St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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


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


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – April 11, 2021

Dear friends,

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday and so call to mind the mercy of God that comes to us through Christ Jesus. As we pray on this day, “God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast kindle the faith of the people you have made your own, increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed, that all may grasp and rightly understand in what font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn, by whose Blood they have been redeemed” (Collect, Second Sunday of Easter). Let us pray on this day that we will accept more fully in our hearts the mercy of God and strive to share this with others by the witness of our lives.

Next Sunday, April 18, Archbishop Rozanski will be here at Saint Joseph Church to celebrate the 11:00 a.m. Mass. During the Mass, he will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on several students in the Saint Joseph Parish School of Religion Program. We congratulate these students, their parents, and their sponsors on this special occasion. Please join us in welcoming the Archbishop of Saint Louis on his first pastoral visit to the Parish.

Lastly, I take this opportunity to thank all who were involved in any way for the celebrations of the Sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday. May God bless you all.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – April 4, 2021

Dear friends,

“I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18). With these words, Mary of Magdala communicated to the other disciples that she had encountered the Risen Lord. It is for this reason that Saint Thomas Aquinas refers to Mary of Magdala as the “Apostle to the Apostles.” As followers of Christ, we too are called to announce to others the Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus and we do so by our words and by our actions. Indeed, the Resurrection is central to our lives. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us,

Faith in the Resurrection has as its object an event which as historically attested to by the disciples, who really encountered the Risen One. At the same time, this event is mysteriously transcendent insofar as it is the entry of Christ’s humanity into the glory of God. The empty tomb and the linen cloths lying there signify in themselves that by God’s power Christ’s body had escaped the bonds of death and corruption. They prepared the disciples to encounter the Risen Lord. Christ, “the first-born from the dead” (Col 1:18), is the principle of our own resurrection, even now by the justification of our souls (cf. Rom 6:4), and one day by the new life he will impart to our bodies (cf.: Rom 8:11) (656-658).

As we celebrate this Solemnity today, let us rejoice in Christ’s victory over sin and death, and let us entrust ourselves more fully to Him who alone can give us eternal life. May the Risen Lord bless you and your families in a special way in this holy season of Easter.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – March 28, 2021

Dear friends in Christ,

Today on Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, the Church throughout the world begins the solemn celebration of Holy Week and so invites us to call to mind the events in the life of Christ that brought about our redemption. As the Sacred Liturgy reminds us, “since the beginning of Lent until now we have prepared our hearts by penance and charitable works. Today we gather together to herald with the whole Church the beginning of the celebration of our Lord’s Paschal Mystery, that is to say, of his Passion and Resurrection” (Roman Missal, “Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord,” 5).

In this coming week, we are invited to draw closer to the Lord Jesus in our own lives. By entering into the Sacred Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil, we are encouraged to prayerfully celebrate “the greatest mysteries of our redemption, keeping by means of special celebrations the memorial of her Lord, crucified, buried, and risen” (Roman Missal, “The Sacred Paschal Triduum,” 1).

The following is the parish schedule for the liturgical celebrations of the Sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday.

Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Thursday, April 1: 5:00 p.m.

Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, Friday, April 2: 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Solemn Easter Vigil Mass, Saturday, April 3: 7:30 p.m.

Easter Sunday Masses, April 4: 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m.

Please join us as we celebrate with the whole Church these most solemn days.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – March 21, 2021

The New Covenant

Today’s first reading is an enormously important passage, not only in the history of the Jewish people, but also for us as disciples of Jesus, who see in it a foreshadowing of the Christian dispensation. The prophet announces that God has chosen to forgive the people, and that as a sign of divine forgiveness a new covenant will be established. Contrasting the new covenant with the one made with Moses on Mount Sinai, Jeremiah says that the new covenant will be written on the people’s hearts rather than on tablets of stone. No longer will the community’s tradition be the sole bearer of the covenant; henceforth, God will speak directly and personally to each individual, forgiving sin and calling for a return to God in faithfulness. No longer will mere outward compliance with the dictates of the Law suffice; henceforth, God asks for an obedience that springs from the depths of one’s heart.

Precisely that kind of obedience is highlighted in today’s second reading, where the author of the Letter to the Hebrews describes Jesus as the mediator of the new covenant whose obedience has made him the source of salvation for all who, in turn, obey him.

© J. S. Paluch Co.


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – March 14, 2021

Dear friends,

Laetare Sunday
This Sunday the Church celebrates the Fourth Sunday of Lent, also known as Laetare Sunday. The word “laetare” means “to rejoice” and is taken from the Entrance Antiphon of this Mass which begins with the words, “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning” (Isaiah 66:10). We rejoice especially on this day because Easter will soon be here—in fact, only three weeks away.

Feast of Saint Patrick
This coming Wednesday, March 17, we call to mind the Memorial of Saint Patrick and so call to mind the witness of this great fifth century missionary and Bishop in Ireland. In anticipation of this day, perhaps we can reflect on the opening words of his Declaration, or Confessio, which he wrote in the latter part of his life on his own personal conversion to the faith many years before:

I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many. My father was Calpornius. He was a deacon; his father was Potitus, a priest, who lived at Bannavem Taburniae. His home was near there, and that is where I was taken prisoner. I was about sixteen at the time. At that time, I did not know the true God. I was taken into captivity in Ireland, along with thousands of others. We deserved this, because we had gone away from God, and did not keep his commandments. … Even though it came about late, I recognized my failings. So I turned with all my heart to the Lord my God, and he looked down on my lowliness and had mercy on my youthful ignorance. He guarded me before I knew him, and before I came to wisdom and could distinguish between good and evil. He protected me and consoled me as a father does for his son (Confessio of Saint Patrick, Royal Irish Academy[2011]), https://www.confessio.ie/etexts/confessio_english# )

Let us pray, through the intercession of Saint Patrick, that we will all be inspired to follow his example of humility and faith.

Solemnity of Saint Joseph
This coming Friday, March 19, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saint Joseph and so calls to mind the great faith of the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus. Given that this is the Year of Saint Joseph and that Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the Parish, an additional Mass will be celebrated on Friday, March 19. Masses on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph will therefore be celebrated at 7:15 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. (with musical accompaniment). Please join us in prayer.

In Christ,
Father Bené