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Bishop’s motto glorifies the primacy of Jesus and the will to serve

McClory motto

Bishop Robert McClory's episcopal motto and coat of arms are displayed on his cathedra, or bishop's chair, at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on Feb. 11. The motto is from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, “Jesum Dominum Praedicamus,” translates from Latin to English as,“We proclaim Jesus as Lord.” (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

 

by MARLENE A. ZLOZA

Northwest Indiana Catholic

 

 

“We proclaim Jesus as Lord” - Episcopal motto of the Most Reverend Robert John McClory

 

It is customary for a bishop to select a written motto to complete his coat of arms. This statement serves as a motif for his ministry and is placed on a ribbon or scroll at the base of the processional cross. 

For his Episcopal Ordination, Bishop Robert McClory chose a core passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, “Jesum Dominum Praedicamus,”which translates in English to,“We proclaim Jesus as Lord,” for the typical 2- or 4-word passage that goes on the coat of arms.

It is taken from the full passage, “We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Cor. 4:5) “This motto encapsulates the primacy of Jesus and the commitment to having a servant’s heart in serving our brothers and sisters,” according to the new bishop.

“That passage is something that has stayed with me for some time. Actually, when I was ordained a priest in 1999, that’s the passage I had on the back of my holy card when I was ordained,” said Bishop McClory. “So it sort of stayed with me over the years and of course, the encapsulated version is, ‘We proclaim Jesus as Lord.’ So I think it’s about (the fact that) we don’t preach ourselves, but we preach Jesus. And he is the source of hope and peace and joy and everlasting life and so our message is him and I think being clear in the proclamation of Jesus is very important.

“And then other part, which is not found in the motto but is in the passage, is ‘If that’s who he is, who are we?’ We proclaim Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. So it really shows a servant’s posture, and that we’re servants for Jesus, trying to love you for his sake. Because that’s what he would have us do, it’s for his sake, because that’s his intention for us, that we serve others.

“So that combination, that full passage has been something that has stayed with me for a number of years. I would say, in prior years, at my (most recent) parish, the Shrine of the Little Flower, my home parish as well, that was for a time a kind of a motto for the parish, and whenever I saw it, I said, ‘You know, that really connects with me, that expresses a lot.

“So I just kept it alongside me for a number of years and when I had a chance to have a motto, I tried to figure out, ‘How’s the best way to express that?’ and so that’s how it came about.”

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