preist garb

My parrish preist doesn’t wear the colors of the various seasons of the calender. He wears a grayish garb with a hood. Does that mean he is franciscan or benedictine? I’ve never seen a preist dress like this and are the bendiction he is not helped by others to put on the cape (I can’t remember its name) when removing the host from the monstrance.


Sounds like he might be a religious brother. A hood is definitely not part of ordinary priestly vestment as far as I know, but many religious brothers do wear one.

Are you referring to what he is wearing during mass and other liturgical celebrations (i.e. his stole and/or chasuble)?

Or are you speaking of his every-day wear, what he wears around the church, not during liturgical functions?

In everyday wear he wears a preist’s collar and dark clothes like an oridinary preist. This is what he wears at mass and the adoration of the blessed sacrament. He uses no stole no (that’s what it’s called) and simply removes the host from the monstrance.


ok from reading the thread so far this seems like a problem. There is a reason that people wear vestments and if he is celebrating mass without them this is a problem. I don’t think I have ever seen a religious priest not wear vestments for the mass.

your best solution is to simply go up and ask then why do you wear what you wear during the mass. Not in a suspicious way but act like you are curious and you want to know why.

He might be some kind of Franciscan friar.

He wears a garb something like these in your picture. Same color. But it is one complete uniform.


Like the man on the right in the picture only he doesn’t wear a belt like the man in this picture.


I’m pretty sure Bro. JR will come by soon and give us a superb answer on this one :thumbsup:

didn’t you say this is what he wears during mass?

does he celebrate with this on?

He’s a rather new priest at our parrish. The couple of masses I’ve been to he’s celebrated yes he wears this during mass.


then this may be a problem.

there is a significance to all the parts of a priests vestments and I’m pretty sure the rubrics are very clear about what you have to wear. Some things can be allowed to slide from time to time but not something like this.

Let’s clarify. If he’s either a Cistercian or a Franciscan, then he IS a religious brother. Many Cistercian and Franciscan brothers are ordained. We call them Brother-Priests or Priest-Brothers. You folks call them priests. That’s fine. A hood is definitely an ordinary vestment for a priest if the priest is either a monk or a friar. It’s called a cowl.

[ATTACH]14626[/ATTACH] Notice that the cardinal is wearing the brother’s habit under his vestments and the cowl is over the outside of the chasuble and the palium rests on the cowl. This signifies that he is a brother who serves his brothers and sisters as an archbishop.

[ATTACH]14627[/ATTACH] Notice the brother-deacon is wearing his habit with the alb, but the cowl is over the alb and stole. It reminds the people of God that his is first and more importantly for them a religious brother who serves them as a cleric.

The expectation is that you (the laity) will see the brother over the priest. That’s why the colors are worn in a visible fashion.

Second, if he belongs to the Benedictine tradition, he may be wearing what’s often called a choir alb. They are not white. They do come in white, but usually secular clergy wear the white ones. Monks and friars wear the cream or the grey. Both are very light, almost white. The chasuble goes over it. If it’s Benediction, the cope goes over it.

If he belongs to the Franciscan tradition, the Franciscan habit comes in many colors, one of them being grey. There are may shades of grey.

Many Friar-priests will wear a light grey habit under the chasuble with the cowl over the chasuble and no amice. The amice is not required of Franciscans. Sometimes, if you can get a seamstress or tailor to make you an alb, you can have one made with a soft cowl, so that you can wear it over the cowl of your habit. That’s also an option.

Most albs don’t have the cowl. You put the alb over the habit and wear the cowl on the outside. If you’re a Franciscan of the Renewal or a Capuchin, they don’t make albs for that kind of cowl. It’s too long and soft. You just have to wear the cowl over the vestment.

For exposition, a Franciscan who is a brother - priest, does not have to wear a stole. It’s up to him to decide. We have no hard rule on the matter. He is a brother first. Exposition does not require Holy Orders. The superior can appoint anyone to take out the Blessed Sacrament and put it away again.

If it’s Benediction, then the brother must be either a deacon or a priest. He would still wear his habit or a choir alb.

Remember, the five major orders of men are not bound by the same rubrics as the rest of the Roman Church. Before jumping up and down that this or that is against the rubrics, one must first determine if the rubrics apply tot his man. The major orders of men have their own rubrics. We have a code of rubrics that contain some elements from the GIRM and others are our own.


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

He wears a greyish garb and does while taking confessions too.


Sounds like either a monk or a friar.


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

So before anyone gets too excited …

These kinds of questions come up more often in countries where most priests are not religious brothers, such as the USA and others. In the USA, the only priests who are religious brothers belong to one of the Benedictine congregations, Cistercians, Missionaries of the Poor, Missionaries of Charity or one of the Franciscan orders. Other men who are both priest + religious are not religious brothers, such as a Dominican. Their infrastructure is similar to that of the Franciscans, but not quite. They are a clerical institute with coadjutor brothers. That’s not the case for the other communities that I mentioned above.

There are very few parishes that have religious brothers of any kind, ordained or not. People who are new to them are often thrown off. I’ll share examples, funny and offensive.

I teach CCD at a parish run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI). I always wear a habit. The OMIs do not have a habit. They have never had a habit. St. Eugene prohibits any kind of distinctive garb in their statutes. He’d probably come back and zap them if they dared to dress up.

One day, one of the Oblates and I are talking outside, before class. A woman teaches CCD is arriving for the class, as are the rest of us. She stops to say hello to Fr. P and me. Then she turns on Fr. P and says, “Father [P], you should take example from Father [JR]. Look how nice he looks in his habit.” In our community the laity must refer to the superior as Father, even if he’s not a priest and to all priests as Brother, just as you would refer to a female superior as Mother.

At which point, Father P said, “St. Eugene wold roll over in his grave and rise from the dead, if he saw one of his sons distinguish himself from the local culture.”

The lady said, “I don’t like saints like that.”

I thought I’d roll on the floor laughing. It’s not a matter of what we like. It’s a matter of the founder’s vision. St.Eugene had an awesome vision for his Oblates.

That was an example of a woman who had not seen too many monks and friars, because we rarely make an appearances in parishes. We don’t run as many parishes as does the secular clergy.

On another occasion a woman came up to me and asked me why the FFV and the CFR refuse to staff parishes. I tried to gently explain that the process of renewing the Franciscan family includes returning to the 13th century lifestyle. In the 13th century our friars did not staff parishes. Parishes were staffed by canons or by secular priests. Friars taught at the great universities or lived among the people as their neighbors preaching by their presence. They responded to whatever need the people around them had, except parish work.

She turns to me, bright red, and said, “Let me get this straight. We donate money to you guys so you can live buddy buddy as brothers?”

I responded, “Not quite. The friars work for their keep. But when our work does not produce enough income, we do what other poor people do. We beg. However, a friar-priest will never deny anyone the sacraments, if he’s asked. Many hear confessions on street corners, subway stations, retreats and other strange places. They celebrate mass on the bed of a truck out on a farm where there is no chapel or church for miles or at a make shift altar in some slum where there is no chapel or church. Our non ordained friars teach at universities, do spiritual direction, fix cars, cook meals for soup kitchens, spend hours before the Blessed Sacrament, run emergency pregnancy centers, homeless shelters, mission chapels in poor areas. Some even sleep under bridges with the homeless when it becomes to late to catch a ride home.”

Now the lady is getting really angry. She says, “I’m sorry Brother, but you guys not only look like bumbs, but you live like them too. I’m not donating any more money to your communities. I want a return for my money.” :eek:

It was just my luck that I was walking back home from having taken care of a special needs baby (8 months old) who has to be fed through a feeding tube. When I picked him up, after feeding him, he vomited all over me. My habit was stained and smelled like baby vomit. I can’t wash it until wash day. I have to wear it as is. The lady had no idea why I looked like a bum and smelled funny, nor was I about to tell her.

I came in one day wearing torn jeans, a faded t-shirt and sneakers with holes in them. Little did I know that the bishop was visiting. He asked me where I was coming from. I explained that I was coming from a youth retreat. He looked at me wide eyed and said, “Looking like that???”

“Yes, Excellency, I was on the cleanup crew. This is all I have.” A few days later the bishop’s secretary arrived with a check, “For new work clothes.” LOL

The point is, that our clothes are not always going to be what the average man and woman in the pew expects. We normally don’t explain why we dress a certain way for mass or while in the apostolate, because for us, it’s a very normal thing to which we don’t give a second thought. It’s not rebellion. When you do something all the time, you forget that what is normal for you is a novelty for others. What the law allows you, is not what it allows the majority. Sometimes I get a question as to why we dress a certain way or do things a certain way and I just shrug and say, “We’ve always done it this way. I’m not sure when it began or why.”


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

The OMIs road the trails of South Texas. Down here, they are known as the Cavalry of Christ. In the Diocese of Brownsville, they founded about 80 percent of the parishes, including the church that became our cathedral (The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception) and the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle. In my town, the founded all three parishes. Sadly, as the OMI numbers have dwindled, they are down to three parishes and the Cathedral. They were forced to return two parishes to the diocese last year.

I always though the Oblates had a distinct garb. All of the historical pictures have them wearing black cassock (with the wrap-around Roman collar) with a round brim hat. This is how they are pictured in the historic pictures:

Interestingly enough, as the Oblate presence has dwindled in our diocese, the Franciscans of the Assumption of the BVM Province (OFM) have picked up the slack. They are now in control of two of the former OMI parishes. (One of the parishes which is celebrating its 100 anniversary has a sign that says “Our Parish yesterday and today…100 years” with the OMI interlocking M-and-cross emblem and the Franciscan tau.)

This is was the dress of the secular clergy at the time. The OMIs have never had a habit. They wear whatever the secular clergy wears in the region. They’re not supposed to wear anything that would identify them as religious. Around here, they do wear a small crucifix. I don’t know if it’s a local thing or the entire congregation.

Interestingly enough, as the Oblate presence has dwindled in our diocese, the Franciscans of the Assumption of the BVM Province (OFM) have picked up the slack. They are now in control of two of the former OMI parishes. (One of the parishes which is celebrating its 100 anniversary has a sign that says “Our Parish yesterday and today…100 years” with the OMI interlocking M-and-cross emblem and the Franciscan tau.)

We do a lot of joint work, because both communities have been very involved with the immigrant poor during the past 30 years or so. The OMIs are growing in places like India and Africa. We have several Indian OMIs who have been sent to the USA as missionaries.

The Archbishop asked their superior to supervise our separation from OSF Franciscans to become the FFV. He was very helpful and an incredibly intelligent man. It was a very smooth split.


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

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