Coat of arms represents influences
in new archbishop’s life

For his personal arms, Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre selected a design that calls to mind significant influences in his life and ordained ministry.

The shield is blue and charged with a gold chevron, which in turn is charged with three red fleurs-de-lis. The chevron is a variation on a carpenter’s square and so honors St. Joseph, foster-father of Jesus and the archbishop’s baptismal patron. St. Joseph is also the titular of the seminary college that Archbishop Fabre attended in St. Benedict, La.

The three fleurs-de-lis call to mind the Most Holy Trinity: placed in the center of the shield they remind us that God must be at the center of every believer’s life.

Above the chevron is a silver crescent surrounded by twelve silver stars. This arrangement, taken from the Book of Revelation where a woman is described as “having the moon at her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1), is a traditional representation of the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception.

This pays particular honor to Mary, mother of all priests and patroness of The American College of the Immaculate Conception at the Catholic University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium, where Archbishop Fabre completed his studies for the priesthood. Below the chevron is a gold heart inflamed and pierced by two silver arrows, a classic symbol of St. Augustine (354-430), an early African bishop and theologian. This serves as a reminder of Archbishop Fabre’s heritage and also honors the legacy of the deep faith of all African American Catholics, as well as the archbishop’s beloved home parish of St. Augustine in his native town of New Roads, La.

Archbishop Fabre chose as a motto a phrase from the prophet Isaiah which has been a favorite of his since his priestly ordination in 1989: “Comfort My People” (Is 40:1). It expresses not only Archbishop Fabre’s own goal for his ministry but also the reality of God’s will for humanity: divine consolation and abiding peace in everything.

Courtesy of the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux.

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