The episcopal coat of arms adopted by Bishop Clark reflects his family heritage and his life as a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. On a silver shield is displayed a blue chevron that bears three sets of the conjoined angel wings and roses found on the arms of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The mystical rose is symbolic of the Blessed Virgin. Conjoined with the angel wings, the entire symbol represents Our Lady of the Angels. The title is reflective of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and of the pastoral region of the Archdiocese to which Bishop Clark has been assigned, Our Lady of the Angels.
The silver and blue of the shield and chevron replicate the colors of Saint John’s Seminary and Saint John’s Seminary College, institutions which Bishop Clark attended as a student and at which he served as a faculty member and as an administrator for eleven years.
Above the chevron are a green leaf and a purple fleur-de-lis, representative of the heritage that has come to the Bishop from his parents William Leo Clark and Julia Goschey Clark These symbols are found in the arms of their respective families, the green leaf of the Clarke/Cleary family of Ireland and the fleur-de-lis of the Gauchey family of French descent.
Below the chevron is a blue eagle with a gold halo, holding the Book of the Gospels in its right claw. This is the particular representation of the eagle of Saint John the Evangelist, patron of the seminaries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. At the time of his selection for the episcopacy, Bishop Clark was serving as the President and Rector of Saint John’s Seminary College.
For his motto, which appears on a scroll immediately below the shield, Bishop Clark has adopted the phrase “THE GIFT RECEIVED GIVE AS A GIFT.” This phrase, taken from the Gospel of Saint Matthew (Mt 10, 8), refers to the totality of charisms or individual divine gifts given by the Holy Spirit to the members of the Church. These gifts are not to be suppressed, squandered or bartered. Rather, freely given by Holy Spirit, they are to be freely used for building up the Church and advancing the Kingdom of God. A theological and historical study of the charisms, especially those related to teaching and education, was the topic of Bishop Clark’s doctoral dissertation at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
The heraldic coat of arms is completed with the external ornaments which are a gold processional cross, placed behind and extending above and below the shield, and an episcopal hat, called a “gallero,” with six tassels in three rows on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the heraldic insignia of a prelate of the rank of bishop, in accordance with the instruction of The Holy See of 31 March 1969.