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Fordham Honors Archbishop with Panel


Photo by Bruce Gilbert

The Fordham community gathered on April 10 to dedicate a coat of arms in Queen’s Court to one of its own, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski (GSAS ’93) of the Archdiocese of Miami.

Archbishop Wenski’s coat of arms, which features palm trees representing his diocese and a white eagle symbolizing his Polish heritage, took its place among 24 others in the Bishop’s Lounge, the communal gathering space in Queen’s Court.

The day began with a Mass at the University Church celebrated by Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, followed by a procession to the Bishop’s Lounge. Once there, Father McShane explained how to read the crest:

• Two bars on the cross signify Wenski’s status as an archbishop; to earn three bars, a person must become Pope or found a religious order.

• A green galero signifies that the person being honored is a bishop or an archbishop; a red galero is the mark of a cardinal.

• Four tassels indicate an archbishop; three signify a bishop; five symbolize a cardinal.

Finally, the motto Omnia Omnibus comes from a line in St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians and means “All things to all people.” Father McShane said that Archbishop Wenski lives that motto. Even though he was appointed archbishop a year ago, he still rides a Harley Davidson and smokes Cuban cigars.

Archbishop Wenski’s coat of arms joined those of Fordham luminaries such as Francis Cardinal Spellman, a 1911 graduate of Fordham College at Rose Hill; Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., and John Cardinal McCloskey, Fordham’s first president.


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