Joseph Nunzio Latino

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Joseph Nunzio Latino
Bishop Emeritus of Jackson
Bishop Latino celebrating Midnight Mass in 2008
Archdiocese Mobile
Diocese Jackson
Appointed January 3, 2003
Installed March 7, 2003
Term ended December 12, 2013
Predecessor William Russell Houck
Successor Joseph R. Kopacz
Ordination May 25, 1963
by John Cody
Consecration March 7, 2003
by Oscar Hugh Lipscomb, John Favalora, and William Russell Houck
Personal details
Born (1937-10-21) October 21, 1937 (age 80)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Previous post Priest of Houma-Thibodaux
Motto Ut unum sint
Styles of
Joseph Nunzio Latino
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Joseph Nunzio Latino (born October 21, 1937) is a bishop of the Catholic Church in the United States. He served as the Bishop of Jackson in the state of Mississippi from 2003 to 2013.

Early life and career [1][edit]

Latino was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He attended St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, Louisiana and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1963.

He has served as an associate pastor at St. Francis de Sales in Houma. He was assigned to St. John Prep Seminary in New Orleans as teacher and spiritual director in 1968–69.

From 1969–1971 he was assigned to St. Philip the Apostle Church in the Desire Project.

He served as pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Houma, Louisiana 1972–1987, at which time he was appointed Rector of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral. During the intervening years he has served as Vocation Director for the Diocese and was named a Monsignor with the title Prelate of Honor in January 1983. He also has been the Vicar General as well as the Chancellor of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.

Episcopal career[edit]

After the occasion of Bishop Michael Jarrell leaving the diocese to become the Bishop of Lafayette, Louisiana, Monsignor Latino was elected by the Consultors to be the Administrator of the diocese. Soon after he was appointed by Pope John Paul II to the position as the 10th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jackson.

Roman Catholic bishops are required to submit their resignation upon reaching the age of 75.[2] Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Latino on December 12, 2013.[3]

Coat of arms[edit]


The episcopal heraldic achievement, of bishop's coat of arms, is composed of a shield, with its charges (symbols), a motto scroll and the external ornaments. The shield, which is the central most important feature of any heraldic device, is described (blazoned) in archaic 12th century terms, and this description is oriented as if being given by the bearer with the shield worn on the arm.: the terms dexter and sinister are thus the reverse of what they are as seen from the front.


By heraldic tradition, the arms of the bishop of a diocese, called the "Ordinary" are joined to the arms of the his jurisdiction, seen in the dexter impalement (left side) of the shield. In this case, these arms of the Diocese of Jackson. These arms are composed of a golden (yellow) field on which is displayed a red cross "potent." When the City of Jackson was established the second See City for the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson in 1957, the cross that had been used in the arms of Natchez was incorporated into the new design. In 1977 when the diocese was renamed for the new, singular See City of Jackson the cross with a cross arm on each arm was retained to reflect the heritage of The Faith in this portion of the State of Mississippi. Below the cross are wavy blue and silver (white) bars to represent the waters of the Mississippi. For his personal arms, seen in the sinister impalement (right side) of the shield, Bishop Latino adopted a design reflecting his life as a priest of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. The design is a saltire with gold and red vertical bars on the top and bottom and silver fields on either side, the ancient arms of the Kingdom of Sicily, to reflect Bishop Latino's Sicilian heritage. In the silver fields on either side of the design the black displayed eagles of the Sicilian arms have been replaced by a blue fleur-de-lis and a blue magnolia blossom to reflect Latino's birthplace of New Orleans and the surrounding region. In the base of the gold bars from the upper portion have been replaced by a golden carpenter's square, issuant from the sides, to honor the bishop's Baptisimal patron, St. Joseph. This arrangement is used in the arms of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux where Bishop Latino was serving as Vicar General when he became Bishop of Jackson.


Bishop Latino's motto is "ut unum sini" ("That all may be one)", from St. John's Gospel (John 17:11).


The device is completed with the external ornaments which are the processional cross, which is placed in back of the shield and which extends above and below the shield, and a pontifical hat, called a "galero", with its six tassels, in three rows, on either side of the shield, all green. These are the heraldic insignia of the prelate of the rank of bishop by instruction of The Holy See of March 31, 1969.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jackson Diocese
  2. ^ Code of Canon Law (1983), c. 401. [1]
  3. ^
  4. ^ Based on text written by Deacon Paul J. Sullivan, January 28, 2003

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
William Russell Houck
Bishop of Jackson
Succeeded by
Joseph R. Kopacz