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 Coat of Arms

The episcopal heraldic achievement, or the bishop's coat of arms, is composed of a shield, with its charges (symbols), a motto scroll and the external ornaments. The shield, which is the central and most important feature of any heraldic device, is described in 12th century terms.  Bishop Wilkerson's Coat of Arms reflects his life and his heritage. 

On a blue field is seen a silver cross. This cross is taken from the arms of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, which See was formerly known as the Diocese of Vincenness and of which Bishop Wilkerson is now Titular Bishop. Placed behind the cross is a wooden shepherd's staff to signify the office to which his Excellency has now been called, following in the footsteps of his baptismal patrons: St. Gerald, who was an abbot in the 8th century in Ireland, and St. Eugene, who was a bishop at Carthage in the 6th century. The shepherd's staff is also symbolic of the many years Bishop Wilkerson spent as a parish priest and pastor and the love he has for pastoral ministry.

In the 1st ad 4th quarters that are created by the cross on the shield are the gold angel wings of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that Bishop Wilkerson has served as a priest, and now as a bishop, and some wavy silver bars, representing water, which is such an integral part of the life and the geography of the Archdiocese, but it is also by means of water that we are reborn into Christ, Prince of Peace. The water also has special significance for Bishop Wilkerson who grew up along the ocean in the City of Long Beach, and he still finds peace, relaxation and renewal in his private moments along the sea shore.

For his motto, Bishop Wilkerson has selected the phrase, "WALK IN INTEGRITY OF HEART." These words that are taken from St. Paul's First Letter to Timothy (1 Timothy, 6-11) express the bishop's deep belief that in all we do, and everywhere that we go, we must first and foremost be honest and true to ourselves, which is the only way that we can receive the love of Christ into our lives and thus be open to those around us and make our lives what they are supposed to be. 

The device is completed with the external ornaments which are a gold processional cross, that is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below the shield, and with the pontifical hat, called a "gallero," 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 the instruction of the Holy See of March 31, 1969.


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