Current Bishops of the Archdiocese of Atlanta

Past Bishops of Atlanta

Bishop David P. Talley Auxiliary Bishop (2013-2016)

“He Will Give you A New Heart”

Bishop David P. Talley was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Atlanta on June 3, 1989. He served at many parishes, and  was a member of many advisory boards and departments throughout the archdiocese. On December 12, 2012, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, where he served for nearly three years. Bishop David Talley was appointed as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria in Louisiana on November 7, 2016.

B_David_Talley_200x200
Coat of Arms

Auxiliary Bishop David Prescott Talley’s Coat of Arms

The impalement of the personal Arms of Bishop Talley with those of the Archdiocese of Atlanta was undertaken by Deacon Paul Sullivan of Saunderstown, Rhode Island.

 

Blazon:Talley_COA_PROD-web
Party per chevron Vert and Azure; the chevron bary wavy Argent and of the second; to chief a “Stella Maris” of the third between two “Cherokee Roses” Proper; the bark of St. Peter Or, the sail of the third charged with the monogram of the Holy Name Gules.

Significance:
The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, which is the central and most important part of the design, a scroll with a motto and the external ornamentation. The design is described (blazoned) as if the description was being given by the bearer (from behind) with the shield being worn on the left arm. Thus, it must be remembered, where it applies, as the device is viewed from the front that the terms sinister and dexter are reversed.

As a bishop without canonical jurisdiction (an auxiliary bishop), Bishop Talley’s personal arms occupy the entire shield of the design.

His Excellency, Bishop Talley’s arms are composed of several major and significant aspects. Prime among these is the special twelve-pointed silver (white) star known as the “Stellar Maris,” or “Star of the Sea,” a classic symbol honoring Our Blessed Mother, to whom His Excellency has such deep and profound devotion. The Stella Maris is placed between two “Cherokee Roses,” silver (white) petals and gold (yellow) barbs and seed, that are the state flower of Georgia and are displayed in the arms of the Diocese of Savannah, where Bishop Talley was born, in Columbus, and in the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta where His Excellency has been called to serve as Auxiliary Bishop.

The chevron, from the Prescott family arms is composed of Silver (white) and blue wavy bars, representing water and it signifies the Chattahoochee and the Savannah rivers that run throughout the territories of the two Georgia dioceses.

In the base of the design, is the bark of St. Peter, gold (yellow) with a silver (white) sail charged with the IHS, the monogram of the Holy Name, in red. The bark is the central feature of the logotype of the “Year of Faith” as designated by Pope Benedict XVI; the year of the New Evangelization now being carried forward by a new Holy Father, Pope Francis.

For his motto, His Excellency Bishop Talley has selected the Latin phrase “DABO VOBIS COR NOVUM.” The phrase, taken from the Book of Ezekiel (Ez. 36:26) expresses His Excellency’s faith that Jesus Christ instructs us that He “Will Give You a New Heart.”

The achievement is completed by the external ornamentation which are a gold (yellow) processional cross, that is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below the shield, and the 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 31, 1969.

by: Deacon Paul J. Sullivan

Most Rev. John F. Donoghue, Fifth Archbishop of Atlanta (1993-2004)

Archbishop John F. Donoghue

“To Live in Christ Jesus”

Archbishop Donoghue was named as the fifth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1993.  When he was appointed to Atlanta, Archbishop Donoghue made the center of his pastoral work among Catholics to renew understanding of and devotion to the Eucharist as the real presence of Christ.  He served North Georgia faithfully until his retirement on December 9, 2004.  On November 11, 2011, Archbishop-Emeritus John F. Donoghue passed away at the age of 83.

Archbishop Donoghue
Coat of Arms

donoghue_armsThe entire “achievement,” or coat of arms as it is generally called, is composed of the shield with its charges, the motto and the external ornaments. As one looks at the shield the terms dexter (right) and sinister (left) must be understood contrariwise, as the shield was worn on the arm in medieval days and these terms were used in the relationship of the one bearing the shield.

The dexter impalement is given in ecclesiastical heraldry to the arms of jurisdiction; in this instance, the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Atlanta known as the “Crossroads of the South,” because of converging railroads which gave the city its early prominence, received its name as the eastern terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad which connected north Georgia with the Tennessee River. Originally called Whitehall, then Terminus, and afterwards in 1843 Marthasville, the state legislature finally acquiesced to the wishes of the railroad and accepted the name of Atlanta in 1847, thus naming the city indirectly after the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean is represented on the shield of the archdiocese by white and blue wavy bars, the heraldic equivalent of the waves of the sea; seven bars in number to symbolize the Seven Sacraments.

The crown of Christ the King denotes the title of the cathedral church, the Eternal King whose redeeming Sacrifice on the Cross is renewed daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Above the crown is placed the Cherokee rose, the State flower of Georgia (Rosa Laevigata), as befits an archdiocese located in the Capital City. The Cherokee rose is a white flower with a yellow center.

The crown of Christ the King, in the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, also has the secondary representation of the crown of King George II of England after whom Georgia was named. The blue and white wavy bands may be said as well to symbolize the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge country; but, more important, these are the colors of our Blessed Mother.

The sinister impalement, on the right of the viewer, bears the personal arms of Archbishop Donoghue. These consist of a field, or surface quartered green and red. The quartering is found in the arms of the Archdiocese of Washington, and commemorates Archbishop Donoghue’s priestly ministry in that archdiocese. The green and red are the surface colors of the arms of the Irish septs of O’Donoghue and Ryan, and honor the Archbishop’s paternal and maternal ancestry.

The central charge of the arms is a silver (white) cross with its limbs terminating in a fleur-de-lis. This cross flory honors Archbishop Donoghue’s baptismal patron, Saint John Vianney (1786-1859). The fleur-de-lis has long been a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and here joined to the cross, alludes to the Archbishop’s Pauline motto and his devotion to Christ’s Mother. The chief portion of the shield is ermine (white and black ermine tails) and commemorates Archbishop Donoghue’s long association with Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, second archbishop of Washington, whose arms bore an ermine chief.

The motto, “To Live in Christ Jesus,” has been adapted from Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians 1:21.

In pale behind the arms is placed a gold archiepiscopal cross with a double transverse. A pontifical hat with ten tassels on each side disposed in four rows, all green, surrounds the shield ensigning the whole achievement.

Prior to 1870, the pontifical hat was worn in solemn conclaves held in conjunction with papal functions. The color of the pontifical hat and the number and color of the tassels were signs of the rank of a prelate, a custom which is still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

Most Rev. James P. Lyke, Fourth Archbishop of Atlanta (1991-1992)

Archbishop James P. Lyke

“Christus Pax”

On June 24, 1991, the Most Reverend James P. Lyke was installed as the fourth Archbishop of Atlanta.  Archbishop Lyke grew up in Chicago and was a convert to Catholicism.  He served as Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland from 1979-1990.  At the time of his death from cancer on December 27, 1992, Archbishop Lyke was the highest-ranking African-American clergyman in the United States.

lyke200x262
Coat of Arms

Archbishop Lyke Coat of ArmsThe entire “achievement,” or coat of arms as it is generally called, is composed of the shield with its charges, the motto and the external ornaments. As one looks at the shield the terms dexter (right) and sinister (left) must be understood contrariwise, as the shield was worn on the arm in medieval days and these terms were used in the relationship of the one bearing the shield.

The dexter impalement is given in ecclesiastical heraldry to the arms of jurisdiction; in this instance, the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Atlanta known as the “Crossroads of the South,” because of converging railroads which gave the city its early prominence, received its name as the eastern terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad which connected north Georgia with the Tennessee River. Originally called Whitehall, then Terminus, and afterwards in 1843 Marthasville, the state legislature finally acquiesced to the wishes of the railroad and accepted the name of Atlanta in 1847, thus naming the city indirectly after the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean is represented on the shield of the archdiocese by white and blue wavy bars, the heraldic equivalent of the waves of the sea; seven bars in number to symbolize the Seven Sacraments.

The crown of Christ the King denotes the title of the cathedral church, the Eternal King whose redeeming Sacrifice on the Cross is renewed daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Above the crown is placed the Cherokee rose, the State flower of Georgia (Rosa Laevigata), as befits an archdiocese located in the Capital City. The Cherokee rose is a white flower with a yellow center.

The crown of Christ the King, in the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, also has the secondary representation of the crown of King George II of England after whom Georgia was named. The blue and white wavy bands may be said as well to symbolize the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge country; but, more important, these are the colors of our Blessed Mother.

The sinister impalement, on the right of the viewer, bears the personal arms of Archbishop Lyke. These consist of a quartered shield on the lower two-thirds of the sinister in black and green with a gold cross. Superimposed on this is a narrower red cross. The colors red, black and green are significant to black Americans because they were used by the United Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. They are dominant in the flags of many African nations. Red symbolizes redemption, blood and liberty; black is for the black people and green stands for hope.

The quartered shield with the gold cross recalls the mystery of the Church and honors Pope John Paul II from whose coat of arms it is derived. The narrower cross imposed on the gold cross is red, the academic color for theology and conveys Archbishop Lyke’s special interest in same.

In the first quadrant of the quartered shield is a white chaplet of the Franciscan cord to emphasize Archbishop Lyke’s devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan ideal.

The upper portion of the shield displays the arms of the Friars Minor. The field is silver (white) with a black Latin cross above two crossed arms. One arm wears a Franciscan robe representing Saint Francis. It is pierced, recalling that the saint was a stigmatic. The other arm with pierced hand represents the crucified Christ.

The Latin motto “Christus Pax,” translates as “Christ Our Peace,” and is taken from Saint Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 13 and 14. The motto further emphasizes the cross of Christ which reconciles our differences and unites all in faith.

Behind the arms is placed a gold archiepiscopal cross with double traverse. Surrounding the shield or “achievement,” is a pontifical hat with ten tassels on each side in four rows, all in green

Prior to 1870, the pontifical hat was worn in solemn conclaves held in conjunction with papal functions. The color of the pontifical hat and the number and color of the tassels were signs of the rank of a prelate, a custom which is still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

Most Rev. Eugene A. Marino, Third Archbishop of Atlanta (1988-1990)

Archbishop Eugene A. Marino

Archbishop Eugene A. Marino was installed as the third Archbishop of Atlanta on May 5, 1988.  He was the first African-American to be named Archbishop in the United States.  On July 10, 1990 Archbishop Marino resigned his position.  He died in New York on November 12, 2000.

marino
Most Re.v Eugene A. Marino
Coat of Arms

marino_armsThe entire “achievement,” or coat of arms as it is generally called, is composed of the shield with its charges, the motto and the external ornaments. As one looks at the shield the terms dexter (right) and sinister (left) must be understood contrariwise, as the shield was worn on the arm in medieval days and these terms were used in the relationship of the one bearing the shield.

The dexter impalement is given in ecclesiastical heraldry to the arms of jurisdiction; in this instance, the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Atlanta known as the “Crossroads of the South,” because of converging railroads which gave the city its early prominence, received its name as the eastern terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad which connected north Georgia with the Tennessee River. Originally called Whitehall, then Terminus, and afterwards in 1843 Marthasville, the state legislature finally acquiesced to the wishes of the railroad and accepted the name of Atlanta in 1847, thus naming the city indirectly after the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean is represented on the shield of the archdiocese by white and blue wavy bars, the heraldic equivalent of the waves of the sea; seven bars in number to symbolize the Seven Sacraments.

The crown of Christ the King denotes the title of the cathedral church, the Eternal King whose redeeming Sacrifice on the Cross is renewed daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Above the crown is placed the Cherokee rose, the State flower of Georgia (Rosa Laevigata), as befits an archdiocese located in the Capital City. The Cherokee rose is a white flower with a yellow center.

The crown of Christ the King, in the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, also has the secondary representation of the crown of King George II of England after whom Georgia was named. The blue and white wavy bands may be said as well to symbolize the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge country; but, more important, these are the colors of our Blessed Mother.

The sinister impalement, on the right of the viewer, bears the personal arms of Archbishop Marino. These consist of a blue shield with a lamb in a walking position supporting with its right foreleg a gold pastoral staff. The chief or upper portion of the shield is silver with a wavy line separating the upper and lower portions. A red chevron is superimposed on the upper portion.

The lamb has an honored and ancient history in Christian art as a symbol of Christ and the Eucharist as well as being the object of the shepherd’s care.

In this instance, the lamb is supporting a pastoral staff by which Archbishop Marino wishes to emphasize the strength which comes from the unity of the pastor with those committed to his care. The lamb recalls the words of Christ to Simon Peter: “Feed my lambs,” as recorded by John the Evangelist in his Gospel chapter 21, verse 15, and selected by Archbishop Marino as his episcopal motto. The lamb also recalls the archbishop’s paternal heritage for it is the chief element on the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The wavy chief, upper portion, symbolic of water, both scripturally and sacramentally recalls the necessity of washing, cleansing and giving of life to those who would live in Christ. It also represents the archbishop’s native state of Mississippi, “The Father of Waters,” and acknowledges his maternal heritage and birthplace.

It is an established custom in ecclesiastical heraldry for members of religious orders who are raised to the episcopate to display the arms of their community, or part of it, in their episcopal arms. In keeping with this custom, the archbishop, a member of the Society of Saint Joseph and the Sacred Heart (Jospehites), selected the carpenter’s square as a chevron from the arms of the community. It is tinctured red in honor of the Sacred Heart.

The blue field of the archbishop’s shield honors the Blessed Virgin Mary. It also is found in the arms of the Josephite community.

Behind the arms is placed a gold archiepiscopal cross with double traverse. Surrounding the shield or “achievement,” is a pontifical hat with ten tassels on each side in four rows, all in green.

Prior to 1870, the pontifical hat was worn in solemn conclaves held in conjunction with papal functions. The color of the pontifical hat and the number and color of the tassels were signs of the rank of a prelate, a custom which is still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

Most Rev. Thomas A. Donnellan, Second Archbishop of Atlanta (1968-1987)

Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan was appointed the second Archbishop of Atlanta on May 24, 1968 and was installed on July 16, 1968. Archbishop Donnellan, 54 years old at the time, was a native of New York City. Prior to his Atlanta appointment he had served four years as Bishop of Ogdensburg, New York.

The population of the Atlanta Archdiocese tripled during his 19 years as Archbishop and the number of Catholics grew from 50,000 in 1968 to 175,000. Thirty-two parishes were established during this time. Archbishop Donnellan suffered a stroke on May 1, 1987 and died on October 15, 1987.

donnellan01
Coat of Arms

donnellan_armsThe entire “achievement,” or coat of arms as it is generally called, is composed of the shield with its charges, the motto and the external ornaments. As one looks at the shield the terms dexter (right) and sinister (left) must be understood contrariwise, as the shield was worn on the arm in medieval days and these terms were used in the relationship of the one bearing the shield.

The dexter impalement is given in ecclesiastical heraldry to the arms of jurisdiction; in this instance, the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Atlanta known as the “Crossroads of the South,” because of converging railroads which gave the city its early prominence, received its name as the eastern terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad which connected north Georgia with the Tennessee River. Originally called Whitehall, then Terminus, and afterwards in 1843 Marthasville, the state legislature finally acquiesced to the wishes of the railroad and accepted the name of Atlanta in 1847, thus naming the city indirectly after the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean is represented on the shield of the archdiocese by white and blue wavy bars, the heraldic equivalent of the waves of the sea; seven bars in number to symbolize the Seven Sacraments.

The crown of Christ the King denotes the title of the cathedral church, the Eternal King whose redeeming Sacrifice on the Cross is renewed daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Above the crown is placed the Cherokee rose, the State flower of Georgia (Rosa Laevigata), as befits an archdiocese located in the Capital City. The Cherokee rose is a white flower with a yellow center.

The crown of Christ the King, in the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, also has the secondary representation of the crown of King George II of England after whom Georgia was named. The blue and white wavy bands may be said as well to symbolize the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge country; but, more important, these are the colors of our Blessed Mother.

The sinister impalement, on the right of the viewer, bears the personal arms of Archbishop Donnellan.

The oak tree from the coat of arms of the Donnellan family of Galway, the ancestors of the Archbishop, has been emblazoned on the personal arms, but the field has been changed from silver to gold that the Irish colors might prevail to pay homage to Saint Patrick, the title of the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of New York, where Archbishop Donnellan spent the early years of his priesthood.

The ermine spots at either side are derived from the coat of arms of Francis Cardinal Spellman, the late Cardinal-Archbishop of New York, by whom Archbishop Donnellan was ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop.

The chief (upper portion) is given to two spearheads at either side of a saltire. The spearheads recall that the archbishop’s baptismal patron, Saint Thomas was martyred by these instruments. The saltire is the well-known symbol of Saint Andrew, the Apostle, whose name the Archbishop also bears. Saint Andrew, the brother of Saint Peter, is believed to have been martyred upon a cross in the shape of the letter X.

The motto, “Ministrare non Ministrari,” is translated “To serve, not to be served.” The full text of the scriptural verse from which the motto is derived reads: “… even as the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life for the ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28). A motto expresses briefly an ideal, a plan of life and the spirit of the one who selects it.

The external ornaments are composed of the pontifical hat, with its tassels, disposed in four rows, all in green, and the archiepiscopal cross with double transverse tinctured in gold. These are the trappings of a prelate of the rank of archbishop.

Prior to 1870, the pontifical hat was worn in solemn conclaves held in conjunction with papal functions. The color of the pontifical hat and the number and color of the tassels were signs of the rank of a prelate, a custom which is still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

Most Rev. Joseph L. Bernardin, First Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta (1966-1968)

Auxiliary Bishop (Mar 9, 1966 to Apr 5,1968)

Most Rev. Paul J. Hallinan, First Archbishop of Atlanta (1962-1968)

On February 21, 1962 the Diocese of Atlanta was elevated to the status of Archdiocese. Paul J. Hallinan, Bishop of Charleston, S.C. was named the first Archbishop of Atlanta.

Born in Painesville, Ohio, April 8, 1911, he was ordained to the priesthood in Cleveland in 1937 and served as an army chaplain in the South Pacific during World War II. He was installed as Archbishop of Atlanta on March 29, 1962. Archbishop Hallinan is best remembered for his personal dedication to the cause of social justice and his involvement in the civil rights activity of the 1960’s. He was also deeply involved in the renewal of the Catholic Church, especially in the area of worship, during and following the Second Vatican Council. On March 27, 1968 Archbishop Hallinan died after a long battle with hepatitis.

During the last two years of his life, Archbishop Hallinan was assisted by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph L. Bernardin, who eventually became Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago.

hallinan
Coat of Arms

hallinan_armsThe entire “achievement,” or coat of arms as it is generally called, is composed of the shield with its charges, the motto and the external ornaments. As one looks at the shield the terms Dexter (right) and sinister (left) must be understood contrariwise, as the shield was worn on the arm in medieval days and these terms were used in the relationship of the one bearing the shield.

The dexter impalement is given in ecclesiastical heraldry to the arms of jurisdiction; in this instance, the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Atlanta known as the “Crossroads of the South,” because of converging railroads which gave the city its early prominence, received its name as the eastern terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad which connected north Georgia with the Tennessee River. Originally called Whitehall, then Terminus, and afterwards in 1843 Marthasville, the state legislature finally acquiesced to the wishes of the railroad and accepted the name of Atlanta in 1847, thus naming the city indirectly after the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean is represented on the shield of the archdiocese by white and blue wavy bars, the heraldic equivalent of the waves of the sea; seven bars in number to symbolize the Seven Sacraments.

The crown of Christ the King denotes the title of the cathedral church, the Eternal King whose redeeming Sacrifice on the Cross is renewed daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Above the crown is placed the Cherokee rose, the State flower of Georgia (Rosa Laevigata), as befits an archdiocese located in the Capital City. The Cherokee rose is a white flower with a yellow center.

The crown of Christ the King, in the arms of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, also has the secondary representation of the crown of King George II of England after whom Georgia was named. The blue and white wavy bands may be said as well to symbolize the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge country; but, more important, these are the colors of our Blessed Mother.

The sinister impalement, on the right of the viewer, bears the personal arms of Archbishop Hallinan.

The arms of the Irish Hallinan family consist of a silver field emblazoned with a green oak tree, its roots exposed, and bearing a golden crown in the middle of the foliage. These arms have been “differenced” by the addition of a golden sword to honor Saint Paul, the baptismal patron of the archbishop, and by two red hearts, from the coat of arms of the revered Cardinal Newman, to honor the titular of the Newman Foundation of Western Reserve University, where the archbishop served as chaplain at the time of his elevation to the episcopacy.

The tree of the Hallinan arms has more than a passing interest inasmuch as the grandfather and father of the archbishop were both nurserymen.

O’Hallinan is derived from the Gaelic “Hailgheanain,” variously spelled O’Hallinaine, O’Hallinan, Hallinan, Hallanan and Halnan, who are descendants of “Ailgheanan,” the diminutive of “Ailghean,” meaning “noble offspring.” It is an old Munster surname found chiefly in Cork and Limerick counties.

The motto, “Ut Diligatis Invicem” is translated “That you love one another.” The full text of this verse from the Gospel of Saint John reads: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (15:12), a part of the discourse of Our Lord to the apostles at the Last Supper.

Behind the arms is placed a gold archiepiscopal cross with double traverse, the mitre and the crosier. Surrounding the shield or “achievement,” is a pontifical hat with ten tassels on each side in four rows, all in green

Prior to 1870, the pontifical hat was worn in solemn conclaves held in conjunction with papal functions. The color of the pontifical hat and the number and color of the tassels were signs of the rank of a prelate, a custom which is still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

Most. Rev. Francis E. Hyland, First Bishop of Atlanta (1956-1962)

The first bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta was Francis E. Hyland, a native of Philadelphia, who had served as Auxiliary Bishop of Savannah since 1949. He began his service to the new diocese as both the city of Atlanta and the resident Catholic population were experiencing rapid growth. At age 60 Bishop Hyland resigned because of ill health.

hyland_LG
Coat of Arms

hyland_armsThe entire “achievement,” or coat of arms as it is generally called, is composed of the shield with its charges, the motto and the external ornaments. As one looks at the shield the terms dexter (right) and sinister (left) must be understood contrariwise, as the shield was worn on the arm in medieval days and these terms were used in the relationship of the one bearing the shield.

The dexter impalement is given in ecclesiastical heraldry to the arms of jurisdiction; in this instance, the arms of the Diocese of Atlanta.

Atlanta known as the “Crossroads of the South,” because of converging railroads which gave the city its early prominence, received its name as the eastern terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad which connected north Georgia with the Tennessee River. Originally called Whitehall, then Terminus, and afterwards in 1843 Marthasville, the state legislature finally acquiesced to the wishes of the railroad and accepted the name of Atlanta in 1847, thus naming the city indirectly after the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean is represented on the shield of the diocese by white and blue wavy bars, the heraldic equivalent of the waves of the sea; seven bars in number to symbolize the Seven Sacraments.

The crown of Christ the King denotes the title of the cathedral church, the Eternal King whose redeeming Sacrifice on the Cross is renewed daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Above the crown is placed the Cherokee rose, the State flower of Georgia (Rosa Laevigata), as befits a diocese located in the Capital City. The Cherokee rose is a white flower with a yellow center.

The crown of Christ the King, in the arms of the Diocese of Atlanta, also has the secondary representation of the crown of King George II of England after whom Georgia was named. The blue and white wavy bands may be said as well to symbolize the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge country; but, more important, these are the colors of our Blessed Mother.

The sinister impalement, on the right of the viewer, bears the personal arms of Bishop Hyland.

The coat of arms is based on “faolan,” the Gaelic derivation of Hyland. “Faolan” is the diminutive of “faol” which means “wolf.” The name was common in the sixteenth century in Offaly and Leix, whence it spread into other parts of Ireland. Hyland is the usual form of the name in Leinster.

Consequently, a wolf’s head erased (torn) is placed in the pronominal or paternal quarters, the first and the fourth. In these quarters there is also a reference to “McCarron,” the maiden name of Bishop Hyland’s mother. McCarron is derived from the Gaelic root “Ciar” meaning black, and the bishop has so tinctured there quarters to commemorate his mother on his episcopal escutcheon.

The silver cross and the two fleurs-de-lis have been abstracted from the second and third quarters of the coat of arms of Saint Francis de Sales to honor Bishop Hyland’s baptismal patron. The fleurs-de-lis are golden on the arms of Saint Francis, but they have been changed to silver in order that the colors of the Blessed Virgin Mary, blue and white (silver) might be displayed and that this distinction might constitute a brisure to make these Hyland arms particularly those of the bishop.

The motto “Ad Jesum Per Mariam,” is translated “To Jesus through Mary.”

The external ornaments are composed of the green pontifical hat with its six like-tinctured tassels on each side disposed in three rows, the mitre, the processional cross and the crosier, the latter in gold.

Prior to 1870, the pontifical hat was worn in solemn conclaves held in conjunction with papal functions. The color of the pontifical hat and the number and color of the tassels were signs of the rank of a prelate, a custom which is still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text.

Start typing and press Enter to search