From a reader:
What items should a Catholic include in a bug out bag [BOB] besides the usual survival gear?
What does a Priest’s bug out bag look like? I would assume supplies to administer the sacraments in an emergency.
Good question. I will confine myself mostly to a priest’s BOB. That said, every lay person should have a Rosary: ideally one made from paracord, which will not be reflective and will not make noise when moved (tip from a Marine). Also, one of those tiny, vest-pocket size New Testament and Psalms volumes could be of comfort. There is a small Catholic edition by Baronius, very nice, leather bound that weighs 1.2 oz.
Since I have looked at this question for a while, I can offer some suggestions.
First, let’s distinguish between scenarios.
There is a short term, localized disaster flight/coping BOB. I don’t think we need to say much about that, other than to say that a priest ought to have with him at all times – SHTF or not – his oil stock and a stole and, if he doesn’t have them memorized, a useful prayerbook like the Collectio Rituum or one of those handy and slim volumes of yesteryear – which I hope some company like Baronius would reprint – like the old Vademecum Pii Sacerdotis. In the mag pouch of my daily wear 5.11s I have a stole and oil stock, my Rosary and folding knife in the other thigh pocket. In the short-term, the localized case, the next town over ought to be able to provide things for Mass, etc. But before they arrive, make sure you have that oil-stock!
Next, if you are talking about when the SHTF on a large or global scale and TEOTWAWKI. I will leave aside the vehicle issue.
Initially, what you bring in your head might make a difference and doesn’t weigh anything. I recall in Fr. Walter Ciszek’s With God In Russia that the Jesuits who were sent into the Soviet Union memorized certain prayers. Ciszek could substitute some prayers for the Office and could say Mass from memory, on his suitcase or on the stump of a tree. We should know forms for the administration of sacraments and giving certain blessings (ad omnia). Fathers, do you know the form to anoint from memory? The Apostolic Blessing? It could be good to know a Mass formulary from memory, perhaps the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary along with all the prayers for Mass, offertory, Roman Canon, everything. You won’t be hauling a Missal around for very long, I fear. I have a photo-charging wristwatch, which has a calendar feature, so I am good to go.
Alternately, a little flexible solar panel charger for your iPhone or Kindle with useful texts could be really helpful: there are PDF’s of many liturgical books, not to mention spiritual reading. They can break, however. Therefore, memorize the essentials and they are yours until your mind breaks in the prison-camp during the usual tortures.
A tiny chalice from one of those portable Mass kits would be nice, though during TEOTWAWKI I won’t be fussy. A water-proof container with small hosts (which can be broken for efficiency). A plastic squirt bottle of fortified wine (see HERE). It could be a good idea to have a small vacuum sealed bag of raisins, from which wine could be made in a pinch once if you are holed-up somewhere. Another of wheat-flour. (Ecclesiastical authorities might consider stockpiling sealed cans of raisins and sugar and wheat flour and olive oil.) I have a vestment that was probably for a military chaplain, white and red reversible. When the SHTF, I doubt God will frown on the use of a stole only… or no stole at all. During TEOTWAWKI a vestment is therefore not my first concern… a maniple, maybe, maybe a biretta… no, scratch that… Beretta.
Moreover, small vials of your oils. If you can only have one, then obviously choose Infirmorum. As a spiritual help, your Chrism could be a real treasure. During an ordination I heard the great Bp. Morlino of Madison suggest to the ordinandi that, when times are tough in their priesthood, to rub a drop of Chrism between the palms of their hands for strength: the fragrance is a powerful reminder of their identity. During TEOTWAWKI we mustn’t lose our identity. At the same time, you would have to be pretty sure that there wasn’t an enemy nearby, since Chrism is pretty potent. If they are closing in and not to be avoided, then Chrism away.
You should be carrying some salt anyway, so you will be able to bless Holy Water.
So, aside from the things that everyone else should have in their BOB, the priest needs a few extras. Taken together, they don’t add much weight, but they carry a lot of spiritual weight. That said, in the case of capture, you would instantly be identifiable as a priest. Martyrdom to follow.
Unless you are discovered by a group of Catholic preppers!
So, you Catholics out there! Network and plan and include a priest in both networking and planning. If you are creating bug-out plans, don’t forget Father or even some useful bishop or other if he is willing: the ailing Augustine, waiting for the Vandals, was not willing to leave Hippo in 430. A bishop can consecrate another bishop if need be. When TEOTWAWKI comes, there will be need.
Building retreats? Consider a chapel or at least the basic materials. Consult a priest for what is needed.
Perhaps even a priest-hole.
And don’t forget those …
… 5 pound bags of Mystic Monk Coffee!
When TEOTWAWKI comes and that S is Hing TF, what else should you be sure to put in that Bug Out Bag but a dozen 5 pound bags of those deliciously roasted beans.
The infrastructure will be gone. The riots will be raging in the former city centers. They’ll be hunting you down. But you’ll kick back with one of your Fr Z swag mugs before your fire, savoring that rich flavor while your lightly-killed rabbit turns on its spit at your hide-away.
Remember, each bean will be like gold. You’ll be able to trade them for ammo, anti-biotics and even bribe Obama’s Domestic Security Total Statist Control Fugitive Hunter Death Squad Forces to let you go!
I have it on good authority that Mystic Monk coffee is endowed with special powers through rites I cannot here explain that actually mask… yes, actually mask!… your identity and presence against drones and satellites.
Mystic Monk Coffee can do all that!
It’s swell and it’s a matter of LIFE AND DEATH!