St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – November 21, 2021

Dear friends,

This Sunday, November 21, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King and so calls to mind the lordship of the Jesus in our lives and over the whole universe. As we celebrate this Solemnity, let us thank the Lord God for giving us His Son who brings us salvation.

This coming Thursday, November 25, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day and so give thanks to God for all the blessings that He has bestowed upon us. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks to God for our faith and ask the Lord Jesus to bless our
families and all our loved ones. We also pray for all those who are suffering at the present time and all those who experience loneliness around the holidays. We ask God to be with them in a special way, that they will experience His abiding presence in their lives.

Next Sunday, November 28, the Church begins the liturgical season of Advent and so invites us to draw closer to the Lord Jesus who came among us, who is with us now, and who will one day return in glory. As we make our way through these holy days, let us draw closer to the Lord Jesus who invites us to share more fully in the life that He came to bring us by His Birth.

In Christ,
Father Bené

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – November 14, 2021

“When [St. Margaret of Scotland] spoke, her conversation was with the salt of wisdom. When she was silent, her silence was filled with good thoughts. So thoroughly did her outward bearing correspond with the staidness of her character that it seemed as if she has been born the pattern of a virtuous life”

~Turgot, St. Margaret’s confessor

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – November 7, 2021

The Poor

As Christians, we hear a lot about the witness and service that we are called to render to the poor among us. However, the poor also have a witness and a service to render to us. Like the actions of the widow in today’s Gospel, the openness and generosity of many of those who are poor, even in the midst of their own poverty, bear witness to the fact that, ultimately, we can depend only on God. Giving one’s all witnesses that God will give all to anyone who trusts in divine goodness.

The poor or disadvantaged also serve. They serve judgment on our individual and corporate ways of acting. If people are sleeping in our streets, that is a judgment on our priorities regarding others. At the same time, the poor can act as mediators of salvation. When they care for others they can redeem our indifference and insensibility, lead us to care as well, and save us from ourselves.

© J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – October 31, 2021

Dear friends,

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints on Monday, November 1 and the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, traditionally known as All Souls’ Day, on Tuesday, November 2.

In the liturgical celebration of All Saints, we call to mind all the saints of the Church, both those named and those unnamed, we reflect upon the witness of their lives, and we ask them to pray for us that we might imitate them in their dedication to Christ.

The following day, in the liturgical celebration of All Souls’ Day, we call to mind all those who have gone before us in faith, including our loved ones, and we pray to the Lord God that they will come to share in the life that He has prepared for all those who believe.

One of the time honored practices for the faithful during the month of November is visiting cemeteries and praying there for those who have died: “An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the 1st to the 8th of November; on other days of the year it is partial” (Enchiridion of Indulgences, 13).

Another time honored practice is visiting a church on All Souls’ Day and praying the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed: “A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who on the day dedicated to the Commemoration of all the faithful departed piously visit a church, a public oratory or — for those entitled to use it — a semipublic oratory” (ibid., 67).

As we make our way through this coming month, let us pray for all those who have gone before us in faith, especially our loved ones as well as all those of this Parish, that they will share forever in the life of Christ.

In Christ,
Father Bené

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – October 24, 2021

Recognizing Jesus

The star of today’s Gospel is a panhandler. Bartimaeus is blind, yes, but he is probably also homeless and filthy, a real nuisance to respectable citizens. Even so, it is Bartimaeus who recognizes Jesus as the Messiah, places all his faith in him, throws aside everything he has (his cloak), begs him for mercy, receives new vision, and follows Jesus on the way to suffering and death in Jerusalem. How desperate will we have to get before we can do the same?

© J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – October 17, 2021

The Humanity of Jesus Christ

All three readings today support—each in its own way, of course—a reflection on the humanity of Jesus Christ and how that humanity played a key role in the drama of our salvation. Although not chosen specifically to coordinate with the other two readings, today’s second reading does in fact carry forward the theme of Christ’s humanity in a remarkable way. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews highlights the solidarity that exists between Jesus and us, precisely because in his human na-ture Jesus has known the same sufferings and testing that are our own experience. Because he can “sympathize with our weaknesses,” we can “approach the throne of grace to receive mercy.” For the author of Hebrews, the humanity of Jesus was an essential requirement for his redemptive death, as well as an invitation to us to find in Jesus someone with whom we can identify in our daily struggles.

© J. S. Paluch Co

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – October 10, 2021


In today’s readings, we discover that material wealth alone does not keep us from discipleship. We will see that there are other gifts more important than material wealth, but even so, it is how we use our gifts that matters most.

Today’s scriptures point to the value of the gifts of wisdom, trusting in God, and letting our actions reflect the love of God from within. It is not gold that causes us to fall, but rather the desire for gold above all other things. From the readings in Wisdom and Hebrews, we find the source of God’s gifts in our lives. Wisdom is more valuable than worldly possessions. In Hebrews, we are challenged to look at our own values and admit honestly what controls our lives.

© J. S. Paluch Co

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – October 3, 2021

Dear friends,

Every year in the Spring and Fall, a group of dedicated men and women have come together to volunteer to help clean up the grounds and throughout the summer some have stepped forward to regularly water the plants and flowers.

Recently, Tim O’Connor, who regularly helps with the parish grounds, came up with the idea of the parish beginning a Saint Joseph Garden Club to expand upon this practice in which all are welcome and invited to participate. The commitment is only to show up at least once to be a part of the Club, but of course it would be great if you could help out even more.

After the leaves fall, the Fall Cleanup will again be held which will likely be in November. In the meantime, if you are inter- ested in helping out in any way regarding the parish grounds
now or in the future please feel free to contact Tim O’Connor at 314-805-7007.

As an aside, the photo of the apples pictured here are from the Liberty Apple tree that was planted on the east side of the parish grounds this past May. The oth- er tree growing near it is a Winesap that was planted at the same time.

In Christ, Father Bené

P.S. Please remember the Wine & Cheese Reception, Coffee & Doughnuts, and the special Blessing of Animals, all of which will be taking place next weekend.

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – September 26, 2021

Proclaim the Wonder of God

The gift of the Spirit is given freely, not according to human expectations, but according to the generosity of God. Joshua wants Moses to stop Eldad and Medad from prophesying in the camp, when they were not with the others as the spirit was bestowed on them. Moses, so close to God’s mind in the matter, wishes everyone could possess the spirit of God and proclaim it to the nations.

Psalm 19 celebrates the perfection of God’s law, and how it brings joy and delight. It is better than the finest gold or the sweetest honey. Moreover, God gives the wisdom of the prophets to everyone, especially the simple and lowly ones, even to children. It is the “little ones” who proclaim the wonder of God to all.

© J. S. Paluch Co.

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – September 19, 2021

Dear friends,

This past Sunday was the first day of the 2021-2022 school year for the Saint Joseph Parish School of Religion. There are approximately 100 students in the Program which serves our parish and surrounding parishes. May I kindly ask for your prayer to the Holy Spirit for the students and their teachers that this will again be a successful school year.

You may have noticed that excavation work was taking place on the front lawn of the rectory this past week. Unfortunately over the past many years, roots of the large oak tree there had grown into the drainage system to such an extent that it became necessary for a drain clean-out to be created. This will allow access to prevent blockage which had in the past given rise to the backup of rainwater and sewage in the parish hall beneath the church. You may also have noticed that slate tile was replaced on the south side of the church roof a few weeks ago. This was done to repair the damage sustained by the roof from the powerful storm with high winds that occurred in August. We rely on your generosity in the weekly collection to help maintain the parish buildings and grounds.

You may have noticed the statue of Saint Francis of Assisi that is now located at the east entrance to the parking lot. This statue came from the Vision of Peace Hermitages in Pevely, Missouri, to whom we are grateful. Saint Francis is the patron against dying alone, of merchants, needle workers, animals, peace, ecology, and against fire, and his feast day is October 4. For this reason, a Blessing o f Animals will be celebrated on Sunday, October 10, at 9:30 a.m. in the parish rectory courtyard next to the school. Please feel free to bring your pet for this special blessing.

Looking ahead, a Wine & Cheese Reception will be held in the rectory courtyard following the 4:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, October 9. All are invited and welcome. I have been told that in the past this event was met with great success. Also, Doughnuts & Coffee will be held following the 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. Masses on Sunday, October 10. Please see join fellow parishioners and guests for fellowship and please see the parish bulletin for further details regarding these upcoming events.

In Christ,
Father Bené