One of the better coats of arms borne by an American prelate in the 20th Century belonged to the Most Rev. Thomas Aloysius Boland, the 6th Bishop and 2nd Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey from 1952-1974. Boland had been a priest of Newark and served as Auxiliary Bishop there from 1940-1947 and then was translated to the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey as its 2nd Bishop from 1947-1952. Archbishop Boland retired from office in 1974 and died in 1979.
His very nice, simple and stylish coat of arms impaled very well with the equally simple and well-designed armorial bearings of the See of Newark. The contrast in tinctures and the composition of the charges made for an excellent overall appearance. Of course, in the time when he became a bishop and assumed these arms it was still the custom to include the mitre and crozier in the achievement of a bishop.
This brings back many memories. Archbishop Boland gave me the Sacrament of Confirmation in 1956 as a 12 year old. His presence was like a visit from God to our little church of St. Cassian’s in Upper Montclair NJ. I remember the choir singing “Ecce Sacerdos Gloria “ as he entered. After the ceremony I chatted with him about his coat of arms. He told me about how he created it. It began my lifelong interest in heraldry.