About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“The Church, no doubt, has always kept, and wishes still to maintain everywhere, the language of her Liturgy; and, before the sad and violent changes of the sixteenth century, this eloquent and effective symbol of unity of faith and communion of the faithful was, as you know, cherished in England not less than elsewhere. But this has never been regarded by the Holy See as incompatible with the use of popular hymns in the language of each country. Such hymns, moreover, are useful to familiarize the people with the great truths of faith, and to keep alive their devotion.”
— LEO XIII, POPE (8 June 1898)

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Wearing a Crucifix
published 16 July 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

When I was a little girl in NYC in the early 1950’s every Catholic wore a gold or silver crucifix about 1 to 1 1/2 inches and many Catholic teen-agers had rosaries dripping out of their pockets. So, when I became a Catholic this was a sign of my new identity.

Right after Vatican II there was a big change. Within a few years Catholics started wearing silver or gold chains around their necks with no crucifix. Symbolic?

Those Catholics who were in the new charismatic groups, however, started wearing big wooden crosses without the corpus. Symbolic?

After a few years of the big wooden cross, I went back to the crucifix. As these got lost, I’d keep getting larger ones. My husband used to quip – “at this rate, someday, you’ll be walking down the street with a life-sized cross!”

At the same time many Sisters went out of habits, and many priests stopped wearing clerics in public. Symbolic?

Now, as a dedicated widow, I wear a big crucifix and a blue jumper. Some people assume I am a Sister. The ones who admire Sisters are very friendly to me and treat me better than they otherwise might, for instance at check out counters. In the Bible belt where I used to live, non-Catholic Christians look at the corpus and say “that’s a pretty necklace.” I take it to mean that even though they don’t wear crucifixes they want me to know they love Jesus. I respond with something like, “Oh, isn’t Jesus wonderful.” Strangers with bad memories of Sisters scowl at me.

I don’t know why so many magisterial lay Catholics, men and women, don’t wear a crucifix again since it is one of the easiest ways of witnessing without even talking. What do you think?

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.