St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – February 16, 2020

The Chair of St. Peter
February 22

In brushing up for “Catholic Jeopardy,” it might help to know that there is only one feast on the calendar for a thing, rather than a person or mystery. It’s for a chair: Saint Peter’s chair in fact after the Resurrection, there can be no doubt that the disciples reserved a special place for Simon Peter in the upper room. Later, Peter became the bishop of Antioch in today’s Syria, the place where we were first called Christians. From there, he went to Rome, the center of the Empire, where it is said that Peter sat in a chair in the house of Priscilla and Aquila to instruct his flock. Jesus, in entrusting the keys of the Kingdom to Peter and his successors, entrusted his compassion and mercy to them, and charged them with pointing to the Kingdom of God. Compassion and mercy are to resonate through their teaching.

Since the ancient sign of a teacher is the chair (“disciple” literally means one who sits at the feet of a teacher), Peter’s chair has long been treasured. Today there is a symbolic shrine of Peter’s chair above the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This monument is the last work of Bernini, a huge bronze throne supported by four doctors of the Church: Augustine and Ambrose from the Western Church, and Chrysostom and Athanasius from the East. High above it is the alabaster window of the descent of the Holy Spirit.

~Rev. James Field, Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – February 9, 2020

What is Catholic Social Teaching?

This is the first in a series of brief discussions about Catholic Social Teaching that we will be sharing with you in the bulletin from time to time.

Catholic social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society shared through various papal, conciliar and episcopal documents. It is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice.

The reason we call these teachings “social” is because we, who are made in God’s image, share a communal, social nature. Therefore, we are called to reach out and to build relationships of love and justice. Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor.

Excerpted from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website. Learn more at

Please join the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as we learn more about Catholic Social Teaching through our Secondo Speakers Series the third Saturday of each month following the 5:00 Mass. Look for the announcement of speakers in the bulletin. Wine and cheese will be provided, and time for discussion and socializing.

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – February 2, 2020

Mass with the Anointing of the Sick

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be celebrated during the 8:00 a.m.Mass on Saturday, February 8. This is in anticipation of the annual World Day of the Sick which is celebrated on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

In his Message for the upcoming World Day of the Sick, our Holy Father Pope Francis tells us that “Jesus does not make demands of those who endure situations of frailty, suffering and weakness, but offers his mercy and his comforting presence. He looks upon a wounded humanity with eyes that gaze into the heart of each person. That gaze is not one of indifference; rather, it embraces people in their entirety, each person in his or her health condition, discarding no one, but rather inviting everyone to share in his life and to experience his tender love”.

On this occasion let us pray for those who will be receiving the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, that they will experience the healing of Christ; for all healthcare workers, especially physicians, nurses, medical and administrative professionals, assistants and volunteers, that they always strive to promote the dignity and life of each person; and for those who have no access to medical care because they live in poverty, that healthcare institutions and governmental leaders throughout the world will cooperate in ensuring that everyone has access to suitable treatments for preserving and restoring their health.

In Christ,
Father Bené