Monthly Archives: February 2023

Bishop Neary of St. Cloud

On February 21, the Most Reverend Patrick Michael Neary, C.S.C. (age 59) a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross (the gang that runs Notre Dame) originally from Indiana was ordained a bishop and installed as the 11th Bishop of St. Cloud, Minnesota.

The armorial bearings he has assumed were designed and marshaled to those of his diocese by Fr. Pachomius Meade, OSB, a monk of Conception Abbey.

I had nothing to do with this coat of arms but Fr. Pachomius, a friend of mine, was kind enough to show me the sketches while he was working on them. I think he has done excellent work on this achievement.

New Auxiliaries for D.C.

On February 21 His Eminence, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. will ordain two new Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese.

The Most Rev. Juan Esposito-Garcia

The Most Rev. Evelio Menjivar-Ayala

When one considers how awful most of the coats of arms assumed in recent years by American bishops are these two are refreshingly well done. The arms of Bishop Esposito-Garcia run the risk of becoming a bit like what is known as the “lucky charms’ type of coat of arms. It is often a mistake made by the amateur designer or the first-time armiger to use many different charges in the desire to include as much symbolism as possible. What is often forgotten is the importance of symmetry in heraldic design as well as the desire to use as few charges as possible rather than as many. In addition, the small hill in the base of the arms really shouldn’t be green on a blue field. In heraldry, things do not have to be depicted as they are in nature. The hill should have been either Argent or Or.

Having said that, I reiterate that these two designs are relatively simple and clear. They are, for the most part, uncomplicated and they are certainly far better than many of the coats of arms being assumed by bishops in the USA today.