Diocese seeks new set of clergy vestments

The Diocese of St. Cloud has begun the process of acquiring a new set of vestments for diocesan liturgies. Among the occasions for which these vestments are used are ordinations and the Chrism Mass, where the oils for baptism, confirmation, ordination and anointing of the sick are blessed.

Timothy Johnston, director of the diocesan Office of Worship, is spearheading the effort. “I estimate the cost of the set, minimally, at $50,000,” he said. “Each piece is handmade and will have a simple classic embroidered design of smoky gray thread on cream fabric.”
The set includes stoles for each priest and deacon (about 170 are needed), five chasubles for primary concelebrants and three or four dalmatics. In addition, the bishop needs a matching chasuble and miter.

A chasuble is a sleeveless outer vestment, typically ornate, worn by a priest or bishop. A dalmatic is a wide-sleeved, long, loose vestment open at the sides, worn by deacons assisting at the Mass.

“The current set was made around the year 2000 for the millennium. The fabric that was used in the design is no longer in production and we have only a few yards remaining of it,” Johnston said. “That’s not enough to provide stoles for newly ordained priests and deacons in the coming years. In addition, after this many years, some of the pieces show a lot of wear and are not in good condition.”

He hopes the new set can be used for 15 to 20 years.

“The Cistercian monks of St. Joseph Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, will produce the chasubles, dalmatics and miter,” Johnston said. “I have been working closely with Candice Koopmeiners [from Sartell], who produced the millennium set, to match elements of that particular vesture the Cistercians make to create a design for the new stoles. She will handmake the stoles.”

Johnston hopes the new set will be ready for use by Advent 2018. If funds come in earlier, they might even be worn at ordinations in 2018.

Individuals are invited to consider contributing to this project. Those who wish to donate may send a check made payable to “Diocese of St. Cloud,” with “Vestments” in the memo line. Mail it to: Office of Worship, Attn: Vestments, 305 7th Ave. N., St. Cloud, MN 56303.

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