Bishop Betancourt

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The Coat of Arms of Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt, SEMV, depicts the Lamb of the Book of Revelation, slaughtered but victorious, the one who is the lamp for the Church (Rev 5:6; 21:23). The victory of Christ over sin and death through his sacrifice is reflected in the rays of power around his head (Rev 5:12; 17:14). The Lamb, giving his life for his Bride, the Church, through the shedding of his blood denotes the life of love and service of an ordained minister of the Church (Rev 14:1). The Lamb of God gives his life voluntarily so his Church can live and continue her mission of salvation in the world (John 10:17-18). The Lamb rests on a plain and unadorned wooden altar, evoking a life of simplicity, a life that wants to be spent in service signaling everyone to the Lamb, Christ the Savior. Finally, the Lamb also reminds us of Bishop Betancourt’s home, Puerto Rico, whose coat of arms is the oldest still in use in the New World.

The red and white banner, held by the Lamb, represents the local church of Hartford, which Bishop Betancourt has been called by the Lord to serve and give his life with joy and compassion, as well as his titular see of Curzola.

The Schoenstatt Shrine at the center of the altar represents the spirituality in which Bishop Betancourt has been formed through the charism of the Servants of the Holy Eucharist and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The blue background is the presence of the Blessed Mother in the Church and the life of Bishop Betancourt. “Nothing without you, nothing without us” (Fr. Joseph Kentenich). “She is the great missionary, she will perform miracles” (St. Vincent Pallotti). The background also reminds Bishop Betancourt of the Church in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis where he practiced his ministry of pastor, Scripture professor and formator of seminarians for more than a decade.

That strong presence of Mary is highlighted by the star. Mary, Stella Maris, reigns with her power of intercession and protection over every single member of the Body of Christ. In times of strife and distress in the Church, the Blessed Mother is the beacon of hope, promising strength, unity and security, inviting us to imitate the holiness and self-giving of her Son for the sake of his Bride. Traditionally, the eight-point star represents resurrection, salvation, super-abundance (of grace) and new beginnings.

He was ordained as the Auxiliary Bishop of Hartford on October 18, 2018.

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Norbertines in the USA

While neither of these abbots was elected very recently, within the last year there were two new Premonstratensian (aka Norbertine) abbots elected and blessed in the USA, one in Wisconsin and the other in Pennsylvania.

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The Rt. Rev. Dane J. Radecki, O.Praem elected on April 4, 2018 as the VII Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey in DePere, WI. He was blessed on July 11, 2018.

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The Rt. Rev. Domenic Rossi, O.Praem, elected on January 23, 2018 as the IV Abbot of Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, PA. He was blessed on April 14, 2018.

Chicago’s Three New Auxiliaries

On September 17 Blase Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago will ordain three new Auxiliary Bishops. They and their newly assumed coats of arms are:

Mark Bartosic (57) Titular Bishop of Novatcata

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BLAZON: Argent, at center, upon a cross throughout azure, a plate charged with the monogram of the Holy Name, sable; to chief dexter a pear tree and to base sinister a bumble bee, both proper.

Robert Casey (50) Titular Bishop of Thuburbo Maius

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BLAZON: Argent and gules; a chevron party per chevron between in chief six stars, in two groups each two and one and in base an escallop all counterchanged.

Ronald Hicks (51) Titular Bishop of Munatiana

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BLAZON: Azure, upon a fess wavy argent a sprig of rosemary proper; to chief per saltire a sword upon a quill below a heart gules fimbriated of the second, in base a spring of lily of three blossoms, also of the second.

All three (the work of Deacon Paul Sullivan) show a happy composition, good limited use of colors and make for nice clear designs. The arms of Bishop-elect Hicks is the most “crowded” and the fimbriation around the heart is probably there so that the heart could be depicted as red on a blue field. That’s unfortunate. It’s a “trick” to get around the tincture “rule” (of no color on color) but its a weak design element. It would have been better simply to have the heart be of gold or silver.

 

Norbertine Cardinals

There have been fewer cardinals in the Church from the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré (aka Norbertines) than there have been of other orders and, as far as I can tell, two of those known to be associated with that Order were Abbots in Commendam only. The Premonstratensian Cardinals are:

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Armand Jean du Plessis, Duke de Richelieu, Bishop of Luçon, Commendatory Abbot of Prémontré, (also Territorial Abbot of Cluny and Abbot in Commendam of Citeaux)

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Johannes von Bucka, O.Praem. Archbishop of Olomouc

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Ippolito II d’Este, Archbishop of Auch, Archbishop of Arles, Commendatory Abbot of Prémontré

Benedictine Cardinals

Throughout the Church’s history there have been many members of the hierarchy who were members of Religious Communities. The present pope is a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the first from that Order elected to the papacy. One of the oldest Orders in the Western Church is the Order of St. Benedict. Many monks have been made bishops and quite a few have been raised to the Sacred Purple as Cardinals. The following is by no means exhaustive but gives a sampling of some of the Benedictine Cardinals in recent history. (My gratitude to the fine website called Araldica Vaticana for many of these examples.

Enjoy!

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Gregory Cardinal Chiaramonte, OSB (later Pope Pius VII)

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Jean Cardinal Pitra, OSB

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Placido Cardinal Schiaffino, OSB Oliv

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Celestine Cardinal Ganglbauer, OSB (Archbishop of Vienna)

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Aidan Cardinal Gasquet, OSB (Vatican Archivist)

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Bl. Giuseppe Cardinal Dusmet, OSB (Archbishop of Catania)

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Kolos Cardinal Vaszary, OSB (Primate of Hungary)

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Francisco de S. Luiz Cardinal Soraiva, OSB (Patriarch of Lisbon)

NOTE: Cardinal Soraiva also had a version of his arms with a galero but also used the triple tiara as was customary for the Patriarchs of Lisbon until very recently.

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Domenico Cardinal Serafini, OSB

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Ildephonse Cardinal Schuster, OSB (Abbot of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls and later Archbishop of Milan)

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Justinian Cardinal Seredi, OSB (Primate of Hungary)

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Joachim Cardinal Albareda y Ramoneda, OSB (Vatican Librarian)

51CS) Stemma Card. Gut Benno Walter (1897-1970)

Benno Cardinal Gut, OSB

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Basil Cardinal Hume, OSB (Archbishop of Westminster)

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Hans Herman Cardinal Groer, OSB (Archbishop of Vienna)

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Paul Augustine Cardinal Mayer, OSB

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.

Abbot-General of the Norbertines

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The armorial bearings of the newly elected Abbot-General of the Order of Canons Regular of Prèmontrè (aka the Norbertines) the Most Rev. Josef Wouters, O.Praem., former abbot of Averbode. This coat of arms was originally designed by Luc Duerloo and contains charges on a fess normally associated with the Community at Averbode with the addition of personal symbols (the lance head and plow blade). The impalement here is with the arms of the Order. I understand that, as Abbot-General, he has decided to use some other arrangement which, oddly, combines the symbols for Averbode with the arms of the Order and omits any personal symbols whatsoever.

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