Last week in my letter I discussed with you the distinction in Catholic Social Teaching between MERCY & ADVOCACY. Mercy is meeting an immediate need of our neighbor (providing food so that they can eat). Advocacy is working to remove the root causes which create the need (helping someone to receive a job so that they can provide food for themselves). Both MERCY & ADVOCACY are important and of equal value. Our Parish Pastoral Council has recognized that although St. Noel has many ministries of mercy, our efforts at Advocacy are less represented. The Council has therefore asked the Staff and Social Justice Committee to implement a new ministry of Advocacy for our parish. We want your input in determining what that ministry should be.
We have identified four possible ministries of Advocacy that our parish could undertake. After all the Masses for the next two weekends (March 14th-15th & 21st-22nd) we are holding a brief 30 minute meeting in the Lower Level of our building to outline the four options and the rationale for them. I am also asking all parishioners to complete a simple survey of six questions on our website that will indicate which of the options you prefer. You do not need to attend one of the meetings to fill out the survey, but you will be better informed if you do. The survey can be taken anytime between this weekend and Easter (Sunday, April 5th). The primary purpose of this survey is to determine which action of Advocacy would be most suitable for our parish. But you will also see after you take the survey that it seeks to gauge whether you feel drawn to participate in a particular ministry. We may choose an excellent act of Advocacy, but it will only be effective if we have parishioners willing to support it.
Together with the Parish Pastoral Council, I believe that the new ministry of Advocacy will be a blessing to our parish and others. It will also allow us to more fully witness to the Catholic understanding of Social Justice.
Therefore I ask you to participate in this process by attending a meeting and filling out the survey on our website. Your input will allow us to follow more closely the teaching of Jesus.
Fr. George Smiga
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 13th, the Stations will be led by Michele Baetzold and families of the parish.
ADORATION – We are in need of an additional person to come to Adoration on Monday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please call the parish office at 946-0887 if you are able to fill this time slot. Each holy hour that you make in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament releases His power and graces upon you, your family and your parish. In today’s busy world, it is so meaningful to spend this precious time with our God. If you are unable to make a definite commitment, please stop in anytime during Eucharistic Adoration and you will be richly blessed. Adoration is each Monday from 1:00-9:00 p.m.
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.
HOSPITALITY SERVERS NEEDED – The Hospitality Committee needs more volunteers to serve coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts at all Masses. The commitment is for once every four to five weeks. If you are interested in helping, please call Betty Louis at 440-942-4009 or the parish office at 440-946-0887.
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.
HOSPICE EVENING – Mary McGuinness, from Grace Hospice, will be our featured speaker this 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 U.S. 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 30 minutes. Your voice is important; please plan to attend. Coffee and donuts are welcome at the sessions!
BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT SERIES – Our St. Noel Bereavement Ministry invites anyone coping with the loss of a family member or friend to attend a 6-week support series beginning Thursday, April 9th. The series will assist people in their grieving and offer opportunities for discussion and prayer. Sessions will begin at 7:00 p.m. and conclude by 8:30 p.m. Please register by calling the parish office (946-0887); flyers are available in the kiosk.
CEPROSI PARTNERSHIP – thanks to all who offered their financial support to our partners in Nicaragua. Combined with the social justice portion of our latest Rooted in Faith Distribution,we were able to send a check to CEPROSI in the amount of $3470.70.This will be a tremendous benefit to the work of advocacy happening daily through the efforts of the women.
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 – Stop by the table in the narthex to pick up your tag and begin filling a bag to support a local agency. Your service this Lent does make a difference.
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.
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.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: March 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!
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 do not have to attend all sessions. For more information, please call Eileen at 440-255-1447.
FLOCK OF FRIENDSHIP – (Singles 40 and over) Friday, March 27th at 7:00 p.m. Meet us in the Life Center at St. Paschal Baylon Church for our monthly game night. This is one of our best-attended events and is good for old and new members. Please bring a snack to share, money for pizza, and a favorite game. Please call Dan at 440-223-8707 with any questions.
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 11,18, & 25th from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Location is at the Jesuit Retreat House. Cost is $10 per session. To register call 440-884-9300 or www.jrh-cleveland.org.
LENTEN LUNCHEON: ST. FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI, PATRON SAINT OF IMMIGRANTS – What can we learn from St. Frances Xavier’s prayer, struggles and dedication that speaks to our care for immigrants in our time? Presented by Sr. Rita Mary Harwood, SND. Date is March 9th, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Location is at the Jesuit Retreat House. Cost is $25. To register call 440-884-9300 or visit 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 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 8th breakfast. The WH Lions is sponsoring March 15th. The great annual basket raffle is also planned for this event.
SPRING CRAFT AND TRADE SHOW – at St.Paschal Baylon Parish on Saturday, March 14th from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. This show features over 85 quality crafters and vendors. Admission is $1.00.
CRAFT SHOW – On Saturday, March 21st from 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at the Willoughby Hills Community Center. The Willoughby Hills Recreation is hosting their Second Annual Craft Show. Admission is free!
HOLY CROSS ACADEMY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS – is proud to invite you to a benefit concert featuring international recording artists, THE PRIESTS, a classical musical trio from Ireland. Monday, March 23rd at 6:15 p.m. at Canton Palace Theatre, 605 Market Ave., N. Canton. Ticket prices range from $30-80, to get tickets go to www.cantonpalacetheatre.org or call 330-454-8172.
THE INSTITUTE OF CATHOLIC STUDIES – from John Carroll University and Teaching Cleveland Digital is hosting “Educating Cleveland’s Catholic Women 1940-Present”, Thursday, March 12th at 7:30 p.m. in the LSC Conference Room. For additional information, call 216-397-4558.
RELAY FOR LIFE – is a day to night community event that raises funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society. The Relay For Life of Western Lake County will be Saturday, July 11th. Visit [email protected] or call 1-888-227-6446 ext. 1206. Next meeting is March 9th at 6:30 p.m. at Eastlake North.
SAINT JOSEPH ACADEMY NIGHT AT THE RACES – The annual event is sponsored by the Athletic Boosters Club, and will be held on Saturday, March 21st from 6:30-11:30 p.m. in the school’s Academy Center. Proceeds will support the school’s 11 varsity sports. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Contact Terri Flanagan at 330-472-3147 with any questions.
CITY OF WILLOUGHBY HILLS – is hosting an Easter Party on Saturday, March 28th at 1:00 p.m. Location is at the Willoughby Hills Community Center, all proceeds benefit the Recreation Dept. For more information, contact the Recreation Dept. at 440-975-3540 or www.willoughbyhills-oh.gov.