St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – August 11, 2019

Dear friends in Christ,

This Thursday, August 15, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation in the universal Church. There are actually two additional feast days of Our Lady that are celebrated as solemnities in the Church, namely, the Solemnities of Holy Mary Mother of God and the Immaculate Conception.

The Solemnity of Holy Mary Mother of God celebrates the fact that Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ who is true God and true Man; the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the fact that Mary was conceived without original sin; and the Solemnity of the Assumption celebrates the fact that, when the course of her earthly life was finished, she was assumed body and soul into heaven, from where she continually intercedes on our behalf. Taken together, these feast days highlight the singularly unique role of Mary in salvation history.

For us as followers of Christ, the liturgical celebration of Our Lady’s Assumption is an invitation for us to reflect upon the fact that, as long as we remain faithful to Christ in this life, we are undoubtedly assured eternal life with Him. As the Preface of the Mass of the day tells us, “For today the Virgin Mother of God was assumed into heaven as the beginning and image of your Church’s coming to perfection and a sign of sure hope and comfort to your pilgrim people….”

May Our Lady intercede for us all, that we too one day will be brought to the glory of the Resurrection.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – August 4, 2019

Treasures from Our Tradition

Apart from the period from Thanksgiving through Christmas, the summer is a favored time for family reunions. We trace family trees and recall our origins. Worship has a family tree as well, and the way we celebrate today has been influenced by various styles and customs through the centuries.  We are Western Christians of the Latin Rite. By far, we are the most numerous Western Christians, but there are other ritual families as well. The Archdiocese of Milan in Italy follows the Ambrosian Rite, Toledo in Spain preserves the Mozarabic Rite and the Arab language, and Lyons in France is home to the Gallican Rite. Other liturgical families, such as the Celtic in Ireland and the Sarum in England, faded away after the Reformation. Until recent times, members of some ancient religious orders such as Carmelites and Trappists followed a pattern of Mass that varied slightly from the plan observed in Latin Rite parishes.

Isn’t the Catholic Church the same everywhere? Not at all. It never has been! The existence of so many liturgical families in the West reminds us that unity, not uniformity, is what the Church seeks to achieve among her children. We are united in faith, but wonderfully diverse in rituals, ceremonies, languages, customs, and spirituality.

–James Field, Copyright (c) J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – July 28, 2019

Dear friends in Christ,

This weekend we welcome in a special way the Reverend Antonio Koffi, a member of the Missionaries of Africa, commonly known as the White Fathers, from the white cassock and mantle they wear. Their focus is on evangelization and education, mostly to those who live on the continent of Africa. Father Antonio will be with us this weekend and will be preaching at all the Masses. We are grateful for his commitment to the Gospel and look forward to his being with us.

You may have recently noticed that a roofing company was here for a few days on the top of the roof of the church. They were here replacing sixty slate tiles. Since that time I am happy to report that after the recent rain showers there has not been any water leaking inside the church.

This week there are several liturgical feast days which the Church celebrates. One of these is the feast day of Saint John Vianney, also known as the Curé of Ars. When he was assigned to the village of Ars-sur-Formans in the year 1818, he found that the practice of the faith had diminished, in part as a result of effects of the French Revolution. Nonetheless, because of his fidelity to prayer, his reverence forthe Holy Eucharist, and his untiring commitment to the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance, people began to return to faith in Christ, so much so that the Curé’s reputation spread throughout the region and beyond. He was known as a man of great holiness: he was committed to Christ and he extended to others God’s mercy and compassion.

May the Curé of Ars be for us all an example of how we too are called to put our faith in Christ and commit ourselves to sharing with others His love for us all.

Father Bené