Presentation of the Pontifical Cassock
Soon after arriving at the Josephinum, our new seminarians (including Christopher Hoffmann) receive their Pontifical Cassocks from PCJ President-Rector, Very Reverend Father Steven P. Beseau. The Cassock is one of the many ways seminarians express their unique relationship to the Holy Father and the Church, and the history they belong to at the Josephinum. The presentation of the Pontifical Cassock has long been a custom, dating at least from the establishment of the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1551, for seminarians in pontifical seminaries to wear cassocks unique to their college, fostering their identity as men formed in such institutions. The Collegium Josephinum, which was founded in 1888 by Monsignor Joseph Jessing, was honored in 1893 by Pope Leo XIII with the designation “Pontifical College Josephinum.” From 1893 until the mid-1970s, Josephinum seminarians wore a cassock identical to that at the Propaganda Fide, the congregation’s seminary for overseas students atop Rome’s Janiculum Hill. In 2009, the tradition of the Pontifical Cassock was reintroduced at PCJ and is worn by all Josephinum seminarians for Sunday liturgies, special solemnities and functions.