Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Thou art a priest forever..."

Today in church a guy came up to me and called me "padre;" i was wearing a black jacket. On thursday a barber called me "padre" and so did another guy; I was wearing a blue sweater. I get this a lot and might be tempted to feel flattered, but it's sad.

Why do our clergy not dress as clergy? They're paid for this, wander and are lost? Many and perhaps most Italian clergy no longer wear a clerical costume on a given day. After five years in Italy I have not seen many clergy wear thier habit in the small towns or in big cities. They will often wear back: always the black shoes and socks and slacks and overcoat, but that's where it starts and ends.

Makes me think of the time I was walking into the sacristy of a parish in EUR - with a green jacket on - and an old guy asked me to hear his confession. Or the time I was walking past an inner-city Roman school one morning - with a black overcoat on - and I overheard some kid say I was a German priest.

Many have lost their vocations. May laymen. And even some priests.

Know the priesthood! Read Paul's letter to the Hebrews (to the Jews). You will be instructed of the holy order of Melchizedek. This letter is about six pages long in any given Bible and can be read in a day.


Anonymous said...

I often research into many religious Orders on the web for research purposes and have found that most of the major Orders of nuns do not wear their habits at all (this is well known), and their median ages are in the mid to late 70's. These Orders will not be around for more than 10 years (Daughters of Charity, of Wisdom,of the Holy Spirit, Sisters of Mercy, White Sisters, Good Shepherd Sisters, Sisters of Sion, School Sisters of Notre Dame, etc.. etc.) Even now the once traditional Daughters of St. Paul are going this way, and starting to suffer the same vocations, aged sisters.
Among priests Orders, of course the Jesuits, but also the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, White Fathers, Assumptionists, Augustinians, Vincentians, etc. etc. are all in layclothes on their Rome based webpages.
I am sure that most Orders DO NOT wear their habits. This is the midset of the 1960's and 1970's and Vatican II, and unfortunatly it has been perpetuated thru the generations that followed.
There is alittle hope though.
I have seen on your webpage, and friends have told me, that it is the young priests and nuns (under 45), who wear the habit. Young Franciscans, Benedictines, Dominicans, Trinitarians...and young nuns from new Orders (and even the handful of established Orders which kept the old habits), really give witness to the Faith in Rome and elsewhere.
Those Orders which use the Tridentine Latin Mass also have helped restore clerical habits and cassocks.
I hope the tide is turning back to habits, cassocks, and visible signs of consecration on the streets of Rome and elsewhere.
If not, then I don't see any hope at all for most Orders, even those that have been around for 600 or 500 years.
Most of the religious Orders of now radical liberal nuns, and very many of the priests will be so aged in 5-10 years as to not be viable Orders anymore. Most of thse Orders which wear layclothes instead of habits and cassocks (and even most dioceses where the priests slum around in layclothes or sloppy clerical shirts and slacks), are so aged and have no vocations that they will be gone very soon. They represent the era of Vatican II, and ideed are seen as representative of the failed "Vatican II" Catholic Church.
The traditional young priests and nuns, and the Tridentine Latin Mass now slowly growing in Rome and in the Church, is the hope of the future, and for a restoration.

Raphaela said...

"get this a lot and might be tempted to feel flattered, but it's sad."

Agreed... but have you ever considered that maybe it's also God trying to tell you something?

Anonymous said...

Indeed, to a casual sacredotal onlooker, your post seems to be crying out: YOU HAVE A VOCATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD! I hope you have at least considered the matter.


Argent said...

Eh, hem. What are you hearing in the still moments, JP?