archbishop-coat-of-armsThe principal color of the fields are the Marian colors, blue and white.  They recall the chain of islands named after Queen Mariana of Austria and Guam, the largest isle entrusted to the patronage of Santa Marian Kamalen.  Blue stands for the deep azure of the Pacific which surrounds the island of the Archdiocese – the Territory of Guam.  White recalls the brilliant tropical sunlight which fills the Pacific Islands.


The upper left hand portion, as you view it (dexter chief), contains the symbol of Mary, the crescent and star, who as Mother of God and of the Church and is represented in Chamorro tradition as Santa Marian Kamalen who is carried in procession each year on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Pope John Paul II and the Archbishop share a deep devotion to Mary under the titles found in their respective homelands.  The star stands for Mary under the title “Star of the Sea”, and the Capuchin Vice Province from which the Archbishop came.


The lower left hand portion (dexter base) displays the Chamorro “Latte Stone” which has become symbolic of the Ancient Chamorro culture, the native inhabitants of the Mariana Islands.  It served as a foundation support for the home.  The “Latte Stone” represents the link between the ancient Chamorros who first saw the light of Christ at the arrival of the first missionary and Proto-martyr, Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, S.J.  This symbol represents the continual and gradual growth and development of Christianity among the Chamorro people under the guidance and charitable leadership of the Jesuit, Augustinian Recollect, and Capuchin missionaries.  The “Latte Stone” is the firm foundation first in culture, later in faith on which the Archbishop stands today.


The lower right portion (sinister base) contains two silver mountains, the suni or taro plant and a river of a field of blue.  One mountain stands for paternal ancestors of the Archbishop from the Illocos Sur region of the Philippines and the other for his maternal ancestors from the high islands of the Marianas.  The suni symbolizes the unity between these ancestors in the fertility of the soil and traditional hospitality through the sharing of food.  The water within the river brings life to all creation and is the source of eternal life in baptism.  The blue sky offers serenity and love to all under its cover.


The upper right hand portion (sinister base) is a white field with the arms of the Capuchin-Franciscan Order.  The Archbishop is a member of the Capuchins a branch of the Franciscans.  The Franciscan arms are the arms of Christ and St. Francis in alstire surmounted by a cross.  They represent the miracle of the Stigmata.  These arms are also found fronting the main altar of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Agaña.


The motto:  “SERVUS TUUS” (“Your Servant”) stands for the fourteen years of pastoral service as a priest in the Northern Marianas, Saipan and Guam—Father Dueñas Seminary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Agat and Agaña Cathedral-Basilica.  This motto is a pledge of his future service to the People of God in the Archdiocese in imitation of Jesus Christ, the humble servant of his Father in heaven.