An excellent article here from London’s Catholic Herald on Fr Faber–a heroic convert from Anglicanism. He was a writer of hymns, great liturgist and lover of the poor. He and Newman didn’t get on very well, but that doesn’t stop Faber from being one of the great Anglican convert priests.
The Oratorians are still doing splendid work in England. They have now taken over St Aloysius in Oxford–the church where Tolkien attended Mass and where Gerard Manley Hopkins served–they also occupy the marvelous Brompton Oratory where splendid liturgy is combined with service to the poor. It also happens to be a stone’s throw from the Evangelical powerhouse Holy Trinity Brompton–the home of the famous Alpha Course.
Faber wore his cassock everywhere at a time when it was illegal for Catholic priests to dress as a priest in public in England. Wearing the cassock or habit is a kind of sartorial evangelism. Someone asked my why I wear mine and I answered…”So nobody can mistake me for being an Episcopalian.”
Times being what they are, and being a resident of South Carolina I’m inclined to start wearing my cassock a bit more often…except what do I do on the motorcycle? I really don’t want the flowing robes to get caught in the spokes–and could I get someone to make me a helmet with three fins and a pom like my biretta?