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.

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