Monthly Archives: August 2014

Bishop Raica of Gaylord

Today the Most Rev. Steven Raica was ordained and installed as the fifth bishop of Gaylord, Michigan. the tree and sun allude to the places from which his family came and the red crown is symbolic of his patron, the martyr, St. Stephen.



Edmund Cardinal Szoka, RIP


His Eminence Edmund Cardinal Szoka, a priest of Marquette Michigan, Former Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan, Former Archbishop of Detroit, Michigan, Cardinal Priest of Sant’Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio, Former President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, Former President of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City-State and President-Emeritus of the Governorate of the Vatican City-State has passed away. His coat of arms underwent several changes as he moved from Gaylord, to Detroit to the Holy See. The last version of his arms is below. May he rest in peace.


Pope Saint Pius X

August 20, 2014 marks the centenary of the death of Pope St. Pius X (Giuseppe Sarto) who was pope from 1903-1914.


His coat of arms (below) depicts a chief with the lion of St. Mark, a symbol used by the Patriarchs of Venice. St. Pius served as Patriarch of Venice prior to becoming pope and retained this chief (added to the arms he assumed previously as Bishop of Mantua) upon his election. This started a trend for other Patriarchs who were later elected pope like St. John XXIII (1958-1963) and Pope John Paul I (August-September, 1978)



Bishop Rozanski of Springfield


On August 12 Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, until now Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, will be installed as the IX Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts. The coat of arms of the new bishop (above) combines his personal arms with those of the see of Springfield. (the four roundels with waves symbolize a field of springs and the cross is associated with St. Michael, patron of the cathedral.)

His personal arms (below) were assumed in 2004 at the time he became a bishop when he was appointed as Auxiliary in Baltimore.


The small cross is symbolic of St. Michael (a name from which Mitchell is derived); the red and white colors allude to the national colors of Poland; the flower alludes to his surname which, in Polish, means “rose flower”. The lower portion uses the colors derived from the arms of Calvert, Lord Baltimore. The red bend (vertical stripe) and open book are for preaching the Word. The motto is taken from Psalm 100.

(Artwork by Paul Sullivan)

Bishop Jenik


On August 4, 2014 Cardinal Dolan of New York ordained three Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese. They are the Most Revs. Peter Byrne, John O’Hara and John Jenik. While I have not yet seen the coats of arms assumed by all three I did come across the interesting and distinctive coat of arms assumed by Bishop Jenik. He designed the coat of arms himself and I am not sure of the symbolism behind the design. Many might see this as strange because it does not follow the usual “lucky charms” notion of heraldry with an overloaded shield filled with charges meant to be a pictorial CV of the bearer. Good for him! Such heraldry is atrocious and all too common among the American Catholic hierarchy.

Rather, Bishop Jenik’s coat of arms is very simple. This is one of the earmarks of good heraldry. The use of black and white may make it stark but not knowing the meaning of the design there may very well be a good reason for the choice of these colors. In addition, since heraldry is, at its heart, about identification and nothing else, the design is clear to see and easily identifiable. Again, these are attributes of good heraldry. It reminds me of some of the most ancient heraldic designs that present clear images and use as few colors as possible.

I say hats off to Bishop Jenik for an excellent and unique design for his coat of arms!

(Artwork by Paul Sullivan)

Cardinal Clancy RIP


Edward Bede Cardinal Clancy, Archbishop-Emeritus of Sydney, Australia and Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Valicella (aka the Chiesa Nuova) has passed away. He was born December 13, 1923 and died on August 3, 2014. Requiescat in Pace.