Monday, March 20, 2017

Wearing It

It was put to me recently that Muslims are the most Faithful people around. Faith is important.  You'd better believe it.  I found it hard to argue against. They are also the most noticeable. They wear their belief even more than the 'lover' who wears his heart on his sleeve. 

Who but a Muslim will wear a shapeless sheet over another shapeless sheet while walking down a British high street? It says 'I am a Muslim'. The Muslim woman is just as 'advertising' in her Burka. 

And who but a Muslim will leave no stone unthrown to prove his faith, his belief? Who but a Muslim will sacrifice everything, including his bomb-carrying children to kill a shopful of infidels; or cut his daughter's throat if she as much as contemplates befriending someone  of whom he does not approve, lest it dishonours his beliefs? Who but a muslim will happily stone to a pile of pulp some poor woman who had been raped by .... well... another muslim man?

That takes Faith. Believe me.

Your average Christian on the other hand passes almost invisible amongst the heathens, agnostics, the atheists and the other assorted private worshippers of strange gods. Private they are too, mostly. The Sikh may wear distinctive headgear but who can tell a Taoist from a Shinto-san? Who can tell who is a christian at all? 

I have a Crucifix on the wall behind the bar between the whisky bottles and the liqueurs. Anyone glum sinner down in his cups who looks up sees my Supplier's own Son looking back at him, as if He is saying "Tell me about it, bro".

It proclaims my Faith: my Belief. It is important. Believe me.

I am 'obviously' a christian. A Catholic.

I doubt very much that our PM would invite me and a lot of my Catholic and other christian friends to a dinner at Kirribilli. Or front a TV program. 

I was down at the beach the other week when a young woman engaged me in a brief conversation. I was strolling, Rosary in hand, quietly saying the prayers, as is my usual wont, enjoying the sunshine.  She was sitting on a low wall next to a particularly strangely shaped  bit of 'public art', reading. 

She looked up and called out, "You remind me of my dad".

"Oh?" said I. "Short, fat and bearded?"

"hahaha. No. He used to walk and say the Rosary too" 

"Remembering honours your Father", said I.

It was a brief exchange as I walk on by and she resumed her reading. We were both quitely pleased. Well I assume she was too.

Some weeks before up on the mountain near the Tavern, I was sitting  with a friend smoking my pipe and again holding my beads. There were many 'visitors' at the Lookout, admiring the view. Somehow I managed to drop my pipe cleaning tool as we walked off. A gentleman came after me: "Father", he said," you dropped this".

I have never been called 'father' other than by my children before. 

"Thank you", I replied, taking it back, "but I am not a priest", I said gently.

"Ahhh sorry, I saw you with the rosary beads and you are with a Nun. I just assumed you were a Catholic Priest, in mufti", he explained.  It was an easy error and he was pleased to stop and talk for a few minutes about churchy stuff. He was an Anglican, he told. Pleasant chap. 

I am not in the slightest embarrassed about being 'seen'. I don't go out of my way of course. A man of some small habit, with a set routine - including openly saying my Rosary outside the abortuary on a Tuesday - not like my Nun friend who wears the traditional Habit.

She is elderly and her atire is 'old fashioned'. She does not mind being 'seen' and can be at 5am on the local beach, strolling the sands and feeding the early birds.

So it was pleaing to hear of another fine chap who does go out of his way. Brian Williams stopped by to tell us about Father Lawrence Carney.
The Priest in Cassock is a Living Sermon
For the past three years the good people of St. Joseph, Missouri have been treated to an unusual sight in this day and age: a priest in cassock walking their city streets. As recently reported by Our Sunday Visitor:
Walk the streets of St. Joseph, Missouri, and you may have a memorable encounter with a tall young priest wearing a black cassock and Saturno clergy hat, a rosary in one hand and large crucifix in the other.
The priest is Father Lawrence Carney, ordained for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, who for the past three years has devoted much of his time to street evangelism: 
strolling down inner city streets, praying the Rosary and sharing the Gospel with those who approach him.
Father Carney says that the idea of donning the cassock and making himself a visible witness to the Gospel came to him while walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain several years back. Along the “Way”  Fr. Carney opted to wear his cassock. He estimates that he spoke with over 1,000 fellow travelers during his 32 day pilgrimage.
The attraction of people to a priest in a cassock, both for Catholics as well as non-Catholics, is explained by Fr. Carney this way:
“There’s something mysterious about the cassock; 
it acts like a magnet, drawing people to you… 
It is a sacramental that has a special blessing that the suit does not have.”
One friend of Fr. Carney’s who has seen his evangelizing first hand described it as follows:
“It was beautiful and amazing. Young and old, rich and poor, and men and women would come up to him and immediately start talking to him about their problems. Teenage girls and young women were crying to him about things going on in their lives. It was like they thought he was God walking the earth.”
For those in the Church already blessed with a personal, experiential, knowledge of the truth and beauty of tradition, the efficacy of Fr. Carney’s efforts is not surprising. 
Catholicism attracts. A priest in a cassock attracts.
It should also come as no surprise that Fr. Carney’s continued formation and sanctification has come through an embracing of tradition.
Currently “on loan” to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Fr. Carney serves as chaplain to the traditional order of nuns, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. (above photo). If that name sounds familiar, it should. In recent years the sisters have released their beautiful recordings Advent at Ephesus and Lent at Ephesus; both have been bestsellers.
He visits the community daily to celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form (yes, the Latin Mass!), hears their confessions, and offers spiritual guidance.
Writing over thirty years ago from an aggressively secular, post-Christian, France the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre noted the visible witness given to the Catholic faithful by the priest in cassock:
“The great boast of the new Church is dialogue. But how can this begin if we hide from the eyes of our prospective dialogue partners? 
In Communist countries the first act of the dictators is to forbid the cassock; this is part of a program to stamp out religion. 
And we must believe the reverse to be true too. 
The priest who declares his identity by his exterior appearance is a living sermon. 
The absence of recognizable priests in a large city is a serious step backward in the preaching of the Gospel…”
While many bishops and brother priests today view the cassock, the biretta, or the Saturno as being rigid, nostalgic, or prideful, nothing could be further from the truth. 
The faithful are drawn to this visual expression of the sacramental priesthood. 
When we see priests in cassocks, we see our faith. 
We see a Catholicism, bold and unafraid to share the Gospel truth.
Let us support, through our prayer and words of encouragement, those priests who wear the cassock. 
May God send us more of these faithful priests!
Our Faith may be less overt than the Muslim's. It is True and Holy though, rather than satanic. It is quiet and loving where the Muslim is cruel and hateful.

But not for us the dinner at huge public expense and hoohaa: no bejewelled nun's habits around the Government tables. 

No siree. The media just swoon over Muslims. Waleed gets the adulation - and the taxpayer dollar via the ABC. Catholics are 'known' for priests sexually abusing small boys. Muslims only rape and kill them.

As Christians we must pray for the souls of our muslim brothers, especially when they are so in Thrall to the diabolic. They of course will continue to threaten 'jihad' and savagely kill any 'infidel' they can lay their knives on and get away with it.

But be not afraid. 

We must pray for courage to declare ourselves in the public square, too, taking at least one small lesson from them.

Drink up and drink deep.



  1. I don't think I've ever seen a Catholic priest in full rig-out complete with cassock. I can't recall ever seeing one anyway. I do like the idea though.

    Priests dressing to blend in seems to me to be a sign of a religion in danger of succumbing to defeatism.

    1. Yes, it is so rare these days. They wear a black suit mostly. Like poor businessmen.

  2. Wonder how the dog collar developed.

    1. hah ! The protestants, who took most everything from we Papists, like to think that they invented it. Who knows. Mebbe they can have a legit claim. Must let them have something. Here's what the Methos say....""The collar has always been and still is the dress code for Protestant preachers and Lawyers in Europe. In days past, these individuals wore black and chose a white sweatband (cravat) to wear around their necks for the purpose of riding on horseback. This became personified in the UK by John Wesley, founder of the Methodists, who rode on horseback the length and breadth of England preaching the Bible. It was also the normal mode of dress for the Protestant Churches of Europe and it was not until the turn of the eighteenth century that the Catholic Church adopted it also. It was never a Roman Catholic style of clergy dress code before that time and not one picture of a Pope or member of the clergy can be seen wearing one. Sadly today most fundamentalist Protestants and particularly those from other nations erroneously think that the clerical collar is a Roman Catholic instituted style of dress code for their clergy and that Protestants should not wear it, because it represents the Roman Catholic Church, "religion" and "tradition". This type of thinking is wrong. The clerical collar is a Protestant clergy dress code.

      No pleasing some folk. :)

    2. The Catholic one has just a bit of white showing at the front, the Anglican is full neck. I'm going to start wearing one and saying, "Bless you my child."

    3. Just so long as that is all you do :)

  3. Fascinating article... I had never thought of origins of the dog collar. But I always associated it with Christian 'non-catholic' denominations.

    And when I think about it a bit more, the seep of the dog collar into acceptable attire within the Christian Church moves the Church away from the ritual observances.

    The observances that were given to lead us and teach us.

    1. Yes. It is all too easy these days to 'proclaim' even 'profess' one's belief in climate change or the awfulness of Trump. Facebook and blogs and even newspaper comments facilities encourage it. But 'christians' being 'seen to be' in the street is rare. Even in this remote city it is unusual to see a Priest in the street.

    2. You have made me think about seeing priests in the street...

      I have often seen them when I have been visiting Europe...

      Nuns, a white robed Monk and a Catholic priest.

      The latter was in a former communist country!

      But in the UK I have not experienced any public display of faith in that way...

    3. We barely take note of these things. Perhaps the English sang froid limits public display, especially in conservative, traditional people.... although Morris Dancers spring, jingling into mind. :)


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..