The Roman College Cassocks

My friend John Sonnen at Orbis Catholicus has a great photo of some men in the cassock of the Scots College in Rome.

This is something which much be revived in Rome: the college cassocks.

Here is another of John’s shots of some men in the Propaganda cassock.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Seminarian says:

    Is it a sin to be envious in this case? Oh how many of us seminarians here in the States would love to “take the cassock” Quite ironic that for this post the anti spam word was “identity”.

  2. Mitchell NY says:

    I thi nk seminarians all over should be able to wear cassocks..I heard the Americans in Rome can not. Is that true?? Anyways it is a good way to remind people of their Catholic Faith. To take a subway or walk down the street and see someone in a cassock and stop for a minute to think about one’s Faith. For example, sitting on a subway next to a seminarian or Father in clerical dress I would be inclined to start a conversation. But in secular dress I could never tell the dfference and would not have that conversation…And who knows where the conversation would have lead? Seminarains and Priest alike need our respect and the cassock is a symbol of honor and respect to the average lay person. Why not display it? It may just garner a smile during a busy day, and who doesn’t need that !

  3. Seminarian says:

    I have heard mixed comments about the cassock at the NAC in Rome. As for in the states, we (seminarians) are not allowed to wear clerics ( in most places) lest we “misrepresent” ourselves as priets. In the theology level, we may wear them to class, liturgies, and on other ocassions with permission. Most of us wish we could wear them and provided that witness, I would venture to say that we have no intention of misreprsenting ourselves. On a side note, aren’t those House Cassocks lovely? The American College House Cassock is nice as well, I can’t provide a link to it but it is worthy trying to see.

  4. JBS says:

    Isn’t there some rule that only seminarians who have received Candidacy (which replaced the old tonsure) may wear clerical attire? On the other hand, I have seen altar girls and female cantors wearing soutanes and surplices, so it is unclear to me. When I was first ordained, it was difficult for me to don clerical garb of any kind in public,since I am something of an introvert. It would have helped me if my seminary had retained the practice of requiring the soutane, at least while on campus.

  5. Martin says:

    Wonderful. It’s great to see the future of the Church so vibrant!

  6. Peter says:

    Great! Are these also worn liturgically, with surplice?

  7. Nemo says:

    The FSSP seminarians take the cassock and tonsure at the beginning of the second year. What do the others do?

  8. RBrown says:

    Shouldn’t the Scots College cassock be plaid? With matching golf bag?

    BTW, I remember seeing the Prop Fide cassock on Peter Joseph.

  9. jimsantafe says:

    RE: Americans in Rome

    The usual dress for seminarians at the North American College is clerical attire, either with or without a suit coat. We are required to dress in clerics at essentially all public, academic, and liturgical events, etc. and are permitted to wear them anytime, including, e.g., going out for pizza. Of course, Rome is so over-flowing with priests and seminarians, we hardly get a second look!

    As for cassocks: they are regularly worn by various ministers at College liturgies, and for other liturgies in Rome, especially at St. Peter’s. We can’t wear them when the clerical suit is required under the dress code, but are free do so when attending events in Rome.

  10. Timbot says:

    The seminarians of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius are forbidden from exiting the cloister in anything other than a cassock, complete with rosary cincture, an interesting reversal of common practice elsewhere

  11. mfg says:

    I am in favor of all priests wearing cassocks at all times period. It says out lous, “I am a Catholic Priest”. As for seminarians, that is up to the rector. Since I do not know the ins and outs I will keep quiet on the subject, but they sure look good, don’t they.

  12. mfg says:

    oops, I forgot. The cassocks should of course be topped off with the biretta. So cool!

  13. Mary says:

    Seminarian said:

    Is it a sin to be envious in this case? Oh how many of us seminarians here in the States would love to “take the cassock” Quite ironic that for this post the anti spam word was “identity”.

    Well, I’m not even a man, but the photo made me wish I were a Scottish seminarian!

  14. Mr. H. says:

    Fr. Z:

    I learn something new and interesting every time I pull up this site.


    Mr. H

  15. therese b says:

    I hope and pray that among these fine young Scotsmen, there are some who will consider learning the EF Mass, and promoting it. Currently I believe there are none in Paisley Diocese, and only one or two (diocesan) in Glasgow and Edinborough (plus Fssp). However, I see from another blog that the Bishop of Aberdeen celebrated the EF on Papa Stronsay, so maybe things are starting to happen…..

  16. Jayna says:

    I so wish I could have seen this stuff when I was in Rome. I was there for four days and saw maybe a handful of cassocks. I dig those Propaganda cassocks. Don’t the NAC cassocks have the same asymmetrical buttons on the chest?

  17. Gordon Moyes says:

    So jimsantafe, in the NAC the clerical suite, which has never had a long or codified history, is perscribed to be worn, and against the cassock! The clerical suit is good, but much inferior to the traditional cassock. In a secular equivalent it sounds the same as being prescribd to wear a t-shirt as opposed to a business suit.

    If you can wear a clerical suit, why can’t one wear a cassock? Sounds like splitting hairs, unless the NAC doesn’t want Americans picking up any Europen customs, like wearing cassocks in public.

  18. Quadraginta Annus says:

    Reverend Father,

    Please clarify something for me. It is my understanding that, until one receives Holy Orders, one should wear the cincture on the right side, but all of these seminarians are wearing it on the left side, as ordained priests do. Am I misinformed? In any event, to see them wearing cassocks at all is an encouragement.

    Very respectfully,

    Quadraginta Annus

  19. Seminarian says:

    Quadragnita Annus: The Cincture is worn on the left side, unless a congregation’s habit requires unordained members to wear it on the right. I too was curious about that when I got my cassock

  20. Thomas says:

    I’m no fashionista, but those blue cassocks with red sash don’t do it for me. Maybe they look sharper in person.

  21. Quadraginta Annus says:

    Thank you, Seminarian. That does clarify the issue for me. I can recall that, when I was a youngster, in the 1950’s, in Jesiut high school and university, the “left side, right side” protocol was the rule, or at least, the practice. The FSSP follows it today, I believe. Again, thank you.

    Kindest regards,


  22. ssoldie says:

    Ahhhhh! Tradition, the cassocks are truly wonderful, by thier fruits you will know them.

  23. Manrique Zabala de Arízona says:

    The first picture reminded me of one of the ‘caption contests’ I’ve seen before by His Hermeneuticalness.

    My say on that one would be from one of the priests in the backgroung:

    ‘Hey, Piero, look at that. They’re bringing back cassocks. Didn’t our teachers in the seminary used to wear them’

    ‘I guess we should be saving to get some too’ ;)

  24. Philip says:

    “I’m no fashionista, but those blue cassocks with red sash don’t do it for me. Maybe they look sharper in person.”

    They actually aren’t blue, but a cross between blue and purple. You’re right, it does look odd when it just looks blue but is a completely different colour in-the-cloth.

  25. irishgirl says:

    I love the Scots College cassocks! Very cool!

    ‘Plaid’ and ‘matching golf bag’-haha, RBrown, very funny!

    Oh, what I have missed since I was last in Rome…it’s been 26 years!

    I hope that John Sonnen has pictures of other College cassocks!

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