Diocese of Bridgeport

Office of the Bishop
Bishop of Bridgeport

(203) 416-1352

The Bishop's Coat of Arms

Blazon: Arms impaled.
Dexter: Argent, a cross, a bridge, and wavy bars, the heraldic representation of water.
Sinister: Azure, a fess or between in chief two billets and in base a fleur-de-lis.

Significance: 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.

By heraldic tradition, the arms of the Bishop of a territorial Diocese, seen in the dexter impalement (left side) of the shield, are joined to his personal arms, seen in the sinister impalement (right side) of the shield. The ancient Lori Arms have been "differenced" to make them personal to Bishop Lori by the reversal of the tinctures of the shield and fess to a blue field and a gold (yellow) fess.

The silver (white) billets have been reduced to two and placed in "chief," or upper portion of the shield. The two silver (white) billets are here symbols of the Law of God in the Old and New Testament. Billets are also symbolic of briefs and folded letters and commemorate Bishop Lori's priestly service in assisting the Cardinal Archbishop in the administration of the Church in Washington, D.C.

In the lower portion of the shield a silver (white) fleur-de-lis, an ancient symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary, has been substituted for a tree on a mount.

Behind the Arms is placed a gold (yellow) processional cross and ensigning the whole achievement is a pontifical hat with its six tassels on each side, disposed in three rows, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of a bishop in accordance with the Instruction of the Holy See, dated March 31, 1969.

Motto: In Caritate Servire; "To Serve in Love," of God and neighbor, taken from Ephesians 4:15, continues the theme of the motto of His Eminence, James Cardinal Hickey, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington. It has been chosen as a mark of Bishop Lori's respect for Cardinal Hickey. It should be noted this motto was that of Cardinal Hickey when he was Auxiliary to Bishop Stephen S. Woznicki of Saginaw, Michigan.

Before 1870, the pontifical hat was worn at solemn cavalcades held in conjunction with papal ceremonies. The color of the hat and the number of tassels were signs of the rank of the prelate, a custom still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

The Arms were devised and "differenced" by A.W.C. Phelps of Cleveland, Ohio, in consultation with Bishop William E. Lori.