Extraordinary Ministers Inappropriate Dress


At my local parish there are 10 extraordinary ministers scheduled for each Sunday Mass (although the size of the congregation calls for only 2 or 3 max).

Regardless, of the 10, typically 9 of them will be women. Of the 9, 3 or 4 will invariably be dressed like streetwalkers during the summer months. Short miniskirts, hot pants (are they still called that?), skin-tight sleeveless tops with low necklines, massive hoop earrings, etc. I’m not making this up.

As a man, I find these women incredibly distracting. Although I find their lack of tact and class repulsive, at the same time my weak side can’t help but sneak glances at them when I should be focussing on the Christ whom I’m about to receive. Lately I’ve been using only the priest’s communion line for the host, but that only helps so much. I don’t bother to receive the precious blood.

I have prayed over this and yes, I did write the pastor (he never replied). I don’t think it bothers him at all since this has been the norm for years.

What’s a man to do except find another parish? (Please don’t suggest that I talk to these women.) :confused:


Maybe you could begin praying for them on a daily basis? Women who do this have enormous issues in their psyches – big problems that will haunt their lives and cause immeasurable pain. I know as a guy this stuff is hard, but spending scheduled time every day praying for them might help you to get past your hormonal reaction to see the pain and vacuum they are in.

The last parish we belonged to has a woman who appears to be an elderly ex (I should hope) prostitute. She must be 70 years old at least, but wears what can only be called hooker clothing, along with a platinum blonde wig and glaring make-up. She is shunned and made fun of by grocery store clerks, postal people etc (small town – everyone sees and knows everyone’s biz). She totters up to communion in her spike heels, fishnet stockings, boobies hanging out – you get the picture, and Lord knows she still has all her curves and nothing is hidden… but Father always treats her with unfailing kindness.

My husband works at the grocery store and it really hurts him to see how harshly she is treated – he has risked his job to stand up and say she still deserves to be treated with dignity - clearly she isn’t “all there” or she wouldn’t be spending hours trying to appear to be a 24 year old sex queen at 70.

Just saying…



My Aunt, now deceased, used to use the term 60 year old sex kitten. I suppose we Catholics in these situations understand why the Muslims insist on the Burqa in public. Maybe we could keep a supply in he back of the Church and the ushers could hand them out when appropriate. I suspect it wouldn’t be too long before the problem disappears.:smiley:


Your priest and your husband will be remembered by the Lord when He comes in His Glory. May we all be found as worthy!


I dont see the problem with simply asking people to dress respectfully at Mass.

Come on- the Jews are really making us look bad :stuck_out_tongue:


I don’t see the problem with it, either, but I would emphasize the word “modesty.” Not everyone can dress fancy, but I bet virtually everyone can cover what ought to be convered.


Talk with the priest - and BTW it may be a blessing that you are receiving from the priest more. I mean I know you don’t get more graces but EMHC while allowed should not be the norm.



My parish does something similar to this for its EMHCs…well, we use the Alb, not a Burqa :stuck_out_tongue:


:thumbsup: :slight_smile: :thumbsup:


As you said “they have a problem” and “you have a problem”. You can only a few things. First and foremost pray for them and for yourself.

You cannot change people but you can decide to change yourself. Start reading the “Thelogy of the Body for beginners” by Christofer West. It will help you to better understand how disordered we can be. Do not change parish, just try to grow in virtue. A good book about that is “Boys To Men: The Transforming Power of Virtue”

Go to confession (in the same parish) let the priest know how the temptation and distraction is strong for you. Do not hesitate to explain how those women dress and ask him how to bring it up with the pastor.



Sorry! I hit “post” before I was ready!:shrug:

I feel badly for you that you are having to witness at this kind of nonsense when you should be able to focus on the Mass without distractions.

My daughter and I were talking about this the other day. Although the women extraordinary ministers in my parish aren’t as blatant as the ones you’ve mentioned, I don’t think capri pants and mules are appropriate dress either, even if they aren’t exactly immodest. I wish everyone in the sanctuary were made to wear vestments. Of course, that wouldn’t cover up all the weird shoes :D. That’s what drives my husband nuts, but he’s trained himself not to look past the shoes!:slight_smile:


Here’s a good prayer of reparation from the Enchiridion of Indulgences.



Yes, and they do so during the colder months.


They keep the air conditioning so cold at my church that I couldn’t wear skimpy clothes even if I wanted to - which I don’t.

I’ve been in chuches where all the extraordinary ministers wear albs. I like it.


It’s kind of surprisng that the priest hasn’t stepped in and discussed approrpriate dress with the ministers. An alb would solve the whole thing. Also, when dealing with the Eucharist, I would think that a person would want to feel set apart for something special. There again, an alb would work.


I also am a fan of the alb for extraordinary ministers :thumbsup: It really does set the tone for the holy task the EM is doing and helps to reinforce the faith of those coming up for communion.


I would make an appointment to talk with the priest in person. It may have more effect.

It’s one thing to have to deal with inappropriate dress “out in the world”. It’s another to deal with inappropriate dress in a fellow parishioner - after all, one never knows how far along they are in their faith.

But an EMHC is performing a public ministry, is supposed to be a practicing Catholic in good standing, and so should dress modestly and appropriately. A male should never have to practice “custody of the eyes” while receiving Our Lord!


Am not sure who to pray for, the ladies conveying the word of the Lord or the ones in the bleachers thinking sexual thoughts. The streetwalker image is probably grossly exaggerated.

Luke 7:44 And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she with tears hath washed my feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. 45 Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed my feet. 47 Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less.


I, too, would like to see the alb used for lay ministers involved in the Liturgy…

… including lectors, EMHC’s, and cantors.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.