Bishop R. Walker Nickless Cries For Modesty

Bishop Nickless, “We Must Not Settle
for the Vice of Immodesty as the Norm”

Bishop R. Walker Nickless, Sioux City – What is within our hearts is also shown by our exterior actions and behavior. Reverence also must have an exterior effect, and modesty is the virtue that encompasses this. At the practical level, how we dress and how well we observe the Eucharistic fast – and chewing gum just before or during Mass is certainly against the intention of this fast – matter very much. Such things not only express the quality of our reverence and devotion, but also form interior life, both for us and for those who see our example.

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Three Ways We Can be Immodest

In many ways, we live in an immodest society, and the virtue of modesty today is held in very low regard. We are immodest in our speech, and often we look for undue praise when we boast of our achievements and flatter our desires. We are immodest in our eating, most of us eat too much and much of what we eat is unhealthy. We can be immodest in our dress, trying to be fashionable and trendy. We sometimes wear clothes that are dirty or too revealing and immodest even to Mass. Our casual daily summer attire is not appropriate for this great celebration of our faith. Coming to Mass should always be special and we need to dress appropriately for this special time of worship.

In our reverence for Christ our Lord, and in our respect for one another, we must not settle for the vice of immodesty as the norm. The virtues of humility and modesty are gifts of the Holy Spirit, part of what we celebrate this Sunday on the Solemnity of Pentecost. Let us be grateful for these gifts and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are rich blessings; let us use them always for the greater honor and glory of God.

May every good gift of the Holy Spirit be treasured in your hearts! Please continue to pray for me and for all our priests, just as I keep all of you, and the needs of our whole Diocese, in my prayers.

Your brother in Christ,

Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless
Bishop of Sioux City

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7 comments to Bishop R. Walker Nickless Cries For Modesty


    I myself wear $40.00 shorts from puma,a button down golf/polo shirt,collar,short sleeves. White Natural Balance cross-trainer shoes and white athletic socks with compression socks. I will fill in for absent altar servers and it is happening 2-3 times per week. I carry with me black warmup pants with a subdued black stripe down the leg and black cross trainer shoes from Natural Balance and serve mass by myself with the priest. I remove items after church and lock up. A few women have mentioned it to me and my thought process is, let the priest make a decision on my attire. The priest maintains silence. The church choir of elementary students has 3 girls who wear dresses and skirts half -way up their thighs and nothing has been done by the nun to correct the situation. Men should have their hair cut,combed,clean shaven or if wearing a facial hair should be well groomed and not sloppy. The clergy should be on their cass , however refrain from doing so since it may affect the collections. I wish the church hierarchy would take a commanding leadership role and let parishioners know the consequences.

  • Dolores Bradford Goeldner

    I absolutely agree that modesty is so important, especially during Mass. I know that young people dress anyway they want, but now a days they could care less if their clothes are not covering them as they should be. Wish we could change that and go back to the old days. Okay, I’m a prude. Still modesty is necessary.

  • Mary Bennett

    Great articles on modesty. Remember, we are at Mass to worship the Lord, not to be an occasion of sin to each other. Thank you.

  • shelia

    thanks for the article on modestly i totally agree

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  • Maureen

    In the approved apparition of Our Lady of America that took place in Ohio, I believe the Blessed Mother asked that the Bishops of the US process her statue into the Washington Basilica and dedicate the youth of America to her purity. The hour is late, your Excellency. Please ask your fellow Bishops to accept our Mother’s help.

  • Paul Cortese

    Well put!

    Yes, I eat immodestly and I must start really cutting back. Amazing! I just notified McDonald’s my family will be boycotting them over their latest French celebration of teen homosexuality – and now I have a learning opportunity to focus on our immodesty in consuming too much and the wrong things.

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