The parishioners of St. Ambrose must drill deeply into the sources of sanctification, the Word and Sacrament.
We are asked “to put out into the deep…for a catch.” (Luke 5: 4)
Because Christ has graced us in relationship to himself, we are to invite others through mission, to the Feast of the Lamb.
Symbolism of the Seal
The symbols found on the seal of Saint Ambrose Church reveal the parish community’s spiritual identity by representing its patron, Saint Ambrose (of Milan), as well as Saint Francis de Sales & Saint John Bosco (Don Bosco) – the patron & the founder of the Salesians of Don Bosco, who serve, pastor, and animate the parish community.
Click on a tab below to see an explanation of each component:
A honey bee is found on the left side of the seal, which traditionally symbolizes Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church. Tradition holds that when Saint Ambrose was an infant, his father one day found him with a swarm of bees coving his face, attracted by honey which was on his lips. To his father’s surprise, he remained unscathed. This incident foretold of the sweetness of the words that were to come from St. Ambrose’s lips in his teachings and preaching.</p><p>The honey bee also ties together the patron of the parish with the Salesian patron, Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church. Saint Francis de Sales was known for his gentleness, and kindness, and for his teachings about the love of God. He used the symbolism of a bee attracted to flowers to speak of our hearts’ inclination to God. He wrote, “Just like bees sucking the flowers to collect their honey, we meditate to collect the love of God, once it has been collected, we contemplate God and become attentive to his goodness because of the sweetness which love makes us discover there.”
The shepherdding staff above the bee is called a “crosier,” and speaks of Saint Ambrose’s role as Bishop, the pastor and teacher of his diocesan flock, and of the Church.
On the right of the shield is found the main component of the logo of the Salesians of Don Bosco. This logo represents the Spirituality of accompaniment, which is a key characteristic of the priest and brothers who serve the community. The spirituality of accompaniment focuses on the importance of an encounter of Christ in one another, and the development of spiritual friendships that encourages joyful holiness, and an integrated and lived faith. The symbol may trigger one to imagine a home that welcomes, or Don Bosco holding the hands of his young people, walking with them on their life’s journey.
The honey dipper above the Salesian logo is another symbol which tie together Salesian Spirituality with Saint Ambrose. Sweetness and gentleness are traits which characterize Saint Ambrose’s preaching, Saint Francis de Sales’ writings, and Don Bosco’s approach toward youth. The honey dipper reminds us of this sweetness which reflects that of our loving God.
The center figure is known as a “fleur de lis.” The white of this lily flower is symbolic of purity; Don Bosco was known for emphasizing the beauty of purity, and for instilling this virtue in the youth entrusted to him. Saint Ambrose was likewise known for his enthusiasm about purity and love for virginity. He was also known for his part in the articulation of the doctrine of the Trinity, which is also symbolized by this flower: the three pedals on this one flower remind us of the unity of the three persons of the Most Holy Trinity- Father, Son, and Spirit.
The letters on the seal are read clockwise from the left, and read DMACT, which is an acronym for the motto that Don Bosco chose for the Salesian congregation: Da Mihi Animas Caetera Tolle – Latin for give me souls, take away the rest. This is a motto emphasizes the priority of the Soul above all other things. Here at Saint Ambrose Catholic Church, we too put a priority on the soul, avoid judgment, and do not focus on things such as material possessions, money, status, power, orientation, et caetera. Although these things have some effect, for better and for worse, on the soul, the spirituality of accompaniment imitates Christ in making the first approach and encountering the other where they are.
The yellow an white colors of the shield are reminiscent of the Vatican’s flag (also known as the Papal flag). Don Bosco strongly emphasized obedience to and love for the Pope, and likewise, we have the same spirit of honor for the Holy Father.
Green, white and red are the colors of the Italian flag, and they honor Saint Ambrose (Bishop of Milan), Don Bosco (who was from the Piedmont region of Italy), and Saint Francis de Sales who is the patron of the Piedmont region (Northern Italy).
The blue color found on the seal is the primary color of the Institute of Salesian Studies and Don Bosco Hall, which is the community from which the Salesians who minister at Saint Ambrose Church are sent. The Institute is a place for ongoing formation of Salesians worldwide, instills the Salesian charism through higher education, certification courses, workshops, seminars, et caetera.