I do recall the Canon in the local parish church regularly wearing a hat that the other priests did not wear – a black Biretta if memory has not faded too much. The Eucharistic Procession would also show that the bishop wore a mitre.
What I did not realise until a couple of weeks ago is that there were/are quite a number of different types – and I did not see real hats, paintings or photographs to realise this, just picture frames.
I was deliberately early for a meeting which allowed me to stop in Maynooth and look for the Seamus Murphy statue of St Patrick. The directions I received were spot on and there he was inside the main door of the enclosed quad – once again a piece calling out to be touched.
It was only when I had touched and photographed St Patrick did I realise the paintings along the corridor. Then I spotted the hats incorporated into the top of the frame. And then, that not all of the hats were the same.
The graves of Fr Dominic and Fr Albert were marked with a cross – a simple cross just like all of the others in the cemetery. A friend did ask a member of the Capuchin community in Rochestown who recalled that some years ago, a Provincial decided that all priests and brothers were equal and should be recognised as equal. The location of the Celtic Crosses removed to make way for the uniform simple cross memorials remains unknown.
The principle of all being equal in death did not extend to the African Missions Cemetery in Wilton in Cork. It appears to have been introduced in Maynooth but not retrospectively – the newer paintings appearing to have no adornment on the picture frame.
I foresee that I will be in a rabbit hole in the future trying to understand the different hat syles and meanings……