Episcopal Motto

The archbishop of my new diocese has taken a phrase from Psalm 27:8a as his motto:

Of you my heart has spoken

When I checked my NAB and NRSV, that half-verse wasn’t quite versed in that way. Third guess: the Grail.

As a liturgist, I think of the 27th as the second of the eight common psalms for Ordinary Time. Archbishop Sartain has an obviously deeper sense of the Psalm in the context of the Liturgy of the Hours, where the Grail is more often prayed.

Here’s a trivia question for you church geeks in the readership: what is your bishop’s motto? If you know it, does it have any meaning for you? Should it?

Anybody remember the pope’s motto, and its significance?

coat of armsI have to say I’m not big on heraldry, though I notice English football teams have shields and some have mottoes. If I were designing a personal heraldic thing, I would think about a trapezoid-shaped shield suggestive of a hammered dulcimer, the staff of Raphael, something suggestive of the dreams of the two Josephs, something astronomical, and this motto:

illum oportet crescere me autem minui

Probably keep it in Latin, just to confound those who would expect a guitar.

I don’t suppose any readers out there have a coat-of-arms they would like to share …



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in bishops, Commentary, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Episcopal Motto

  1. Joyce Donahue says:

    Our current bishop, R. Daniel Conlon, has a simple one: “Take Courage.” Interesting on many levels. Not really sure why or where it comes from.

    Bit of trivia for you about Archbishop Sartain (my former bishop). For his episcopal ordination, his friend, composer Steve Janco, wrote a responsorial psalm setting: “Of You My Heart Has Spoken.” http://www.wlp.jspaluch.com/download/008841.pdf

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