Monday, March 28, 2011


Fr L on wearing the hat
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.
I wouldn’t say they were well-meaning but otherwise yeah.

The Italians that age I happen to know aren’t like that about the church but anyway.

I wear the lay equivalent daily.

Photo: Fr George Acker, SSC, Fr J. Guy Winfrey’s mentor.

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