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 17, 2018

Happy Father’s Day,

While Mother’s Day has its origins going back to Ancient Greece and Rome, and in the United States going back to the Civil War, Father’s Day doesn’t have as long of a histo- ry. One person credited with forming Father’s Day in an official way, and who would be the primary influence to it first being declared a state holiday in the state of Washington in 1910, was Sonora Smart Dodd. She had been raised with her five siblings by a single father and wanted a day, like Mother’s Day, to honor him. While some other states and other local celebrations would form in the early 1900’s, and by the end of World War II it was a standard American practice, it would not become a federal holiday until 1972. (Mother’s day became a federal holiday in 1914.)

So why and how do we celebrate Father’s Day? The fact that it is a federal holiday doesn’t really make much difference to most of us since, like Mother’s Day, it is on a Sunday and that doesn’t affect the banks, the mail, or most or our work weeks. Hope- fully it is a time to be particularly aware of all that our fathers have done for us and to give special thanks and recognition for this. In the Catholic Church there has been a history of this in connection with the feast of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. We real- ize the critical role he played in raising Jesus, and many of the characteristics we often associate with the role of a father: protector, provider, and leader. I think it is particu- larly important that in these roles a father also shows his faith to his children, recogniz- ing that in his position of authority it is most important to recognize a supreme authori- ty and demonstrate their faith and their reliance upon God.

Jesus even taught us to refer to God as our Father, but also gives us an image of God the Father in the story of the prodigal son. The father who loves us no matter what, whether we are the faithful son who listens and obeys or the rebellious one who is only concerned with his inheritance. I hope all fathers see this as a model of how they are to live out this relationship, and all of us, their children, are grateful for all our fathers have done for us. A special blessing we will have for all fathers at Mass this weekend follows:
God our Father,

In your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men,
That they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. 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. Amen

Thank you for all the fathers who have helped us learn what it means to love.

Fr. Nick


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 10, 2018


Over the last few months a few of our different ministers have had to stop for various reasons, so I thought it was a good opportunity to invite some new people to participate in different ways in the parish. Most of them are only scheduled once a month or you could just be on call as a substitute (which we need some of over the summer always).

    • Eucharistic Ministers (Extraordinary minister of the Eucharist) – Most of these serve at Mass to assist the priest and deacon (Ordinary ministers of the Eucharist) to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ to the congregation. Some may also bring Communion to the homebound.
    • Lector – This group assist at Mass by reading from Scripture, reading the petitions and announcements. They should have prepared the readings before coming to Sunday Mass and arrive a few minutes early to review the petitions and other materials before the service begins.
    • Server – While most of these for our Sunday Masses are children ranging from 5th grade up through seniors in high school, adults normally serve at our weekday Masses. This is an important role in assisting the priest and also leading the congregation in our services.
    • Altar Society – These volunteers fulfill two different roles at our parish. Some of them meet weekly in doing light dusting and cleaning up in the church, also maintaining the candles and holy water fonts as well as the decorations and flowers in the church, meeting weekly on Friday mornings at 9am. The other role is those who wash and iron our purificators, the linens used when distributing the Precious Blood at Mass. These are done twice a week and most are scheduled for once a month to pick up and then drop off the linens.
    • Cantor / Choir – Our music ministry is a means to help us give praise and glory to God, leading the congregation in our sung prayer. Singing individually, or in choir, our music director, Adam Thomé, prepares the music and directs the choir and congregation for each service.
    • Hospitality – Helping organize, set up, host, or take down for social events at the parish. Depending on your interests this may simply be lending a hand after a Mass for donuts on a Sunday morning or helping plan a parish event.All of these are necessary parts of our parish community. They not only provide a means of serving one another but also a means to get to know each other.

Some additional information and details are also available in our yearly directory. If you feel called or are interested in any of these please contact me by phone, email, or after Mass. You aren’t making a lifelong commitment just asking about it, most are scheduled about once a month. But it does help our parish, and who knows, it may be something that can change your life.

Fr. Nick

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 3, 2018


I just got back from a bike ride this evening and it started out really well. I got all green lights on my way out of Clayton. That almost never happens. I’m not going to classify it as a miracle or anything (I did get a few red lights later) but I think we need to be aware of these things and appreciate them when they happen for a few reasons. The first one being that we seem to get upset about it pretty quickly when they are all red lights, but the more important one is that hopefully that chance occurrence of the green lights may put me in the mood where I can appreciate some of the real blessings occurring.

First is just the incredible bodies that God has given us. I don’t mean anyone with special talents or gifts, but just the normal bodies that most of us have if we are not suffering from any particular ailment or disease at the time. The fact that we can move, think, feel, experience so many things with our bodies that God gave us. Sometimes we might be sick or have a limitation in some manner that I wouldn’t attribute directly as a curse by God any more than I would consider that God particularly intended that I should be ambidextrous (which I’m not) as a blessing. I don’t think God micromanages that often. I think he has given us a lot of freedom to have meaning in our lives. But I think the basic set up we have and the variety that can occur was intentional.

Another thing to be grateful for is just the world around us. Having our bodies without an environment would be pretty weird, and probably useless. But God gave us the world, and this night it happened to be a beautiful evening, a little cooler than the last weekend and the clouds just clearing up as I got out for a ride.

But one of the biggest gifts I think God wants us to be aware of and grateful for is each other. Yes, if there weren’t the other people around I wouldn’t have to worry about red or green lights and could just cruise along without even considering something like traffic. But I really don’t think I would have that many roads if I was here just by myself. The roads, the traffic lights, the people who built my bike, I could go on forever with all the people involved in my bike ride (but I promise I won’t). Even when we do something that is somewhat solitary we hopefully are aware of all the others who have helped make that possible.

So I might not be one to thank God specifically for the green lights (just as I don’t think he has a favorite baseball team), but I think we have plenty of opportunities to thank God for so much that is in our lives, and hopefully someone is thanking God for us.

Fr. Nick