By DEACON PAUL J. SULLIVAN, Commentary | Published April 11, 2013
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.