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 4, 2021

Dear friends,

I am pleased to inform you that the Archbishop has appointed Deacon John J.Stoverink to serve here at Saint Joseph Parish. He was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 1993. He served first at Saint Ambrose Parish for twenty-two years and then at the Cathedral Basilica for six years. Here, Deacon John plans to become involved in pastoral care for the sick and homebound, in being present to the students and catechists at the Saint Joseph Parish School of Religion, and in assisting in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. Deacon John has been married to his wife, Joanna, for thirty-eight years. They met each other through the Archdiocese Catholic Singles program. Deacon John is recently retired after forty years in information technology, during which time he first served as chief information officer for the City of Saint Louis and later managed information technology security and operations at Saint Louis Lambert International Airport. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from The Citadel and Master of Arts degrees in business and information technology from Webster University. May I kindly ask that you join me in welcoming Deacon John and his wife. Please know that Deacon Del Leonardo, who has faithfully served at the Parish for many years now, will continue in his service as Senior Deacon here and in his chaplaincy to the Filipino community.

This weekend on the 4th of July, we commemorate Independence Day and so call to mind the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1776. Undoubtedly, the most important words in this pronouncement are that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In giving thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our country, let us pray that her people will continue to advance in the protection and promotion of the right to life of all persons, from conception to natural death. In this regard, we recall the words of our Holy Father Pope Francis who said in his address to the joint session of the United States Congress, “A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to ‘dream’ of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton” (September 24, 2015).

You may have noticed that the altar at church has received a new look. The previous candleholders on the sides of the altar have been replaced with the candleholders that were near the Crucifixion scene. Recently I learned that the candleholders that were on the sides of the altar are of aluminum and had been used at the catafalque in Requiem Masses many years ago. Given that the altar candleholders near the Crucifixion scene are to be used on the altar and are of fine quality, they have been restored and are now being used at the altar.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 27, 2021

Jesus’ Example of Helping Others

In today’s second reading Paul offers a wonderful argument to his converts at Corinth for seeking to help those in need. He is dealing with a practical problem, arranging a collection for the poor of the church of Jerusalem; but as he often does, he develops an important teaching about Jesus to make his point.

After asking that they show their faith by generous gifts, he reminds them of the “gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). In the Incarnation our Lord assumed our human nature, certainly becoming poor for one who is God. The ultimate gracious act of this poverty was going to the cross with all its terrible sufferings. By this act of poverty we definitely become rich. Now our sins can be forgiven; we can share in the very life of God through the sacraments; we can attain eternal salvation!

© J. S. Paluch Co


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 20, 2021

Dear friends,

This Sunday, on the first day of summer, we celebrate Father’s Day and so give thanks to God for the gift of fatherhood.

We know that the supreme model of fatherhood is God our heavenly Father. God is love and as Saint John the Evangelist tells us, “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins” (I John 4:10). God always provides for us, He always invites us to share in His life, and He promises us eternal life with Him forever.

We also know that our saintly model of fatherhood is found in Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Guardian of the Redeemer. Joseph was the righteous man who followed the will of the Lord in his life. We see this quite clearly in him having taken Mary as his wife, at the Birth of the Christ Child, at the flight into Egypt, at home in Nazareth, and in his happy death.

On this Sunday, we pray for all fathers, that God our heavenly Father will abundantly bless them, and that, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, they will be strengthened in their unique vocation as husband and father.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 13, 2021

God’s Time

We either pay attention to or ignore “clock time” as we play in the summer sun and note the earth’s tilt and the lengthening days. We live by time. We reckon time in seconds and minutes and hours, or we use broader chunks like suppertime and summertime.

God keeps another sort of time. God speaks to us of “saving time,” that is, the time of salvation. This sense of time is called kairos, and this time is always now, always present and available, always revealing, often surprising.

This Sunday’s readings alert us to the reality and the import of God’s time. Ezekiel and the Gospel of Mark remind us that our labor and our plotting and our planning rest in God. For God takes our smallest efforts and makes of them great works. Paul points us to the “harvest” time, urges us to be watchful for its coming, and calls us to recognize that we must spend our time pleasing God.

© J. S. Paluch Co


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – June 6, 2021

Dear friends,

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, traditionally known as Corpus Christi, and so call to mind the priceless gift that Christ gives us in the Holy Eucharist.

One my earliest memories of this feast day was when my father took me to the annual Corpus Christi procession at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Saint Louis where he had been raised. I vividly remember the faith and devotion of the people who had gathered for this public affirmation of our belief in the Body and Blood of Christ.

The earliest account of the Last Supper come to us from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians in which he wrote, “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (11:23-26).

Every time we celebrate the Mass, we participate in the one, sacrifice of Christ which He offered on the altar of the Cross. As we celebrate this feast day, we give thanks to God for having sent us His Son and in whose life we share by our reception of His Body and Blood which gives us eternal life. As Jesus said in the Scriptures, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (John 6:54-56).

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 30, 2021

Dear friends,

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and so call to mind the central mystery of our faith and the most fundamental and essential teaching of the Church.

On Sunday and on other holy days of obligation, during the Mass when we pray the Profession of Faith, we profess our belief in the one, true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We know that out of love for us all God the Father sent us His Son and His Son sent us the Holy Spirit. We know, too, that by our faith and Baptism we participate in the life of the Most Holy Trinity, in a partial way now and we hope one day forever.

As we celebrate this important feast day, let us call to mind how much the Lord God wants us to participate in His life, and further to this, let us call to mind that this entails both drawing closer to Him in our prayer and expressing our love for Him in charity toward others.

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 23, 2021

Lord, Send Out Your Spirit

In today’s responsorial psalm the Church sings out: “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.” All three readings describe how God has answered that prayer already.

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles and in the Gospel passage from John, we read of astonishing events that called cowering disciples to step out of hiding and proclaim news that would condemn them and change the world forever! In the second reading Paul’s words reach out into the future to us: “we were all given to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

It is our task to truly pray today’s psalm response. Let us together beg the Holy Spirit to renew the earth by renewing the Church, sending many more men and women to serve in its various ministries.

© J. S. Paluch Co.


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 16, 2021

Our Ministry in the Church

It is a seemingly small point, but one that is important to remember as we reflect on ministry during these days preceding the descent of the Spirit, to notice that the place of Judas among the apostles was refilled because of his betrayal, not because of his death. He was, according to Peter, “allotted a share in this ministry.” It is, then, betrayal of the mission and not merely death that leaves a void in the fabric of the church’s mission. We forget that in the minds of the other apostles, Judas still would have been numbered in the company of the Twelve when Jesus prayed the prayer we hear today: praying that, as they were sent into the world, they would be consecrated in the truth. It is difficult for us to comprehend that Jesus knelt to wash the feet of Judas. These are powerful and significant lessons for us to call to mind and keep in our hearts as we ponder the place of our particular ministry in the Church and the world, if we are remaining faithful to it, consecrated to the truth.

© J. S. Paluch Co.


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 9, 2021

Dear friends,

Last weekend First Holy Communion was celebrated here at Saint Joseph Church. We give thanks to God for the blessings that He has bestowed on all those who received the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time and ask for His continued blessings upon them. Thank you to all were involved in the sacramental celebrations of these days. They were prayerful and led us to a greater appreciation of the grace of God at work in our lives.

Last weekend you may have noticed a group of pilgrims who were at Saint Joseph Church. Over 50 men participated in the Joseph Challenge this year, a pilgrimage which makes its way from Saint Joseph Church in Manchester to the Shrine of Saint Joseph in downtown Saint Louis. After a 14 mile walk on Saturday, they stopped here where they had dinner, a holy hour with Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and thereafter enjoyed fellowship. The next morning they continued their walk for 9 more miles to the Shrine. Let us pray, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, that their commitment will bear spiritual fruit for them, their families, and the communities through which they made their way. More information on this annual pilgrimage can be found here:
www.josephchallenge.com

In Christ,
Father Bené


Notes From The Pastor’s Pen – May 2, 2021

Bearing Fruit

Few of us, even when we meditate on the image of the vine and branches, stop to really think about how God “prunes” us. For some there is the danger of thinking that we are already producing fruit for the kingdom, in deed and truth as John says, perhaps raising a family, being active in our parish, and so on. But even those branches which are bearing fruit, the Gospel tells us, can be pruned to produce still more. Today Saul, freshly “pruned” by his conversion, arrives in Jerusalem and meets resistance. Since he had been persecuting Christians, this was only natural. But even after he is accepted and begins to bear fruit, he meets further adversity, and his letters are filled with many accounts of how his trials “pruned” him to produce greater fruit for the kingdom. Like him, as long as we remain in Christ we will continue to bear fruit and, when the will of the Father determines it is time to prune us, the strength of the true vine must enable us to endure it.

© J. S. Paluch Co.