Saturday, May 9, 2015


A wonderful apologetic for the time honored cassock.

Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) Secretary General, Fr. Cleophas Lungu has urged Seminarians in Zambia to be disciplined as they prepare for life as future priests.

Zambian Seminarians’ Cassock day

Fr. Lungu told seminarians that Catholics in the country need to see seminarians who are disciplined. 

“We want seminarians who are disciplined, seminarians who will not be swept away with anything that passes before them,” he said.

The Secretary General said this at Emmaus Spirituality Centre in Lusaka when he celebrated the investiture Mass with Cassocks for seminarians who are in their first stage of formation.

“The Cassock doesn’t just come with a white gown, a Cassock comes with a sash, so every day as you go for your liturgical celebrations you will be tying yourself, you will be putting on a sash. Let that be a reminder to you that as you put on that beautiful Cassock you must tie yourself with discipline” he said.

He said a Cassock should just be a confirmation of that which is in the heart. “The quietness we see in the Cassock must be a radiation of that which is in the heart. If indeed you clothe your heart, not just your body, you clothe your mind, not just your head, you clothe yourselves with the Gospel then you will be a walking Gospel,” Fr. Lungu said.

The ZEC Secretary General explained that a cassock on its own is no protection and that seminarians must be convinced in their hearts and minds of their decision to go for priesthood.

Fr Lungu said the Church has suffered enough from priests who pretend to be priests but in their hearts lacked the necessary commitment.

“That’s why when St. Paul says clothe yourselves; he is not talking about any combat. Clothe yourself with compassion, clothe yourself with humility and clothe yourself with meekness. Let your vocation come from the heart, priesthood must start from the heart,” he explained.

Referring to Pope Francis when on Vocation Sunday, used the metaphor an ‘exodus’ to show that every vocation is an experience of an exodus, Fr. Lungu told seminarians that an exodus experience is that of coming out of Egypt by the people of Israel. Fr Lungu also gave an example of Jeremiah who went through his own exodus experience.

“Gentlemen you have the Promised land but first of all you must come out, don’t remain where you are, don’t remain with the same values, same habits, the same life, you must come out,” he said.

Fr. Lungu advised seminarians to aim higher like an eagle. “Today you have touched heaven, today you are beginning the journey of this perpetual encounter with God. Your aim should always be higher. Don't settle for what is ordinary, don’t settle for what is mediocre, set your aims higher. Aim to be a better person, aim to be a good seminarian,” Fr. Lungu emphasised.

Meanwhile, Emmaus Spirituality Centre acting Rector, Fr. Peter Kwaleyela said the Cassock day is a very important stage for seminarians as they embark on the journey to the priesthood. He said in Zambia diocesan priests begin their formation programme at Emmaus which is a spirituality Centre, where they stay for a year of introduction to the spirituality of a diocesan priest and later move on to another stage at Mpima Major Seminary where they do philosophy and finally St. Dominic’s for Theology.

This year, 37 seminarians received Cassocks.


gobshite said...

There has been a lot of discussion about Nuns not wearing habits. What if all priests were required to wear cassocks all the time?

Dialogue said...

We really should have white soutanes in the US South. Or seersucker.

Former JBS

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't wear a cassock except in a liturgical setting when appropriate. However, it it were to be mandated, I'd gladly wear one.

I've had several parochial vicars who wear them as street clothes and I have no problem with it whatsoever, although I have no problem simply wearing clerical dress which is a modern adaptation of the cassock.

gobshite said...

Your "clerical dress" is the male version of the "modified habit", which is so maligned by so many (men mainly). I have heard no discussion of Nuns wearing habits "when appropriate"....Are you OK with optional dress (not mandated) for Nuns?

As is so often the case...within and without the Church, there is one set of rules for men and a different one for women.

Anonymous said...


I know a few seminarians, few priests, and a few young boys and teens (one my son) who have found either a vocation or can hear the call to consider a vocation, based solely on the cassock. Hope this makes sense.

As one good priest told me, why go all those years to seminary to become a priest, so I can dress like you? (I was in a dress shirt and jeans!)

Also; every seminarian I know is honoured when they finally get tho wear the cassock after First Clerical Tonsure. Its an honour like wearing a uniform for God's Army.

Finally; when I go out in public with our priests, people ask questions. Good opportunity to talk about the Faith for these priests.

I'm all for cassocks, if you can't tell!



Anonymous said...


Also support full habit for women. It's all about detachment from the weld for the Glory of God. What was good for the saints should be good for religious today.


Dialogue said...

What is Shite taking about now? I think he's full of himself. Priests are required to wear "suitable ecclesiastical attire", and religious, male and female, are required to wear the habit of their institute. (Religious priests wear one or the other.) So, what's the problem? And, who here is complaining about "modified habits"?

gobshite said...

Men get to decide what they will wear. They also get to decide what "the gals" will wear.

When will you decide whether you are JBS or Dialogue?

May I suggest that you become "shitearse"? (Remember Fr.'s OK if you say it in British or in Irish....)

Anonymous said...

It was never the common practice in the US to wear the cassock as street wear. It was not always, by any stretch of the imagination, always or even frequently used as street wear outside Europe.

James, I suggest you try wearing a "full habit" for a few months in south Georgia heat and see how quickly your support wanes.

George said...

"James, I suggest you try wearing a 'full habit' for a few months in south Georgia heat and see how quickly your support wanes."

We are now entering the "Purgatorial" season down here.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't recall if the Sisters of Mercy did this, but in Augusta the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Corondelet changed their full black habits to all white during the summer months. Of course their nursing sisters wore white at the hospital all the time.

The IHM's in Savannah changed from black to a lighter weight fabric as did the Daughters of Charity. Since they lived in community and the ugly fierce self-actualization and individualism of the 60's had not set in to destroy community life, not only in dress but in community living, they changed at the same time.

I haven't heard the meme about men dictating what religious women should wear in a really, really long time. We must have a Rip Van Winkle commenting here! It is to laugh!

Dialogue said...


The religious habit is determined by the constitutions of each religious institute. Therefore, it is the female members of a female institute who determine what their habit will look like. Please cite for me one example of a group of men determining what the habit of a women's community of nuns will look like.

The wearing of clerical attire is no more optional for priests than is the wearing of habits for nuns. So, again, what are you talking about?

My name here changes because I am a liberal Catholic who enjoys novelty.

Former JBS

Aidan said...

I started wearing a cassock around my Irish parish recently. Not many Irish priests do. To my surprise, people have reacted very positively. I think it has great witness value, especially in secularised Ireland.

Anonymous said...

Last November I called my parish to have a priest come to give my elderly mom (who had some dementia) the Sacrament of the Sick. When the young priest arrived, he (an ordered priest) was wearing a cassock with sash and a rosary at his side.
My Baptist neighbor was outside doing some yard work, and the young Father greeted him with a smile and a nod, and I watched through the window as my neighbor stopped his raking and just stared as Father knocked on our door. I felt it was a wonderful moment of testimony to Faith.

Then when my mom saw him, well, she hadn't seen a priest in cassock for over 50 years, and here was this nice looking young man looking just like she remembered priests looked before Vatican II. As he sat down across from her in the living room, her face brightened into the biggest smile, her eyes wide. She was overjoyed. I left the room while he heard her confession, and he called me when they were done to participate in the prayers of the Sacrament of the Sick.

She was so engaged with all he was doing, and then he said he was going to give her Viaticum. Then he undid the center button from the shirt of his cassock, and from inside he pulled a beautiful white and yellow embroidered "purse" hanging by cord around his neck, which he opened, removing the pix. My mother watched in amazement as he took out a host and after saying the prayers, gave her Holy Communion. Even I was taken by the imagery of him having Jesus inside his shirt, close to his heart, bringing Him forth as if from a tabernacle.

Afterwards he gave my mom a blessed Miraculous Medal and St. Benedict medal, which I immediately put on her scapular. After he left, she kept telling me it was beautiful, just beautiful. She really was filled with joy.

Our Lord took her home this past February, and she was wearing those medals on her scapular when she passed. I cannot tell you what having that priest come, looking like a priest, did for her and her spirit.

So thank you all you priests who show by your dress a visible sign of your vocation, acting In Persona Christi. It sure made a difference to one elderly lady who loved God with all her heart.

gobshite said... case you haven't heard...or noticed...females do not decide or determine ANYTHING. They can request...from the pastor, the bishop, the pope....but EVERYTHING they want to do is subject to thumbs up or down from some man. He decides whether the community shall even exist...

If you looked in the closet of any priest in America, I promise that you would not see just black "clerical garb".

That's "what I'm talking about".

CPT Tom said...

I frankly think that priests wearing cassocks (white or black depending) is a good idea. Full habit (for religious) and/or cassock for diocesan priests are important because they are visual witness to world and a rallying point for the faithful. We have become far too lax in every day dress and this would set a different counter cultural tone.

CPT Tom said...

gobshite is here with the full court militant feminist press. How 1970s. Have heard this nonsense most of my life, and witness the results. The nuns in my diocese (except the cloistered ones)do not even wear modified habits nor even live in community. They wear whatever they want, and only have a small pin that identifies them as a nun. They are also for the most bitter and unhappy women I have met in my life. This is in stark contrast to the nuns I have met from more traditional orders who do, by the way, determine their own dress, rules, etc., as their predecessors have done for centuries, many of them saints and movers and builders of great institutions. Your diatribe is slap in the face of those women who accomplished so much because they surrendered to God's will which gave them strength to them to the great deeds they did. The orders that have turned away from the Holy Spirit and their charism are dying and they are a relic of the "Spirit of Vatican II(tm)" that has given us the past 40 years of Spiritual Nuclear Winter. Let's stop the insanity and try something different and actually be Catholic.

CPT gobshite said...

What are you a CPT of Tom?

I really don't need you to tell me about Nuns. I was probably being taught by them well before you were born. My sister has been a Nun for 65 years. She is neither bitter nor unhappy.

Most priests wear whatever they want.

Many (most?) don't live in a rectory...but in a condo or bachelor pad of some kind.

I assure you that the dress, rules etc. of all of the Nuns of which you speak were all "guy" approved at some point.

CPT Tom said...

CPT Tom has been my handle for decades, I once was a Captain in the Army. It stuck. You obviously like and fit the moniker you have adopted "Loud-mouthed person who talks a lot, but nothing with any value - as in shite coming out of their gob."

I will pray for you. It is obvious you are the bitter one. So focused on what the boys do and the "power" they have it obviously has clouded your heart and mind with hate and bile. May our blessed Mother touch your heart before you die and grant you peace. God's Peace be with you.