For the past six years, as you walked through the door or were greeted pleasantly over the phone, Sandy DeGennero has been the face of the Parish Office of Saint Noel. Every parish office secretary, administrative assistant, and/or receptionist is nearly always the first impression of the church received by someone walking in or making a phone call, long before the individual is put in touch with a priest or other member of the staff. This past week we, as a staff, enjoyed a farewell luncheon in Sandy’s honor, thanking her for her years of service to her parish family, and wishing her well as she makes an even greater commitment to her own family at this time. Please join me in thanking Sandy for her years of service and of our prayers for her and her loved ones.
On 30 September 2019, the liturgical Memorial of Saint Jerome (best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin and for his commentaries on the Gospels) on the inauguration of the 1,600th anniversary of his death, Pope Francis in an Apostolic Letter, Aperuit Illis, instituted the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be the Sunday of the Word of God. He writes: “May the Sunday of the Word of God help his people grow in religious and intimate familiarity with the sacred Scriptures.” He stressed how essential it is for Catholics to familiarize themselves with Christ’s written word, highlighting: “a day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a year-long event.” The text in its entirety can be found on the Vatican’s website:
Within the document, he underscores how we “urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the Risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers.” “For this reason,” he says, “we need to develop a closer relationship with sacred Scripture; otherwise, our hearts will remain cold and our eyes shut, struck as we are by so many forms of blindness.” The relationship between the Risen Lord, the community of believers, and Sacred Scripture, Pope Francis states, “is essential” to our identity as Christians.
He expresses that with this Apostolic Letter, he wished to respond to many requests he received from the People of God that the entire Church celebrate, in unity of purpose, a Sunday of the Word of God.
“I hereby declare that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be devoted to the celebration, study, and dissemination of the word of God,” Francis said, noting: “This Sunday of the Word of God will thus be a fitting part of that time of the year when we are encouraged to strengthen our bonds with the Jewish people and to pray for Christian unity. This is more than a temporal coincidence: the celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God has ecumenical value, since the Scriptures point out, for those who listen, is the path to authentic and firm unity.”
Francis called on the various communities to find their own ways to mark this Sunday with a certain solemnity. This weekend, we have enshrined near the ambo where the Scriptures are proclaimed, a copy of the Book of the Gospels, opened to the Gospel passage for the day. Commissioned by the Benedictine Abbey, Collegeville, MN, it is a copy of the Saint John’s Bible: the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible, since the invention of the printing press, over 500 years ago. Work first began in 1998, and it took ten years to complete. Its mission stated: “At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Saint John’s Abbey and University seek to ignite the spiritual imagination of believers throughout the world by commissioning a work of art that illuminates the Word of God for a new millennium.”
In the years ahead, we as a parish community will continue to discern and plan how to mark this Sunday “with a certain solemnity.” One way we can always do this is by reviewing the Scripture passages for the day before coming to Mass, so that we are not hearing them for the first time, as they are proclaimed. Various missalette subscriptions are available and free online resources are at our disposal to help us do so (i.e., www.usccb.org/bible). Do you take advantage of the supplement distributed at the end of Mass, Bringing Home the Word? The question, too: “What did you hear at Mass?” helps create great car-ride-home conversations! All of this helps to form us and give God’s Word the dignity it deserves.
Happy first Sunday of the Word of God!
EL SALVADOR-LATIN AMERICAN COLLECTION – This weekend our ushers will be in the narthex to accept your donations. This is the only appeal made by this office that supports the Latin American Mission in El Salvador. It is the main support for two priests who work in the parishes served by our Missionaries. This appeal also makes a contribution to the Collection for the Church in Latin America that is managed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and benefits projects and the formation of seminarians, religious and lay leaders in 23 countries across Latin America.
FRESH PRODUCE – We will distribute produce on the 4th Monday this month due to the Martin Luther King holiday. Distribution will be from 2-4 p.m. on January 27th in the small hall. Distribution is moved to the 4th Monday in February as well due to President’s Day.
SOCIAL JUSTICE FUND – For December 2019, we collected $11,166.28. Our expenses for December were:
|N 2 N||90.00|
Thank you for your support!
SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTION – Next weekend, ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to the Social Justice Fund.
FOOD PANTRY – Did you know we offer toilet paper to all our pantry clients? Paper products cannot be purchased with food stamps, and our neighbors truly appreciate receiving some with each visit. The pantry distributes around 75 rolls per month. Any donations of toilet paper are always welcome!
PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Mark your calendar for the Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, February 9th from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Tickets are not required, and a free will donation will be accepted. All proceeds will benefit our Youth Ministry program.
FAMILY FAITH FORMATION RESOURCES – Copies of the February 2020 Take Out Magazine is available (one per family) in the kiosk and on the table in the narthex.
HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE – needs volunteers to serve coffee and doughnuts on Saturday at the 5:00 p.m. Mass. The commitment is for once a month beginning in January 2020. Anyone interested in helping, please call Betty Louis (440) 942-4009 or the St. Noel Office at (440) 946-0887.
BLOOD DRIVES – Our first blood drive in 2020 is scheduled for February 23rd from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Please sign up on the kiosk if you are interested in helping. Register to donate at redcross.org.
SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT – will meet this Wednesday, February 5th, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The program for February is: “Footprints in the Sand”. Lunch will be provided. There is no charge, but if you are able a $6.00 donation to cover lunch is appreciated. For any questions call Fran at 440-625-1228. All are welcome!
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – We are looking for someone who can come to Eucharistic Adoration on Mondays between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Many parishioners are richly blessed each Monday as they spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. Each Holy Hour that you make in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament releases his grace and power upon you, your family and your parish. If you are free and would like to experience this encounter with Jesus, please call Jan at 440-951-5593 or the church office.
SEEKERS RETREAT – The 2020 Seekers’ Retreat for Young Adults is scheduled for January 31-February 2 at the Bethany Retreat Center in Chardon. See the flyer on the kiosk or contact Sr. Kate Hine ([email protected]) for details. This beautiful retreat would be a wonderful gift to yourself or the young adult in your life.
WINTERTIME DAY OF REFLECTION – at Bethany Retreat Center, 13000 Auburn Rd., Chardon (across from NDCL) on Saturday, February 15th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. “Becoming the Saints, We Are” will be facilitated by Sister Jeanette Brown, SND. The $20.00 donation includes the presentation and lunch. Please contact Sister Jennifer Kramer, SND for further information and to register. [email protected] or 440-279-1143. Please register by February 8th. Limit: 25.
EUCLID HOSPITAL – currently has several volunteer opportunities for caring and committed individuals in the areas of transport, comfort runners, gift shop and information desk. We ask for a commitment of 4 hours a week but would welcome any time you can give. If you are interested in this opportunity at Euclid Hospital, please call Lorraine Smith in the Volunteer Department at 216-692-7564 or email at [email protected]
ST. MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION OPEN HOUSE – On Sunday, February 2nd, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Online registration for the 2020-2021 school year begins on February 3rd. Visit our school website at stmarymentorschool.org. to begin the registration process. Call 440-255-9781 to set up a private tour.