Bishop Seitz of El Paso


On July 9, Bishop Mark Seitz will be installed as the new bishop of El Paso, Texas. The bishop himself explains the symbolism of his coat of arms on the diocesan website:

In the diocesan arms (left) the blue and white honor Our Lady under the title of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States.  The wavy border symbolizes the Rio Grande River.  In the diocesan crest the river surrounds the “Ysleta”, or little island, which was the first name of El Paso. The two long triangular forms represent the mountains that form the pass for which the diocese is named.  They are topped by trefoils.  These, along with the triangular mountains, both invoke the Trinity which is at the foundation of the Faith.  The trefoils are also a homage to the titular patron of the Cathedral, St. Patrick. The star above the lower image is both a remembrance of the Lone Star for which Texas is named and the North Star, a reference to the full early name of “El Paso del Norte”.  For Christians, the North Star is also Christ who points them to their true home in heaven. In the upper left-hand corner is an anchor from the coat of arms of St. Pope Pius X, who erected the diocese.

The bishop’s personal arms contain the red “Rose for Life”.  The trefoil (shamrock) speaks to his Irish heritage. The pattern dividing the chief from the rest of the field is intended to honor the Native American heritage that he shares and his desire to serve our first Americans. It is really rather un-heraldic and un-blazonable. The winged lion is the symbol for St. Mark the Evangelist.

1 thought on “Bishop Seitz of El Paso

  1. Dave Boven

    Hmmm…a little bit Lucky Charms-ish with an unblazonable ordinary. When are all the American bishops going to start consulting you on this sort of thing?


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