can work together to determine what effort we should support so that MERCY and ADVOCACY will be equally present and in balance within our parish.
Fr. George Smiga
RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE – Our blood drive is happening this weekend, Sunday, March 1st from 9-1 p.m. Walk-in donors are welcome! Please come to the Banquet Center to donate.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS – Every Friday during Lent at 7:30 p.m. there will be an opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross. This Friday, March 6th, the Stations will be led by Deacon Dave Nethery.
THE WORD AMONG US is available as a guide for your Lenten prayer and reflection. Booklets can be found on the table in the narthex. Please help yourself.
NOEL LENTEN DAYTIME RETREAT – On Wednesday, March 4th from 9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. we will observe Lent with specially selected prayer and music. Eleanor Reilly will open up Richard Rohr’s popular book, FALLING UPWARD, leading us from the first to second half of life as we mature in our discipleship on the road to Becoming Kingdom People. Sign up on the kiosk or call the parish office at 440-946-0887. Suggested donation of $6.00 for lunch and materials.
NOEL FISH FRIES – Lenten Fish Fries will continue on Fridays in Lent (not Good Friday) from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The cost is $11 for adults, children from 6-12 are $5, and 5 and under are free. These Fish Fries are an important fund raiser for our parish and they are possible only through the generosity of parishioners willing to help with serving and cleanup. Sign-up sheets are on the kiosk. You will not receive a phone call – just come at the time you have signed up. Also, Randy needs volunteers who can help set up Fish Fries on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. If you can help, please call the Banquet Center Office at 440-946-6635.
BLACK & INDIAN MISSION – Next weekend, March 7th & 8th, our ushers will be in the narthex to accept your donations for the Black & Indian Mission.
BAPTISM DAY will be held on Sunday, March 8th, from 12:15-3:30 p.m. Parents who plan to present a child for baptism in the next six months, or have already baptized a child and have not previously attended the baptism class, are expected to attend. Please call the parish office at 440-946-0887.
HOSPICE EVENING – Mary McGuinness, from Grace Hospice, will be our featured speaker on Wednesday, March 11th from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Mary has extensive knowledge of both hospice care as well as additional services available to veterans and others as they age. Many myths exist around hospice including who can qualify and what costs are involved. Mary will offer accurate information that will be give all who attend a thorough understanding of hospice and available services in our area.
TWO FEET OF LOVE IN ACTION – The tradition of Catholic Social Teaching recognizes two distinct, but related forms of service. The US Bishops refer to these as the “Two Feet of Love in Action” because we need both to continue moving forward in our mission of building the Kingdom of God. On the weekends of March 14-15 & 21-22, you are invited to attend a brief session after Mass to understand these “two feet” and to help determine the future direction of our social justice efforts at St. Noel. These sessions will happen after each of the Masses and will last about 20 minutes. Your voice is important; please plan to attend. Coffee and donuts are welcome at the sessions!
VBS 2015 – Vacation Bible School will be held during the week of July 13th – 17th. Mark your calendar for “SonSpark Labs” and stay tuned for more details.
GAME NIGHT – By popular demand, a second parish game night has been scheduled for Saturday, March 21st. Join us after the 5:00 Mass (or after you attend the Parish Social Justice Meeting scheduled right after Mass!) in the Banquet Center Large Hall . We will provide pizza and pop. Bring your favorite game and game night treat to share. Be sure to sign up on the kiosk if you plan to come.
YOUNG NEIGHBORS IN ACTION – All high school teens who have completed 9th grade through 12th grade are invited join Prime Time this summer on our annual summer service trip through Young Neighbors in Action. Y.N.I.A is a week-long Catholic service-learning opportunity committed to exploring our Church’s mission in the world while connecting teens to meaningful service opportunities with other young people from across the country. This summer, we will travel to Detroit, MI June 21st-27th. If you would like more information, see the kiosk or visit stnoel.org. Space is limited and deposits are due back by March 30th.
LENTEN BAGS – We will again be collecting bags of items for Forbes House (the Lake County Women’s Shelter), Project Hope (the Lake County homeless shelter), Birthright, St Augustine Hunger Center, and the St. Noel Food Pantry. Plastic bags, tags with the items needed, and information on the various agencies will be available on the table in the narthex beginning in Lent. These works of mercy are a tremendous benefit to the agencies; please consider making the bags a part of your Lenten devotion.
BIRTHRIGHT DONATIONS – If you’re filling a Lenten bag for Birthright, the Director has informed us that they are in real need of clothes sizes 2-5, especially boys pants size 3T. Clothes can be new or gently used.
CATHOLIC UPDATE is available in the kiosk. The theme of the March issue is “Learning to Forgive.”
CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP – Serving as a caregiver is a tremendous joy and commitment. The next gathering of the Caregiver’s Support Group is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17th at 1:00 p.m. in the Resurrection Room. If you are a caregiver and looking to find support from people who understand all that comes with your commitment, please consider joining us on March 17th.
SERVERS NEEDED – We are in need of servers for all weekend masses, especially the 5:00 p.m. Saturday evening mass. Serving is open to anyone age 10 (or in 4th grade) and older: kids, teens, adults. Parents can even serve with their children. Anyone is welcome. Why not give it a try? If interested, please call the parish office, 440-946-0887.
GEAUGA FAMILY FARMS – St. Noel will again serve as a pick-up site for Geauga Family Farms beginning in June 2015. Shares are available in three sizes and can be purchased at: http://www.geaugafamilyfarms.org/. Our partnership with GFF has been quite fruitful over the years giving us accessibility to local, high quality, organic produce throughout the summer and fall. Members can also purchase grass-fed beef, eggs, cheese and baked goods delivered directly to St. Noel for pick-up. Hundreds of parishioners have benefited from this partnership as well as the Amish farmers who are able to maintain their traditional way of life. See if partnering with GFF is right for you and your family.
|Something to think about from the St. Noel Endowment Board…. Planned Giving provides an opportunity to leave a legacy gift to your parish, school or other Catholic organization. What will you do with all God has given you?|
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: March 5th & 12th, Bingo. On March 19th, at 12:00 p.m., socializing meeting: 12:30 p.m. luncheon, menu: meatloaf, mashed potatoes w/ gravy, corn, salad, rolls, cherry pie. For tickets, call Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. Cost is $6.00. Deadline for tickets & payment is March 16th. On March 26th, Bingo, Birthdays & Anniversaries. Bring something for the Food Pantry and get a free 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome!
ALWAYS OUR CHILDREN – The parents support group for families and friends of gay and lesbian Catholics welcomes you to join us at our next meeting, Sunday, March 8th, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in the John Paul 2 room in the old church of St. John Vianney Parish on Bellflower Rd. in Mentor.
THE ROSS AND CARMELLA DEJOHN SCHOLARSHIP AWARD – This scholarship is based on more than grades or athletic achievement. It is offered to graduating high school seniors who have exemplified the FIVE STAR STANDARDS of Independence, Integrity, Excellence, Fairness and Professionalism. The scholarship winners will receive $500 that can be used toward college or technical school. Applications are available in the kiosk. For further information call 440-516-5555.
GROWING THROUGH GRIEF – A BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT PROGRAM that offers ways to work through the stages of grief and to find ways to continue on. It provides an opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings in an environment of understanding and empathy. These seven sessions are offered at St. Gabriel Parish, 9925 Johnnycake Ridge Rd., Concord. These sessions will be on Tuesday evenings, February 24th – April 7th. They will be held in the Religious Education Office from 7:00-8:30 p.m. You don not have to attend all sessions. For more information, please call Eileen at 440-255-1447.
SAINT JOHN VIANNEY PARISH PRESENTS their 12th ANNUAL CELTIC BALL – On March 7th, at LaMalfa, 5783 Heisley Rd., time 6:00 p.m. and tickets are $85 per person. The event will have music, food, open bar, door prizes, an Irish raffle, silent auction and much more! For more information or for tickets, call Marty McGinley at 440-975-9364.
JUSTIN MARTYR’S Just in Fun Group – is sponsoring a gambling trip to Presque Isle on March 3rd. The price of the trip is $25 with $35 in free play. Trip includes transportation, 5 hours of gambling time, games, prizes and all gratuities. For additional information contact Cheryl Doyle at 440-942-3391.
BENEDICTINE HIGH SCHOOL’S 13TH ANNUAL BLUE & WHITE GALA – will be held Saturday, March 14th at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown. All the funds raised from this event go directly towards academic scholarship and financial aid to our “Men of Benedictine”, and the need for assistance continues to grow. For more information call 216-421-2080 ext. 156 or to [email protected].
IN THE HOLY LAND: A Video Pilgrimage Through the Footsteps of Jesus – Being in The Holy Land is to see the gospels come to life. They call the experience the “fifth gospel.” This is a lecture series by Fr. Donald Senior, C.P. a New Testament teacher. He has led study tours in the Holy Land for over 25 years. Presented by Fr. Matt Roche S.J. who will lead a discussion with each DVD. Dates are March 4,11,18, 25th from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Cost is $10 per session. To register call 440-884-9300 or www.jrh-cleveland.org.
OUR LADY OF LOURDES SHRINE GIFT SHOP – has a wide variety of beautiful First Communion and Confirmation items at very affordable prices as well as gift items for all occasions. We are open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. year round and are eager to serve you in any way possible. We are located at 21281 Chardon Rd. near Euclid Ave. (216)481-0900.
CITY OF WILLOUGHBY HILLS – will hold their annual all-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfasts on Sundays, March 1st, 8th and 15th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Willoughby Hills Community Center, 35400 Chardon Rd., Willoughby Hills. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at Willoughby Hills City Hall. Ticket prices are Adults ($6 pre-sale, $7 at the door), Children Ages 6-12 ($3.50) and kids 5 & under are free. Breakfast includes pancakes (plain, blueberry & French toast), sausage, applesauce or fruit cocktail, juice and coffee. WH Recreation is sponsoring the March 1st and 8th breakfasts. The WH Lions is sponsoring March 15th. The great annual basket raffle is also planned for this event.