The seal of the Academy is that of His Eminence James Cardinal Hickey,
the fourth Archbishop of Washington, D.C.,
whose ministry made the Academy possible.
The second quarter, a field of red, is charged with three silver stars of six points from the Coat of Arms of Pope Pius VI (1775-1799), Pontiff when the thirteen colonies declared their independence. Pope Pius VI erected the first American diocese and appointed John Carroll its first bishop. Pope Pius VI was still serving the Church when Congress enacted legislation setting up the national capital. The United States was the first nation on Earth to plan a capital exclusively for its seat of government.The left half of the Cardinal’s Coat of Arms is that of the Archdiocese of Washington. The first quarter displays a silver crescent on a blue field, to symbolize Our Lady. In the book of Revelation (12:1) we read, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet.”
The third quarter displays three silver stars on a red field, from the arms of George Washington, first President of the United States.
A man bearing two angels wings is the symbol of Saint Matthew, after whom the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Washington is named. The symbol was inspired by Ezekiel who beheld “four living creatures”, again mentioned in Revelations 4:7-8.
The chain in the form of the cross reflects both our Faith and our Nation. The silver links of the chain, extending to the four points of the compass, are joined in the center by a ring to typify the federated unity of the individual States of the Union bound and held together by mutual faith and the Federal City.
The second half of the coat of arms takes its red color from the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan (land of flame), where the Cardinal began his priestly and early episcopal labors. The black crosslet derives from the arms of the Diocese of Cleveland, where the Cardinal served six years as bishop. The two griffin heads are taken from the arms borne by the branches of the Ryan family, thus commemorating the Cardinal’s mother. The gold lion, a special symbol of the Academy, is borne by various branches of the Hickey family.
The motto of James Cardinal Hickey is “Veritatem in Caritate”, that is, “Let us profess the truth in love” Ephesians 4:15. The Cardinal allowed us to append our vision statement “Community, Faith, Excellence” to his coat of arms. By “Community” we mean, “All staff, students and parents will experience our Academy as an accepting, caring environment, alive with the love of Jesus Christ.” By “Faith” we mean, “Our first priority is the spiritual development of our students. By “Excellence” we mean, “Our goal is to support and require students of varying abilities to reach their potential as well-rounded, superbly educated persons capable of making a valued contribution to the global community.”