Bishop Byrne of Springfield, MA

On December 14 the Most Rev. William Draper Byrne (56) a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC will be ordained a bishop and installed as the Tenth Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts. His personal coat of arms impaled with those of the See of Springfield (below) depicts a paschal candle, a symbol of the Light of Christ to the world and also of sacrifice (the candle is consumed as it burns, which also makes a slight pun on the Bishop’s name). The crescent is taken from the arms of the See of Washington, DC and also from those of his seminary, the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

The bishop designed his own arms in consultation with another priest of Washington, DC and had them depicted by an artist who copied the style of the late Anthony W.C. Phelps of Cleveland, Ohio. That style became popular in Washington when it was used by Cardinal Hickey (who had previously been Bishop of Cleveland) and has been copied since by a number of bishops who have come from the Archdiocese of Washington. Mr. Phelps died in 2005.

6 thoughts on “Bishop Byrne of Springfield, MA

  1. Hans van Heijningen

    This is a very handsome and simple design. One remark: I always saw the ‘heraldic fountain”(dexter half, diocese) always as a roundel per fess wavy of six ARGENT-AZURE, and never as it had been showed here. See also many other coa’s of towns and dioceses.

      1. Christopher

        I down-loaded the image to my computer. The color of the fountains is either navy blue or midnight blue. Easily mistaken for sable.
        Merry Christmass

  2. Hans van Heijningen

    The drawing you show, and which seems the official from the diocese, shows the roundels not wavy argent-azure, but azure-argent, so azure on top. And that seems not correct for a heraldic fountain.

  3. R Hartemink

    The image here is indeed azure on top (to make is easier). Although commonly silver is on top, there are numerous examples of azure on top (f.e. in Portuguese heraldry). In the British heraldic realm it should be argent on top…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s