Robert Joseph Baker

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  • Total pages in the Ecclesiastical section : 16,167
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ROBERT JOSEPH BAKER

Born : June 4, 1944 in Willard, Ohio, USA
Deceased :

Bishop of Charleston, 1999-2007
Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama, 2007-present

Arms of Robert Joseph Baker

Bishop of Charleston
Arms of Robert Joseph Baker

Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama

Official blazon

Vert, the Great Cross of Saint Augustine or between, in dexter a garb of three of the second, and in sinister, a Palmetto tree argent. In base on the sun in his splendor also of the second, an anchor erect azure.

Origin/meaning

As common in US episcopal heraldry, the arms show the arms of the diocese impaled with the personal arms of the bishop.

The green field represents growth in the Faith as suggested by the liturgical color for "Ordinary Time" when the Church teaches us to mature in our faith commitment. We learn to grown under the guidance of the bishop who is our teacher and our shepherd. Green is the color of grass and the growing things of nature.

The Great Cross is located in the City of Saint Augustine, Florida, Bishop Baker's diocese of ordination to the priesthood and it denotes the location of the first Mass celebrated on this continent. It is the cross of our redemption and its special design and location remind us of the beginnings of the Faith in our country. Its great value to us is seen in its golden color.
The garb or sheaf of wheat appears as three bundles bound together and recalls the State of Ohio where the bishop was born and educated for the Priesthood. His family roots are in that state. The three parts of the garb speak of the virtues of faith, hope, and charity which the bishop wishes to be the foundations of his episcopal ministry.
South Carolina's Palmetto tree is displayed as it appears in the state flag. It is significant in the history of the state but also offers a secondary suggestion of Florida where it is found in some profusion.

The "sun in his splendor" denotes the Risen Christ who is our hope and salvation. The anchor is an ancient symbol of hope, a central theme in Bishop Baker's life and ministry. Its blue color represents the Blessed Virgin Mary who is described in the "Salve Regina" as " ... our life, our sweetness, and our HOPE." The bishop has a special devotion to our Blessed Mother under the title "Our Lady of Hope." She leads us to Christ her Divine Son, the Hope of the World. Saint Augustine reminds us that our true hope is in Christ Crucified.

Bishop Baker chooses for his motto the words "Rejoicing in Hope" which are adapted from Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans 12:12: "Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer."


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Literature : http://www.catholic-doc. org/bishop/sealdef htm