Coat of Arms of
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy Anthony McDonnell, D.D.
Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts
Arms impaled. Dexter: Argent, a cross pommelé Gules, between
four fountains. Sinister: Azure, an anchor Or intertwined by a salmon
Argent, in chief the blades of two windmills of the last.
The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms,
is composed of a shield, with its charges (symbols), a motto scroll
and the external ornaments. The shield, which is the central and most
important feature of any heraldic device, is described (blazoned) in
12th century terms, that are archaic to our modern language and this
description is presented as if being given by the bearer with the shield
being worn on the arm. Thus, it must be remembered, where it applies,
that the terms dexter and sinister are reversed as the device is viewed
from the front.
tradition, the arms of the bishop of a diocese are joined (impaled)
with the arms of his jurisdiction, which are seen in the dexter impalement
(left side) of the shield. In this case, these are the arms of the Diocese
of Springfield in Massachusetts.
are composed of a silver (white) field on which are displayed a red
cross with arms that each terminate in a single ball, called a “cross
pommelé,” and four roundels that contain alternating wavy
bars of silver and blue, heraldically called “fountains.”
The fountains are used in heraldry to represent lakes, ponds or springs
and their use in this design cants (that is: “plays on”)
the name of the See City; a field of springs for Springfield. The red
cross pommelé on a silver field is known as a “Cross of
Saint Michael” and is employed here to honor Saint Michael, the
Archangel titular of the Cathedral-Church and patron of the diocese.
personal arms, His Excellency, Bishop McDonnell has retained the device
that reflects his life as a priest and as a bishop and which was adopted
at the time of his selection to receive the fullness of Christ’s
Priesthood as he became an Auxiliary Bishop of New York.
is blue, the color symbolizing the Blessed Virgin Mary, for it was on
her feast that the Bishop’s episcopal ordination took place. The
same blue shield is found in the coat of arms of Pope John Paul II who
named Bishop McDonnell to the episcopacy and it is in the coat of arms
of Edward Cardinal Egan, the Archbishop of New York who was the principal
consecrator of Bishop McDonnell.
shield is placed a golden anchor, the symbol of hope that is intertwined
by a salmon in silver. One of the most ancient Christian symbols, the
fish (in Greek ichthus) stands for Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior
(Iesous CHristus THeou Uios Soter). Placed on the anchor it symbolizes
Christ on the cross, our hope of salvation.
placed two silver windmills. The windmill has been a symbol of New York
City since it was known as New Amsterdam. There are two of these charges
to signify the profound symbol of New York, the “Twin Towers”
of the World Trade Center. The target of the horrific attack on the
United States on September 11, 2001, the “Twin Towers” have
evoked as heroic response among peoples everywhere of unity, determination
and hope for a better world.
motto, Bishop McDonnell uses the Two Great Commandments,
GOD AND LOVE NEIGHBOR.”
is a reminder of the call each Christian receives to manifest love for
God by loving service to others.
is completed with the external ornaments, which are a processional cross
which is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below
the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a “gallero,” with
its six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in
green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop
by instruction of The Holy See of March 31, 1969.
Paul J. Sullivan
N.B. - The author and designer respectfully requests appropriate acknowledgment
for the public use of these efforts. Rev. Mr. Sullivan is a Permanent
Deacon of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A..
and General Information |
Timothy A. McDonnell |
F. Maguire, Retired
Directions to Key Diocean Locations