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Sept. 11: St. Joseph Plans Memorial Service Friday

The noontime Mass in Clayton will include a remembrance of civil servants and prayer for world peace.

Noontime mass at is a daily occurrence in . For decades, the midday service has been a source of peace and comfort to those who attend.

On Sept. 11, 2001—a day that was anything but usual—St. Joseph's faithfully held its midday Mass.

“The day it all happened, a large amount of people from the community came to our midday Mass," Monsignor John Shamleffer said. "Though we have a noontime mass every day at out church, that service was unique. It became a very impromptu community event."

A church member at St. Joseph’s was working at Aon in Clayton when the attacks happened. She and many of her coworkers had close ties to Aon’s New York City office, which happened to be located in one of the World Trade Center towers.

“Many people from her office came to Mass to pray for and remember their coworkers in New York City,” Shamleffer said.

Ten years later, St. Joseph’s is hosting a special Sept. 11 memorial service. It will happen at noon Friday. The service is free and open to everyone in the community.

“It will be a time to remember the civil servants who gave their lives on that day. It is a time for us to gather together and pray for peace and forgiveness. This is not about us as a parish; we are simply serving as a vehicle for God’s forgiveness,” Shamleffer said.

Members of the and the have been invited, and many plan on attending the service. The hymns and homily for the day have been specially selected, and forgiveness is the service’s overarching theme. 

“With the (Saint Louis) Art Fair beginning that evening, we are hoping this will be an open community event. It is not a political statement or anything like that. It is simply an opportunity for people in our community to gather in prayer,” Shamleffer said.

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