St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 19, 2019

Hello,

Next week we will be celebrating the ordination of seven new priests for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It was 25 years ago that Fr. Bené was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese and we will celebrate that anniversary with him this weekend. I specified that these ordinations are for the Archdiocese because it is not unusual for someone to ask at times what religious order I belong to and I respond to them that I don’t belong to any order, I am a diocesan priest.

Religious orders, like the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Dominicans, or the Benedictines, are ordained for their order and to serve the Church in the way that order has determined. They vow obedience to their religious superiors. This service may be particularly for the poor, in mission territories, in education, or many other ways. A diocesan priest is ordained to serve the people of that diocese, and specifically promises obedience to the bishop of that diocese and to his successors. This most often results in a diocesan priest serving at a parish, or sometimes in diocesan offices, like Fr. Bené and I have been doing.

In Fr. Bené’s 25 years as a priest for the Archdiocese he has not only served at parishes here in the archdiocese, and in the diocesan office at the Tribunal, but he has also served outside of our diocese. He served at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations in New York and at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican. Sometimes the archbishop asks priests to serve the universal Church in these special assignments that have them living outside of our archdiocese. After all, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and most of our recent popes were diocesan priests.

The seven priests being ordained this coming week are being ordained to serve us here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. As they had the listings in the Archdiocesan newspaper last week, the Review, saying where priests are being moved throughout the archdiocese, so in two weeks they will list the parishes where the newly ordained are going to be assigned to serve. In the future they may have ideas of what they will do and where they will go, most likely to other parishes throughout the archdiocese as they have been ordained to serve here, but they don’t know where the archbishop will ask them to go now, or in the future.

As we celebrate Fr. Bené’s 25th Anniversary I thank him for the many ways he has responded to serve our Archdiocese and the Church, and pray for his continued service, particularly here at St. Joseph’s.

Peace,
Fr. Nick

Advertisements


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 12, 2019

Hello,

I received a letter from the archbishop last Wednesday telling me that I am moving. As of June 25th I will be leaving St. Joseph’s as well as my position as Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese to be pastor at Assumption Parish in O’Fallon. Fr. Bené will become pastor here at St. Joseph’s as well as assuming my job as Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese. Fr. Michael Donald will be the new Senior Associate Pastor, he is coming here from St. Monica’s parish in Creve Coeur.

It has been six years since I moved here from Our Lady of Lourdes in University City, so I have been here a while already and in the neighborhood even longer. I was desiring to leave my position as Judicial Vicar as I have been on the Tribunal for 11 years now and hoping to instead be full-time at a parish. Unfortunately I knew that I would also most likely be moved from St. Joseph’s to a larger parish if this happened. The number of Catholics registered in Assumption Parish is 9885, so it is a little bit larger than ours.

Six years is a significant amount of time. I remember the first Epiphany Open House we had in the rectory that happened to coincide with a snowstorm, it was nice that no one at Mass had anywhere else to go after Mass since everything was closed, but I think by 11 am less than 20 people made it to Mass. We went through a season with tension and national news vans camped out down the street as they daily covered the Ferguson hearings after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and police preparing for riots, which we were fortunate not to have in Clayton, when a decision was given. Construction has been continuous with Centene, apartments, and the library across the street which I really don’t think will reopen until after I’m gone.

The two biggest events for me were the deaths of Tom Taylor, our music director for many years, and of Fr. Tom Schaab, our associate pastor for many years. Both integral parts of the parish along with many other parishioners that have died over these years, but we were also able to celebrate their funerals, and the eternal life that God offers us, that they and we are truly made for. I think I only appreciate more appropriately the blessings they were for me after they have gone, but it has also helped me to recognize the blessings you are for me today.

Peace,
Fr. Nick


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 5, 2019

Hello,

We haven’t celebrated many Saint’s days over the last few weeks, especially with it being Holy Week and the Octave of Easter, but this week we have plenty of them. The one that got my attention isn’t one of the biggest names though, it was Pius V. He was Pope from 1566-1572 and is most remembered for incorporating the reforms of the Church from the Council of Trent, and specifically the Roman Missal for the celebration of Mass in 1570 that would set the standard for over 400 years up to Vatican II in the 1960’s.

When some look at the Tridentine Rite that continued through Vatican II they consider that it was all focused on the priest and they consider that it promotes clericalism, but looking at Pius V we realize at the time it was very different. Before he would promote the new standardized Roman Missal, he would first strive to reform the clergy. To make them more faithful, humble, and spiritually motivated. The greatly regimented ritual would strive to unite the Church against the divisions of the Reformation and also any laxity or abuses of the clergy, addressing the great concerns of the time. That was over 400 years ago, and while the Mass is still the same in the fundamentals our regulations have changed to address our more current concerns. At any time we realize the importance this recognizes in our central sacrament of the Eucharist.

This weekend that is particularly notable as we share this sacrament for the first time with our 2nd graders who will receive their First Communion. As the world was very different when we or maybe our parents received their First Communion so are some of our regulations. I remember my father telling me about the fasting rules required when he received his First Communion and if anyone stopped for a drink at the water fountain on the way to church they couldn’t receive that day. Today we have at least one child most years who has a gluten concern and a low gluten host is required for them to receive the Eucharist. We address the concerns of our days in maintaining the reverence and honor we can while recognizing it can never be truly appropriate for what we are receiving, and yet also realizing a need we have that can never be met except in the Eucharist.

As we remember Pius V, as we remember our First Communions, and as we celebrate those who will receive theirs today, may we continue to strive to allow it to unite us with Christ, and with all throughout the Church.

Peace,
Fr. Nick