Our Feature Articles:
The episcopal heraldic achievement, or bishop’s coat of arms, is composed of a shield, the central and most important part of the design, a scroll with a motto, and the external ornamentation. By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop of a diocese are joined with the arms of his jurisdiction, seen in the left side of the design. These arms are composed of a blue field, to honor the most Blessed Virgin Mary, on which is displayed a castellated fort in silver (white). Above the fort is a green trefoil (also known as a shamrock), to honor Saint Patrick, the titular of the Cathedral-Church.
Bishops wear distinctive symbols or insignias, also known as regalia. These religious items, some worn on a regular basis and others only within liturgical celebrations, communicate to us the bishop’s special place within the Church. The bishop, by his ordination, has received the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and when we see the bishop wear these symbols, perhaps we should do something more than just be aware of their meaning. The next time you see any of these regalia, consider quietly doing something special for the bishop: Offer a short prayer for him.
The second bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop Joseph Patrick Delaney, was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on Aug. 29, 1934. The eldest of five children born to Joseph and Jane Delaney, he was part of a devout, close-knit, and loving Irish family.
John Joseph Cassata, the first bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, was born in Galveston, on Nov. 8, 1908, the son of Vincent and Anna (Pizzitola) Cassata, both natives of Sicily, Italy. When he died in Houston on Sept. 8, 1989, from complications of heart surgery at the age of 80, he was eulogized as a “wonderful” priest and bishop, as a loyal, generous friend, and as a devoted brother to his six siblings.
Bishop Kevin William Vann was born May 10, 1951 in Springfield, Illinois, the oldest of six children born to William M. Vann, Jr., and Theresa Jones Vann. A graduate of Springfield’s St. Agnes Catholic School and of Griffin Catholic High School, he attended Springfield College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Millikan University in Decatur, Illinois.