NYC Days 4-5 and My View For Awhile: ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK!

One of the things I enjoy in NYC is a good bowl of borscht. It pleases in every way, especially in the color.

One of my errands was to La Lame to check on possible fabrics for the Pontifical sent in black that I am determined to make to replaced the …suboptimal but serviceable set we have now.

What I have been thinking about is a set from Gammarelli with a serious textile that would definitely provide for a “wow” effect.  However, my calculations, once I include several additional meters for a new pall, would push the fabric alone well past $15000.  (NB: I am open to a big donor!  I’ll have your name woven on labels and sown onto all the pieces of the set with a request for prayers for you or your designated intention.)

However, a La Lame we saw some good and possible items.

Nice, but not quite what I am looking for.

Frankly, I am torn between making a classical Roman set, or perhaps going in the direction of the English, Pugin look, with draping vestments, with wider galloons and bright, contrasting colors.

In any event, I had a probably providential meeting with someone who has brought me into contact with someone who can make to my design any fabric I want (jaquard damask) in pure silk or synthetic or a blend.  This could bring my cost for the project down and also provide a unique look and patter.

I was shown a “blanket” of one weave with three colors in their permutations.

This was pretty exciting.  I have been looking for someone to recreate or closely approximate the gold silk from which I made our first Pontifical set.   I haven’t been able to find any since.  These folks can make it!

Here’s the fabric I need to reproduce.

We would be able to make an antependium and gremial, etc., additional vestments to match.

I was told that they could recreate historic fabrics and patterns from photographs, etc.

In any event, my job is now a lot harder.  I have to think through more issues now.  I almost need someone to take over part of the design process.

Holy Mass is worth the effort, time and money.  We are doing our best.  DONATE!  It’s tax-deductible.

Meanwhile, as I considered our new options for vestments, I had some fish.

Speaking of going into the belly, last night I went with friends to – gulp – Jesuit-run Fordham for a “debate” between Ross Douthat of the NYT and ultra-lib Massimo “Beans” Faggioli.   Talk about being out of my element: that’s David Gibson of the hyper-progressivist RNS in the moderator chair and in the foreground, seated with lots of gray hair, is our old pal Phyllis Zagano!

Our escape to our supper reservation was delayed by an… a chat with the latter.

In any event, they said that the event was live streamed and will also be available online, by Salt and Light (just continue in the lib theme… I mean, really?  Jesuit-school, Jesuits in lay clothes in the audience (yes, you are recognizable), Beans, Gibson, RNS, Salt and Light,  Zagano…  but I escaped with my life, though I was a little rattled).


Make up your own minds, but I thought Bean’s constant downplaying of categories of “continuity and discontinuity” was incoherent and out of touch with reality.  Douthat diplomatically pointed that out, but didn’t make much of an impact.  Also, Faggioli introduced a few spectacular non sequiturs.  See if you can pick them out.  I was a little disappointed about Douthat’s answer about the possibility of deaconettes in the future.  However, when I went to greet him on our way out, he said as much: “I’ll bet you didn’t like my answer…”, etc.  I responded: “It’s never going to happen so it it’s a non-problem!”

Douthat has a new book coming, which he is sending to me.  I look forward to it.

To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism (March 2018)


This goes to the heart of the debates and controversies.  Some people are trying to change the Church through changing doctrine.   At the same time they are trying to convince us that nothing is changing.  That’s why they have to avoid discussion of continuity and discontinuity.

Also at the heart of the talk was the meaning of, reception of, effects of, future of the Second Vatican Council.  Faggioli’s notions about that were odd.  It don’t think he makes any sense.   You watch and comment in the combox.

And of course there was discussion of Amoris laetitia and its effects.

But when you pull off the mask, they’ve really got nothing except raw power and intimidation.

Remember: Libs will always… always… require you to deny reality.

All that after having been interviewed yesterday before the event by BuzzFeed.

It has been a good and productive trip.  Among other things, we had a meeting with some of the key players and organizers of a seriously top shelf pilgrimage to Southern Italy in April and May, which aims also to introduce serious people, Catholic and non-Catholic to am outstanding pro-life organization called Heartbeat International. I’ve been involved with them for a while and have found the people and their goals to be worthy of support and praise.  It’s not a flashy organization.  It does a huge amount of good behind the scenes, funding small projects and clinics.  Very smart, dedicated pro-life people.

For the pilgrimage I am taking along my wonderful portable altar from St. Joseph’s Apprentice and my new travel vestments, which are awaiting me at home – they arrived during this trip.  I’ll have them live and in person tonight, along with new pieces for the purple Pontifical set.

More on that later.


Off we go!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. revueltos67 says:

    “that’s David Gibson of the hyper-progressivist RNS in the moderator chair ”

    Oh, thanks for clarifying. I thought it was Fr. Martin.

  2. Fr_Andrew says:


    I would recommend a Pugin-style set, if possible. Not only is that my particular preference, but given your other sets are all Roman in style, this would add a nice variety, rather than just having 5 more-or-less matching Pontifical sets.

    [Fine. WHO would make it? I have to balance cost with time to produce the set. Gammarelli isn’t perfect, but once the ball is rolling, they get the job done on a time line you can deal with. I would be pleased to give some advertising and visibility to a really good vestment tailor. However, I won’t even think about, “I know this lady who makes really nice stuff.” I’ve seen that stuff. So, I am faced with choices which will shape the final decision on the style.]

  3. Gripen says:

    Echoing Fr Andrew, yes, a Pugin-style set is sorely needed. Your vestments are beautiful, but they all look the same!

  4. Fr_Andrew says:


    I know this lady ….

    Sorry, Father, couldn’t resist.

    Watts & Co. makes some very nice Pugin-esque vestments as stock items (which are fairly inexpensive given their quality). They do custom work as well.

    St. Bede Studio in Australia makes some impressively beautiful stuff in different styles, but they seem to like the Pugin realm. All of their work is custom.

    LAVS in Italy has some stunning stuff, most of it seems custom made, but does have that neo-Gothic look to it, yet isn’t just your standard $100 polyester trashbag/burlap sac chasuble you find in many sacristies.

    I only have experience with Watts on non-custom things, and they’re pretty professional.

    Shawn Tribe mentioned several over at his new Liturgical Arts Journal.

  5. acardnal says:

    “Zagano Watch”. A success.

  6. iPadre says:

    Really looking forward to seeing your travel vestments. Lots of pics please, open and folded with something to give perspective to the folded packages.

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