Investiture with Choir Habit of US Institute Members, 2007

On June 14, 2007, members of the Institute of Christ the King serving in the United States received their new choir habit from the Institute's Prior General, Msgr. Gilles Wach. The ceremony took place at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis on the eve of the Ordinations of two American deacons at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Eight priests, four oblates, and the two ordinands received their habit in the presence of several of their confrères who had come from Gricigliano, Italy for the Ordinations.

The Institute's Choir Habit: A Sign of Unity and Dedication

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has been blessed with the grace of a harmonious unity among its members. This unity stems from the strong identity which Divine Providence has given to our young community of priests, oblates, seminarians, sisters and, most recently, to the lay people associated with it through the Society of the Sacred Heart. This spiritual identity is built upon the common goal of propagating the kingship of Christ in all realms of the Church and society. The efforts of the Institute to realize this goal are facilitated by the teachings of St. Benedict of Nursia, St. Thomas Aquinas and especially St. Francis de Sales, the doctor of charity. All the apostolates and undertakings of the Institute together with all its members are dedicated to the Blessed Mother under the title of the Immaculate Conception, who helps the Institute to focus on the Lord and His service, with a supernatural view of reality.

The finishing touch to express this spiritual identity was most recently conceded to the Institute of Christ the King by its hierarchical Superior, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Florence, during the last chapter meeting of the priests of the Institute in their Motherhouse in Gricigliano near Florence, Italy, on August 31, 2006. In a solemn ceremony, His Eminence Ennio Cardinal Antonelli bestowed on Monsignor the Prior General and all other priests and oblates present a special habit to be worn in choir during the liturgy or on special occasions and gatherings. This Choir habit, according to the rank of the members, consists of a rochet, a blue or black mozetta with blue piping, and the cross of St. Francis de Sales hanging from a blue ribbon. A long black mantle with blue piping is worn on solemnities. Like the Fathers, the oblates (brothers) wear a biretta with a blue tuft, and a smaller cross on the blue ribbon. The seminarians have the biretta only. The Sisters wear a blue choir mantle in addition to their full black habit. The lay people in the Society of the Sacred Heart will receive a smaller cross of St. Francis de Sales on its blue ribbon.

The choir habit is an expression of the canonical lifestyle of the members of the Institute who, after the example of the secular canons of old and the rule of St. Augustine, center their community life on the Mysteries of the Liturgy with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy Office and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Thus, every action is immersed in the graces of the liturgical life of Holy Mother Church and does not rely on purely human activism. The blue color and the cross signify the strong connection to St. Francis de Sales and, even more, to the Blessed Mother to whom the members of the Institute renew their consecration and filial devotion daily.

The choir habit is a very ancient tradition in the church for all priestly communities that have a canonical life. For the members of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest it is yet another expression of the bond of charity among them, and, likewise, of the family spirit of our community. The unity of doctrine, liturgy and life is now also visible through a habit bestowed on us by the competent authority of Holy Mother Church. We are grateful for this gift of grace and we will do all we can to live up to its deeper sense, linking us ever more closely to St. Francis de Sales and the Blessed Mother, our heavenly patroness.

Click an image below to enlarge it. To save an image, right-click on its thumbnail, choose "Open in New Window," and then right-click and choose "Save Picture As."

Return to Gallery List | Return to Gallery Categories