Bishop Murphy converts the diocese of Great Falls, MT into a dual see city diocese. The new name is the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, MT. Tradition dictates that the newly-named diocese maintains two cathedral churches – St. Ann Cathedral in Great Falls, MT and St. Patrick Co-Cathedral in Billings, MT.
The bishop offered the following thought in his homily for the Mass dedicating St. Patrick’s Church as the co-cathedral, “In the Diocese of Eastern Montana, the growth and development of the Church over a vast expanse of territory made it impossible for large segments of the community to share in the celebrations at the Cathedral Church in Great Falls. The rapid and dynamic growth of the Billings community and Yellowstone County prompted the request for a change of name in the Diocese as well as the naming of a second Cathedral – a place for the Christian community to gather with the Bishop for the celebrations of faith and worship.”
Changing the name of the diocese warranted an addition to Bishop Murphy’s coat of arms to graphically represent the city of Billings. A small shield was added to the left half of the overall shield.
This small shield is divided into two halves, across the middle. The upper portion is gold (yellow) on which is placed a green trefoil, a three-petal flower, which is the heraldic representation of the shamrock, to honor Saint Patrick, titular of the Co-Cathedral in Billings. The lower portion is also gold and on this field is placed a blue pile; a “V”-shaped charge. If this section is looked at alone, the gold sides that are left by cutting out the blue pile, gives the illusion of the “rimrocks”, the cliffs that surround the city of Billings.