The coat of arms typically has three parts: the shield, the motto scroll, and the external ornaments.
On the left side of the shield, the arms of the bishop are joined (impaled) with the arms of his diocese. Two lances cross in the form of an X. These play on the name of the See City of Lansing. Also, the city is located at the junction of the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers. All the arms of the cross terminate in the form of an anchor; such a cross is called a moline cross and it is found in the family arms of the Inghams. The See City is located in Ingham County, Michigan. The diocesan arms are blue and silver (white), and the heraldic colors of the Blessed Virgin, the patroness of our diocese and of the cathedral church. The diocesan shield was developed in 1937 by Chaignon LaRose.
On the right side, for his personal arms, Bishop Boyea, has selected a device drawn on the image of the arms of Pope John Paul II, for whom the bishop has great respect and admiration.
Similar to the late Pontiff's arms, Bishop Boyea's device contains a cross which is eschewed to the upper left. The wood of the cross also figures as a reminder of the bishop's family name, Boyea, "a woodsman." The color of the cross is Sable, just as the cross on the shield of the Archdiocese of Detroit. This black cross forms four quadrants that alternate gold (yellow) and silver (white), in the same manner as the quadrants of the Pontifical College Josephinum, which are also the colors of the flag of the Holy See. The gold quadrants also pick up the colors of the shield of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
From the heart of the cross flow two wavy bars that are blue and red, recalling the bishop's long association with Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. Scripture records that when the soldier pierced Christ's side with the lance "immediately there flowed forth water and blood (John 19:34)." Christ poured out for us the living waters of salvation which were co-mingled with the blood of our redemption. This signifies the sacramental life of the Church. Every deacon, priest, and bishop is dedicated to the service of God's Holy People by the faithful celebration of this sacramental life and the bishop particularly is responsible for that sacramental life. Bishop Boyea's personal shield was designed at the time of his episcopal ordination by Deacon Paul J. Sullivan of Rhode Island.
For his motto, Bishop Boyea uses the Latin phrase, "in manus tuas." This phrase, taken from St. Luke's Gospel (23:46), comes from the final words of Jesus recorded by St. Luke, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." "Into your hands" expresses the belief that all Christians need to repeatedly entrust their lives in the hands of their loving Father.
The crest is completed with the external ornaments. A gold processional cross is placed behind the shield and extends above and below it. The pontifical hat, called a gallero, is joined to six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all in green. These are the insignia of the rank of bishop following the instruction of the Holy See of March 31, 1969.