A big burly man in his late sixties came up to me at the Knights of Columbus breakfast last month after Mass at St Mary’s.

He took me to one side and said conspiratorially, “Father, listen to me.” he said with a strong Bronx accent.
“Yes?” I said, fearing that he was about to divulge some inner insanity to which I would have to listen carefully.
“You wore that hat today at Mass…”
“The biretta?”
“Yeh, the biretta.” then I noticed his eyes were getting misty. “Always wear it Father. Please. I haven’t seen one for years, and it brought back my childhood. I’m visiting here from New York. This church is beautiful the Mass is beautiful. Thank you for wearing the biretta.” Then he gives me this huge bear hug and I hear him sobbing a tiny bit.
True story.  Who says hats don’t matter?
They’re going to get my biretta from me when they pry my cold dead fingers from around it.