Our crest represents the Marian and Petrine aspects of the Catholic Church. We honor the Virgin Mother of the Church and the successor of Peter upon whom the Church is built.
At the center of the crest is the heart which beats at the center of the Church: the Immaculate Heart of Mary, aflame with love for God and for us, the children bequeathed to her from the cross. As virgin and mother, Mary is the image, model and mother of the Church. We claim her as our model in our efforts to live "in the heart of the Church."
The keys of Peter symbolize the Church's apostolic authority received from Christ, the authority to which we pledge our lives. "Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia" (“Where Peter is, there is the Church”).
The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove overshadows the heart and the keys, just as the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary at the Annunciation, and again when she was gathered with the Apostles in the Cenacle at Pentecost.
Seven rays emanate from the Holy Spirit, symbolizing His seven gifts as well as the seven Sacraments, channels of sanctifying grace for the whole Church. The combined rays symbolize the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity. The twelve rays also signify the twelve Apostles.
The top banner with the words, "Sentire cum Ecclesia" ("to think and to feel with the Church," an expression used by St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises) is the motto of our Community. The lower banner is the title of Our Lady, patroness of our community: "Mater Ecclesiae" (Mother of the Church).
The crest is enclosed in the shape of the colonnade at St. Peter's in Rome, the center of Catholic teaching, worship and unity in the world. The four pillars represent the foundational pillars of our religious life:
The vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience together with our total consecration to Jesus through Mary.
The dome of St. Peter’s reminds us of the FAITH we profess in all that is taught and maintained through the ages by Christ’s holy Church.
The cross atop the dome draws our gaze heavenward, filling us with HOPE in Christ crucified and risen, in Whom we seek eternal fulfillment.
The Bernini colonnade symbolizes the outstretched arms of Holy Mother Church inviting the whole world into the embrace of her CHARITY.