Coat of Arms

Most Reverend Patrick Christopher Pinder, S.T.D; C.M.G.

Second Archbishop of Nassau

 

BLAZON: Arms impaled. Dexter: Azure, a representation of the "Pinta", is suant from two barlets wavy, all Argent, the mast supporting a Latin cross Or; a chief checky of the third and Sable. Sinister: Azure, a pale or between two trefoils Argent; at the nombril point a ship at sail, the mainsai l charged with a cross of the second; a pile to the honor point Sable charged with a sunburst issuant from its base of the second.

 

SIGNIFICANCE: The archepiscopal heraldic achievement, or archbishop's coat of arms, is composed of a shield, with its charges (symbols), a motto scroll and the external ornaments.

The shield, which is the central and most important feature of any heraldic device, is described (blazoned) in 12th century terms, that are archaic to our modern language, and this description is done as if being given by the bearer with the shield being worn on the arm. Thus, it must be remembered, where it applies, that the terms dexter and sinister are reversed as the device is viewed from the front.

By heraldic tradition, the arms of the archbishop of the territorial archdiocese, called the "Metropolitan," are joined to the arms of his jurisdiction, seen in the dexter impalement (left side) of the shield. In this case, these are arms of the Archdiocese of Nassau, in the Bahamas, which was elevated to archepiscopal status in 1999.

For his personal arms, seen in the sinister impalement (right side) of the shield, His Grace, Archbishop Pinder, has retained the arms that he adopted at the time that he was selected to receive the fullness of Christ's Most Holy Priesthood, as he became the Auxiliary Bishop of Nassau, and which he now carries forward into his new archepiscopal status. This design is drawn on the images and symbols of the Bahamian national arms on the country's national flag.

The blue field with its gold stripe and black triangular end of the national ensign of the Bahamas, is placed upon the shield as if being hung by the "fly" end of the flag. It is charged with two trefoils (shamrocks) to honor the Bishop's Baptismal Patron, Patrick. It is also charged with the gold sunburst of the national arms, to signify that above all, for the man called to the fullness of the priesthood within The Church, the Son of God must be like the sun rising in his life so that the spirit of God dominates all that he does. In the lower part of the design, also taken from the arms of The Bahamas, is a ship at sail. Such a boat, in ecclesial designs, is often referred to as "the bark of St. Peter," and signifies that as a bishop, His Lordship is called to spread the Good News of the Gospel by taking it where ever he might go.

For his motto Archbishop Pinder uses the phrase "OF ONE HEART AND MIND." This phrase, taken from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4: 32), expresses one of the Christian community's earliest concepts, that through Baptism into Christ all mankind becomes one with another. It also expresses, by implication, the theme of His Grace's doctoral dissertation on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that as one body forgiveness and cooperation especially in ecumenical dialogue, are the hallmarks of that which bind each in the name of Christ to all who are Christian in belief.

The device is complete with the external ornaments which are a gold archiepiscopal processional cross (having two cross members), which is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a "gallero," with its ten tassels, in four rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of archbishop by instruction of The Holy See of March 31, 1969.

by: Deacon Paul J. Sullivan, Author and Designer

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