St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – April 28, 2019

Happy Easter,

Yes, last Sunday was Easter, but today we complete the Octave of Easter and we still have the majority of the Easter Season until we get to Pentecost. While we usually just talk of 40 days of Lent and preparation, we have 50 days of Easter and celebration. But I think we can probably do a little better than just celebrating over all of this time.

As Lent is traditionally seen as a sign of penance and often giving something up, hopefully overcoming a bad habit or a vice that we might have, maybe in these 50 days of Easter we can work on a good habit or a virtue. As Easter comes with the Spring and the dramatic new life of bunnies hopping around your yard (I won’t state whether that is a good or bad thing) and flowers blooming and trees budding, we realize that the ordinary time of the year is a time for growth, but this Easter Season can be a time for an especially graphic and joyful growth.

Consider Jesus as he met and talked with the two men on the road to Emmaus, they knew everything that had happened in Jerusalem, and yet didn’t understand or appreciate what really happened and what it meant for them. The men didn’t even realize they were with Jesus until the end when they broke bread with Him, but then they couldn’t contain themselves and they also had to share that joy with others.

Maybe during this Easter Season we can be like the two on the road to Emmaus. It isn’t that we need additional gifts really, or even to develop them, as much as we need to recognize and appreciate all that He has already given us. Then, once we do recognize them for what they are can we show the joy of knowing it. Let Jesus show us the true meaning of all he has given us and be open to more fully understand what this means. Then once we realize this we truly celebrate when we share the joy of recognizing Christ’s gifts with one another.

Fr. Nick


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – April 21, 2019

Happy Easter,

As we celebrate the new life and joy of Easter that Christ offers through His Resurrection may we always know that God is with us. That whether it be a time of celebration or in the challenges, temptations, and even sins of tomorrow we know that He is with us, always seeking to bring us to life. So let us be open to the Easter Blessing that concludes our Mass on this Easter day:

May almighty God bless you
through today’s Easter Solemnity
and, in His compassion,
defend you from every assault of sin.
And may He, who restores you to eternal life
in the Resurrection of His Only Begotten,
endow you with the prize of immortality.
Now that the days of the Lord’s Passion have drawn to a close,
may you who celebrate the gladness of the Paschal Feast
come with Christ’s help , and exulting in spirit,
to those feasts that are celebrated in eternal joy.

Peace and Joy,
Fr. Nick

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


This week we celebrate Palm Sunday and begin Holy Week. I invite and encourage all of you to come to participate in our Triduum Services on Holy Thursday at 7 pm, Good Friday at noon or 7 pm and on Holy Saturday at 8 pm. Both today and on Good Friday we will hear the Gospels of the Passion and crucifixion of Christ. A prayer and hymn that is often associated with this, and in particular with the Stations of the Cross, is the Stabat Mater.

First written in the 13th century it is believed to be authored by either a Franciscan named Jacopone da Todi, or Pope Innocent III, or possibly various others. Through the centuries it has been given numerous musical settings by various composers and numerous translations of the Latin text also exist. The first line, “Stabat Mater dolorosa”, translates “the sorrowful mother stood”, is the name and theme of the prayer, of Mary standing at the foot of the cross. As it has been for many for centuries, maybe just reflecting on the prayer will help us realize both Mary and Christ’s love for us, and how we may unite our sorrow and love with theirs.

Stabat Mater

Mother bowed with grief appalling
must thou watch, with tears slow falling,
on the cross Thy dying son!

Through my heart, thus sorrow riven,
must that cruel sword be driven,
as foretold – O Holy One!

Oh, how mournful and oppressed
was that Mother ever-blessed,
Mother of the Spotless One:

She, whose grieving was perceiving,
contemplating, unabating,
all the anguish of her Son!

Is there any, tears withholding,
Christ’s dear Mother thus beholding,
in woe – like no other woe!

Who that would not grief be feeling
for that Holy Mother kneeling
what suffering was ever so?

For the sins of every nation
she beheld his tribulation,
given to scourgers for a prey:

Saw her Jesus foully taken,
languishing, by all forsaken,
when his spirit passed away.

Love’s sweet fountain, Mother tender,
haste this hard heart, soft to render,
make me sharer in Thy pain.

Fire me now with zeal so glowing,
love so rich to Jesus, flowing,
that I favor may obtain.

Holy Mother, I implore Thee,
crucify this heart before Thee,
guilty it is verily!

Hate, misprision, scorn, derision,
thirst assailing, failing vision,
railing, ailing, deal to me.

In Thy keeping, watching, weeping,
by the cross may I unsleeping
live and sorrow for his sake.

Close to Jesus, with Thee kneeling,
all Thy dolours with Thee feeling,
oh grant this – the prayer I make.

Maid immaculate, excelling,
peerless one, in heaven high dwelling,
make me truly mourn with Thee.

Make me sighing hear Him dying,
ever newly vivifying
the anguish He bore for me.

With the same scar lacerated,
by the cross enfired, elated,
wrought by love to ecstasy!

Thus inspired and affected
let me, Virgin, be protected
when sounds forth the call for me!

May his sacred cross defend me,
he who died there so befriend me,
that His pardon shall suffice.

When this earthly frame is riven,
grant that to my soul is given
all the joys of Paradise!

Fr. Nick