The latin cross, blood red, lies sideways across the field, dividing it into unequal cantons. The blood red cross depicts the sacrifice of Jesus, because of which the entire design is laid out over pure white. The cross is empty but laid down, by which it might be called a 'Saturday' (or even 'Sabbath') cross, reminding us that the sacrifice was not suffering only, but suffering unto death, for he "was crucified, dead, and buried". It is a latin cross since the Romans performed the execution.
In the Canton a gold cross stands surrounded by a gold crown, showing the presence and promise of the kingdom of heaven and Christ's rule. The fimbriation and the interior of the crown are in blue, the color of loyalty. The blue and gold points of the crown are like mountains, representing the security and safety God provides for those who come to Christ; for "as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, now and forever."
Below the cross and crown, and thus under the power of the kingdom, are the symbols of the natural world: Blue sky, green plants, flowing water, brown earth. In the rectangle of sky we see also the abode of God whence came Christ and to which he returned. In the green we see the life in faith for we are to be like a tree whose roots are planted in the living water. The waves of water remind us also of the water of Baptism; the waters flow over us as also over the earth in which Jesus was buried.
In the third canton is a book and before the book a burning lamp. The book stands for the Word of God yet it is drawn in black because the words are dead until illuminated by the Spirit. The lamp is also outlined in black. This is the lamp of knowledge which appears as gold but is really brass. The flame is not the light of knowledge alone but of understanding. The red which outlines the flame reminds us that this gift comes only by the power of Christ's Spirit.
In the last place, a cardinal stands on a dolomite boulder, facing the signs of the natural world. This canton symbolizes the owner of the design, with the rock for his first name and the bird for the family. Further, the dolomite suggests geographic origin. The rock also represents the firm foundation of faith.
To travel from the last canton to the first, one must pass through the other two cantons. The symbols of the Word above the bird's head show that to be the intellectual path to God. The bird's gaze is directed toward the symbols of the natural world, representing the path to the Creator through the creation. The personal symbols are placed last and farthest from the symbols of the kingdom. Nevertheless, there is no distance which separates them.
September 30, 1978
November 25, 1998
May 22, 1999
January 2, 2006