St. Joseph Catholic Church

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

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – September 24, 2017


A few things to say today. First, thank you everyone who helped with the 175th Anniversary celebration last weekend, especially Betsy Barbieri and Cheryl Verde who organized all the efforts. From the Mass to the last song by the band all went well and there was fellowship and joy throughout the evening. And after the last song a great parish spirit was shown by those cleaning up as many helped out and got it done in about 45 minutes. Looking forward to 200.

And on a related note regarding the future of the parish, RCIA has started again. We meet Tuesday evenings at 7pm in the Centennial Room (under the church). Consider if you know someone who may be open to this invitation at this time, or come yourself some evening, we can all learn and grow in our faith.

Now for my normal column. Yesterday, Saturday September 24th, was the feast day of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, or Padre Pio to his fans. He was a Capuchin priest (a type of Franciscan) born in Pietrelcina Italy in 1887. He was known for his gifts as a spiritual advisor and confessor and was sought out by many, but he gained great notoriety also for the stigmata that he suffered beginning on September 20, 1918. The stigmata was wounds on his hands, feet, and side that were the same as the wounds of Christ that wept blood. He would keep these wounds for the next 50 years until his death in 1968.

From his ordination as a priest on he was recognized for his reverence and piety when celebrating Mass. An uncle of mine, who is also a Capuchin priest, served Mass for Padre Pio once while my uncle was studying in Rome. I guess that is one reason I have a little more awareness of him then some might, but his burial site is said to have eight million pilgrims visit each year (second of such places only to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico in its number of annual visitors), so I guess I am not alone.

Numerous miraculous actions were attributed to him while living, and others continue since his death. He was canonized by John Paul II on June 16, 2002 when he stated about Padre Pio, “Prayer and charity – this is the most concrete synthesis of Padre Pio’s teachings.” Not a bad model for all of us.

Fr. Nick


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – September 17, 2017

Happy Anniversary,

175 years is a long time, too long for us to really relate to as most of us will be lucky to reach half of that in our lifetimes. And I think it is good to considerour faith and our parish in that type of timeframe, since it isn’t just for us as individuals, or even just for us as our current community, but a gift God has given us to treasure, to build, and to pass on to those who will come after.

Back in 2012 those of you who were here were able to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our church building. That is old enough in itself, and being a physical structure it can be easier to relate to, considering these bricks and windows have been here for so many years. But the parish is even more than

Can. 515 – 1. A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church (diocese);

175 years seems pretty stable, and yet we realize stable doesn’t mean without change. The location of our church building has changed, the borders of our parish have changed as many other parishes have broken off of us, the individuals who make up our ‘community of Christian faithful’ have changed, the environment around us has changed, even just in the years any one of us have been here we can hopefully see that we, as individuals, have changed. We need to change, since without change we cannot grow. But as we change it is important to stay rooted firmly in the truth Christ showed us, in how God created us, and to grow in the right direction. Hopefully we can see how our parish helps us to do that, and how we help our parish to do that.

That is what celebrating an anniversary is to help us to do. To remember back the traditions and things that have stayed the same, the things that are important to stay firmly rooted in. But also to look at the changes. Not just growing from our good efforts and works, but also recognizing how God helps us to grow through our mistakes, our conflicts, and our failures. Realizing our need for one another, our need for God.

As the world around us has changed so much over these last 175 years, and yet God has stayed the same, and this community has been here to help one another to live out our faith. May we continue this community, to keep it a strong place where those in the years to come will continue to find a stable place they can call their parish, and grow closer to Christ.

Fr. Nick

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – September 10, 2017


Up until a few months ago I had a Windows phone, which is as opposed to an iPhone or an Android. It was a very good phone that I had for many years but they never became very popular because they didn’t have many apps available. That was the big problem with their phones, and even though I have an Android phone now, I still haven’t downloaded many apps. But I think a look at the apps we have and which ones we use the most is a modern way for many of us to access our daily lives. Do I spend most of my time on a certain game, or maybe with news, or social media of some sort? I know for myself looking at the radar or weather apps can be one of the most common if we are expecting a storm, or I hope to get a bike ride in that evening. Checking my email and calendar are probably the most frequent uses for my phone. And I do depend on it as my alarm clock in the morning and as my GPS if I am traveling or looking for a place. But there is another app, iBreviary, which I use for prayers if I don’t have my breviary with me or even for different sacraments ifneeded. If I am in a hospital it has all the prayers for anointing of the sick. Our cell phones, especially smartphones, can be like so many other things and seem to take over our lives – or we can use them to help us live our lives.

I can also now have our parish app on my phone. For years I couldn’t, since they didn’t have an app for Windows phones, but consider if it might be a good one to have on your phone.

Just looking at St. Joseph’s parish app it actually pops open with when the next Mass will be, in case you need to know, but it has more than that. There are the standard information available like Mass Times, bulletins, Parish information and contacts, and donations (of course). If you are traveling and want to find local parishes where you are and Mass times, you can use the DiscoverMass app to use GPS or a zipcode to find local churches and their Mass times. The daily Mass readings and reflections for each day are just one touch away. There is even an online Daily Mass you can watch streamed to your phone. And I think an interesting part of it is is titled Prayers. It has a long variety of different prayers you may know, knew at one time but don’t remember anymore, or maybe some new ones for you. Not only can you lookthrough them to find different prayers from the Angelus to the Guardian Angel Prayer to the Rosary, but you can also schedule them to remind you to pray them at certain times on certain days of the week or on every day.

It is easy to complain about things taking over our lives, but we need to recognize that we have control over how we use many things if we choose to exercise that control.

Fr. Nick