Personal meaning

Bishop Williams – personal meaning of sacred symbols

Bishop Williams’ crosier contains a shamrock representing the Trinity and a single rose representing the Latino people. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

When Father Joseph Williams’ appointment as Auxiliary Bishop was publicly announced on December 10, he concelebrated a morning Mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral in St. Paul with Archbishop Bernard Hebda and held a press conference immediately afterwards.

The archbishop greeted him before this mass with a pectoral cross, a symbol of the dignity of his new office, which the archbishop himself had worn. Since then, he wears it with his priests.

“He (Archbishop Hebda) calls it a ‘lender’ or ‘you can keep it,’” Bishop Williams told The Catholic Spirit ahead of his January 25 ordination and installation as an auxiliary bishop. “I think he was humble.”

“It is very beautiful,” said Bishop Williams. “I think I’d like to keep it on, at least while I’m serving it, to remind it that I’m its auxiliary. My first job is to support him.

Other symbols of the episcopate that have personal meaning for Bishop Williams are a zucchini, the “skullcap” usually worn by bishops, which belonged to the late Bishop Paul Sirba, a priest in the archdiocese who, as as bishop, served the Diocese of Duluth before his death. in 2019.

Bishop Williams said his crozier, or pastoral staff, was made by one of Bishop Sirba’s nephews, Paul Sirba of St. Paul. In the hollow of the crosier is a shamrock representing the Trinity and a single rose representing the Latino people, a ministry important personally and to the Church, the bishop said.

The shamrock reminds him of Saint Patrick, his confirmation name and an inspiration over the years to his Latin ministry as the saint was not Irish but was a missionary bishop to the people of Ireland, Bishop Williams said. Similarly, Bishop Williams said that although he is not Latino, he strived to be a missionary to the Latino community in the Archdiocese.

The episcopal ring that Bishop Williams will wear is adorned with a fleur-de-lis which includes a cross, a rose and an image of the Virgin Mary. It is modeled after the logo of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Minneapolis and used with permission, said Bishop Williams, of that parish’s pastor, Father Daniel Griffith, who is a friend and member of the promotion. of his seminar.

The pectoral cross and the zuchetto in particular remind him, Bishop Williams said, that “I have brothers on earth and in heaven, who have gone before me, who serve with me, that we are a college, one might say , of apostles, serving together in it.

Keywords: Crozier, Episcopal Ring, Pastoral Staff, Pectoral Cross, Sacred Symbols, Shamrock, Single Rose, St. Patrick, Zucchetto

Category: Bishop Williams