Msgr William Goh has been appointed by the Holy See as Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore with the right to succession. The Holy See is also assigning Msgr Goh a titular see which is no longer inhabited.

The following is an explanation of the symbols on the Coadjutor Archbishop-elect’s coat of arms:

On the left: The lion represents the Republic of Singapore. The star represents the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelisation, illuminated by God to lead us to Jesus despite the tempestuous seas.

The Fleur-de-lys, which is typically associated with France, signifies the founding of the Catholic Church in Singapore by the French missionaries. The Double Sail Ship represents mission and the co-responsibility of the clergy (black) and the laity (gold) in moving the Church forward in the New Evangelisation. This commemorates the timely significance of the episcopal appointment during the Year of Faith. 

On the right: The Sacred Heart represents a burning love for God and humanity lived out with passion and compassion (the hallmark of Coadjutor Archbishop-elect William Goh’s ministry). The flames arising from the heart are fuelled by prayer, which ascends to God. IHS is a monogram of the name Jesus. The pelican vulning itself to feed her young emulates the kenosis and self-sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and in the Eucharist.

Centre: The seven hollow mascles come from the coat of arms of St William of York (patron saint of Msgr Goh). It represents the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

The Bible, which is the sacred Word of God, represents the primary duty of the archbishop to believe the Word, teach and live it. “Ut Vivant”, the motto of Msgr Goh in Latin, meaning “That They May Live”, is taken from John 10:10-11. It exemplifies the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His flock.

Colours: Green is the colour assigned to the ecclesiastical heraldry achievements of archbishops. It is the colour of fidelity, like leaves attached to the vine.

The archbishop in his fidelity to Christ draws life from Christ the True Vine. This in turn allows the Church to come through him to Christ. In this way, he becomes a “Pontifex”, a bridge to Christ.

Gold is the colour of Christ’s Divinity. Red is the colour of passion and the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon the office of the archbishop. Deep blue is a colour of homage to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the hue of philosophical truth. The colour also symbolises the teaching role of the archbishop. Black is the colour of the ordained priesthood.


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