EXPLANATION OF THE DUAL COAT OF ARMS
The coat of arms above is a combination of the diocesan coat of arms, on the left side of the shield, with the bishop’s personal coat of arms on the right. Together they symbolize the spiritual union of the bishop with his spouse, the local Church.
DIOCESAN COAT OF ARMS (Left half)
The diocesan coat of arms uses symbols which describe San Diego (St. Didacus in Latin), the diocesan patron saint.
Diego was born to poor Spanish parents shortly before the year 1400. His love for poverty never left him. As a Franciscan brother he was a selfless servant of the poor and was known to heal the sick with the Sign of the Cross, the centerpiece of the diocesan coat of arms. The Spanish stew pot in the upper left corner indicates Diego’s boundless charity and tireless efforts to feed the hungry. San Diego had a special devotion to the Lord in his Passion, symbolized by the three nails in the other corners of the crest.
Diego died on Nov. 12, 1463, at the Franciscan monastery in Alcalá, Spain, pressing a crucifix to his heart and repeating the words of the Good Friday chant: “Dulce lignum, dulce ferrum, dulce pondus sustinet” (Precious the wood, precious the nails, precious the weight they bear.)
BISHOP’S COAT OF ARMS (Right half)
In the bishop’s personal coat of arms, the Greek letters, Chi and Rho, at the center of the design, symbolize Christ.
As disciples of the Lord, we seek “to know Christ and the power flowing from his resurrection (symbolized by the palm branches); likewise to know how to share in his sufferings by being formed into the pattern of his death (symbolized by the cross).” (cf. Phil 3:10)
We are to continue God’s work of reconciling everyone to Christ in the mystery of his death and resurrection. This is suggested by the circle tied into the cross and palm branches.
Bishop Brom selected the motto, “Ego Sum Christi” or “I Belong to Christ” (I Cor 1:12) to express his commitment to Christ and dedication to the Church. Consecrated in truth, Bishop Brom professes to belong to Christ and not to the world (cf. John 17.) and for this privilege, he wants above all else to be an ambassador for Christ and a minister of reconciliation (cf. II Cor 5:14-21) and to love the Church as Christ loved the Church, giving himself up for it (cf. Eph 5:25).