Archbishop Cruz has chosen a single word for his motto: “Caritas,” the Latin word for charity. His personal coat of arms is composed of a shield -- the central and most important part of the design -- and a scroll with his motto and external ornamentation.
“Caritas” is the goal toward which Bishop Cruz has directed his priestly ministry, especially his pastoral care work in the healthcare ministries throughout the Archdiocese of Newark.
The motto also has a special significance to the bishop, for it is the name of his mother (Caridad) who, with husband Juan, brought the family to the United States from Cuba in 1966.
As a bishop without canonical jurisdiction (an auxiliary bishop), Bishop Cruz’s personal arms occupy the entire shield. The arms are composed of a silver (white) field on which is placed a red Latin cross to utilize His Excellency’s name (Cruz), which is Spanish for “cross.”
Upon the cross is a blue “M.” The letter is taken from the arms of Saint Pope John Paul II and is the monogram of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom Bishop Cruz has a deep and profound devotion. It also recognizes Our Lady as the patroness of Immaculate Conception Seminary, where Bishop Cruz studied for the priesthood.
The coat of arms is completed by external ornamentation, which consists of a gold processional cross placed in the back of the shield extending above and below the shield.
The pontifical hat, a “gallero” with its six tassels in three rows on either side of the shield, are all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate with the rank of bishop by instruction of the Holy See on March 31, 1969.
Coat of Arms designed by Deacon Paul J. Sullivan, Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island