An email from a worthy person in England reveals this website which rather whimsically promotes the birettas they make by hand. I think Mantilla the Hon will have something to say about this development shortly, but in the meantime allow me to tell you why I wear the biretta.
One Sunday after Mass a great big Italian guy, maybe in his mid sixties, comes up and gives me a bear hug. Then after the clinch he looks at me and I see there are tears welling up in his eyes. “Faddah, ya wore da hat.” He’s choking back some real emotion here.
I say, “The hat?”
“Ya wore da hat!”
“You mean my biretta?”
“Yeah. Ya wore da hat. I ain’t seen the hat since the priests used to wear them when I was a boy and it brought back all the bewdiful memories. Tanks for wearing the hat.” And off he goes.
I don’t even know his name. I call him Luigi.
So I wear the biretta for Luigi. I wear the biretta for all those faithful Catholics who had their beautiful traditions ripped away from them by well meaning, but ignorant ‘reformers’. I wear the biretta in memory of all the wreckovated churches, in protest for all the hideous modern art that has been imposed on us. I wear it as a tribute to all the beautiful old churches and in protest at all the grotesque new ones. Luigi stands for all that, so I wear ‘da hat’ for Luigi.