Category Archives: Fr. Guy’s designs

New Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (part I)

On June 30, 2020 the Most Rev. Elias Lorenzo, OSB (59) up until now the Abbot-Praeses of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monks and a monk of St. Mary’s Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey will be ordained as the Titular Bishop of Tabuda and Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. The coat of arms assumed by him is the following:

Upon his election as Abbot-Praeses (i.e. President) of the American-Cassinese Congregation in 2016 I had the privilege of designing the coat of arms he would assume as an Abbot. Upon his appointment to the episcopacy Bishop Lorenzo decided, correctly in my opinion, not to change his arms in any way except to update the external ornaments from those of an Abbot to those of a Bishop. His armorial bearings reflect his family name, the community of his profession, his past ministry and his monastic patron.

The shield is divided by a line shaped like a chevron. This creates the general shape alluding to a mountain, in this case Mount Carmel, the mountain associated with the prophet Elijah from whose name the name Elias is derived. The large tongue of fire in the center of the lower portion of the shield (referred to as “in base”) combined with the mountain allude to St. Elias.

In addition, the blue and silver (white) checked pattern also has a multi-layered meaning. The American-Cassinese Congregation was founded by Benedictines from St. Michael’s Abbey in Bavaria. The motherhouse of the Congregation, St. Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania, makes use of the blue and silver fusils (a kind of elongated diamond pattern) from the coat of arms of Bavaria in its own coat of arms. Several other monasteries in the Congregation which are daughter houses or grand daughter houses of St. Vincent also make use of this pattern. One such abbey is St. Mary’s in Morristown, New Jersey. At this monastery Bishop Elias entered monastic life, made his profession of vows and was ordained. In his coat of arms the blue and silver (white) fusils have been turned sideways forming a grid of blue and white squares or checks. The grid pattern suggests the gridiron on which St. Lawrence was roasted alive as the means of his martyrdom. This is an allusion to the Abbot’s surname, “Lorenzo” which in Italian means “Lawrence”. The grid of blue and white squares combined with the fire represents St. Lawrence while at the same time the blue and white squares are a slightly differenced reference to the coat of arms of St. Mary’s Abbey as well as Bavaria in general as the homeland of the Congregation’s founders.

At the center of the flame there is a red rounded cross. This cross is taken from the coat of arms of Sant’Anselmo in Rome where, for seven years before his election as Abbot-President , the armiger was served as Prior of the monastic community.

Above the chevron in the upper portion of the shield (referred to as “in chief”) there are two blue crescents. The crescent has long been associated with Our Lady in particular under her title of the Immaculate Conception. That title is also the one by which Mary is the Patroness of the United States of America. In addition, crescents appear in the coat of arms of St. Mary’s Abbey and the coat of arms of the Delbarton School, the Abbey’s principal apostolate, both of with which Bishop Elias is closely associated.

The motto below the shield is taken from Luke 1:37 and is translated as, “Nothing is impossible with God”.

New Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (part II)

On June 30, 2020 the Most Rev. Michael Saporito (58) will be ordained as the Titular Bishop of Luperciana and Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. The coat of arms assumed by him is the following:

Bishop Saporito worked with me to choose and assume a coat of arms reflecting his priestly life and ministry. The red background is borrowed from the coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Newark where the upper third of that shield (called a chief) is colored red. The bishop’s whole life, priesthood and, now, episcopate has been spent in the service of the Archdiocese.

The central symbol, or charge, is the flaming sword that is used as a symbol of his baptismal patron, St. Michael the Archangel. Michael, reckoned as the commander of the heavenly hosts wields the sword that symbolizes righteousness and God’s justice.

The sword, with a silver blade surrounded by golden flames and gold handle has two open books on either side. The pages of the books are blank and silver (white) while the books are bound in gold (yellow). These symbolize the Sacred Scriptures in both Testaments and are a reminder of the need for and the work of evangelization in the Church. The Bishop has devoted a part of his priestly ministry to the New Evangelization. 

The motto below the shield is “Feed My Sheep” (John 21:17)

New Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (part III)

On June 30, 2020 the Most Rev. Gregory Studerus (72) will be ordained as the Titular Bishop of Tarasa in Byzacena and Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. The coat of arms assumed by him is the following:

Shortly after his appointment Bishop Studerus contacted me and asked me to help design his coat of arms. He had some ideas based on a coat of arms in his possession reportedly belonging to his family as well as an abstract idea for representing urban ministry. The landscape was acceptable but I advised making the urban ministry symbol a bit less abstract and slightly more conventional. The chief takes off on the arms of the archdiocese with one of the trefoils being changed to a Green cross.

The main portion of the shield is divided by a diagonal line running from the viewer’s upper right to the lower left. This is called dividing the field with a bend sinister. The upper portion depicts a tree growing from a green hillside. The tree is depicted as we would find it in nature and shows three branches as an allusion to the Holy Trinity. All of this is set against a light blue sky. In heraldry blue is one of the five tinctures used. However, there is also the possibility of using what are known as “stains” in heraldry and among these are Bleu Celeste which is a decidedly lighter shade of blue than that usually used in heraldry and is frequently used to depict the sky. This symbol is borrowed from a coat of arms that was adopted by the bishop’s family. This section of the shield symbolizes Bishop Studerus’ love and concern for the environment.

The lower portion shows a black cross on a gold (yellow) background with the four quadrants of the cross being intersected with thin black lines spaced unevenly suggesting a map of city streets. This section of the shield symbolizes Bishop Studerus’ forty years of priestly ministry served in the city.

The upper third of the shield, called a “chief” takes it red color by borrowing from the coat of arms of the See of Newark which has a similar red chief with a crescent flanked by two trefoils. Here we see three symbols alluding to the cultural influences in the bishop’s life. The trefoil resembles the shamrock which is a symbol of St. Patrick and of Ireland. It is used here to allude to the Irish heritage of the bishop’s mother. The crescent in the center is symbolic of the Immaculate Conception of Mary which is the titular patron of the United States of America. The cross with four equally long bars, known as a “Greek cross”, does not in this instance symbolize anything Greek. Rather, it is the same cross found in the coat of arms and on the flag of Switzerland and it alludes to the Swiss heritage of the bishop’s father. All three are colored silver (white).

The motto below the shield is, “Forget Not His Love” (Psalm 103)

Sacerdotal Assumption

These are the armorial bearings I recently designed to be assumed by an American priest. The blazon is:

Divided per pale Azure and Gules; overall two keys in saltire, blades to chief with notches forming the outline of a trefoil, the dexter Or and the sinister Argent; between in chief a fleur-de-lis Argent; to dexter the Sacred Heart of Jesus Or, enfiled of a crown of thorns and wounded Gules enflamed Or; to sinister a rose Or, seeded Gules. The shield is ensigned with a priest’s galero with cords and two tassels all Sable. Below the shield on a scroll is the motto, “Piscatores Hominum”.

Bishop Mackinlay of Sandhurst

On October 16 the Most Rev. Shane Mackinlay (54), a priest of the diocese of Ballarat, was ordained a bishop and installed as the Eighth Bishop of Sandhurst, Australia.

His coat of arms is blazoned: Gules, two pickaxes in saltire, blades upwards Or; in chief an open book Argent bound Or with the Greek letter Α on the dexter page and the Greek letter Ω on the sinister page both Sable; impaling Per saltire or and azure on the former in fess two roses gules, in chief an estoile (eight-pointed star) and in base a representation of the Paderborn Cross argent.

The crossed pickaxes are the tools of goldmining, which was integral to the founding of both Ballarat and Bendigo. The bible comes from the arms of Catholic Theological College and reflects its motto, Tolle lege, the admonition that prompted St Augustine to take up and read the bible, which led to his baptism. In the arms of the see the gold of the field represents the goldfields, which are located within the diocese. The blue and the roses represent the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, who, under the title Our Lady of Good Counsel, is Patroness of the Diocese. The Paderborn Cross at the base is an ancient Christian symbol discovered in an eighth-century grave beneath the Cathedral at Paderborn, Germany, which was the home city of Dr Henry Backhaus, the pioneer priest of the Bendigo Goldfields.

The diocesan arms were designed by myself and Bishop Shane’s personal arms were designed by Richard d’Apice AM KCSG and myself and both are illustrated by Sandy Turnbull.

Another Ordinary Australian

On August 27 Monsignor Carl Reid, PA, (68) a Canadian who converted to Catholicism in 2012, was installed as the second Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia. His personal arms were granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority and are impaled with the arms of the Ordinariate. Richard d’Apice (in consultation with myself) assisted the Canadian heralds with the design of the personal arms. Mr. d’Apice and I designed the arms of the Ordinariate as well.

The unusual use of the crozier has been a precedent set among the Personal Ordinariates after their establishment by Pope Benedict XVI. It derives from the use of the crozier to denote Ordinary Jurisdiction while at the same time leaves off the sudarium (veil) attached to the crozier in abbatial arms which has become a symbol proper to abbots. Msgr. Reid exercises full Ordinary Jurisdiction and makes use of the pontificalia while celebrating the Sacraments like a bishop but does not possess the episcopal office. NOTE: The Personal Ordinary for the UK does not make use of a coat of arms and the Personal Ordinary for N. America is a bishop.

The artwork is by the talented Australian, Sandy Turnbull.

Archbishop Comensoli of Melbourne

On August 1, the Most Rev. Peter Comensoli (54) was installed as the Archbishop of Melbourne, Australia.

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The personal Arms of Archbishop Peter Comensoli were assumed in 2011 on his ordination as titular Bishop of Tigisi in Numidia and borne by him as Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Sydney (2011-2014). He bore them impaled with the Arms of the Diocese of Broken Bay as its third Bishop (2014-2018). According to the usual custom in Melbourne he has chosen to use his personal arms alone.
The arms and motto are blazoned as follows: Azure, on a Latin cross inverted Or four seven-pointed mullets (or Commonwealth stars) Gules, in the first quarter a lion’s head erased Argent crined and langued Or and in the second a unicorn’s head erased Argent crined and armed Or respectant.
The motto ‘Praedicamus Christum Crucifixum’ is a quotation from the Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians (1Cor1.23), and can be translated as ‘We preach Christ crucified.’
The inverted Latin Cross symbolises the Bishop’s nominal patron, the Apostle Peter and the stars reflect the Southern Cross, which shines out over the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit. The lion and the unicorn respectively symbolise the mind and the heart of love.
I was privileged to help design these arms back in 2011 along with Richard d’Apice. They are emblazoned by Sandy Turnbull.

Bishop Richard Henning

On Tuesday, July 24, the Most Rev. Richard G. Henning (53), a priest of Long Island’s Diocese of Rockville Centre and currently Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, will be ordained a bishop and become Titular Bishop of Tabla and Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre. Shortly after his appointment he asked me to assist in the design of his arms. The Bishop and I are classmates from our days attending Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY. His coat of arms is:

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The blazon of the arms is: Azure, within a bordure parted wavy Argent and Gules an escallop shell Argent. The shield is ensigned with an episcopal cross Or charged with five jewels Gules and a bishop’s galero with cords and twelve tassels flanking the shield disposed in three rows of one, two and three all Vert. On a scroll below the shield is the motto, “Put Out Into The Deep”.

The shield is composed of a design depicted in red (Gules), white (Argent) and blue (Azure) which are the national colors of the United States.

Both the blue background and the single escallop shell allude to the sea as evoking the Bishop’s own background and the shell is also borrowed from the coat of arms of the See of Rockville Centre, the diocese in which he was born and raised and which he serves as a priest and bishop. The shell image also recalls the Bishop’s heritage in the Diocese of Brooklyn, dedicated to its patron, St. James. The ordination of the bishop takes place on the eve of the Feast of St. James. In concert with the Bishop’s motto, the shell is a traditional symbol of baptism and pilgrimage. It is in the depths of these waters that Christians find their salvation in Jesus Christ.

The white wavy line surrounding the blue field is similarly taken from the arms of Rockville Centre and it alludes to the diocese’s location on Long Island, NY. Furthermore, it indicates the sea as the place where the barque of St. Peter, an image used to evoke the Church, is located.

The blue background also evokes the Bishop’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his years of service as a Professor and Rector at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. The red wavy portion of the border evokes the Bishop’s devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and his service as the Director of the Sacred Heart Institute for the Ongoing Formation of the Catholic Clergy.

The external ornaments include a gold episcopal cross placed vertically behind the shield decorated with five red jewels symbolic of the wounds of Christ. This is often mistaken for a processional cross like the one used in liturgical processions. However, like other heraldic ornaments the episcopal cross has its origins in something which is no longer actually used. At one time all bishops had, in addition to the processional cross at the head of the procession, another cross carried directly in front of them by a cleric. This other cross was a sign of the office of bishop. While no longer actually used it has remained a symbol of the episcopal office in heraldry.

Similarly, the broad-brimmed green galero was, at one time, worn by bishops in outdoor processions and cavalcades. No longer used it remains a heraldic symbol of the office of bishop and takes the place of the helmet, mantling and crest that would appear in the coat of arms of a layman. In Catholic heraldry the color and number of tassels on the galero indicates the rank of the bearer. The single barred episcopal cross and the green galero with twelve tassels signifies the coat of arms of a bishop according to the Instruction of the Holy See, “Ut Sive” issued in 1969.

The motto chosen by Bishop Henning appears on a scroll below the shield. “Put Out Into The Deep” which is taken from Luke 5:4.

+Rt. Rev. Giles Hayes, OSB R.I.P.

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The Right Reverend Giles Hayes, OSB (79) the Tenth Abbot of St. Mary’s Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey (founded in 1884 as St. Mary’s Abbey in Newark, a daughter house of St. Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania and later moved to Morristown) passed away on March 7, 2018.

He was elected Abbot in 2006 at which time he commissioned me to design and execute his abbatial coat of arms. He led the community until 2014.

The arms of the Abbey (in the first and fourth quarters above) are clearly based on those of the community’s motherhouse.

May he Rest in Peace.

Archabbots of St. Vincent

St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the oldest monastery in the United States, was founded in 1846 by monks from St. Michael’s Abbey in Metten, Bavaria under the leadership of Fr. Boniface Wimmer. They came to Pennsylvania funded by the Ludwigs-Missionverein, an organization started by the King Ludwig I of Bavaria to minister to German immigrants throughout the world.

When the community had grown large enough to be elevated to the status of an independent abbey in 1855 it was decided to designate it an archabbey and Father Boniface was named Archabbot for life by Bl. Pius IX. His coat of arms (below) looks to be based in a quartering of the arms of the royal family of Bavaria, the House of Wittelsbach. The lion holding the banner of Christ was used not only by Archabbot Boniface as his coat of arms but also by the community as the heraldic symbol of the archabbey. It seems as though Wimmer’s first three successors, Archabbot Andrew Hintenach (1888-1892), Archabbot Leander Schnerr (1892-1918) and Archabbot Aurelius Stehle (1918-1930) also used this coat of arms. I have not been able to locate any other coats of arms for them.

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In 1930 with the election of St. Vincent’s fifth Archabbot, Alfred Koch (1930-1949), things changed. At that time the community decided to adopt a corporate coat of arms, which borrowed the blue and white fusils in bend from another Wittelsbach quartering and took the three plates on a black fess from the arms of William Penn, turned the fess into an inverted chevron (to create the letter “V” for “Vincent”) and charged the three plates with Benedictine crosses. Archabbot Alfred impaled this with a personal coat of arms. Thereafter, his successors did likewise.

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Archabbot Dennis Strittmatter (1949-1963)

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Coadjutor Archabbot Rembert Weakland (1963-1967) later Abbot-Primate and Archbishop of Milwaukee

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Archabbot Egbert Donavan (1967-1979)

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Archabbot Leopold Krul (1979-1983)

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Archabbot Paul Maher (1983-1990)

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Archabbot Douglas Nowicki (1991-present)

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During the tenure of Archabbot Egbert Bl. Paul VI changed the customary rules governing the external ornaments of prelates indicating that the mitre was no longer to be used in coats of arms. In addition, he called for the discontinuation of the crozier in arms of bishops. The crozier used to be included in the achievements of bishops in addition to the episcopal cross. Paul VI indicated in was the cross alone that would continue to be used in the arms of bishops and that the crozier should be excluded. This was interpreted by some, wrongly, to mean the crozier should no longer be used in the arms of abbots as well. However, it is the veiled crozier, not the galero, which indicates the rank of abbot in heraldry. Archabbots Leopold and Paul were advised incorrectly to leave the crozier out of their achievements. It was, however, restored to use in the coat of arms of Archabbot Douglas which was designed by me.