The cross is green for hope and it imitates the cross that is found in St. Augustine, Florida where the first Mass in North America is claimed to have been celebrated on September 8, 1565.
The heart of Jesus reminds us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the priest is called to serve the flock which continues to belong to God. St. John Vianney has described the priesthood as: “The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.” Thus, it becomes a symbol for diocesan priesthood.
The fire is the love of the Holy Spirit.
The thorns signify the Church suffering amid the trials of the world, while participating in the risen heart of Jesus.
The stole is a symbol for priestly authority and service. Mary is implicit in the manner in which the stole is displayed.
The Scripture text “Go and Make Disciples” is from Matthew 28:19.