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View Poll Results: Should consecrated religious wear the traditional habit?
Yes 442 94.85%
No 24 5.15%
Voters: 466. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16  
Old Feb 17, '05, 10:10 am
serendipity serendipity is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Oops./ I meant to write "yes and no," but typed "yes and now." I think habitsshould be requiored for everyone, but don't believe it is prudent to insistance that every one in every location across the world wear a "traditional habit." In some places such dress is a financial and occupational liability.
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  #17  
Old Feb 17, '05, 10:30 am
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Lightbulb Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lily628
Interesting thought. Could you expand on how it could negatively impact the mission? I am not seeing why.
Isn't the habit a sacramental? If so, it's a very good thing for those who wear it. A constant reminder of their vows and of their mission in this world.

Sure, one shouldn't need sacramentals, but God knows our weakness better than us...

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  #18  
Old Feb 17, '05, 10:38 am
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Unhappy Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Joshua)
...some are afraid and ashamed to wear it now, for fear of being attacked, because of all the scandal.
That's another point for Satan, zilch for Christ.

To think that people became martyrs for the Church while some hide instead of risking being spit on...

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  #19  
Old Feb 17, '05, 2:44 pm
Br. Dan, OCD Br. Dan, OCD is offline
 
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Sure they should. Here's something from Vita Consecrata, #25:

"The Church must always seek to make her presence visible in everyday life, especially in contemporary culture, which is often very secularized and yet sensitive to the language of signs. In this regard the Church has a right to expect a significant contribution from consecrated persons, called as they are in every situation to bear clear witness that they belong to Christ.Since the habit is a sign of consecration, poverty and membership in a particular Religious family, I join the Fathers of the Synod in strongly recommending to men and women religious that they wear their proper habit, suitably adapted to the conditions of time and place.Where valid reasons of their apostolate call for it, Religious, in conformity with the norms of their Institute, may also dress in a simple and modest manner, with an appropriate symbol, in such a way that their consecration is recognizable.Institutes which from their origin or by provision of their Constitutions do not have a specific habit should ensure that the dress of their members corresponds in dignity and simplicity to the nature of their vocation."

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/jo...ecrata_en.html

Also, a "traditional habit" isn't necessarily expensive. If it is, the material it is made of should be changed so that it isn't. The one I wear cost $100. I suppose the mantle is another $25 maybe. A Nun's habit has more material but still shouldn't cost that much....considering the alternative.
  #20  
Old Feb 17, '05, 3:04 pm
Tiffse Tiffse is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lily628
Hello Tiffse,

I see that we disagree on this issue, and that's ok.
Hi Lily:

I have no problem disagreeing either. I appreciate every person's input and point of view. It's only through dialogue with others that we expand our minds and deepen our level of understanding of anything. I come to forums because my husband won't indulge me in debates about important issues -- so you're doing me a favor!

I voted no for the reasons below, which I've restated here from the thread "Are there any religious callings here?" at http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=8025

I thought we were supposed to be humble and 'quiet' and unassuming in our works and not single ourselves out for attention for our works? Isn't wearing habits like standing on the street corner going "look at me"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lily628
Furthermore, it is a type of uniform, a sign of her consecration to God. Military, FedEx drivers, UPS drivers, and many others wear uniforms. Are you saying that the role of a member of a religious order is less important than these jobs?


No, it's more important. FedEx and UPS wear uniforms to advertise an earthly product. God is not a product.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lily628
A woman in religious habit no more "singles herself out" than one who wears a cross necklace, a WWJD bracelet, Christian t-shirts, a head covering, a Jewish man who wears the yamaka, those who bear ashes on their forehead on Ash Wednesday, etc. These are all outward signs of an inward commitment to God. Wearing these things takes a humble courage, especially when society around us considers it strange. It opens one up to persecution and provides opportunities to stand up for one's faith.


I do wear a small cross neclace usually under my shirt, but otherwise I try not to be pretentious in my faith. As a matter of fact, I don't use offering envelopes because God knows how much I put in the offering plate; no one else needs to know. I don't need to get "my reward on earth," I'd rather get it in Heaven. Plus, it's God's money anyway; why should I put my name on it?

Matthew 6
16. "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
17. "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face
18. so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

I don't think "outward signs of an inward commitment to God" are earthly, man-made, material things at all. Anyone can buy jewelry, t-shirts, or special clothes, it doesn't mean you have an inward commitment to God. Expressing an inward commitment to God would be loving others and all that entails.

Also, I don't need to "open myself up to persecution" for opportunities to defend my faith. I try not to be defensive, but proactive.

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The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26
  #21  
Old Feb 17, '05, 3:32 pm
Tiffse Tiffse is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by serendipity
It makes more sense for [purely contemplative orders] to retain "traditional clothing" since such garments don't get in the way of working in the dust or in the jungle and need more care to clean than what missions established in more sparse living conditions can handle, with limited water resources and time constraints.
True. I know USA missionaries who lived in the Middle East for 20 years. First of all, it can get very, very hot there and when you're ministering to people in villages helping to dig an irrigation system, the traditional habit would be a detriment. Plus, as Br. Dan said in a previous post, his traditional habit cost about $125. If you've REALLY taken a vow of poverty and live in an underdeveloped country, and say you're helping to deliver a baby and get blood on your habit, $125 to replace a habit is an awful lot. Not to mention, I doubt if most underdeveloped countries have habit factories. So there would be special ordering and shipping, etc., etc., etc.
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The LORD bless thee, and keep thee;
The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26
  #22  
Old Feb 17, '05, 3:41 pm
Tiffse Tiffse is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Can anyone tell me the Biblical basis for special clothes for religious? I'm thinking that Jesus didn't wear anything different than his Jewish brothers, did he? Maybe I'm wrong, but I think when the guards went to Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, they couldn't even pick him out of a small crowd -- Judas had to point Him out to them, right?
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The LORD bless thee, and keep thee;
The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Last edited by Tiffse; Feb 17, '05 at 3:46 pm. Reason: Misspellings!
  #23  
Old Feb 17, '05, 6:17 pm
cecelia cecelia is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Yes. I went to Catholic school in the '60s and was taught by nuns. Their presence in the habits was unmistakable and enduring. In Harlem where I grew up, residents would step aside and become very deferential around the nuns. They exemplified purity and holiness, and their habit was a source of inspiration, encouragement, and hope. Many of us aspired to be nuns because of their witness. The habit serves as a witness, an Incarnational witness. Remember ladies and gentlemen that we are in a spiritual war and that the devil uses our senses, especially our eyes to lead us away from God. Look at the preferred mode of dressing for many women. Where is the modesty? The mass media promotes a way of dressing that is ungodly, albeit highly influential. Where is the counterpoint? The counterpoint has to come from the Catholic Culture. But how can we be a potent counterpoint if we're not seen? Do not underestimate the power of the habit and its effect on society. A nun in full habit exemplifies purity and holiness. Picture a group of nuns in FULL HABIT walking in our city streets or shopping or going to the mall. What an effect it would have. The nuns would be walking witnesses, walking holiness, catalyst for self-reflection for those who see them. We are in a spritual battle and the habits are armor of the most potent kind. The other side has their armor, their mode of dressing, where's ours?
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  #24  
Old Feb 17, '05, 7:18 pm
AServantofGod AServantofGod is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffse
Hi Lily:
I thought we were supposed to be humble and 'quiet' and unassuming in our works and not single ourselves out for attention for our works? Isn't wearing habits like standing on the street corner going "look at me"?
You have some very good points, and I once believed as you. However, now that I have daughters we look for nuns to talk to, and a habit is a great way to identify them.

I want my daughters to be exposed to the religious life for women and not just on a visit to a convent which we've done. We look for nuns, introduce ourselves, talk to them, and thank them for their service to God and to us.

I have become all too aware that our children, when asked what they will be when they grow up, will select occupations which they are exposed to. We've always talked about religious life as a possible life long vocation for Our Lord, but now that they have met some nuns, seen them shopping at Walmart, seen them filling up their gas tank, etc. they have begun to include being a nun as a viable option.
  #25  
Old Feb 17, '05, 9:45 pm
Catholic29 Catholic29 is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffse
Can anyone tell me the Biblical basis for special clothes for religious? I'm thinking that Jesus didn't wear anything different than his Jewish brothers, did he? Maybe I'm wrong, but I think when the guards went to Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, they couldn't even pick him out of a small crowd -- Judas had to point Him out to them, right?
I will not get into Biblical apologetics to defend wearing of the habit, since there is no mention of wearing of such garments in the New or Old Testaments it would be pointless.

But I will say that the uniform habit has had a very long history in the Catholic Church among consecrated religious(sisters, nuns, brothers, monks etc) and wearing of such in no way contradicts Scripture. In our Catholic tradition it is an outward sign of a nun's espousal to Jesus Christ with their vows of Poverty Chastity and Obedience, known as the Evangelical councils, not to be confused with Ecumenical councils of course.

Quote:
The following was written by a cloistered Dominican postulant

As a postulant, my eyes are fixed on that grace-filled day when I will be clothed in the religious habit.

While I was discerning my vocation, I attended several vocation weekends, seminars, and discussion groups designed to help young women find the religious community to which God called them. All of the women I met, both younger and older vocations, desired communities that wear the habit. Each shared the desire of giving oneself completely to Jesus and, thus, "putting on" Christ every day.

What better expression is there of who we are as the Spouses of Christ than the holy habit? The professed sisters in my cloistered contemplative community each wear their habit with great love and reverence for Jesus; it is as much a part of them as their rosary, their veil, and their wedding band. The habit is a reflection of the Vow of Poverty and allows for uncluttered attention to be given to Jesus; there is certainly no spare time in the monastic life to be given to coordinating a daily wardrobe! The habit is also a symbol of withdrawal from the world and detachment from worldly possessions.

In the active orders, the habit acts as a very powerful and necessary witness of God's presence in today's world. Speaking from my own experience, it is very reassuring to see religious out and about in our communities proudly wearing the habit. And what an encouragement for young people thinking about a vocation to religious life!

That is why, to me, as to many of my contemporaries entering religious life, the habit signifies something much more than a garment of choice--it is a testimonial to a life consecrated to God.

  #26  
Old Feb 18, '05, 2:01 am
(Joshua) (Joshua) is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffse
Can anyone tell me the Biblical basis for special clothes for religious? I'm thinking that Jesus didn't wear anything different than his Jewish brothers, did he? Maybe I'm wrong, but I think when the guards went to Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, they couldn't even pick him out of a small crowd -- Judas had to point Him out to them, right?
Right, although Jesus had not established His Church at that time, and only after His resurection did He give authority to Peter.
"What ever you bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven" --------I don't recall Jesus mentioning habits, only bad habits I suppose.
  #27  
Old Feb 18, '05, 10:41 am
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Lightbulb Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffse
Can anyone tell me the Biblical basis for special clothes for religious?
The order of the Mass is not in the Bible either, neither how churches should be built. Both came out of the Holy Spirit through His church, who gave them form according to their use in their time, understanding that humans communicate with signs.

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  #28  
Old Feb 18, '05, 10:44 am
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Arrow Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffse
Not to mention, I doubt if most underdeveloped countries have habit factories. So there would be special ordering and shipping, etc., etc., etc.
Au contraire, sewing is much more widespread in poor countries and it would never cost $125. You know, not all habits come from the US, there are a lot more countries on this Earth with a much lower cost of living than Michigan...

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  #29  
Old Feb 18, '05, 1:56 pm
lily628 lily628 is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffse
I know USA missionaries who lived in the Middle East for 20 years. First of all, it can get very, very hot there and when you're ministering to people in villages helping to dig an irrigation system, the traditional habit would be a detriment.
Sure it's possible that in some situations it could be imprudent or dangerous. But you are looking at the exceptions. I am speaking about religious communities in general, most of whom do not face such. I do not believe that the traditional habit should be required by the Vatican across the board for all communities, but I do believe it is the better option in most circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffse
Plus, as Br. Dan said in a previous post, his traditional habit cost about $125. If you've REALLY taken a vow of poverty and live in an underdeveloped country, and say you're helping to deliver a baby and get blood on your habit, $125 to replace a habit is an awful lot. Not to mention, I doubt if most underdeveloped countries have habit factories. So there would be special ordering and shipping, etc., etc., etc.
First of all, not all habits have to be that expensive, just because his is. Secondly, I read somewhere that religious usually have only 3 sets of their habit, or sometimes less if the are shared communally. This is what allows for humility and poverty, since they don't need closets full of clothes and don't have to worry about what matches with what, or finding new varieties of clothes all the time.

In dirty or dangerous situations you describe (which are the exception in religious life), they could wear a modified habit that is less expensive, wear some kind of apron or cover, or wear street clothes. The point of the habit is not to look fancy, but to give up one's individual identity to become part of the religious community. Religious life is an earthly sign of the Kingdom of Heaven when the Church will be the Bride of Christ. Religious are that in this life also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffse
Can anyone tell me the Biblical basis for special clothes for religious?
Yes. John the Baptist wore clothes made of camel's hair. That's extremely significant, especially since he is considered the first monk of the Church. Also in the Old Testament a sign of morning or repentance was to wear sackcloth and ashes for a time of prayer. There isn't much mention of clothing in general in the Bible, at least not that I can think of.

God bless everyone! I am so excited to see the interest in this discussion.
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  #30  
Old Feb 18, '05, 2:16 pm
jrabs jrabs is offline
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Default Re: Should religious wear the traditional habit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by serendipity
I think habitsshould be requiored for everyone, but don't believe it is prudent to insistance that every one in every location across the world wear a "traditional habit." In some places such dress is a financial and occupational liability.
I think the habits should also be worn.

I disagree that the habit can be an occupational laibility. The Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta ( founded by Bl. Mother Teresa) wear their habits and they are among the poorest of the poor and have poor work conditions to boot.

Someone cited an example of a nun digging a ditch. I don't really see how a habit can impair that activity - but instead see a beautiful testimony to God's work if I were to see a nun in habit out there with common poor folk digging.
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