Coat of Arms of Bishop Kenneth D. Steiner
Auxiliary Bishop 
 Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon 

Bishop Steiner - Coat of Arms


Gules a Ibex passant argent on three coupeaux Vert in dexter chief a dove volant of the second, in sinister chief two crossed keys of the last.  Motto: To Serve and to Unite.



The entire "achievement," or coat of arms as it is generally called, is composed of the shield with its charges, the motto and the external ornaments.  As one looks at the shield, the terms dexter and sinister must be understood contrariwise, as the shield was worn on the arm in medieval days and these terms were used in the relationship of one behind the armor.

As it is a custom in prelatical heraldry to change the tinctures or charges, the bishop's coat of arms is based on that of the Steiner family of Germany.  The field is red and the main charge is a sliver Ibex walking on three green hills.  The Ibex in Heraldry is depicted as an antelope with saw edged hors.  It is mostly used in German coats of arms.  However, this animal has been used from the early days of Armorists.

In the upper left hand corner there is a silver dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit to whom the bishop has a special devotion.  The crossed silver keys in the upper right hand corner are abstracted from the Pieters Coat of Arms in Belgium, taken from the bishop's maternal family arms.

Each Catholic Bishop usually has an Episcopal motto beneath his coat of arms.  Bishop Steiner has chosen "To Serve and to Unite," which suggests his program in life.  Thus, the bishop expresses his desire to serve Christ and unite all mankind for Him.

The external ornaments are composed of the pontifical hat with its six tassels on each side disposed in three rows, all in green and the processional cross in gold.  These are the heraldic trappings of a prelate of the rank of Bishop.  Before 1870, the pontifical was worn at solemn cavalcades held in conjunction with papal functions.  The color of the pontifical hat and the number and color of the tassels were signs of the rank of a prelate, a custom which is still preserved in ecclesiastical heraldry.

(The coat of arms was executed by William F. J. Ryan, an ecclesiastical designer and heraldry expert.)

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