Chicago Reader reporter Cliff Doerksen ran into a friar on Chicago's blue line and decided to do a quick interview. His questions for the friar - a 32-year-old man named Jason Welle - focus almost entirely on his brown robe, and the answers are pretty interesting.
Image from the Chicago Reader.
Welle, who is both a friar and a priest, could wear a priest's black coat and collar. But, he says, "the collar strikes me as a power suit, and for me, coming to religious life was about relinquishing power and identifying with those who are less fortunate." Also, he says, "I just don't like black. I like brown: I can slop coffee all over myself and no one knows."
As for the sandals - it turns out they're optional. Welle just finds them comfortable: "I was wearing sandals year-round long before I joined the Franciscans," he says. The whole, short interview is thoroughly enjoyable.
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