Coat of Arms
The arms of Archbishop Curtiss appear on the right half of the shield, joined with those of the Archdiocese of Omaha, and surrounded in the Archbishop's motto and the symbols of his office.
The Archdiocesan arms consist of a green field (background) which is used to signify the green of the farmlands of Nebraska. Across the center of the field is a silver (white) wavy bar that is used to represent the Missouri River that forms the eastern boundary of the See City of Omaha. Overall there is a cross to signify the Faith that was brought to the Heartland of America by missionaries who normally wore black cassocks or religious habits and thus the cross in these arms is black.
The personal arms of His Excellency, Archbishop Curtiss, features a design which represents his life and the heritage of his parents, Mary and the late Elden Curtiss. These arms are composed of three main sections that are blue, silver (white) and red. These are the colors of the Slovenijian national flag and by the use of these colors the Archbishop honors his mother's ethnic heritage. The arms of the Irish family "Curtiss" are composed of black and white symbolism. In the center of the design the Archbishop has placed a black shamrock on a white field to honor his Irish heritage.
In the upper portion of the design is a cross that is taken from the arms of the Diocese of Baker in Oregon. It was in this diocese that Archbishop Curtiss was born, raised and was serving as priest when he was appointed Bishop of Helena, Montana. The Archbishop's tenure as Bishop of Helena is represented by the crown of St. Helen seen in the lower portion of the design.
For his motto, Archbishop Curtiss employs the phrase,"THAT WE MAY ALL BE ONE," which is a paraphrase from St. John's Gospel (17:21). The motto expresses his deep belief and prayer that all of us as Christians are called be one with Him, and brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Above the shield is a processional cross with two cross members and a green clerical hat with ten tassels in four rows on either side of the shield. These are the heraldic insignia for the office of Archbishop.
By: Deacon Paul J. Sullivan