St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

106 N. Meramec Avenue – Clayton MO 63105 – Parish Office (314) 726-1221


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 20, 2021

Dear friends,

This Sunday, on the first day of summer, we celebrate Father’s Day and so give thanks to God for the gift of fatherhood.

We know that the supreme model of fatherhood is God our heavenly Father. God is love and as Saint John the Evangelist tells us, “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins” (I John 4:10). God always provides for us, He always invites us to share in His life, and He promises us eternal life with Him forever.

We also know that our saintly model of fatherhood is found in Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Guardian of the Redeemer. Joseph was the righteous man who followed the will of the Lord in his life. We see this quite clearly in him having taken Mary as his wife, at the Birth of the Christ Child, at the flight into Egypt, at home in Nazareth, and in his happy death.

On this Sunday, we pray for all fathers, that God our heavenly Father will abundantly bless them, and that, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, they will be strengthened in their unique vocation as husband and father.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 13, 2021

God’s Time

We either pay attention to or ignore “clock time” as we play in the summer sun and note the earth’s tilt and the lengthening days. We live by time. We reckon time in seconds and minutes and hours, or we use broader chunks like suppertime and summertime.

God keeps another sort of time. God speaks to us of “saving time,” that is, the time of salvation. This sense of time is called kairos, and this time is always now, always present and available, always revealing, often surprising.

This Sunday’s readings alert us to the reality and the import of God’s time. Ezekiel and the Gospel of Mark remind us that our labor and our plotting and our planning rest in God. For God takes our smallest efforts and makes of them great works. Paul points us to the “harvest” time, urges us to be watchful for its coming, and calls us to recognize that we must spend our time pleasing God.

© J. S. Paluch Co


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 6, 2021

Dear friends,

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, traditionally known as Corpus Christi, and so call to mind the priceless gift that Christ gives us in the Holy Eucharist.

One my earliest memories of this feast day was when my father took me to the annual Corpus Christi procession at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Saint Louis where he had been raised. I vividly remember the faith and devotion of the people who had gathered for this public affirmation of our belief in the Body and Blood of Christ.

The earliest account of the Last Supper come to us from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians in which he wrote, “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (11:23-26).

Every time we celebrate the Mass, we participate in the one, sacrifice of Christ which He offered on the altar of the Cross. As we celebrate this feast day, we give thanks to God for having sent us His Son and in whose life we share by our reception of His Body and Blood which gives us eternal life. As Jesus said in the Scriptures, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (John 6:54-56).

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 30, 2021

Dear friends,

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and so call to mind the central mystery of our faith and the most fundamental and essential teaching of the Church.

On Sunday and on other holy days of obligation, during the Mass when we pray the Profession of Faith, we profess our belief in the one, true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We know that out of love for us all God the Father sent us His Son and His Son sent us the Holy Spirit. We know, too, that by our faith and Baptism we participate in the life of the Most Holy Trinity, in a partial way now and we hope one day forever.

As we celebrate this important feast day, let us call to mind how much the Lord God wants us to participate in His life, and further to this, let us call to mind that this entails both drawing closer to Him in our prayer and expressing our love for Him in charity toward others.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 23, 2021

Lord, Send Out Your Spirit

In today’s responsorial psalm the Church sings out: “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.” All three readings describe how God has answered that prayer already.

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles and in the Gospel passage from John, we read of astonishing events that called cowering disciples to step out of hiding and proclaim news that would condemn them and change the world forever! In the second reading Paul’s words reach out into the future to us: “we were all given to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

It is our task to truly pray today’s psalm response. Let us together beg the Holy Spirit to renew the earth by renewing the Church, sending many more men and women to serve in its various ministries.

© J. S. Paluch Co.


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 16, 2021

Our Ministry in the Church

It is a seemingly small point, but one that is important to remember as we reflect on ministry during these days preceding the descent of the Spirit, to notice that the place of Judas among the apostles was refilled because of his betrayal, not because of his death. He was, according to Peter, “allotted a share in this ministry.” It is, then, betrayal of the mission and not merely death that leaves a void in the fabric of the church’s mission. We forget that in the minds of the other apostles, Judas still would have been numbered in the company of the Twelve when Jesus prayed the prayer we hear today: praying that, as they were sent into the world, they would be consecrated in the truth. It is difficult for us to comprehend that Jesus knelt to wash the feet of Judas. These are powerful and significant lessons for us to call to mind and keep in our hearts as we ponder the place of our particular ministry in the Church and the world, if we are remaining faithful to it, consecrated to the truth.

© J. S. Paluch Co.


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 9, 2021

Dear friends,

Last weekend First Holy Communion was celebrated here at Saint Joseph Church. We give thanks to God for the blessings that He has bestowed on all those who received the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time and ask for His continued blessings upon them. Thank you to all were involved in the sacramental celebrations of these days. They were prayerful and led us to a greater appreciation of the grace of God at work in our lives.

Last weekend you may have noticed a group of pilgrims who were at Saint Joseph Church. Over 50 men participated in the Joseph Challenge this year, a pilgrimage which makes its way from Saint Joseph Church in Manchester to the Shrine of Saint Joseph in downtown Saint Louis. After a 14 mile walk on Saturday, they stopped here where they had dinner, a holy hour with Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and thereafter enjoyed fellowship. The next morning they continued their walk for 9 more miles to the Shrine. Let us pray, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, that their commitment will bear spiritual fruit for them, their families, and the communities through which they made their way. More information on this annual pilgrimage can be found here:
www.josephchallenge.com

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 2, 2021

Bearing Fruit

Few of us, even when we meditate on the image of the vine and branches, stop to really think about how God “prunes” us. For some there is the danger of thinking that we are already producing fruit for the kingdom, in deed and truth as John says, perhaps raising a family, being active in our parish, and so on. But even those branches which are bearing fruit, the Gospel tells us, can be pruned to produce still more. Today Saul, freshly “pruned” by his conversion, arrives in Jerusalem and meets resistance. Since he had been persecuting Christians, this was only natural. But even after he is accepted and begins to bear fruit, he meets further adversity, and his letters are filled with many accounts of how his trials “pruned” him to produce greater fruit for the kingdom. Like him, as long as we remain in Christ we will continue to bear fruit and, when the will of the Father determines it is time to prune us, the strength of the true vine must enable us to endure it.

© J. S. Paluch Co.


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – April 25, 2021

Dear friends,

Next weekend, several students in the Saint Joseph Parish School of Religion program will be receiving their First Holy Communion at Saint Joseph Church.

On this occasion, we are reminded of the priceless gift of Christ in this the greatest Sacrament. As Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever;…he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and…abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:51, 54, 56); and as the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints” (1419).

As they receive their First Holy Communion, we congratulate these students and acknowledge the important role of their parents as primary educators of their children in the faith.

Next Sunday, May 2, the Most Reverend Mark S. Rivituso, Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Louis, will be here to celebrate the 9:00 a.m. Mass. Throughout the Year of Saint Joseph, he is celebrating Mass at all of the parishes of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis whose principal patron is Saint Joseph. Please join me in warmly welcoming Bishop Rivituso to Saint Joseph Church.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – April 18, 2021

Dear friends,

I take this opportunity to congratulate the students in the Saint Joseph Parish School of Religion Program on the occasion of receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation this weekend.

A special word of gratitude goes to their parents, their sponsors, and their catechists who have prepared them for this important day, especially given the challenges of this past year with the ongoing goings of the pandemic.

Those who receive the Sacrament of Confirmation are impressed with a character and by it they are enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit and are more closely linked to the Church. The Sacrament strengthens them and obliges them more firmly to be witnesses to Christ by word and deed and to spread and defend the faith.

In light of the challenges of the present day, let us pray in a special way for all those who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation that they will be encouraged to witness more fully to their faith by the manner of the lives.

Finally, I thought you might like to know the Confirmation names the students chose: Saint Andrew, Saint Brigid of Ireland, Saint Catherine of Bologna, Saint Cecilia, Saint Clare of Assisi, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, Saint John de Brébeuf, Saint Louis IX, and Saint Michael the Archangel, and Saint Stephen the Protomartyr. Mary, Queen of All Saints, pray for us.

In Christ,
Father Bené