The 40 days of Lent which begin this Wednesday are a special time for prayer, charity and spiritual growth. I am listing below the opportunities which our parish is providing to celebrate this season.
- This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday; a Service of The Word with Ashes will take place at Noon. Evening Eucharist with Ashes will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 12th at 7:30 p.m. An Evening with Pope Francis. This evening will be a unique opportunity to gather as a parish to discuss the first major document issued by Pope Francis: “The Joy of the Gospel.” The evening will help us all understand better the perspective that our new Pope brings to his ministry. Those who plan to attend are asked to read selected passages of the document beforehand. These can be found on our website on the post “An Evening with Pope Francis.”
- Wednesday, March 19th – GIFT from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. “Earnest Service: The Complexity of Gospel Justice.” Action on behalf of justice is an integral aspect of our faith. It also is an essential part of our parish mission statement. This GIFT session will examine how the Catholic Church understands Gospel justice and why Jesus expects us all to work to establish it.
- Wednesday, March 26th at 6:15 p.m. – Loaves & Letters. Come this evening to put your faith into action. A simple supper will be provided followed by a brief explanation of a current social justice issue and the opportunity to write to your elected officials concerning it.
- On Wednesday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m. we will hold our Communal Penance Service.
- Every Friday of Lent at 7:30 p.m. there will be an opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross. This Friday, March 7th the Stations will be led by Fr. George.
- We will be collecting items for Forbes House (the Lake County shelter for victims of domestic violence), Project Hope (the Lake County homeless shelter), Birthright and St. Augustine Hunger Center.Tags indicating the items needed for each agency can be found in the narthex. Please use a plastic bag for your items, closing it with the yarn and tag provided. If you do not have your own plastic bags, please help yourself to the plastic bags which are on the table. Return filled bags to the right hand bin in the food pantry area.
- This Lent we are also beginning a new effort to support our Food Pantry. Specially designed bags will be available for you to bring with you when you shop for food. Simply fill the bag with items such as peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, macaroni & cheese, and paper products. This can be returned to the rolling cart in the food pantry. When you return a full bag you can take another one.
- Lenten “Rice Bowls” are also available. Placing change into these bowls on a regular basis during Lent will help feed many in developing countries and support projects promoting agricultural, nutritional, and educational programs to encourage self-sufficiency. When the bowls are filled, they can be returned to the Parish Office.
- There are copies of The Word Among Us, Lenten Edition in the narthex. This booklet includes the complete reading and prayers for Lent and Holy Week together with spiritual articles and daily meditations. The publication can be used as a guide to your spiritual reflection this Lent. Please pick up a copy after Mass.
- Catholics 14 years and older are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, adult Catholics (18-59 years) are also asked to fast – that is, limit their food to a simple full meal and two lesser meals.
- Finally, we ask your participation in our Lenten Fish Fries. This year, we will begin the Fish Fries on Ash Wednesday, March 5th, with a day seating from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and an evening seating from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The day seating will offer a reduced price option. The Fish Fries will continue on the Fridays of Lent at the usual 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. time. 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. Please sign up on the kiosk to help.
Each Lenten season invites us to grow in our faith as we prepare to celebrate the great Feast of Easter. Please consider including one or more of the opportunities above as part of your Lenten observance.
Fr. George Smiga
WEBSITE NEWS – Those who wish to review homilies by Fr. George on our parish website will be happy to know that recent homilies will not only be available in written form but also as audio files. This will allow you to hear a recent homily on your computer, iPad, or smart phone. You can access recent homilies by visiting our parish website (stnoel.org). We are attempting to have each homily available by the Wednesday following the weekend on which it has been offered.
ASH WEDNESDAY – March 5th 7:00 p.m. Liturgical Ministers are invited to sign up on the bulletin board if you are able to minister at the 7:00 p.m. Mass.
YOUNG NEIGHBORS IN ACTION: All high school teens completing 9th grade through 12th grade are invited to 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 Buffalo, New York, July 13th-20th. If you would like more information, please check the kiosk or contact Erica Witmer [email protected] or call 440-946-1128 x20. Space is limited and deposits are due by March 31st.
YOUTH MINISTRY – PEACE and Prime Time will gather on Sunday, March 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Teen Center.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES APPEAL- Last weekend, we conducted our in-pew commitment for Catholic Charities. This weekend we are asking each household unable to complete a pledge form last weekend, or by mail, please do so today. Envelopes and pencils are on the table in the narthex. Place your completed form in the basket on the table. No money needs to be put in the pledge envelope at this time; and if you are unable to pledge, please indicate that in the proper box. This process will eliminate phone calls. Thank you for your cooperation.
APOLLO’S FIRE will present a family concert, “Ballads and Other Musical Tall Tales” on Saturday, March 15th at 1:00 p.m.at St. Noel. This is a 45-minute interactive program for the young and young-at-heart, ages 6-96. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth under 18. For more information and tickets, please call 216-320-0012.
CITYMUSIC CLEVELAND is offering a free concert at St. Noel on Sunday, March 16th at 4:00 p.m. Conductor James Feddeck and soloists Shane Shanahan, Percussion and James Jaffe, Cello and narrator Ali Alhaddad will present UNG Khse Buon for cello solo, VISCONTI “Roots to Branches” World Premiere and BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 “Erotica.” After the concert please join us for a delicious buffet dinner. For dinner reservations, please contact the St. Noel Banquet Center 440-946-6635.
CASTLE OF THE SOUL – On Sunday, March 30th at 7:00 p.m. we would like to gather our parish community for a special contemplative prayer service entitled “Castle of the Soul.” This music consists of songs mixed with readings from the texts of St. Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Francis de Sales, St. Augustine, Thomas Merton and Cardinal Leo Josef Suenens. The evening will be filled with music, dancing, candles and meditations, and promises to be an engaging spiritual evening. The service is open to all ages and is a great opportunity for our parish family to spend some time together in the middle of the Lenten Season.
NICARAGUA 2014 – In partnership with IPM, St. Noel Church will travel to Nicaragua for 8 days from June 16th – June 23rd, 2014. The cost is $1,300 plus airfare. This is a unique opportunity to experience the people of Nicaragua and learn how people of faith are making a difference. Is this trip right for you? Call Anthony to talk about it (440-946-1128 ext. 22).
SOCIAL JUSTICE/ST. AUGUSTINE – Ushers will be in the Narthex after Mass to accept your donations for our Social Justice Ministry.
ST. NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: On March 6th, there will be bingo. On March 13th there will be bingo. On March 20th there will be socializing, meeting and luncheon of Cavetelli w/sausage & meatballs, salad, rolls & butter, dessert. For tickets call 440-585-9088.The cost is $6 and deadline for tickets & payment is March 17th. On March 27th there will be bingo, and the celebration of birthdays and anniversaries. Bring something for the Food Pantry and receive a 50/50 ticket. Everyone is welcome.
THE TRUST 100 FIVE-STAR SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION for high school seniors is available in the pocket on the kiosk. Applications need to be turned in to DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott Funeral Home by April 1, 2014.
“THE PAPACY: ONE YEAR LATER” – In commemoration of the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis, the Cardinal Suenens Center at John Carroll University is pleased to present five speakers on Friday, March 14th at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 15th from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The fee is $75. For information and registration, please call 216.397.1651 or visit: sites.jcu.edu/papacyconference.
GROWING THROUGH GRIEF – a bereavement support series being held at St. Gabriel Parish on Tuesday evenings beginning February 25th and going through April 1st from 7 to 8:30 pm. For additional information please call Eileen 440-255-1447.
DIOCESAN GAY-LESBIAN FAMILY MINISTRY Is sponsoring a Lenten Day of Reflection on Saturday, March 8th at our Lady of Victory Parish in Tallmadge, OH. The day will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude with 5 p.m. Mass. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please check the kiosk for registration information and directions. Registration due by March 3rd.
LAKE COUNTY CATHOLIC WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION JOHN PAUL II POST 1959 will be at St. Noel on Wednesday, March 5th for Mass and Ashes at 7:00 p.m.. Following the services will be their regular monthly meeting in the Resurrection Room. All parish Veterans are cordially invited to attend. Openings are currently available for both ACTIVE and ASSOCIATE members. For further information, please call (440-639-8896).