Modesty & Attire for Mass

Please leave correction in matters of dress to the discretion of the priests.

As the summer months arrive, I remind all parishioners that shorts and other casual clothing are – under normal circumstances – not appropriate dress for participation in the Holy Mass. I invite the men in the parish to lead the way by wearing slacks and a collared shirt, and I encourage them on Sundays to wear a tie. Skirts on women should touch the floor when kneeling and fall over the knees while seated; low cut blouses are to be altogether avoided.

Allow me to condemn in the strongest terms the so-called “skinny jeans” that have become popular for both men and women. These are not appropriate attire for Church (or ever, really).

Appropriate Sunday attire is a tremendous aid to everyone in the community. It is a reminder of the great dignity of the human body and, ultimately, the human person; it recollects the sublime value of the Holy Mass; it gives instruction – even to small children – that the Mass is absolutely outside the normal experience of our lives. Parents have a grave duty to see that their children dress in a manner consistent with their dignity at all times, but most especially at the Holy Mass; and I remind older youth of their obligation to provide good example for those younger than them.

Any who worry about discomfort may be reminded that the priest wears at least five or six layers during the Mass – and black from head to toe outside of it.

Aware of the great difficulties (particularly for women) presented by searching for modest dress, I recommend the following website, particularly the page Where to Find Modest Clothing: https://officialcatholicmodesty.com/.

Finally, I exhort everyone above all to observe charity. If I have not charity, St. Paul reminds us, I have nothing. This column is by no means an invitation to establish a purity hierarchy among parishioners. It is not an invitation to snide remarks, detraction and gossip, or even kindly intentioned advice – which nearly always falls short of the mark and often does far more harm than good. Sadly, women tend to be both the victims and the perpetrators in such a dynamic. Therefore, if you have a concern regarding modesty, please bring it to the attention of the priests and allow the priests to deal with it.

You, therefore, who so piously clothe the altar and dwelling of Jesus Christ, never forget that you carry God in you by the grace which clothes your soul; do not forget that this divine presence makes, not only of your soul, but also of your body, a holy temple. – Pope Pius XII

Categories Latest News | Tags: | Posted on August 16, 2021

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Weekend Masses

Saturday: 7:00 am, 9:00 am

Sunday High Mass: 10:30 am

Sunday Low Mass: 8:30 am, 1:00 pm

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Monday and Wednesday: 7:00 am, 12:15 pm

Tuesday and Thursday: 7:00 am, 6:30 pm

Friday: 7:00 am, 12:00 pm, 6:30 pm

Please check our bulletin for more information.

5461 44th Street
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 455-5114