Meaning Behind a Sweater: Identity

sweater post

If you have met me in person either outside of school, at Church or just simply outside of home, you’ve likely seen me wearing Chaminade’s black Student Council sweater. I started wearing it after Council members bought one, custom made in June 2016. Just last June, another Council sweater was made (so I don’t wear the same one all the time)!

A sweater is a sweater, but such apparel bears great meaning behind it. I remember that story, The Hockey Sweater by Rich Carrier. The boy’s Montreal Canadiens sweater became small and his mom ordered a new one, only to get a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater. The boy, I believe was not upset about the wrong sweater, but was ashamed of the identity associated with the sweater. He wanted to be associated with the Montreal Canadiens like the rest of his peers, not the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Many secondary school clubs often have sweaters, t-shirts or other custom made apparel to first of all, distinguish themselves from a different club or sports team. Every group is unique and group members should always take pride in the great things that they do.

The Council sweaters I have are probably one of my most valued things. Perhaps it does not have much monetary value but it is the sense of belonging to a group, answering the call to serve in a specific group, in a ministry.

I find that it is the same meaning when I put on the alb and cincture (no stole and chasuble yet… for a long time 🙂 ) for the celebration of Mass of assist the priest. The alb and cincture are reminders of the one who serves that what they are doing is for the glorification of God and His Church through the celebration of Liturgy.

One can connect similar ideas to apparel of their profession. For example, scientists in the lab puts on a lab coat before work and police officers, depending on their ranking puts on the appropriate pieces of their uniform.

I reflect on my mission every time I put on the council sweater. I am reminded of my call to fulfill my roles on Student Council to the best of my abilities so that my brothers and Chaminade can have a great experience during their years at high school. A similar meaning goes for the alb and cincture when I put it on for Mass. I am reminded to be there to serve the priest, and faithfully assist in the Liturgy for the glory of God and His Church.

However, sweaters, albs and cinctures are all material things. Ultimately, in anything that I do, my first identity is that I am a child of God, a soldier of the Gospel. Do we ever realize or remember that? The “sweater” saying “child of God” was permanently put on our souls on the day when we were baptized. No one can take away or destroy that “sweater”. The “child of God sweater” is on us forever!

Do you not feel like you belong to anything? Remember always, that you always wear the permanent “child of God sweater”.


About Vincent Pham

Vincent is a humanities student of the University of Toronto’s Trinity College of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He hopes to pursue a double major in Ethics, Law and Society, and Philosophy.
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