Author Archives: guyselvester

Most Rev. Robert F. Christian, O.P. – RIP

The Most Rev. Robert Christian, a Dominican friar, who has been the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco passed away on July 11, 2019 at age 70.

His coat of arms was assumed by him at the time of his episcopal ordination.

Umm…no. Sorry, but “beige” isn’t a heraldic color and, no, you may not just simply make up new rules and use whatever color you wish in heraldry. The science of heraldry limits the tinctures to be used and beige isn’t one of them. The Dominican cross and the usual Franciscan conformities (the arms of Christ and St. Francis crossed with each other) made for a nice combination of symbols for his Religious Community and the Archdiocese.

May he rest in peace.

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Prince of Wales’ Investiture 50 years on…

On July 1, 1969 Prince Charles was formally invested as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. He had been given these titles in 1958 and had, from the time of his mother’s accession to the throne been the Duke of Cornwall, the title traditionally held by the heir apparent to the British throne. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event.

In 2017 Prince Charles surpassed the record set by his illustrious ancestor, King Edward VII, by becoming the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history.

His arms (above) appear very much like those of his mother except that his are differenced by a white label (repeated on both supporters and the badge for Wales as well); in place of the compartment there is a device intertwining his motto and his badges as well as a small shield with the arms of Cornwall; there is an inescutcheon for Wales; and the crowns on the helm, the two small shields and the lion supporter all have a single arch as befits a Princely crown rather than a royal one which has two arches.

God Bless the Prince of Wales!

Bishop Joseph Galante, RIP

Bishop Joseph A. Galante, D.D., J.C.D. was born in Philadelphia and was ordained in 1964. He attended Lateran University in Rome, where he received his doctorate in canon law, and later the University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome, where he received his Master’s Degree in Spiritual Theology.

He served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia until he was named by Pope John Paul II in December 1986 to be Undersecretary of the Congregation for Religious in Rome. He was a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Communications.

In October 1992 he was named Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio, Texas. A year and a half later he was installed as Bishop of Beaumont, Texas. He became Coadjutor Bishop of Dallas in January 2000.

On April 30, 2004, Bishop Galante was installed as seventh bishop of the Diocese of Camden.

Bishop Galante retired on January 8, 2013. He entered into eternal life on May 25, 2019.

New Austrian Provost

On April 9, 2019 the Augustinian Canons of Stift Herzogenburg in lower Austria elected Fr. Petrus Stockinger (37) to be their new Provost. In the world of Canons Regular some communities of canons are governed by Abbots. Others, like some Collegiate or Cathedral chapters, are governed by a Provost.

What is interesting for the purposes of this blog is that a Provost, who also enjoys the privilege of using pontificals, like an Abbot, also has the same heraldic privileges as an Abbot. These are, the black galero with black cords and twelve black tassels as well as the crozier with the sudarium attached. The armorial bearings of the newly-elected Provost are below.

Ad Multos Annos!

Archbishop Etienne moving from Anchorage to Seattle

On April 29 Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Paul Etienne (59) to be the Coadjutor Archbishop of Seattle. The archbishop was a priest of Indianapolis and also served from 2009-2016 as the Bishop of Cheyenne, Wyoming before becoming Archbishop of Anchorage, Alaska where he has served for just three years.

He will take up his new duties in Seattle in early June and then he and Archbishop Peter Sartain, who requested the coadjutor due to ill health, will determine when Archbishop Etienne (pronounced AY-chin) will succeed to the See as the ninth archbishop.

The archbishop famously redesigned his personal coat of arms when he moved from Cheyenne to Anchorage, a move that was highly criticized by me. Let’s hope he leaves well enough alone this time. Ironically, his original coat of arms would have ended up looking better marshaled to those of Seattle than his current design. This, then, is why one shouldn’t redesign personal arms to harmonize better with (arch)diocesan arms. It is impossible to know if you might be moving on.