St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – July 14, 2019

Treasures From Our Tradition

On a summer day, with the windows open, we may hear the sound of church bells. Bells seem to have come into church life in Irish monasteries around the seventh century, and spread around the Christian world by Irish monks on missionary journeys. By the eighth century, bells were standard equipment in even small parish churches. An ancient ceremony, once called the baptism of the bells, recognizes that the church bell has a voice to call people to awareness and summon them to worship, and even bestows a name on the bell.

In a world without clocks or watches, the bell had an indispensable role. For calling monks in from the fields for prayer, or alerting far-flung visitors, the bell’s voice was enhanced by hoisting it high into a tower. Soon it was learned that the sound of several bells clanging together in harmony imparted a sense of joy to great celebrations, and bell towers prospered, some chock full of bells. Different combinations of rings could indicate a death, a Mass, a wedding, a fast day, the curfew at the end of day, and the Angelus. Before electricity, bell-ringing was hard work indeed: the biggest bell in the Catholic world, in Cologne, Germany, weighs twenty-seven tons! There’s no substitute for the resonant roar of a mighty bell; electric chimes are not eligible for blessing!

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

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Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – July 7, 2019

Dear friends in Christ,

I take this opportunity to thank everyone who was able to be present for my installation as Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish last weekend. In particular, I thank Bishop Mark Rivituso, Father Mike Donald, and Deacon Del Leonardo for their presence, for all those who were involved in helping to make it a prayerful celebration, and for all those who helped with the reception.

In the Gospel reading for our Mass today, we reflect upon the Lord Jesus having commissioned His disciples to go forth and announce the Good News to all people. By our faith and Baptism we ourselves are entrusted with the very same task as the early disciples and this is the communication of our faith to others.

Even though we are in the midst of the season of summer which is often a special time for rest and relaxation, we know that there is no vacation from our commitment to Christ. For this reason, while we take time to recreate perhaps we can reflect upon our relationship with the Lord Jesus and how much we can recommit ourselves to Him in our lives first by our prayer and then by our action. Along with this, let us redouble our efforts at witnessing to the Gospel. After all, as Pope Saint Paul VI once said, “modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Address to the Members of the Consilium de Laicis, October 2, 1974).

Blessings to you in this month of July.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 30, 2019

Dear friends in Christ,

From the outset I take this opportunity to thank you to all who were able to be at the Mass and the reception for Father Nicholas Kastenholz in gratitude for his six years of pastoral ministry to the Parish. Let us pray for him as he takes up his new pastoral responsibilities at Assumption Parish in O’Fallon, one of the largest parishes with almost 10,000 parishioners.

This weekend we warmly welcome Bishop Mark Rivituso who is here to celebrate the 5:00 pm Mass this Saturday and to install me as Pastor. As a successor to the college of the Apostles, Bishop Rivituso is a visible link both to our Holy Father Pope Francis and our Apostolic Faith.

We also warmly welcome Father Michael Donald as Senior Associate Pastor. Father Mike comes to us from Saint Monica Parish in Creve Coeur where he served for twelve years. Father has been a priest for forty-seven years and so brings a great deal of experience and wisdom.

This Thursday, July 4, we celebrate Independence Day and give thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our country. As in the past there will be one Mass that day which will be at 9:00 am. Please join us in praying for the well-being of all who live in our country.

Reflecting upon this upcoming celebration, perhaps we can join our prayer to that of George Washington who, before his departure as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and some time before he became our first President, publicly prayed “that God would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.”

Blessings to the Parish family of Saint Joseph.

Father Bené