Hello Friends in Christ,

I’m looking for some advice on a problem I’ve encountered. I’m a Roman Catholic college student with a traditional lean. I attend a secular university but I’ve recently been elected to the Executive Board for our Catholic Community on campus. I’m very excited about the opportunity I have as the Vice President of Spirituality.

Although we celebrate a less than traditional Mass because we celebrate it at the Interfaith Chapel and we share the space with others, I wear a chapel veil during Mass. However, because of my recent election, our Campus Minister has requested that I remove the chapel veil if I am giving announcements at the end of Mass, as Executive Board members often do. She said she doesn’t want to interfere with my spirituality but she also doesn’t want others to feel that this is the required spirituality of the community. She said in the past she had to ask Eucharistic Ministers who preferred to kneel when receiving Communion to refrain from doing so when they were acting as Eucharistic Ministers because they received before the whole community.

What should I do? As I previously wrote, we are in the Interfaith Chapel, and therefore our tabernacle is in a separate Sanctuary, so I think it might be possible that the Blessed Sacrament has been removed by the time the announcements are given. She’s not asking me not to wear it at all, and it is pleasing to our Lord when we humbly submit to our superiors despite our own will. I veil whether I’m alone in Adoration or being a cantor at Mass, not because of anyone’s presence except our Lord’s.Overall I just want to show love and reverence for Our Lord and would appreciate any advice on how to proceed.


Are you the only one that veils? If your the only one or a few others do, what is the worry.
I suggest you continue to veil, why because it is a symbol of devotion to Our Lord and Savior and it shows femininity. Sounds to me the minister is one who can’t take confrontations if he/she had to do something like that to Eucharistic ministers in the past about kneeling before communion. Like you said it’s an interfaith chapel therefore your traditional bend should be allowed regardless of someones mere opinion on the matter.

You could present the Canon law that says you can veil.

Also do others veil?

Would you ask a Muslim woman to remove her hijab during a service? No you wouldn’t.

Your campus minister has no right to ask those kneeling to stand nor for you to remove your veil. There is plenty of info online to show him and in the worst of cases a local bishop to appeal to.

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They have no right to tell you what you can and cannot do during Mass, no matter whether it is a secular college or not. The people who are there during the Mass are going to be Catholics, or, if not, at least people who know something about the Truths of Catholic teaching. Therefore, you should keep doing whatever is comfortable for you and not let anyone interfere (even though the woman says she isn’t). Plus, I don’t think anyone is going to feel that veiling is required just because you are wearing one.

May God bless you and guide you to continued holiness! :slight_smile:

Veiling is normal for you,
Clearly it’s not for the community.
You have to decide if it’s a deal breaker for you. It’s your conscience. If you believe that not veiling is disrespectful to the Lord, then that’s your stance. Go with your gut.

They have no right, but if only the confrontation is what makes you feel “comfortable” it’s a disingenuous approach to take. Sometimes advising the stand an fight tactic is a disservice…why not take it off for the announcements and use 1 peter 4:14-16 for a round of lectio divina?

A dear friend I met through sent a veil to me as a present.

There were handouts in the package from the store.

I read the post. If you prefer to veil, then this is what I recommend.

Perhaps you could email the person who made the suggestion/request and say, " I don’t want to cause a fuss; I’m happy to put out materials / handouts explaining that veiling is a personal choice, and is allowed under x y and z. I certainly don’t want to appear as if this is the norm nowadays, but I feel strongly that I’m called to do this, and this option is open for all ladies who choose to participate…"

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Hello Blessed.

To quote Nancy Regan - “Just say No!” If you are used to veiling for Mass and she thinks she has the right to ask you not to, ask her why that is her right? You can always step down. You have a right to wear it and no one can tell you otherwise. The Mass isn’t hers to structure to her liking anyway, so why does she feel comfortable telling others how to worship especially in an interfaith setting. As I see it, she is not the Pastor there, not by a long shot so why is she determining how other people worship? Who told her she is in charge of such things and I think the right question to ask her is would she do the same at her home parish? Or would she expect her Pastor at her home parish to forbid the wearing of chapel veils by every woman? Or do he forbid the reception of Communion by those knelling? This is not only unheard of but also anti-Catholic. Pray the Blessed Mother gives you the right words to approach her and tell her you will remain veiled. Peer pressure at its worst. Just a tiny bit of the Cross for modesty. Let us know how it goes.

I’ll pray for you too.


P.S. I veil for Mass and have had my share of nasty comments and rudeness too. Oh well. I’m a stubborn woman. I’d like to see someone try to ask me to forget my veil!

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How far we’ve strayed when a woman covering her head, something once mandated, is now regarded as open to misinterpretation. Would she ask a woman wearing a hat to take it off? What’s the difference? 45 years ago there was no difference.

Let me see if I understand this.

Basically, the person dictating to the OP is saying that her personal opinion is that one receives communion standing, and women do not wear a head covering, and so no person at ‘her’ Mass may do anything else but that, lest the ‘community’ think that what those people do is ‘required’.

**YET CANON LAW SPECIFICALLY STATES that **any person **may receive communion kneeling and/or on the tongue.

And Canon law specifically states that any woman who chooses to do so may wear a head covering.

If I were the OP, **I would approach the priest and say, "Father, I have been told by X that if I were to wear my chapel veil ‘when giving announcements’ --the same veil that I feel called to wear as a personal choice, and which Holy Mother Church specifically states is permitted-- that I would be somehow in doing so 'radiating to the community that my veil and the wearing thereof is the **preferred community ‘spirituality’.

What is your feeling on this, Father? I don’t understand what this person is saying. I don’t see how it matters that I personally wear a veil at Mass. I truly don’t know why perfect legitimate choices for any member of our Church are being made to seem, by this woman, ‘wrong’. . .because why else would she request we not do them? If people ‘emulated’ the practice, would they be wrong? They wouldn’t, would they? So why would she want to stop somebody doing something ‘right’? If she wants to stop the practice, it must mean she thinks it wrong, but Father, it isn’t wrong. It would go against my conscience, Father, if I were to stop doing something I feel led by the Spirit to do, which the Church agrees I have the right to do.

I don’t feel ‘prideful’, Father. I don’t feel that "I’m right, she’s wrong’. I truly would submit myself, personally, without fuss, if she were requesting that I not wear it at all. . .but she isn’t. She is saying, "wear it if you’re not ‘in front of’ everybody so that we can just ignore it, but the minute that you are ‘in front of’ the ‘community’, you MUST take off your veil.

Father, if something is wrong at ‘one’ point, it is wrong at all points. If I should not wear the veil ‘in front of people’ in church–the same people who could see me if I were standing next to them, or ‘near to me’ IN church-- then I should likewise not wear it at any point when I am in the church at all. Otherwise, it is obvious that it is not my wearing a veil that is the problem, it is this woman’s perception (and it is, with all due respect, a misperception) that is the problem.

I am not trying to 'make anybody 'do as I do by wearing a veil, Father. It is this woman who is trying to make ME do as SHE does, in ‘taking off the veil’. With respect, Father, who is the one who is doing the coercion here? Who is the one who is trying to make the other person feel her behavior is wrong if she does not ‘do as I do?’

Please help me to understand, Father, why it is all right for members of our church to bully other members and make demands for them to deny their conscience ‘in the name of the community’. The last I knew, every last one of us was supposed to be in Church for GOD, and not ‘the community.’


I was just about to post the same thing with emphasis on the bolded.

One more thing: I’m increasing ly uncomfortable with the use of the word “veiling.” If we approach it and talk about head covering using that term it sounds less Catholic and more of an affectation. I’m not against wearing a matilla or veil or any head covering; I wear a matilla of my mom’s at certain times. I wonder if we change the way we talk about it and practice it (more hats and fewer mantillas) it might not be seen as such an unusual practice.

Are there other options that will still allow you to keep your head covered when giving the announcements? Possibilities include a beret or a wide hairband.
In the days when women were mandated to wear something on our heads even to enter a Catholic church, most of us wore a hat. Chapel veils actually came later. They were easy to tuck into purses.
Living overseas, I was asked to take off my cap. I did take the matter to my pastor. What I wore instead was my pashmina.
When I first became a lector, the parish priest asked that all who were on the altar not wear hats of any type. This was many years ago when I lived in WI.
Again, consider a different alternative that will still allow you to follow the biblical directive to cover your head.
Stateside I have worn berets and a small newsboy cap that is close to the color of my hair. Nothing that draws attention.

I love this option. It reminds me of the stories of how John Paul II outsmarted the Soviets when they banned processions bearing the image of Our Lady so he encouraged a procession where they carried empty frames down the street, A LOOPHOLE! No one got in trouble.

I actually was thinking of JPII quite a bit when reading this thread. I think you should watch the movie bio on JPII, the one with Carey Elwes and John Voight, and think about this: years ago at a Catholic University, a teacher was stopped by a Muslim student staring above the door.
“What’s that?” the student asked the professor.
“Oh, just the outline of where our cross used to hang,” answered the professor.
“Why did you take the cross down?”
“We didn’t want to offend anybody.”
“Why on earth would you remove the symbol of your faith; Muslims would not worry about offending, nor would Jews.”

I STRONGLY suggest you take a stand on this. But get your facts straight and then go kindly after the truth. If your opponent dares to hold her ground, continue to be kind, say “I am confused”, and then ask her where is this a problem in church law? Then, if she holds any kind of authority and stands firm against your mantilla, then wear a small, pretty hat or beret.
Good luck. No wonder people go to orthodox faiths.

This was my thought, too. Some people seem to have issues with the chapel veil or mantilla itself. The pastor at my home parish is one of those, because of some things that went down before I started attending, so I choose to cover my head with a cap, extra-wide headband, or scarf when I attend there out of obedience to his wishes and to avoid offending people who have an issue with it.

I would not feel comfortable uncovering for the announcements, or for anything still in the sanctuary, because my view of it is that I cover my head (I’m also not totally comfortable with the way we use veil as a verb) in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and Jesus is still there in the tabernacle, even before and after Mass.

There would be no tabernacle in an interfaith chapel shared with other religious groups.

Listen to your heart and stay strong. Praying for you.

Women wearing a Spanish style mantilla was certainly a feature of mass in my youth. But a head coving was what was deemed appropriate rather than a veil as such. So maybe more ‘every day’ headwear would be a suitable compromise?

One other thought occurred to me. As a man I wouldn’t wear a hat in church and I dare say if I did I would certainly attract some comments. If that convention is still observed then I see no reason for a woman not to cover her head. No muslim woman would be asked to unveil in my country (except to verify ID and then only to another woman) however in France they would be, as the law prohibits it in certain circumstances

I agree that the Campus Minister is overstepping their authority whenever they go against any church’s doctrine and if needed, the matter should go before the board.

A simple solution so that others not feel that this is the required spirituality of the community is to explain that it’s your personal choice and not required by the Church at the beginning of the ending announcements.

It’s interesting to note that many Orthodox Jewish married women wear a Sheitel, a wig, to meet the requirement that they cover their hair from public eyes.

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