Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Arms, Staffs and Pulpiteers

Here, in their first public airing, are the arms of the tenth archbishop of New York.

In keeping with tradition, a wood carving of Tim Dolan's heraldic achievement will be fixed to the of the cathedra of St Patrick's before Installation Eve.

Like most of the American bishops -- his Gotham predecessor included -- Dolan entrusted the work to Paul J. Sullivan, a permanent deacon of the diocese of Providence. Here below, the explanation of the shield, courtesy of the reverend heraldist:
By heraldic tradition the arms of the bishop, who is the “first among equals” of an ecclesiastical province, called a “Metropolitan Archbishop,” are joined, impaled, with the arms of his jurisdiction. In this case, these are the arms of the Archdiocese of New York.

These arms are composed of a silver (white) field on which is displayed a red saltair; a charge that resembles the letter “X.” This heraldic arrangement is known as a “Cross of Saint Patrick,” and by its use honor is paid to the titular patron of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, in New York City, the cathedral-church of the Archdiocese. Upon the saltair is a silver (white) mill-sail (a wind mill), which is also seen in the seal of The City, to reflect the Dutch heritage of its founders and that the city was originally known as “New Amsterdam.” Within the areas of the field created by the saltair are seen four small red crosses, for The Gospels, emblematic of The Church’s mission to bring The Good News to those entrusted to its care.

For his personal arms, His Excellency, Archbishop Dolan continues to use the design that was adopted upon his selection to receive the fullness of Christ’s Priesthood, as a bishop, when he was appointed, ordained and installed as Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Louis and which he used during his tenure as Archbishop of Milwaukee

The Archbishop’s design is composed of a blue field on which is seen a silver (white) fess, a bar across the center of the design which is about one-third of the design. At the center of the fess is a red crown, taken from the arms of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, the Archbishop’s home, and which he first served in Episcopal ministry. The crown is placed between two scrolls, that are described as “Proper,” or “as they appear in nature.” These scrolls are to honor His Excellency’s Baptismal patron, Saint Timothy, who was the recipient of two of Saint Paul’s Epistles.

Above the fess are two crescents; one silver (white) and one gold (yellow), and one below which is also gold. The silver crescent honors our Blessed Mother, in her title of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the United States and the charge is taken from the arms of the Pontifical North American College, in Rome, where Archbishop Dolan studies for the priesthood and later served for seven years as Rector. The other two crescents, of gold, are taken from the Dolan family arms and honor His Excellency parents.

For his motto, Archbishop Dolan continues to use the Latin phrase, “AD QUEM IBIMUS.” By the use of these words taken from Saint John’s Gospel (John 6:68), His Excellency, Archbishop Dolan takes the words of Saint Peter as was said to Jesus, “Lord, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO.,” for truly The Lord is the way to all and eternal happiness.
Of course, that green galero is universally expected to turn to red in time... with an elector under age 80 already in town, however, don't be surprised if it takes a while longer than usual.

For the record, the last four Big Apple archbishops -- Spellman, Cooke, O'Connor and Egan -- were each elevated to the College of Cardinals at the first consistory to occur after they took office.

* * *
To close out your briefing from today's briefing, it emerged that -- in keeping with his historian's leanings -- Dolan will use at least two treasures of the New York vaults for the installation rites: one crozier belonging to Archbishop Michael Corrigan (1885-1902) and another belonging to the "Cardinal of Charity" Patrick Hayes (1919-38). Additionally, according to the planners, a pectoral cross first worn by John Hughes (1842-64) -- the city's first archbishop and visionary behind the "new" St Patrick's in Midtown -- is being sought out for #10's use over the days.

On Thursday, his 77th birthday, #9 -- i.e. Cardinal Edward Egan -- will hold a retrospective edition of his weekly "Conversation" with Sirius XM Radio's The Catholic Channel.

In a change from the usual, the program will air live from 3-4 Eastern and come not from the home-studio set up for Egan at 452 Madison, but the all-glass "Fishbowl" at the provider's studios down the street. Then, after a week's break following the installation, Dolan takes the weekly chat's reins on the 23rd... and Rob Astorino's in for the ride of his life.

The archdiocese's radio venture will have the catbird's seat for the installation itself, broadcasting from just behind the cathedral's high altar during the Mass.

And lastly, just like the Yankees' Cantor, the reader at Tuesday's Vespers service comes at the Man of the Hour's special invite: his second-grade teacher, Mercy Sr Bosco Daly, is making the trip from her native Ireland to do the honors.

On a 2007 visit to her former student in Milwaukee, Dolan interviewed Daly for his TV show during Catholic Schools Week.

Paul J. Sullivan(1)