I was encouraged by a religious sister, to ask this question of a Catholic priest. Sadly, she didn’t feel that she could adequately solve my dilemma. I hope that it can be answered here.
I have a particular problem… with the wearing of my Brown Scapular. First, let me say… I’ve been invested in the Brown Scapular devotion for a long, long time. And have worn my scapular, faithfully… and in every situation for many, many years. It has literally become a part of me.
Recently, however… I was hired by the local public school district in the Food and Nutrition Services department. I fought, long and hard for this job. And I’m finally starting this work as soon as school begins.
Here’s the dilemma. They have a rule. Absolutely NO jewelry of any kind may be worn on the job… with one exception. Married people are permitted to wear a plain, gold wedding band. Other than that… we are prohibited from wearing any other type of jewelry, even including wrist watches.
This being a public, secular school… they would not understand the importance or significance of the Brown Scapular (I’m not speaking of individual Catholics, who may work there. I’m speaking of the Public School Board, as a whole). They would consider this a necklace, as it is worn around the neck. And therefore, it would be prohibited. There would be no special exceptions made for me. I could try to conceal the cloth Scapular, under my shirt. But anyone who wears the Brown Scapular consistently… knows… that the back panel on the scapular tends to pop out of the collar, now and then. If it were detected at work… I would be subjected to some sort of discipline… possibly, even the loss of my job.
I’m wondering if the cloth Scapular could be replaced (only during work) with a Scapular MEDAL… which would be easier to conceal under my shirt. Would this be acceptable? Or, given the rule of the school district… should I simply remove the scapular, altogether… for work… then put it back on, when I leave?
One last question. Whatever the response, do I need to get the permission of my parish priest for any of this?
I hope that I will receive an answer, as I start to work soon. Thank you so much. And God bless.