Changing My Habits

This is what I looked like in a Roman Collar for most of my priesthood:

Here’s an example of the vestments I wore when I was doing Mass in English (and other languages) in 2015:

After Holy Mass in the Basilica of St. James of Campostella in Santiago, Spain after finishing the Camino in 2015.

Here’s an example of the vestments I wore after switching to the Traditional Latin Mass:

After Holy Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Jacksonville, Florida. This was my last active assignment (2018) before becoming a diocesan hermit.

My first religious habit as a hermit was this.  (A habit is worn under Mass vestments at Mass, but the habit is supposed to be worn all day.)

A “habit” is what I wear in my hermitage or on the street. (This replaces the “cassock” that you see in the first picture above.)

I then asked a priest in NYC to make a habit.  After measuring me in NYC (me—a 162lb man) he made this habit that would fit an 800lb person…and charged me $800!  This was my second habit and it was a total disaster:

Yes, that ridiculous habit fully covers a queen bed. (I no longer have a queen bed and I never got my money back for that monstrosity.)

Finally, here is my new habit:

The above picture is with two families who used to be my parishioners when I was stationed in Louisiana.   We took this picture recently while getting together in the Appalachians.  (Their combined 10 kids are elsewhere in another picture.)

I designed my own habit to fit my own vows, personality and apostolate.  I also designed it to not look like the habit of too many of the other religious congregations with whom I occasionally fraternize.  It is a “charcoal grey” and the hood is called a “cowl.”  We’re still working on the sizing, but it’s looking better than my previous ones, so far.

Some people ask why I don’t just go copy a habit of the Franciscans or Dominicans or Carmelites.  The reason is because a habit is a uniform, not totally unlike a military uniform.  Every uniform is a symbol of something, and wearing a uniform not-your-own is a felony.  (I think it’s also called “stolen valor.”)

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the Bronx with the neighborhood kids.  I sometimes stay with them while doing pro-life work and very much admire them.  But I wouldn’t wear their exact habit since I haven’t taken their vows.