I was reading a fictional book the other day and it concerned a notorious criminal who went about in disguise. In one location, the book said, he went about dressed as a Catholic priest. This part of the book did not ring true to me and here is why:
When I go about town in my collar, people wave, say hello, and in general notice that a priest is in their midst. I can take the same path 10 minutes later, be around people I know, and they don’t so much as smile at me. I might wave and they will shyly raise their hand until it dawns on them who I am.
“Oh Father! I didn’t know it was you! Are you incognito?” And these are people who stare at my face every Sunday. Nobody notices me - at least not at first, they notice the collar. So for a criminal to go “unnoticed” by wearing a Roman collar just seems unrealistic to me.
It is why I am such a proponent for wearing religious garb in public.
EVERYBODY wears a habit. If you want proof, go to a Rubber Ducks or any professional sports game and see how many habits you will come across. You know who the hipsters are, you know who corporate America is, you know the Goths (are they still around?), you know who supports you team and you know who supports the competition.
I understand that we want to blend in so that we are not “put apart from” the rest of the world. I get that thought. But gone too far to an extreme we blend in so well that we disappear.