Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner

Coat of Arms

The Hat - Galero

The galero (an ecclesiastical hat) is in use today in ecclesiastical heraldry as part of the achievement of the coat of arms of a Roman Catholic prelate. The color of the galero and number of fiocchi (tassels) indicate the cleric's place in the hierarchy. A bishop's galero is green with six tassels per side. An archbishop's galero is also green but has ten tassels.Both patriarchs and cardinals have a galero with fifteen tassels; the difference being that a patriarch's is green while the cardinal's is red or scarlet.

Popes do not use a galero in their personal coats of arms: rather the Papal Tiara and Keys of Saint Peter are used.The circular galero surmounts the shield and the processional cross that in heraldry is properly known as the episcopal cross. The interior of the galero is properly rendered in scarlet. Tassels adorn the brim and fall from stylized knots made of cording of the same color.

The Cross - La Cruz

Below the hat above the shield, being actually placed behind the shield in what is known in heraldry as being "in page," is found the episcopal cross. It is the hallmark of a Noonan design for each episcopal or archiepiscopal cross to be unique with each design indicative of further symbolism for the one to bear the achievement. For Bishop Hoeppner, the cross is gold and etching into the cross/transverse arm is the slight suggestion of the angel's wings in the same way that subtle designs are etched into real gold sacred vessels in the church. In other words, a suggestion of angel's wings appears on the processional cross above the shield. This represents the Archangel Michael, the patron of the bishop. At the center of this corss, where the unpright and transverse arms join, is displayed a rough cut (cabachon) emerald representing the "Emerald Isle" and the bishop's material heritage - Ireland. The staff of this cross is gold as well and falls behind the shield, re-emerging below the shield's base.

The Shield- El Escudo

The shield if divided vertically. To the left, as one views the arms, appears the diocesan arms of Crookston, as is the custom with residential bishops in the USA. The half to the right, as one views the design, is the personal arms of the new bishop. This personal space is divided as follows:
The bar across the top of this space, known as the chief, is the place of honor in heraldry. It is working in real liquid gold, the metal reserved for the Blessed Trinity and which is symbolic of Divine Wisdom, and as such, the wisdom that comes to the teaching office of bishop of the church. Upon this gold field appears a large X, cutting the space from edge to edge. This is the Saint Andrew Cross and honors the feast of the Apostle Saint Andrew, the day on which Bishop Hoeppner is ordained to the episcopacy. At the center of the X, where the two crossed arms meet, appears a silver crescent, the open bowl space pointing upward. This is the universal symbol of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of Crookston and the titular of the cathedral there in which the bishop is consecrated. All of this appears in the bar across the top of the Hoeppner portion of the shield.

The Base- La Base

The larger base of this segment of the arms is worked in heraldic blue. This also represents the Blessed Virgin Mary but as a personal homage to her by the Bishop. Two co-joined emblems appear on this space, but worked together, entwined, as one, in order to honor the deceased parents of the bishop.

Created for the first time by James-Charles Noonan, Jr., the hearldic designer, there appears a gold portcullis, the heraldic gate. The ancient gate, as seen on the drawbridge of castles in ancient architecture, is symbolic of the Blessed Virgin Mary, normally (as gate of heaven) but herein, for the first time, it represents Saint Anne, the mother of Mary. How? Saint Anne was known to have died (near to age 72 as legend has it) in a dwelling beside the Gate of the Sheep in Jerusalem and next to this gate she is believed to have been buried. In addition, when she and Saint Joachim could not successfully bear children, Joachim left Anne for 40 days in the desert to pray for an heir. After 40 days, an angel appeared to them both to inform them that a child would be conceived. Anne was told to go out to the Golden Gate of Jerusalem to await Joachim and it was there, when he arrived, and as they embraced that the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary too place. For these two reasons, the Golden Gate has been selected for Bishop Hoeppner's arms but upon it is worked a sheep's head in gold to represent both the Golden Gate of the city and the Sheep's Gate. Gold was selected for the sheep's head as silver and gold represent loyalty to the Holy See, as these metals are the colors of the Vatican State and the Holy See. Likewise, gold and silver are the only two heavenly attributes.

The gate represents not only Saint Anne, but the bishop's own mother, who was named for the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bishop Hoeppner wished most of all to represent his late mother and father in his heraldic design. As such, a special homage needed to be made to Saint Joseph of Nazareth, as the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary was also the patron of the bishop's late father. And so, in this design, the stem or rod of Saint Joseph, common in devotional art, appears to honor both the foster father of the Lord but also the bishop's own late father. To clearly represent that these two images have become one, by virtue of impalement, the stem passes behind the gate, the rod appears below the gate and the stem and flowers above it. The stem shall be silver. The lily atop the staff as is proper, is to honor the bishop's paternal heritage. Below the coat of arms appears the bishop's motto:

 Omnia in Nomine Domini Iesu

"Everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus"