On the occasion of the 125th Anniversary Year, the Church of Saint Mary has created a new parish crest which captures elements of the parish’s history, as well as depicting our beloved and historic church in a traditional style with a modern touch. Below is a description of the symbols contained in the left half of the new crest:
Top quadrant: Two fleur-de-lis and white horizontal bar
These elements were taken from the coat of arms of Pope Leo XIII, pope from 1878 to 1903 and the reigning Pontiff during the establishment of the Church of Saint Mary in 1898 as well as the during the Dedication of our church building in 1902.
Right quadrant: Crown with the word “humilitas” below
The crown and the word “humilitas” are depicted on the coat of arms of Bishop Charles E. McDonnell, Bishop of Brooklyn from 1892 to 1921, and the Bishop who canonically established the Church of Saint Mary on July 1, 1898. Before the establishment of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on May 27, 1957, Nassau and Suffolk Counties were a part of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Bishop McDonnell dedicated the present church building in 1902. The inclusion of the crown atop the word “humilitas” in Bishop McDonnell’s coat of arms pays homage to his baptismal name Charles, after St. Charles Borromeo. St. Charles Borromeo’s own coat of arms also included this feature.
Bottom quadrant: Trimount on field and above waves of water
These elements were taken from the coat of arms of Pope Pius XII, pope from 1939 to 1958 and the reigning Pontiff who established the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 1957. Additionally, on November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII solemnly declared the Assumption of Mary to be one of the four Marian dogmas of the Church. The full title of our parish is “Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption,” and we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption as our Patronal Feast.
Left quadrant: Scallop shell
The scallop shell is taken from the coat of arms of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. This pays particular honor to the heritage of the thirteen tribes of Algonquin Indians that originally inhabited the area that is now Long Island and who employed the shells of the region in so many ways. The scallop shell is also used in heraldic achievements to signify the flowing of water in the Sacrament of Baptism.
In addition to the historical symbolism contained in the left portion of the parish crest, the right portion contains a depiction of our church building, which has stood proudly on the corner of Main Street and Harrison Avenue for over 120 years and has been a place where generations have encountered the living God in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. With firm foundations spanning over a century, the Church of Saint Mary continues to be the privileged dwelling place of God’s presence for the People of God in East Islip, Islip, Great River, and beyond.