Arms impaled. Dexter: Or, three crosses fitchy floretty Azure, the fleur-de-lis of each Argent; a chief wavy of the second. Sinister: Party per fess, Or and Gules, the fess barry wavy of two Azure and Argent; to chief a cross of the second charged with five lozenges of the fourth, between to chief dexter a trefoil Vert and to base sinister an escallop Sable; in base the head of an American Bald Eagle, erased, Proper.
The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, that is the central and most important part of the design and tells to whom the design belongs, the external ornamentation, that tells the owner’s position or rank, and a motto, placed upon a scroll. By heraldic tradition the design is described (blazoned) as if being done by the bearer with the shield being worn on the arm. Thus, where it applies the terms “sinister” and “dexter” are reversed as the design is viewed from the front.
For the bishop of a diocese, known as an Ordinary, his personal arms are joined (impaled) with the arms of his jurisdiction; in this case the Diocese of Superior.
The arms of the diocese are composed of a gold (yellow) field on which are displayed three crosses fitchy (the lower arm appears as a spike) floretty (each upper arm terminates in a fleur-de-lis) that are blue with the fleur-de-lis of each being silver (white). The use of the colors blue and gold, and the fleur-de-lis on each cross, that are often associated with the French and French heritage, honors the missionaries who brought the Catholic Faith to the Great Lakes region of North America and most especially to the territory that is now the Diocese of Superior. The number of crosses is Trinitarian to represent the Blessed Trinity and this whole field is placed below a chief (upper one-third of the design) that is blue, with a wavy edge to signify the waters of Lake Superior from which the See City has acquired its name.
For his personal arms, seen in the dexter impalement (right side) of the design, Bishop Powers has adopted a design that reflects his life and heritage.
His Excellency’s personal arms are composed of two main portions that are divided by a “fess” (a bar across the center) that is made up of two wavy barlets, blue and silver (white), that represent the waters of Lake Superior since the Bishop is a native son of the Diocese of Superior.
The upper portion of the design displays a red cross, of The Faith, on a gold (yellow) field. The cross is charged with five lozenges (diamond shapes) that are silver (white) and are a variant of the line of demarkation seen in the Powers family design honoring the heritage of his parents Thomas and Frances Powers. Within the quarters that are formed by the cross, to the upper left (chief dexter) is a green trefoil (variant on the shamrock) for St. Patrick and in the lower right (base sinister) a black scallop shell for St. James; the Bishop‘s Baptismal patrons.
The lower half of the Bishop’s design is red on which is seen the head of an American Bald eagle. This head is rendered “Proper,” that is, as it appears in nature. This national emblem evokes the love and appreciation that Bishop Powers has for America and his love of the outdoors, especially his northern Wisconsin homeland.
For his motto, His Excellency, Bishop Powers has adopted the Latin phrase; “DEDUC ME, DOMINE, LUCE TUA.” This phrase, a slight variant of the 85th Psalm, expresses Bishop Powers’ deep conviction that it is only by surrendering to God’s Will that we can achieve our appointed tasks in life. And so, The Bishop declares “LEAD ME, LORD, BY YOUR LIGHT.”
The achievement is completed with the external ornaments that are a gold (yellow) processional cross, that extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a galero, with its six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See, of March 1969.
Bishop Powers’ Coat of Arms was designed by
Deacon Paul J. Sullivan of Narragansett, Rhode Island.