Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catholic Asia

College cassock of the Pontifical Urban College.

1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful to see seminarians both in their cassocks representing their individual seminaries in Rome, and also seminarians wearing their surplices in St. Peter;s Square for the Pope's Sunday Angelus blessing.

    I had a relative who was a priest(actually he died as a Monsignor), and who studied in Rome in the early 1920's. He died in 1999 at 98, but he always told stories of his time in Rome (as a seminarian, 1922-26-ordained in Rome 1926), and in Rome as a seminary professor (1948-1976).
    He said that the practice of the Pope's Sunday Angelus began in the early years of Pope Pius XI (pope 1922-1939), and reached their greatest popularity (number of people there consistantly every Sunday), in the 1950's under Pope Pius XII. He also said that seminarians in general always wore their surplices to St. Peter's for the Pope's Angelus blessing until about 1972, when more and more seminaries stopped wearing the cassock. When he retired after nearly 30 years teaching in Rome, he said practically none of the seminarians wore any habits, or any cassocks at all, at anytime. All layclothes.
    He retired back to Philadelphia in 1976, served as pastor of a parish (1976-80), and retired from active ministry in 1984 . He was in Rome for the election of Pius XI, and for that of John XXIII and Paul VI.
    It always depressed him that the Church changed back then (1965-76) so swiftly (he really didn't like the Novus Ordo Mass at all, but said it because he had to).
    I think that having spent nearly 30 years in Rome, he would be very happy to see both the slow return of young seminarians proud to wear the monastic tonsure, religious habits, cassock, national cassocks in Rome, and wearing surplices in St. Peter's Square for the Pope's Sunday blessing.
    He said that the reasons why seminarians used to wear the surplice to the Papal Masses or to the Sunday blessings was twofold.
    1)Mass is a liturgical event, and in wearing the surplice to the Pope's Masses, they were fully participating, as they would in their Roman or diosecean seminaries.
    2). Wearing it to the Pope's Sunday Angelus was done as a mark of respect for the person of the Pope, and for the act of participating in his Blessing.
    It's nice to see these long discarded traditions returning. The liberals are angry as all H to see it's growing popularity and return among young priests and seminarians. They thought they had killed all this.
    Thank God they didn't....and can't.