Wear the black, wear the red, and then pray in front of abortion clinics.

There is a great photo on the blog of Philip Gerard Johnson, for whom I have sometimes requested your prayers.

These are seminarians of the Pontifical Seminary called the “Josephinum”. Because it is a Pontifical Seminary, and because it dates to the time when the USA was under Propaganda Fide, they use the cassock of Propaganda College in Rome.

Here are the seminarians praying the rosary in front of an abortion clinic.


Now if we could also get them to go pray in front of the White House or Health and Human Services.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, Emanations from Penumbras, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The future and our choices and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. pberginjr says:

    Knowing several of those men, the rector, and some of the faculty, I’m sure they would jump at the chance to “protest with prayers” outside the White House

  2. discerningguy says:

    Extremely cool cassocks.

  3. HyacinthClare says:

    Now THAT’s an army in full battle array. I’d sure rather be with ’em than agin’ ’em.

  4. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Beautiful picture, to see so many men in ardent prayer. Get ’em a bus to go place to place, eh? We need more of this everywhere, and by more men.

  5. Mary Jane says:

    This is AWESOME. :)

    I was praying at an abortion clinic this past Saturday. A few of us chanted the Requiem Mass for the babies while we were there.

  6. irishgirl says:

    Now THAT’S definitely a spiritual ‘army in battle array’!
    Oorah, indeed!
    Look at ’em all! Woo Hoo!
    Thank you, Philip Johnson, for sending us this, and thank YOU, Father Z, for posting it!

  7. ContraMundum says:

    THANKS. I really needed a picture like that!

  8. MyBrokenFiat says:

    I am immensely proud of these men. Love this picture, and love even more what they’re doing as it was snapped! Blessed be these men and the intentions they pray for!

  9. Frank H says:

    Here is a link to the Josephinum’s site with a couple more photos.


    And from these shots it is confirmed that this is the notorious late term abortion mill at 5888 Cleveland Avenue in Columbus.

  10. Genevieve says:

    A young man from my parish attends this seminary! Yay! They look great!

  11. catholictigerfan says:

    The current rector at this seminary will be the rector at my probable future seminary. I’m so excited, I second your OORAH father.

  12. Ben Yanke says:

    Those cassocks are AWESOME!!

  13. I know some of these men as well; I looked for them in the picture, but they must be at the far end.

    I’m going to give one of them a bit of trouble when I see him next: “you worked for me all summer and never wore that cool cassock–what’s up with that?” (He did wear a cassock, but without the natty red stuff–it may not be allowed away from the seminary for all I know.)

    A small point: I know the other side likes to call these places “clinics”–but what a misnomer. I make it a point never to give them the benefit of the term. Call them abortuaries, abortion chambers, abortion mills, or if you want to be irenic, “abortion facility” is not inflammatory and is accurate. A clinic is a place of learning and healing.

  14. Batfink says:

    Although, of course, my first thought was pure joy at seeing these young men witnessing to the faith, on closer inspection I did have a question:

    Is it normal for American seminaries that only one of 30-40 or so seminarians in the picture appears to be from any ethnic background other than white? Is this a peculiarity of Ohio or is there a general problem attracting vocations from ethnic minorities, or maybe people tend to self-segregate across different seminaries? I don’t really know America at all so I’m not sure what it’s like in terms of racial mix; at a guess I would think Ohio might be a bit whiter than average? Anyway, it was just a passing thought…

  15. Johnno says:

    Very cool powerful picture! The Lay Church Militant should all get some kind of standard uniform to show solidarity around the world.

  16. Frank H says:

    Batfink, the Josephinum has 180+ seminarians from something like 30 dioceses across the USA, and some international; it is not just for Ohioans. I don’t know the ethnic make-up of the student body, but they are holy young men being well formed for the priesthood.

  17. HyacinthClare says:

    Let that thought keep on passing, Batfink. God calls who He calls and some answer and some do not. I can’t imagine racial identification makes ANY difference to God. These are young men praying, flying their flag, standing for life. Counting black, brown or white noses is a distraction from what’s going on here.

  18. acardnal says:

    Real men pray the rosary!

  19. acardnal says:

    African Americans are 12.6 percent of USA population and Asians about 5 percent according to 2010 Census statistics. Unfortunately, very few African-Americans are Catholic so that is one factor – and one more reason for more evangelization.

  20. JoyfulMom7 says:

    Thanks for sharing this marvelous picture, Father Z. God bless those seminarians!

    Fr. Paul Chaim Schenck of my Diocese calls these places “abortion businesses”. If you ever have an opportunity to hear him speak on life issues (or on anything, actually) go! I have prayed with him in front of our local abortion business and worked with him in our Diocese’s 40 Days for Life Campaign. Check out his National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.


  21. “very few African-Americans are Catholic”
    Well, percentage-wise, perhaps, but there are three million black Catholics in the US, 270 million Catholics of African descent worldwide.

    I’m not a historian of American religion — I specialize in something else — but I do think the story of black Catholicism in the US is a great, untold story.

    For more information, I suppose the National Black Catholic Congress is our first stop. From the website, looks like a good organization.

  22. Pingback: Oh, that sights like this were commonplace! « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics

  23. AnnAsher says:

    Joy fills my heart at the sight of these men!

  24. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    This just made my day!

  25. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Saint Irenaeus, You can start with the book The History of Black Catholics in the United States, by Fr. Cyprian Davis, OSB. He is considered the authority. Fr. Cyprian was one of the first African-American Benedictines in the US. He is at St. Meinrad.

  26. Justin Martyr says:

    Fantastic photo….brought joy to my heart this Monday of Holy Week to see this here in my own state of Ohio.

    But I’m a little sad too, as the great Rector of the Josephinum….a priest who has done so much to strengthen that institution the past few years, Fr. Wehner….is leaving at the end of this academic year to take over as the rector at the seminary in New Orleans.

    A wonderful get for Nawlins….a terrible loss for Columbus. Hopefully the Board of the Josephinum will find a suitable replacement to carry on Fr. Wehner’s work there. He’s really brought back so much tradition (especially traditional dress (cassocks) and traditional vestments (check out some of their photos of liturgies and other ceremonies at the seminary on their website)), as well as traditional devotions, etc. He will be missed.

    Although the Josephinum has a lot of seminarians from all over the U.S., we have been and are hopeful it will continue to produce young, orthodox priests for our many diocese in Ohio which are in such great need of holy, orthodox priests. The three major seminaries which seem to have most of the seminarians and recently ordained priests in my diocese (Youngstown), are the Josephinum, Mt. St. Mary’s in Cincinnati, and St. Vincent in Latrobe, PA. All three seem to be on the right track as far as renewing and strengthening themselves as places of orthdoxy and traditional Catholicism….I hope they all stay on that path.

  27. Fr_Sotelo says:

    The actual number of priests ordained from ethnic groups in the U.S., e.g. African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Rim, and other non-European groups, is quite large. Ohio is in the northeast, but in the southwest, and western part of the U.S. I am pretty sure that white, European descent seminarians and ordinandi are in the minority. So the young clergy of this country are quite a mix.

  28. Justin Martyr says:


    You might also be interested to view this link…one of the more well-known professors at the Josephinum (as he appears regularly on EWTN radio’s Sonrise Morning Show) is Monsignor Eugene Morris:


  29. acardnal says:

    Msgr. Morris was just “live” on the 11 AM CST Relevant Radio network !

  30. Margaret says:

    @Batfink– the seminarians in my diocese of San Jose are of a strikingly different makeup than those in the photo above. I’m afraid posting a link will throw me into the spam penalty box, but if you go to the Facebook page of “San Jose Vocations” and go to the photos section, they have an album of pictures up of our fellows studying for the priesthood.

  31. acardnal says:

    there is also this wonderful Catholic religious order, the Josephites, specializing in serving the African American community: http://www.josephite.com/

  32. Joseph-Mary says:

    We just finished our 40 Days for Life. Last Saturday at the abortion mill, which closed early-thanks be to God, we had two priests come to pray with us. It was one of the nastiest push-back days we have had. One priest said that in 17 years of pro-life work, it was the worst he had experienced. While we were praying the rosary one man came up with extremely foul language and was threatening father. We kept praying.

    To me it is like standing an an Auschwitz. Our abortion ‘facility’ (PP) kills about 40 a week.

  33. This picture gives me hope! I’ve only prayed outside an abortion “clinic” a few times. It’s much better when clergy are there – for me selfishly bc I feel safer andrew at ease and for everyone else including the tiny babies on their way to Heaven. Awesome picture. Awesome witness.

  34. Athanasius says:

    According to DHS they might be terrorists. Thank you George W Obama!

  35. Only blue would be cooler (I’m biased)…Awesome to see. Things like this are encouraging to me. Which are adding to my various thoughts that are currently going on in my head.

    acardnal, I’m one of those few Afro-American Catholics…and one of even fewer of a traditional bent.

  36. Batfink says:

    Thanks everyone for all the interesting info.

    Just to clarify: sorry if I came across as being obsessed by race. The picture just looked different from the Church I’m used to so it got me wondering. I didn’t mean any offence.

  37. Laura98 says:

    This picture made my Monday also!! How wonderful to see something so uplifting at such a place of horror. And if these wonderful seminarians do decide on a trip to the White House… I’ll be happy to chip in!

  38. homeschoolofthree says:

    I bet if they did this everyday, shortly that clinic would close down!

  39. pberginjr says:

    The PCJ is a Pontifical College (I believe the only one in North America) so it’s rector actively recruits seminarians from around the US as well as the rest of the world. Many seminarians attend because of its close affiliation to the Holy Father. Although most/all of the Diocese of Columbus seminarians attend for their education, it is not affiliated with the Diocese (although I think the Bishop of Columbus does sit on one of its boards). Only about 10-15 of the seminarians will be ordained (if ordained) for the Diocese of Columbus. All seminarians are ordained for their home diocese, in their home diocese.

    Justin Martyr,
    Thank you for posting the link on Msgr. Morris, he is an excellent homilist, teacher, liturgist, and a dear friend.

  40. acardnal says:

    Catholic University of America is a Pontifically chartered university.

  41. Cajus says:

    Can you tell us more about the cassock of the Propaganda College and about the College in general?

  42. SpokaneTrad says:

    Impressive to see all those young men gloriously arrayed and praying the Rosary. The diocesan seminarians in Spokane were asked NOT to pray outside of abortion facilities (in their civies, even) and to steer clear of 40 Days for Life.


  43. Nora says:

    Most of the seminarians from my diocese (Nashville) go to there; our Hispanic seminarians for whom English is the native language do. If Spanish is their native language, our seminarians go to the one in San Antonio to facilitate formation. I can’t recall where our Vietnamese speakers go. We have a couple of African American seminarians, but I don’t see them often enough to know where they attend. Our parish has a small percentage of African Americans compared to our other ethnicities, so they rotate to us rarely. For Holy Week, we have 4 seminarians in residence, plus one who will start in the Fall. Three of them attend the Josephinum and I think one of them is in the picture Father Z posted. It is a little hard to tell..

  44. Dr. Dave says:

    My uncle, Fr. Joe, is a graduate of the Josephinum. He is retired from the Diocese of Superior, WI.
    This institution has welcomed so many seminarians from Midwest and other dioceses over the years.

  45. MissOH says:

    Thank you for the picture from home. It is wonderful to see the seminarians in cassocks. In the 80’s and 90’s you would see the students who were deacons in clerical collars, but nary a cassock. I had the unexpected joy to meet some of the seminarians who came to the Basilica Shrine in DC in February and they were at a mass we attended. I am praying for all of them. They are a wonderful gift to our church.

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  47. What a difference twenty years makes! Back then, you have been kicked out if you had dressed like that. Deo gratias!

  48. BenedictXVIFan says:

    What a coicidence. I was at the PCJ to visit my former (and favorite) Theology professor just five days ago. He is resonsible for my interest in the writings of Papa Ratzinger.

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