ACTION ITEM! Birettas for Seminarians Project! UPDATES


From my email…

I just received a biretta from John! [Hastreiter of Leaflet Missal] I am very happy with the biretta, and even more grateful for the work you and Mr. Hastreiter have put into this project.

If you happen to know any of the donors, please assure them that I will pray for them — especially when using the biretta.

Thank you!

(and of course, please keep my name and diocese anonymous in any public posting.)


I’m glad you were able to benefit from the Biretta Project!

First off… I am informed that, through this project, YOU, dear readers, have supplied about 100 birettas to seminarians.  Kudos.

Next, I have had a few thank you notes from seminarians, who are receiving their new covers.  Here is one:

I want to thank you for your “Birettas for Seminarians Project.” Today I received my biretta, and I am very grateful!

I have a question though, what is the proper etiquette (birettaquette) for a seminarian? When sitting in choir is it the same as a priest? Also, when can one, seminarian or priest, wear a biretta? Is it only for liturgical use?

Carry it when walking in and out.  Cover after having sat down.  Uncover before standing up.  When holding it, hold it with both hands in front of your chest.  Use ONE hand to put it on.  Do NOT sit on it after the tabernacle is closed, if you put it on your chair during Communion time.

That said, I note that you are in a … place ((arch)diocese) where the local ordinary could be quite antagonistic about seminarians and birettas.  Thus, I urge you to be discreet.

And, yes, the biretta is mostly liturgical, although some priests wore it out and about.


I received a note from the Incredible John at Leaflet Missal in St. Paul, aka the Biretta Broker for our Project.  To wit:

Hello Father,

Your eyes can stop welling with tears as you write! (At least, temporarily)

Thanks so much for your recent efforts, and thank you to all who contributed over the past year.

We now have enough donors to literally “cover” all of the remaining seminarians on the list…and then some.

As you know, Italy is pretty much shut down in August. But come September…many, many, birettas will be shipped in!

I think the manufacturers are wondering what’s going on in the Americas!

Brick by Brick!


UPDATE 16 Aug:

I received the following via email from a seminarian:

I want you to know that I received a Biretta from your action item posts. Thank you and the benefactor who came forward to purchase this for me. Every time I use it I pray for the benefactor who purchased it for me.

Not bad!

UPDATE 7 July 2016:

In honor of the anniversary of Summorum Pontificum I’m moving this to the top of the stack.


In the past we have had here a project to get birettas for seminarians.  It was a success (for example HERE) but, alas, it has fallen off the radar.  Let’s get back at it.

I am still getting notes from seminarians hither and yon who need birettas.

That is where YOU come in.

John Hastrieter at Leaflet Missal in St. Paul wrote that he has about 2o seminarians on a “biretta wanted list” but… and my eyes well with tears as I write this… no donors.


Contact John in church goods at Leaflet Missal in St. Paul – 651-209-1951 Ext-331. 


If he is away, leave a voicemail with your phone number and he will call you back ASAP.

John is keeping track of the names of the seminarians and their hat sizes. My involvement would only get in the way of the process. Don’t write to me.

Let’s encourage these men.

Call John and buy a biretta for a seminarian.  It’s as easy as that.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ACTION ITEM!, Seminarians and Seminaries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Hidden One says:

    As a Canadian, I have to ask whether this excellent project is limited to American seminarians.

    [As an American, I respond: contact John Hastreiter – – and ask him if he can send to Canadians in Canadia.]

  2. Raul says:

    Could’nt he make it an item to purchase on his website? I don’ t talking on the phone.

  3. Nan says:

    Raul, it’s well worth the call. You can get the guy’s name, seminary, address and send him a card.

  4. jst5000 says:

    Thanks for the reminder! – just called.

  5. Giuseppe says:

    I called today. Takes 2 minutes, and John seems like a nice guy. I felt good about calling on this really bad day.

  6. Colm says:

    As one of the seminarians on the waiting list, I would very appreciative if someone where to step forward and make a donation. Also, thanks to Fr Z for starting this project!

  7. crownvic says:

    Thanks for posting this. This is an excellent boots on the ground method of supporting seminarians.

  8. jameeka says:

    Sounds to me like more seminarians should be asking for a biretta.

  9. frjim4321 says:

    FYI, I had no problem logging in at 16:07:45 UTC.

  10. frjim4321 says:

    BUT, the post “Log In Issues” could not be found. 16:08:30 UTC

  11. KAS says:

    This is so beautiful! I love how this is good for seminarians, and also good for the economic health of those who make these lovely things for liturgical use. Good craftsmanship dies out when no-one buys the work anymore. So this is also keeping alive the skills of a craft. All sorts of good happening with this–how Catholic. :)

  12. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Raul. I get where you’re coming from.

Comments are closed.