Rose Vestments and National Healthcare

A while back my mother related a conversation she had overheard between a woman and her child after Mass. The woman had asked her 11-year-old son if he knew why the priest had worn rose colored vestments at Mass that Sunday. After a moment’s thoughtful pause, the boy replied “I don’t know for sure but I think it has something to do with breast cancer awareness, right?”

It seems a logical conclusion to draw, given our society’s obsession with promoting physical health while completely neglecting our cultures spiritual wellness (or sickness as the case may be).

The story reminded me of a long discussion I had with my uncle a couple Christmas’s ago concerning the Church’s position and responsibilities within the political realm. My uncle, a priest for fifty years, was of the opinion that it was the Church’s responsibility to lobby governments to provide for the physical health and well being of their population through socialized healthcare. I responded that it seemed the modern Church was already floundering trying to provide for the spiritual well-being of its members without taking upon itself the mission of campaigning for free universal healthcare for the masses.

But, if free universal healthcare is the end toward which the Church Militant is campaigning these days perhaps its not too big of a stretch to conclude that the priest wears pink vestments to help raise awareness about breast cancer.


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