Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan’s coat of arms establish his Brooklyn roots and the fact that he was born as an Irish-American Catholic.
The Lions are taken from the Sullivan family crest, and the carpenter’s square is a symbol of St. Joseph the Worker, the bishop’s patron saint.
The Brooklyn Bridge, the borough’s most famous landmark, represents his birthplace and here stands as a symbol of the Bishop Pontifex, a bridge between the sacred and the secular, the city of man and the city of God.
The escaloped shell is primarily a symbol of Baptism and the Cathedral of St. James where the bishop was ordained as a priest.
The heart with the scales of justice imposed represents the bishop’s conviction that the baptized Christian is called to engage in the struggle to bring about a world and a society founded on both justice and charity.
The blue background honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness of the Diocese of Brooklyn and patroness of the two parish assignments of Bishop Sullivan: Our Lady of Lourdes, Queens Village, and Our Lady of Hope, Middle Village.
The precious stones in the cross represent that the bishop is one of 11 children.
The bishop’s motto, “Eternal His Merciful Love,” is taken from Psalm 100 and expresses the bishop’s belief that the modern world suffers from a sense of alienation and a lack of faith in a God whose love is boundless and always forgiving.
It is the role of the bishop to teach the God of love revealed by Jesus and to witness to His merciful love through a ministry of justice and charity.