St. Joseph Catholic Church, Clayton MO

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

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 24, 2018


Well I went for a bike ride again this evening. Something I enjoy and good exercise, but tonight I also had to think about the weather. It was obvious from the radar that some heavy rain was going to be going through this evening and the only question was could I get my bike ride in before the rain? I can tell you that I tried. And I can tell you that the answer is no, I got caught in a complete downpour.

The reason I mention this is because we have to take risks in all parts of our lives, including our spiritual lives. In pretty much every case when you love someone you are taking the risk of being rejected or taken advantage of. In trying to help someone we realize that in some cases we may be taken advantage of (I just received an e-mail asking that I send an iTunes card to someone for their sick niece – I am pretty sure it is a scam) and in other cases when we are trying to help someone we can actually hurt them by enabling them in a harmful way. We need to be careful, and realize that risks are involved in everything, but also realize what are the true things to be worried about when considering our risks?

Going out for the bike ride of course I was worried about it raining. But why does that matter? The first thing, of course, is that I would get wet. But actually once I was wet the rain felt kind of nice, I wasn’t getting any wetter and it was a lot cooler than things were the last few days. The real risks were in falling or getting hit. Of course I don’t have as much control on the wet pavement, especially when the water is running over an inch deep in some areas and I can’t even see what is under it. My brakes don’t work very well and there is always the fact that I can’t see as well either. And none of that even considers the risk of being hit by the cars who also can’t see as well and aren’t exactly expecting a bicycle out in the rainstorm. Or that a car may only see me at the last minute and swerve out of the way putting himself in danger. And the smaller risks outside of getting hit is the fact that rain isn’t necessarily good for my bike, so I will have to consider lubricating my bike chain and looking over the cables and other parts that might be affected by the water.

I mention those things because we need to consider the risks and the real concerns in other things in our lives too. Like getting wet in the rain really isn’t a concern in itself, but we can build it up to be one, how worried do we get about risking what others might think about us and our pride in relation to what is really important? Are we satisfied if someone asked for money and we gave them some because we were generous, yet did we even consider if this is really what is good for them? Could it lead them to sin or other harm? Groups like the St. Vincent de Paul Society take the time to try and understand a person’s real needs. And is my gift really just from all of the surplus in my life, or I do I really have to forego something I care about? When I pray do I just consider what time this might take? Do I hope God will give me what I ask for? Or am I willing to hear what God might ask of me? There are risks in all parts of our lives, we need to be aware of and take the right ones.

Fr. Nick


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 17, 2018

Happy Father’s Day,

While Mother’s Day has its origins going back to Ancient Greece and Rome, and in the United States going back to the Civil War, Father’s Day doesn’t have as long of a histo- ry. One person credited with forming Father’s Day in an official way, and who would be the primary influence to it first being declared a state holiday in the state of Washington in 1910, was Sonora Smart Dodd. She had been raised with her five siblings by a single father and wanted a day, like Mother’s Day, to honor him. While some other states and other local celebrations would form in the early 1900’s, and by the end of World War II it was a standard American practice, it would not become a federal holiday until 1972. (Mother’s day became a federal holiday in 1914.)

So why and how do we celebrate Father’s Day? The fact that it is a federal holiday doesn’t really make much difference to most of us since, like Mother’s Day, it is on a Sunday and that doesn’t affect the banks, the mail, or most or our work weeks. Hope- fully it is a time to be particularly aware of all that our fathers have done for us and to give special thanks and recognition for this. In the Catholic Church there has been a history of this in connection with the feast of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. We real- ize the critical role he played in raising Jesus, and many of the characteristics we often associate with the role of a father: protector, provider, and leader. I think it is particu- larly important that in these roles a father also shows his faith to his children, recogniz- ing that in his position of authority it is most important to recognize a supreme authori- ty and demonstrate their faith and their reliance upon God.

Jesus even taught us to refer to God as our Father, but also gives us an image of God the Father in the story of the prodigal son. The father who loves us no matter what, whether we are the faithful son who listens and obeys or the rebellious one who is only concerned with his inheritance. I hope all fathers see this as a model of how they are to live out this relationship, and all of us, their children, are grateful for all our fathers have done for us. A special blessing we will have for all fathers at Mass this weekend follows:
God our Father,

In your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men,
That they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters,
May honor them always
With a spirit of profound respect.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Thank you for all the fathers who have helped us learn what it means to love.

Fr. Nick

Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 10, 2018


Over the last few months a few of our different ministers have had to stop for various reasons, so I thought it was a good opportunity to invite some new people to participate in different ways in the parish. Most of them are only scheduled once a month or you could just be on call as a substitute (which we need some of over the summer always).

    • Eucharistic Ministers (Extraordinary minister of the Eucharist) – Most of these serve at Mass to assist the priest and deacon (Ordinary ministers of the Eucharist) to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ to the congregation. Some may also bring Communion to the homebound.
    • Lector – This group assist at Mass by reading from Scripture, reading the petitions and announcements. They should have prepared the readings before coming to Sunday Mass and arrive a few minutes early to review the petitions and other materials before the service begins.
    • Server – While most of these for our Sunday Masses are children ranging from 5th grade up through seniors in high school, adults normally serve at our weekday Masses. This is an important role in assisting the priest and also leading the congregation in our services.
    • Altar Society – These volunteers fulfill two different roles at our parish. Some of them meet weekly in doing light dusting and cleaning up in the church, also maintaining the candles and holy water fonts as well as the decorations and flowers in the church, meeting weekly on Friday mornings at 9am. The other role is those who wash and iron our purificators, the linens used when distributing the Precious Blood at Mass. These are done twice a week and most are scheduled for once a month to pick up and then drop off the linens.
    • Cantor / Choir – Our music ministry is a means to help us give praise and glory to God, leading the congregation in our sung prayer. Singing individually, or in choir, our music director, Adam Thomé, prepares the music and directs the choir and congregation for each service.
    • Hospitality – Helping organize, set up, host, or take down for social events at the parish. Depending on your interests this may simply be lending a hand after a Mass for donuts on a Sunday morning or helping plan a parish event.All of these are necessary parts of our parish community. They not only provide a means of serving one another but also a means to get to know each other.

Some additional information and details are also available in our yearly directory. If you feel called or are interested in any of these please contact me by phone, email, or after Mass. You aren’t making a lifelong commitment just asking about it, most are scheduled about once a month. But it does help our parish, and who knows, it may be something that can change your life.

Fr. Nick