Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bring back men in black

It should come as no surprise that younger Catholics would rather see priests in clerics than clothes from J. Crew and would rather see sisters in habits than pantsuits with lapel pins.
from U.S. Catholic by Father Damian J. Ference

Religious clothing allows Catholics to make a fashion statement about their faith, says a young priest who sports the look that a previous generation put away.

Like it or not, religious garb and clerical dress are making a comeback. This phenomenon can be hard to swallow for a certain generation of Catholics. It may seem that younger Catholics are attempting to undo their hard work and move backward into a church that placed a greater emphasis on distinctions between the clergy and the laity rather than celebrating the common priesthood of the baptized. Some have even accused wearers of religious garb of being insecure, out-of-touch, and intellectually second-rate. But today I find the youngest, brightest, healthiest, and most joyful consecrated religious and clergy seem perfectly at home in religious garb. What happened?

When asked how she reconciled her Catholicism with using violent, grotesque imagery, the great fiction writer Flannery O'Connor, herself a young Catholic who was often misunderstood, said: "To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large startling figures." It seems that the same philosophy is at work in the minds of young Catholics who are drawn to religious garb; they desire to communicate the gospel through sign and symbol to a world whose senses have been dulled. And if their clothing can help people to hear and see Christ, then it's a no-brainer....

Read the rest here.

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