Fr. Longenecker, about whom I have always written with charity, has stepped over the line.

Apparently living in a place where he admits maniples are …. and I can hardly bring myself to write… rare, he has nearly frothed that the ferraiuolo is truly his own, that it is not borrowed. 

I will no longer give his… or whosesoever it was … ferraiuolo more attention, unless he should show up in one for supper at the Sabine Farm (an occasion, I might add, becoming less and less likely).

It would be best not to, you know, "disturb" him longer on that point.

His maniplely-deprived frustration has reduced him to name-calling.  Who knows what might be next!

Thus, I turn my back on that ferraiuolo, casually kick the sand… er um… snow from my feet and move on down the road to different topics.

Oh… by the way… that is something entirely different, though your average priest familiar with the ways of Rome will recognize it right away.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Central Valley Catholic says:

    The winner of the battle is hands down is Fr. Z. Fr. the pic in the snow is great. In order to win you must not only defeat you must humiliate. I am still prayign for Fr. Z to be Bp. Z and assigned to Fresno, Ca. were we need a man like him.

  2. You do not love Fr. Z if you pray for that, CVC.

  3. James says:

    Father, this is really very childish and is reducing clerical attire to a dressing up contest.

    [You need to lighten up a bit.]

  4. cuaguy says:

    So my stupidity in some clerical attire is about to show here- What is that Fr. Z?

  5. Brian Day says:

    This is humor. Relax.

  6. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    The saturno. Live and in the wild!

  7. Tina says:

    Not to be a spoilsport, how do we know it is you? In both pictures your back has been to the camera……

    [It is pretty hard to see the back of the priest… the point… and the garment… the other point… unless I have my back to the people. o{];¬) ]

  8. Dwight Longenecker says:

    Tina. Precisely. See my blog. The photograph is actually of me last winter.

  9. Dear Fr. Longenecker,

    Does your hair thin and change color during the summer months, then?

    Your Obedient Servant,

    Christopher R. Altieri, Ph.L.

  10. Rob says:

    “Mirror, mirror on the wall…”

  11. Zach says:

    Why Fr. Z,
    How spiffy you look in your ferraioletto.

  12. Dwight Longenecker says:

    I started shaving my head six months ago…

  13. Central Valley: In order to win you must not only defeat you must humiliate.


    No, no. I have nothing but good will toward Fr. L.

    And my time in Roman and in the Roman classics, especially Caesar, taught me that you must always leave your enemy a honorable out, unless you are determined to utterly wipe him from the face of the earth. That would never be my intention with as fine a priest as Fr. L clearly is.

    This is all good-natured jousting.

  14. “video,” dixit caecus.

    Please understand, Reverend Fr. L., that my interest was purely scientific. Some mammals do wear thinner coats during the summer, and some mammals’ coats change color from season to season. I thought for a moment yours might have been the first recorded case of a mammal, whose coat would darken in winter. Usually, coats thicken and lighten color in winter – it is a sort of camouflage, if I understand correctly. I am not trained in the pertinent fields, of course. The merest dilettante.

    YOS, etc.


  15. Fr. Anthony says:

    You should have been to Griciglino in the early 90’s! We didn’t wear the “blue stuff” when I was there. Here’s a little satire “show” I have put on my web site:


    Enjoy it. Of course I mean no evil to Msgr. Wach or any of the ICKSP priests, especially if they are doing a good job in the US and elsewhere.

    Fr. Anthony

  16. Tim Ferguson says:

    Hmmm I am mightily suspicious of Fr. L’s claims that this be him…

    I believe that I see on the third branch of that fifth tree the unmistakable plummage of the Sabine-tufted winter warbler.

    And aren’t those scatterings of eggplant (not zucchini!) skin on the ground there?

    I think I’m going to have to cite canon 1543 in support of Fr. Z here and state that if this is indeed Fr. L, his image has been transposed to the Sabine Farm. Of course, were I asked to judge the matter canonically, I’d have to invoke cc. 1582f and arrange for a recognitio.

  17. opey124 says:

    You do look rather nice, Fr.

  18. momoften says:

    Poor Father Longbecker-
    He longs to be so much like Father Z who nourishes our bodies spiritually as well as physically by helping us prepare good food (do you see the correlation between Jesus feeding the thousands with a loaf of bread and fishes—and healing the souls of thousands while on earth—and Father Z’s work here on this blog? Thanks for all you do Father Z!

  19. supertradmom says:

    In the “fashion wars”, I think Father Z wins “hands-down” and with panache.

  20. James Capaldi says:

    How do we know that Photoshop wasn’t employed to put Father Longenecker’s ferraioletto onto Father Z’s back?

    P.S. Father Z, I am only joking. Please don’t ban me from the blog!

  21. Aelric says:

    My first impression of the photo was of a Myrddraal from (the late) Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time Series. Then I saw the shadow in the snow and gave thanks to the Light. :-)

  22. John Enright says:

    LOL! Not only do you provide liturgical direction to us, but also recipes and now really funny posts! Your blog gets better by the day. Bravo!

  23. Joan Ellen says:

    Liturgical direction. Spiritual direction. And recipes.
    And funny posts. Speaking of recipes, have you ever included lox with your bagels and cream cheese? I think I saw bagels and cream cheese in one of your photos. Any way, if I did not see that in one of your photos, this is a good snack lunch…’snunch’. God Bless you for your help, Fr.

  24. RBrown says:

    Looking at the photo Fr Z, I am reminded of the scene in “Gone With The Wind” when Scarlett comes down the stairs wearing the drapes.

    And of course, even better was the Carol Burnett satire of the scene.

  25. little gal says:

    Fr. Anthony:

    Thanks for your post (and link). It was a long, hard week and I needed a laugh!

  26. Warren Anderson says:

    Eegad, a clerical soap opera :-)

  27. Allison says:

    This is the most fun I’ve had on the “blogsphere” yet! The banter between Fr. Z and Fr. Longenecker is better than any sitcom. I soooo look forward to the next “episode.”

    It’s must-see blogee…I know, I’m reaching here….


  28. mrsmontoya says:

    Gentlemen, gentlemen. Does not Holy Mother Church have enough work as she tries valiantly to heal such schisms that already exist, without you two adding yet another fracture? Come, find your common ground, look with charity upon each other, see Christ in your brother. Or risk the visitation of a modern-day Catherine of Sienna.

  29. Fr Fenton says:


    I am going to guess the ferraiuolo is the point here — worn off the shoulder for a non-prelate rather than over-the-shoulder. Also, interestingly ironed.

  30. Sieber says:

    Basta! Basta! Basta!!

    I bring to you a much more weighty matter of clerical attire, the manner of wearing a Pectoral Cross.

    In recent years these things swing dangerously unfettered. Not so long ago bishops in street clothes tucked them to one side leaving only a golden chain partially exposed; in their cassocks, they would hook them to a button.
    (think the Pope or Bishop Sheen)so that they hang where a “pectoral” cross ought. Now a days they may have to call them Tummy Crosses. I know their mother will warn them not to turn to fast or they put their eye out or accidently dip them in sacred chrism or get them caught in a wringer or..or.. just look plain foolish.


  31. Margaret says:

    Who took this picture anyway? And don’t tell me it was just a timer and a tri-pod– how untraditional… I’m inclined to side with Fr. Longenecker’s claim to this shot, since he has a wife and children in residence to snap the photo.

  32. joy says:

    But Margaret, don’t forget about Fr. Z’s dinner parties, at which any number of his guests would have most graciously offered to take Father’s picture (between courses, of course!)

  33. Gloria says:

    By all means keep up the humor, the recipes, the photographs. We need all the serious information you bring to us; but we need to monitor our blood pressure and to take a healthy dose of laughter (even an occasional snicker) for our well-being. The fair and balanced (ahem) approach is what makes this site the first one I look at when the computer warms up every day and I’ve warmed up with my first cup of coffee.

  34. Fr Mark says:

    unless I am mistaken, this is a feraiolletta, worn by minor clerics and not be priests right?
    Which brings me to my point. A cry for help in fact. The garment pictured has splendid accordion pleats. I posess a ferraiuolo, a second hand one I admit (I could afford ferraiuolo or greca, not both – the latter seemed more useful) different from the feraiolletta in that it is folded forward over the shoulders instead of hanging sheer down the back like the latter. Now, my problem is that it has no accordion pleats. It is not made of silk – my understanding is that, for those not entitled to the purple, silk is a privilege of members of the pontifical household, and I am not yet of such exalted rank. I find that my unpleated, base-cloth garment is much inferior in aspect to the much more swish one in the piucture – and that this is against the natural order of things, given the more lowly rank (if I have understood correctly) of those who should wear the diminutive form. Now, my questions are these: does this mean that my ferraiuolo is a fake? Or have the accordion pleats merely fallen out due to inexpert care? Or again, are there ferraiuolos of both types, with and without pleats, perhaps indicating some arcane difference in the status of the wearers? If I need pleats, do you know any goodhearted souls posessing a crimping machine and a lot of patience? Please be brutally frank. In spite of any emotional pain I may feel at learning the truth about my ferraiuolo, I feel I should face up to it like a man.

  35. Dr. Eric says:

    Bridget et al.

    One could accuse Sts. John Bosco and Philip Neri of the same waste of time. What these priests are doing isn’t immoral and if it brings us some chuckles and interest in what our priests used to wear (and may do again) then I would say let them continue!

  36. steve says:

    A very big reason that this blog and Fr. Longenecker’s blog are so popular is because they use humor, cooking recipes, bird pictures, humorous anecdotes, etc… as well as solid Catholic teachings and orthodox thoughts.

    Relax and try to enjoy life. It doesn’t always have to be a serious lecture. Laugh and be a little silly.

    It is good for your soul.

  37. avecrux says:

    I think the significant pastoral needs of the Church are attended to best when Priests enjoy one another’s company – and the company of their people. A sense of humor goes a long way in doing that.

  38. Rob says:

    HA! You should all take vestment lessons from this man! You guys are too fancy for my liking:


    Try one on for size!

  39. Paladin says:

    Ransomed Pagan Baby wrote:

    Fr Z. go do something priestly instead of aimlessly blogging.

    (*ahem*) Would that also imply that you should be feeding the poor or praying novenas, instead of aimlessly posting comments on blogs you take to be aimless?

    Moral of the story: lighten up, for crying out loud! Joy and humour are not at all incompatible with faithfulness and diligence, you know.

    I remember a story about St. John, the beloved disciple, many years after Our Lord ascended into heaven. Some of the faithful found the great Saint sitting and stroking a pet falcon rather aimlessly; when they expressed their surprise that he wasn’t engaged in the hard work of “saving souls, spreading the Gospel, etc.”, he asked in reply:

    “Tell me: do any of you hunt?”

    One of the men answered, “Yes, I do.”

    St. John asked: “As a hunter, do you keep your bow strung always?”

    “Why, no.”

    “Why not?”

    “Because the string would lose its tension and be ruined!”

    “Just so, with those who seek to serve the Gospel. Do not carry your bow always strung, or you will be likewise ruined.”

    Can we take the hint?

  40. Geoffrey says:

    I’m sorry, but all I could think of when seeing this latest installment was:

    “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SuperPriest!”


  41. Joan Moore says:

    Fr. Z, you can surely put an end to the “is it Fr. Z?” “Is it Fr. L?” – just set up your video cam and model the marvelous clerical attire, pirouetting to show us all aspects – including your face!

    Of course, Fr. L. would then claim that you had edited his video…..

    But seriously, we would love to see a video presentation of all the various garments.

  42. Subvet says:

    Fashion statements aside, I see Fr. Longenecker has ventured on more than one occasion into this lion’s den. Fr. Z has yet to make a similar appearance on his opponent’s blog.

  43. Vincenzo says:

    Joan wrote:

    “Fr. Z, you can surely put an end to the “is it Fr. Z?” “Is it Fr. L?..”

    Until then, this might help..

  44. Reverendo Padre G. Possenti says:

    Finally – a piece of clerical garb trumping my own collection – which is nothing at which to shake a stick. Where does one acquire this ferraioletto? I will have one and it must have one by the end of the week!

    And why no demonstrative Greca has appeared amazes me. Does the good Father Longenecker have also one of those?

  45. My one questing to Fr. Z. How in the heck do you keep all those pleats so neat? I like the saturno. Mine was not fitted properly and I need to find a hatter to stretch it a bit.

  46. Ed says:

    Do either of the good Fr.’s possess a cotta rippa such as Cardinal Dante used?

  47. I have never seen a ferraiola with all those pleats. It needs to be able to flow like the ferraiola on Bishop Sheen.

  48. Brandon says:

    I say a duel of clerical attire on common grounds. At noon.

  49. Tim Ferguson says:

    Meditation over this issue this morning, one persistent thought kept coming to mind. Has anyone ever actually seen Father Z and Father L in the same place at the same time?

    Is it not possible that they are truly one and the same person? The respective presence and absence of hair is something that can easily be solved by anyone with even a slight familiarity with the theatrical arts. Are we perhaps all the victims of an elaborate deception, and this “rivalry” is intended, like sleight of hand, to draw our attention away from the truth?

    I’m just sayin….

  50. Tim F: It would be good for Fr. L’s traffic, no?

  51. Dwight Longenecker says:

    Fr. Z, stop pretending to be me.

  52. ssoldie says:

    Where can I get patterns for these wonderful things that both Fr. Z ans Fr. D have? I would like very much to try and make them.

  53. Ella says:

    That’s a new garment for me! Very interesting and impressive, even though I’m on the Dark Side in Longenecker’s parish :-P You gentlemen brighten my day. I enjoy your light-hearted banter in the middle of real teaching.

  54. Daniel Latinus says:

    I have a priest friend who needs to find out where to get a saturno. Where can he get one?

  55. irishgirl says:

    I liked the ‘rivalry’ between Fr. Z and Fr. L! It was good for a laugh!

    [believe you me, I needed a good one]

  56. Nicandro says:

    You’ve like… so… just got to have the right image these days.



    Nos totus labor lapsus down superficies of res!

  57. Mertonian says:

    Never trust a man who wears Gothic vestments when he doesn’t have to…

  58. Caeremoniarius says:

    What is this neologism “ferraioletto”? The garment in the picture is
    simply a ferraiolo (or “ferraiuolo”). The garment *most* people wrongly
    called a “ferraiolo” (the large cloak we think of when we think of Mgr
    Sheen) is the ferraiolone (or “ferraiuolone”). The last time I actually
    saw a real ferraiolo was when Christopher Reeve wore one in that awful
    movie “Monsignor” in the ’80s. Nice to see one again!

Comments are closed.