Bishop Christian Riesbeck, CC

On March 19, the Solemnity of St. Joseph which is the patronal feast day of Canada, the Most rev. Christian H. Riesbeck, CC will be ordained as Auxiliary bishop of Ottawa, Canada. His coat of arms (below) is explained as follows (taken from the website of the Companions of the Cross, the community to which the new bishop belongs):

The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, the principal agent of the Church’s evangelizing activity. The host in the dove’s beak points to the importance of the Eucharist as the center of the Church’s life. The roses represent the flowers given to St. Juan Diego in his tilma by Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and Star of the New Evangelization, and they also commemorate Bishop Riesbeck’s ministry to a predominantly Hispanic parish in Houston, Texas for nine years as pastor.

The lilies are a symbol of St. Joseph, the patron saint of the universal Church, of Canada and of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, on whose feast day Bishop Riesbeck is ordained a bishop. Along with the blue colour, they also refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the province of Quebec, Bishop Riesbeck’s birthplace. The cross at the bottom, symbol of Christ crucified, the Power and Wisdom of God – its red colour symbolizing the blood of Jesus – is taken from the emblem of the Society of the Companions of the Cross, Bishop Riesbeck, being the first member of the Society to be made a bishop. The arching division line represents the Church’s presence throughout the world.


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