St. Joseph Catholic Church

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

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 21, 2017


I’ve heard from some priests that those who are going to be moved this summer are going to be announcing their move at their parishes this weekend.I’m glad to ssy that neither Fr. Schaab nor I are moving this year, but we both know what it is like to get a phone call asking if we would be willing to go to a new assignment. I mention that this week because as the Easter season goes on, Jesus is preparing his apostles to be open to the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. We don’t know how or when it will come at times, but we need to be willing to listen to God’s word to us as He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. For priests, when we are moved is one of those ways that can be clearer than some have, but also more challenging as it entails where you work, where you live, and who you live with even. You had to make some decisions already to be getting this call. But this time of year many others have such challenges also.

Consider graduations. Whether it is from grade school, high school, or college, it marks a big change in your life. Where will you be going next? And what options do you have? Are we open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this decision or not? One way we can consider this is have we only been asking what we want to do or have we also been considering what we feel we should do. Sometimes they will be very much in line with each other, but other times what the Holy Spirit is asking might be more challenging and not as focused on personal goals and desires but also consider the good for others too. I remember one family I knew from a parish where one daughter was graduating from college and another from high school, the college graduate was going to be going on to graduate school and the high school graduate was going to be going to college, but both were delaying for a year and were going to work for the poor on another continent first. They were in a more favorable situation then some to be free to make this choice, but I know when I heard this I wondered if I would have been willing to do what they were doing if I was in their situation? And how would I make that decision?

While everyone isn’t being asked to do that same thing, it can be a good example for us to consider if we are even open to such a possibility if the Holy Spirit were asking us. For this example I would imagine that if a person had never been on some type of a weeklong mission trip, or even helped on a regular basis with a charity, or given up a Saturday to help a group that feeds the poor or shelters the homeless, if they had never done any of these I don’t think they would have even considered doing a year of service to others in a strange land. How have we listened to the Holy Spirit on smaller matters if we are going to be clear about big ones? We need to consider what affects our decisions and what influences we allow in. Just like I don’t think you should be applying to the Julliard School if you’ve never played a musical instrument or acted in a play, we should probably consider how the Holy Spirit may be guiding us in small decisions before we expect to hear Him clearly on the big ones.

Fr. Nick

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day,

From Ancient Greece and Rome the remote origins of mother’s day are found in celebrations honoring mother goddesses. Christian Europe used it to honor Mary, mother of Christ, and also to honor a person’s “Mother Church”, the church in which they were baptized. It was then expanded to honor all mothers and would be a particular time when people traveled home to visit their mothers.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed by our baptismal font, but there is a quote from St. Louis about his “Mother Church” that he may have made on Mother’s Day in his life: “I think more of the Church of Poisse where I was baptized than I do of the Cathedram of Rheims where I was crowned king. The latter I will lose at death, but the former is my passport to eternal life.” Saint Louis IX, King of France. As we honor mothers today, recognizing the life they gave us and how they nurtured us and helped us grow into the people we are, honoring our “Mother Church” recognizes the importance of our faith, of our eternal life that we received in baptism, and how our Mother Church has helped us become who we are.

St. Louis compares his baptism to his crowning as king, the thing that most people would envy him most for in his life. What are the things in our lives that we need to compare our baptisms to? Our careers? Our skills and talents? Maybe your spouse or your family? We know that these things don’t have to be in contradiction to our faith though, St. Louis demonstrated this in the way he lived out his role as king, yet we also have to consider what we truly value more. I think most of us are already reflecting that on Mother’s Day, by explicitly honoring our mothers as we know they deserve that we may not make so obvious on other days. Taking the time and effort to recognize how important our mothers are to us compared to all of the other things that we can get caught up with some times in our lives. Hopefully as we celebrate that today, it doesn’t have to be in conflict with the great gift of our baptism, and of our faith, but rather for most of us it will be another aspect that we are grateful to our mother’s for. The following blessing is one way we will recognize that at Mass on Mother’s Day:

Loving God,
As a mother gives life and nourishment to her children,
So you watch over your Church,
Bless these women,
That they may be strengthened as Christian mothers.
Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we, their sons and daughters,
May honor them always
With a spirit of profound respect.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Fr. Nick