Sunday, May 18, 2008

Redemptorist Habit at the Alfonsiana in Rome...

In my almost five years living in Rome, with all the events and liturgies I've been to, I've seen this habit only once (got to be a seminarian).
At the same time, after almost five years, I've seen the Carmelite habit only twice, on Latin Americans. I've never seen the Teatini habit and I've only seen the Trinitarian habit perhaps twice, on what I think to have been the same guy.
I've seen the Jesuit habit a few times, the Oratorian habit at the Chiesa Nuova (or Palazzo Massimo once a year!) and now we see again the lovely habit of the Augustinian Canons of Stift Klosterneuburg as they have a few studying in Rome.
But, there is hope. In fact, the one and only habit that one most often sees on the streets of Rome, at Rome's airports and her train stations and at papal events, is that of the Legionaries of Christ.


Anonymous said...

I think the Trinitarian habit is among the most beautiful and unique for Orders of friars. My Dad took photos in 1950 Holy Year, and we still have the old films. You can see several Trinitarians in Piazza San Pietro (April, 1950), as well as Franciscans, Dominicans, and nuns of several Orders (all the beautiful old habits of course).
There is an old 1952 movie which is worth viewing to get a "feel" for the way Rome and the Church used to look. It's called "When in Rome" starring Van Johnson.
It has clips of priests, nuns, friars in habits all over the place in Rome. Some were shots of real friars, priests and nuns strolling the streets of Rome and Piazza San Pietro, others were actors. But you can tell the difference. The wide shots caught alot of the passers-by and many of them were priests in cassocks, friars, and of course, nuns.
I think these Orders of friars and nuns would really grow again if they returned to both traditional liturgy and traditional habits.
The chance is next to 0, but with these young Redemptorists bringing back the habit, perhaps others will as well.

**Speaking of Orders, any truth to the rumor I read of the Trappists finally giving up the Monastery of Tre Fontane which they've had for probably 125 years? They're down to so few monks there (9), that it no longer viable. It used to be a fairly large establishment- 50-60 monks. But the Trappists have bought into the liberalism andliturgical nonsense big time everythere, and have lost thousands of monks. Their abbies in France (where they have the most), are down to skeleton crews of 15-20 monks (used to be 50-75 monks fifty years ago), and average age of 75!

JPSonnen said...

Interesting. Would be nice to see these historic old films on Youtube for the cause!

Chances are that not much will change at Tre Fontane. It's like San Lorenzo Outside the Walls. They have Europe's biggest university next door, La Sapienza, and the Franciscans there are down to just perhaps 6 who are all over 70 and do nothing and offer little with all the students just across the street.

Vocations are dead in Italy. Empty convents and seminaries all over as I have seen them and many have already been sold. A hope is more vocations from the South/Puglia, etc.

If our kids grow up on tv and video games and film our convents will be closed, etc.

Dom said...

The Redemptorist Habit is regularly seen across parts of Europe - and seems to becoming more regularly worn by the members.

See for Example in Edinburgh, Scotland- Redemptorists on the Streets on Palm Sunday or Easter Vigil

Anonymous said...

I think the root cause for vocations being dead in Italy is Vatican II, and its deforms.
I just read a website on the Passionists, where the average age in some European Provinces is 73.
Vocations are dead in Italy, and in the seminaries for the same reason as they are in the USA and so many other places....Vatican II- plain and simple.
I've done some research for a project and found that in the USA, as in Italy, that the more traditional (or even more pre-Vatican II), an Order is, the more vocations. The more radical, the less vocations. And if a conservative stable Order suddenly decides to liberalize, in collapses almost at once.
This senario can be repeated 100's of times.
I really do think some of the major Orders like the Franciscans and Jesuits will probably go extinct, while new traditionalist branches will replace them.
Just look at the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (a branch from the Conventuals OFM). The Friars have tons of vocations (even in Italy), while the Conventuals have practically 0.

Joe Frances said...

One thing confuses me in your original post. You mention a Jesuit habit. My understanding is that the Jesuits have given up their habit or cassock altogether. Their actual habit is criticizing Catholic orthodoxy and promoting liberal political causes. IF a Jesuit acuatlly dresses like a priest at all (not likely) it will be a black shirt with the ugly white "tongue depressor" plastic tab. Ugly. The Jesuits gave up their distinctive cassock which until the late 1940s had a rosary on it, and a lot of other things as well.

Please keep the great photos coming!

Daniel Weller said...

It was my understanding that Jesuits just had a cassock that used to be the norm for priests.

Castor said...

The Jesuit "habit" is the old roman cassok which wraps-around like the redemptorists. Kolvenbach used to wear it all the time and wore it to the last General Congregation. The new superior wears tab collar and blue pullover vests under a suit.

Joe Frances said...

Actually the Jesuit cassock was somewhat distinctive. It was not the standard Roman button-down cassock. As Daniel Weller indicated it was somewhat of a wrap around garment, with a similarly distinctive narrow thick wrap around cincture or belt that was tied in a manner only understood by the Jesuits themselves, I reckon, A few diocesan priests used to wear a version of the buttonless Jesuit cassock, which had a tendency to flutter in the breeze because it was not buttoned or snapped. Additionally, the collar was not a standard Roman collar, but a narrow strip of white that went all around the neck, and might remind one of a Brother's collar rather than a Priest's collar. Their biretta was also peculiar to the Order, without a center pom-pom, but something remotely pointy in the center. Altogether, it was a handsome kit, but of course, far too Ignatian for these modern dudes.

Anonymous said...

Vocations dying in the US? Hardly! The largest growing province of Dominican Friars in the world is the Eastern Province of St. Joseph. The Dominican Nuns of Summit have 6 in their novitiate with more coming, congregations like Ann Arbor, Nashville are bursting at the seams, Norbertine's in CA are buidling a new abbey, etc.
All of these Orders embrace Vatican II authentically.

LL said...

I have to say that wearing my habit on the streets of Rome was more awkward than I would have imagined. People stared and pointed all the time, much more than in secular England!

- Br Lawrence OP

Anonymous said...

The link you have provided to the Redemptorists is actually a link to the FSsR (the sons of the most Holy Redeemer) and not to the CSsR (the congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer).