Sunday, February 11, 2024

History and Identity

Since the site that once carried our web pages no longer exists it's been suggested we recreate some of that content here on the blog. We'll do our best over the next several posts to do just that.

Plain Catholics are a branch of the original Catholic Land Movement that reached its peak around 1935. While the CLM faded, Plain Catholics maintained the charism of faith-focused living, simplicity and separation from secularism. We moved out of the cities and never returned though some men may commute to a job. We prefer to embrace a quiet life of self-sufficiency and focus upon discipleship to Jesus. The original families in the British Isles decided that the name "Plain Catholics" was a straight-forward description of how we live: plainly. We have no fancy cars, no expensive clothing, and no expensive houses or lifestyles. Plain and simple is our way we choose to live.

We are often asked where we get our clothing which is chosen for its modesty as well as its tradition. We sew our own based on patterns that closely resemble the Victorian servants and farm clothing that was widely used from 1895 - 1930s. As the Plain Catholic charism originated in the United Kingdom at that time, we've kept the clothing styles that are traditional to our history. 

The men still prefer long pants and sleeved shirts. The women still wear head coverings in the form of veils or caps. Both wear broad brimmed hats outdoors for sun protection.

Do people still mistake us for Amish, or nuns, or Mennonites? I suppose they always will because they have their own ideas about styles. Plain Catholics are not a large group in Catholic circles. Because of that and the fact we live in rural areas and not the cities, there are Catholics who have no idea that we exist. If we go into town for any reason the folks that know us leave us be and treat us as they do all of their friends.

One source for the patterns we use is Candle on the Hill. They carry patterns for both male and female. The King's Daughters also carry similar sewing patterns and offer to custom-make the clothing if sewing isn't in your skill set. 

While we encourage families to focus on Jesus more and less on secular culture we also realize that not every family can afford land to work as a ranch or farm. Yet every Catholic family can divest from secular activities. Instead replace those secular activities with useful skills for self-sufficient living. Spend more time involved with the parish and volunteer to help. Read more books and dream large. If you feel attracted to the Plain Catholic charism I recommend starting with the book The Church and the Land by Fr. Vincent McNabb, OP. 

Lent begins this coming Wednesday, February 14. It would be a good time to give up a secular activity permanently such as television or too much social media. Just a thought.

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