Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Social Behaviour of Seminarians


Recently someone was telling me about a former seminarian who was complaining about the lax regime at his seminary. Since it is a place I know quite well, I was able to suggest to my interlocutor that perhaps the account he had received had undergone a certain transformation as it passed through the disgruntled mind of a young man who never really wanted to be in seminary anyway. I often wonder how long those who complain about their seminary formation would have lasted in a former regime - where, for example, you could be instantly dismissed for a misdemeanour such as forgetting to wear the ferraiola when you went out for a walk. I recently came across an interesting little guide to the social behaviour of seminarians.

Today let's consider Clothing:

"Care of shoes demands that they be polished. One of the last duties of every seminarian or cleric before retiring at night should be to shine his shoes for the next day. In the rush for morning prayers they are liable to be overlooked. And he should give them a swipe of the brush again during the day. Well-polished shoes, like well-ironed trousers, may be a small item but it has a big influence on one's appearance".
"To sum up: Slovenliness in dress, either in the seminary, in the classroom, or on the street, is a mark of carelessness unbecoming of a gentleman. At the other extreme is fastidiousness - the soft, unmanly type. This too is unbecoming. The seminarians or cleric isn't an actor, nor a fashion plate. He is a neatly dressed gentleman".
I am going to have such fun quoting this book to some seminarians...



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