"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stray thoughts: Man Crises Intervention - Dress Like a Man for Mass.

Mr. Catholic


Suit and tie required.  

For Mass.

If men dress like a man that means suit and tie.

For Mass.
Many are beginning to recognize the severe Catholic “man-crisis” and the necessary imperative to aggressively “emangelize” Casual Catholic Men. While new ardor, methods and expressions are needed from the Pope to the parish priest, laymen need to step up to their personal responsibility and respond to Christ’s commandment to make disciples. 
But the average Catholic man who is beginning to take Christ seriously about His call for all men to bring Him disciples, might be at a loss: “How can I evangelize other Catholic men? I haven’t been taught.” 
For those men (and all men), here is a simple but powerful way to immediately begin to make a difference: Dress like a man for Mass. - Finish reading here.

There's more to it than that of course, as the author details in his essay.

It sounds so 'Stepford' to me however.  Perfect uniformity, safe and secure in your parish.  Wife perfectly coiffured, dressed modestly in a dress, hat or mantilla covering her long uncut hair appropriately tamed in a French twist, kids all spit and polished in really smart clothes - polished shoes.  Nothing wrong with that.  Protestants do it.

They will know we are Christians by the way we dress.

A lot of guys have said one reason they don't go to church is because people are always watching to see what others are wearing.  Maybe modern Catholic Evangelicals haven't heard that before.

A suit is pretty much a corporate uniform in the eyes of ordinary people.  Some people don't even own a suit.  Just saying.

First place at banquets.

Something is off with Catholic Evangelicals.  There seems to be a Protestant ethic about them which I have trouble recognizing as Catholic - a sort of Prosperity Gospel mentality seems to have pervaded contemporary Catholic evangelization.  To put it bluntly, I had this to say to a couple of friends concerning a similar topic ...

There's something which strikes me as rather phony about some of these Catholic evangelists - something businessy, a little too well heeled, a little too commercial perhaps. It seems to me they place their trust in organizational skills, based upon business models and strategies, projecting goals/growth strategies. They get air time on Relevant Radio, they're showcased on EWTN, then launch themselves onto the lecture circuit. Catholicism becomes a career. They get awards and accolades for their work. They initiate surveys and institutes for special studies ... they run the Church like a business and they profit from it. Something is off.

How to get men back to Mass and why...




Gotz family to raise.



Song for this post here.

24 comments:

  1. There is a large group of Jehovah Witnesses that get coffee every Sat. at the store where I work. The men are all dressed in suits and ties and the women are usually wearing dresses (although tailored slacks are sometimes worn.) Anyhoo - seeing those men dressed in suits and very well groomed is rather startling because you just never see such a thing anymore. They look exquisitely handsome. Let's face it, Terry - most people look like slobs now. I think it's sad.

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    1. JW's and Mormons creep me out.

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    2. Gosh, I love it when they come to the door. The last JW's who came to the door were a mom and her young son (maybe 11 or 12). I was on my way out so I couldn't talk to them. But once two women came who were fallen away Catholics. They were baffled when I said that made me so sad. We talked for about 45 minutes. They've never returned. I think they didn't know how to deal with someone who knew the faith. I love the Mormon boys. I always invite them in. But they've never come to our house here in Woodstock. I used to see them in Alexandria. I admire the zeal of both groups and wish Catholics had as much.

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    3. I remember shortly after my conversion two came to my door and began to tell me about their faith - I got so excited and told them about how I just came back to the sacraments and then they told me it was wrong and I got out my Bible to show them where Jesus actually said he was God and the poor guys thought I was nuts and left asap! I felt so bad - kind of like Frankenstein and the hermit.

      Now that I know what Mormons and JW's believe, they creep me out because the religion is so blatantly false. One can admire them - but like Catholic fundamentalists, they have a lot of rules which have nothing to do with salvation.

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    4. Some JW's are definitely creepy. I worked with one years ago and he was spiraled eyed.

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    5. Nice one Terry! Good for laying the apologetic smackdown on them! Ever considered a professional apologist career or a speaking circuit?

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    6. Never, Julian. Never gave it a thought. :)

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  2. You won't hear an argument to your stream of consciousness on this one. I used to think we need all to be dressed to the 9's, and then my give-a-shitter broke. Let's get real. You can dress appropriately and modestly without wearing Kate Spade and Mario Testino. Come in your LL Bean or Mossimo or Marshall's or even your Dickies. As long as your clean, serviceable, and modest -- who really gives a flying fig?

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    1. I do black tie myself. Wouldn't be caught dead in LL Bean. What?

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  3. Remember the term "Sunday best"? I think we owe it to God to at least dress as well as we can when we go to Mass. Obviously, there are people who don't own a suit, who are economically disadvantaged, who can only stop at church on the way to work - and nobody should look down on them. (Nor, I think, does that often happen.)

    But here's the point: if you have a suit, if you have a blazer and slacks and a dress shirt, then you have no excuse for NOT wearing them when you go to Mass. Being in the True Presence is a big deal, and your mode of dress ought to reflect that gravitas.

    I always wear either a suit or a sportcoat, slacks, dress shirt and tie to Mass. When I dress down, it means I haven't included the pocket hanky. Does that mean I look askance at men who only have a nice shirt and slacks? Of course not. Do I feel as if I have to wear French cuffs and links, and that my shoes have to be polished until I can see my reflection in them? Give me a break! But when it comes to wearing shorts, flip flops, sports jerseys, and the like, that's where I draw the line. For heaven's sake people, dress like grown ups! Dress as you would for a job interview, because in fact that's partly what the Mass is. At least wear a nice shirt and pressed slacks. I don't care if the culture is business casual, or worse - Catholics are supposed to be counter-cultural, right?

    I think the argument should be the same as it is when we defend the use of archaic language in the Mass - neither our language nor our dress should be run-of-the-mill. It should be something different, something special.

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    1. No wonder you didn't get the job.

      What?

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    3. Jeron, that doesn't even make sense! :)

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  4. I can't stand it! I gotta poke a little fun at this amusing piece. ^^ I do agree though that one should dress to impress but well, in the presence of the Almighty, He is worthy of our finest attire indeed. I have to say that those who do not profess our faith do put us to shame since they do lead by example. The thought of short shorts at Mass is a sad spectacle indeed and the fact that it is allowed, well, worse.

    Now...to poke a little fun.

    I do recall what I said about being distracted by a handsome priest while at Mass but what of handsome, faith filled men who are dressed to the nines? And if they smell good? My dear mother favored a priest from Spain at our parish because "he always smelled good." She told me whenever he gave her communion, "his hands smelled wonderful." My mother does not approve of wayward women...but I did smile when she told me that which is rare indeed, for her. ^^

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  5. It's not dressing to impress, but if you were going out for a special date, wouldn't you make a little more effort? Isn't Jesus worth it? I cringe when I see shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops in church. I wouldn't ostracize anybody for that. Maybe they don't know any better. But it makes me wonder if they understand the Real Presence. I feel the same about the glad-handing, loud talking socializers in the church. As Fr. Groschel often said, "Tell them to shut up!"

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    1. Dress to impress is a figure of speech nothing more. I like seeing people dressed in honor of God. I pray to do the same but want also my heart and mind to be dressed for worship and praise and not be distracted by who does what, says what or acts what.

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  6. And everyone gets stuck on what to wear with what. LOL!

    The 'man crisis' is not about clothing or ritual.

    Here's a thought:

    Islam is obviously a man's religion and has no trouble attracting and keeping young men. The only dress code I know of which they have is for women. Maybe Christian men need to take control back from the women then?

    Women shouldn't wear pants - how about that one? LOL!

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    1. The man crisis or woman crisis...not about dress is true. I could be the finest dressed woman at Mass and yet be the biggest back stabber in my parish. My husband could be dressed to the nines to attract attention and have people admire him and for what? Vanity?

      No thanks. Let me wash my face and hands, dress myself in clean clothes and a clean heart. Though I be poor, I want to be rich inside with the glory of God, however small. ^^

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  7. Looks like I might be wrong with that too. I found this about Muslim men:

    "Here are some major factors concerning the way muslims dress in the west and all over..

    1# Dragging the garment..
    It is haram to drag the garment out of arrogance below the ankels, or to the point it draggs on the ground.. Many muslims wear clothes that dragg to this extent.. this is not allowed in islam.. The muslims should watch for this although there is the question as to whether it is out of arrogance or not, its best to avoid it completely to stay as close to the sunnah as possible..

    2# Wearing tight clothing that reveals the body..
    Men should not wear these types of clothing that are revealing.. It is a shame that the common practices of many men are to leave ones head uncovered and wear tight dress clothes..

    3# Not covering the head..
    This is a sunnah indeed. the prophet was rarely seen if ever without somthing covering his head.. the muslims not wearing head gear is clearly somthing that shows a lack of love for the sunnah..


    4# Wearing kufr branded clothes/ western brands..

    What a shame that people today instead of making our own islamic named clothes have resorted to wearing clothes that bear the names of shirk such as Nike and even foods such as chocolate that take the names of pagan "gods".. It is a shame that muslims have to wear these types of clothes in the football games and sports, straying from the sunnah with games like archery and spearplay.."


    Ah, well.

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  8. Why do they want everyone to wear highwater pants? It's not like it floods in the middle east.

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    1. I don't know what that means - maybe it's more about "pants on the ground" - remember that song?

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  9. Long time lurkerhere ... I don't think this question has a yes/no answer. Sunday Mass should be the high point of our we week, I know I usually just fit it in - my actions don't match the reality of the situation. We could probably all do more to put ourselves in the right disposition to worship on the Lord's Day and that may include dressing up for the solemnity of the occasion. The temptation is always to dress up for others rather than Jesus, but that's a temptation with any ritual.

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  10. Thanks for commenting Brian. Nicely stated.

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