This year, the taking of the cassock ceremony, traditionally set for February 2 on the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, took place in private, due to the health crisis.
While assistance usually spills over from the church, it has been greatly reduced. In fact, only members of the immediate family were authorized to attend this very moving ceremony in the life of a seminarian: taking the livery of Christ and marking, with this habit, his very special belonging to the Church.
This Tuesday, February 2, 2021, Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta clothed 20 seminarians in the distinctive habit of the future priest, the name of which our contemporaries have often forgotten: the cassock. This is how an Englishman, a Belgian, a Brazilian, a Spaniard, fourteen French and two Swiss received from his hands this black habit, synonymous with the renunciation of the world.
In his homily, the celebrant recalled with force and insistence the meaning of the clerical habit: the total and entire gift of oneself to Jesus Christ in an act of charity, which necessarily implies sacrifice and renunciation.
Taking up the many warnings of Our Lord in the Gospel, the bishop paid emphasized death to oneself, citing in particular these words: “Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die,
Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (Jn. 12:24-25).
Several of the young Levites received the habit under the eyes of a priest or religious brother. It is also notable that this year illustrated the schools of the Society, since the schools of Marlieux, Bitche, Saint-Bernard, Saint-Joseph-des-Carmes, Etcharry, Saint-Michel, and Sainte-Marie had one or more alumni in this spirituality year.
Let us give thanks to God for this beautiful “promotion,” and let us continue to pray that the Lord always sends more workers to His harvest.