The Symbols of Our Parish: The Parish Seal

Explore some of the artistic and historic elements that are such an important part of OLPH Parish. We are surrounded by items of great beauty, deep meaning, and rich tradition. Let's take a closer look at The Parish Seal.

The Design

The OLPH Parish Seal is actually a newly designed aspect of our Parish Identity. It was created in 2018 in a collaboration between Fr. Nick Kostyk, former OLPH Director of Communications Melissa Conroy, and Matthew Alderman Studios. Matthew Alderman is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame's distinguished classical design program, a published illustrator and designer, and a frequent speaker on liturgical planning, churchbuilding and sacred art. He is also one of America's few heraldic artists, producing designs and renderings of coats of arms, seals, banners and related art for institutions, churches and private individuals.

The goal of this design project was to create parish identity standards across various media (print, electronic, signage, merchandise, etc.) and within different user groups/ministries. The main design directive was to emphasize Marian symbolism and even to reference directly our own  Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The Elements

  • Blessed Sacrament - The sacred food that heals and nourishes us so that we may receive Eternal Life. The Eucharist is at the heart of the community, reaching out via charity (the two fish), all within the embrace of the Virgin.
  • Chalice - Represents both the Blessed Virgin, as a vessel of Christ’s Precious Blood, and worship of Our Lord, because it is used during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
  • Golden Crown - Placed on the Icon by order of the Pope Pius IX in 1867, it is a symbol of the many miracles received by invoking Our Lady under the title of "Our Lady of Perpetual Help."
  • Fish - A reminder of Jesus’ miracles during his ministry and his promise to always provide whatever we need according to God’s will. The fish also refer to the Sharing aspect of OLPH.
  • Three Stars - These represent Our Lady’s perpetual virginity. As the "Star of the Sea" who bore the light of Christ into our darkened world, she leads us to the safe port of Heaven.
  • Lance and the Triple-Barred Cross in the Stars - Represents St. Michael and St. Gabriel from the Icon, foreshadowing Christ's Passion and the instruments of his death.
  • Broken Sandal in Bottom Star - Refers again to the Icon. The dangling sandal of the baby Jesus implies that he lept to the comfort of Mother Mary in anticipation of the Passion. He went so quickly that he shed his sandal.
  • 1919 - The year OLPH officially became an independent parish on October 19.
  • Shape of the Shield - Reminiscent of the ornate baroque-style cartouche over the main interior door of our church.
  • The Colors
  • Gold - Jesus Christ’s royalty and His Resurrection.
  • Blue - Our Lady’s motherhood.
  • Red - Our Lady’s purity and her love and devotion for all of God’s children and also Blood of Christ shed for our salvation.
  • Blue & Red - Both colors represent Our Lady's garments in the Icon and her royalty. Blue is the color worn by mothers in Palestine, symbolic that Mary is both virgin and mother. Her red tunic underneath is the color worn by virgins during the time of Jesus.

The Motto

Latin motto Adorare et Servire - To Love and to Serve.