THE COAT OF ARMS OF BISHOP BULLOCK
The Most Reverend William H. Bullock
Third Bishop of the Diocese of Madison
The coat of arms of Bishop William H. Bullock was designed by Paul J. Sullivan of Narragansett, RI., and is composed of a shield with symbols, the bishop’s personal motto and the external ornaments symbolizing the office of the bishop.
By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop of a diocese are joined with the arms of his jurisdiction. The arms of the diocese are composed of a field of wavy bars of silver and blue. This is the traditional heraldic representation for water and the field of “Water” is divided by a red cross into four sections to suggest the lakes of the region around Madison.
On the red cross is a fish and this conjunction of symbols is a classic representation for St. Raphael Cathedral, titular of the Cathedral Church in Madison.
For his personal arms, seen on the right side of the shield, Bishop bullock has retained the design that he adopted at the time of his appointment as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and which he retained for his tenure as the Bishop of Des Moines.
Bishop Bullock’s personal arms are composed of a field divided in half, with the upper half being silver and lower half composed of altering wavy bars of blue and silver. On the upper portion are a red cross between four blue roundels. The silver background represents the purity of Christ and the cross, symbol of our salvation, is in red to signify Bishop Bullock’s willingness to shed his blood, if necessary, for his flock.
The four roundels represent the four books of the Gospel and they are blue to signify the saving waters of baptism by which believers become part of the Body of Christ.
The lower portion, which represents water, is taken from the arms of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. The water represents the Mississippi River, which carries particular significance for Bishop Bullock. The Mississippi divides the Twin Cities.
For his motto, Bishop Bullock has retained the phrase “Grace, Mercy and Peace” from St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy (2 Tim, 1:2) These words represent the qualities that Bishop Bullock wants to mark his Episcopal ministry; grace for strength and encouragement, mercy for the Lord’s compassion and patience, and peace for the Peace of Christ and ultimately the eternal peace of the Kingdom of God.
The coat of arms is completed with external ornaments which are a processional cross, which is placed in back of the shield and a pontifical hat, called a gallero, with six tassels, in three-rows, on either side of the shield, all in green.