In December 2006, Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap. of the Archdiocese of Boston presented rings two newly ordained Bishops. These rings were created through the vision of the Cardinal and the expertise of Long’s Jewelers. The rings serve as a symbol of the Bishops marriage to the Church and as a constant reminder of their vocation and mission.
The relationship between the Archdiocese and Long’s Jewelers began slowly with Long’s lending expertise through appraisal services for religious historic artifacts. With time, Cardinal O’Malley began to rely on Long’s for more services and even once had his own ring, given to him by Pope John Paul II, sized to prevent it from slipping off his finger.
“Long’s Jewelers has been working with the church for many years. It was an incredible honor to be asked by Cardinal O’Malley to join him in the design and creation these significant rings for the Bishops.”, stated Bob Rottenberg, CEO of Long’s Jewelers.
Cardinal O’Malley, Bob Rottenberg and Daniel McEachern, Head Jewelry Designer at Long’s Jewelers began conversations about the ring design months before the December ordination, however, only a few weeks before the completion of the rings, Cardinal O’Malley had a new idea prompted by a conversation with a family member. His brother was approached by acclaimed Director and Producer Martin Scorsese who was inquiring about an ancient Biblical artifact, the fumie, for an upcoming film project. This conversation reminded Cardinal O’Malley about the historical event that took place in 16th century Japan when Catholics were forced to renounce their faith and stomp on medallions adorned with the image of Christ and the Blessed Mother. Those who refused were sentenced to death. Despite this atrocity, a small group of Catholics managed to continue to live their religious life in secret until 1865. Cardinal O’Malley was reminded of the strength of the religion and wanted to integrate the image of the fumie into the Bishops ring.
Cardinal O’Malley provided Long’s with a fumie, a 16th Century artifact, from which McEachern etched into the top of the ring. McEachern began his work using a CAD/CAM software program to design the ring in 3D, and from that a wax model was generated. The wax prototype allows for small structural and design changes before the model is cast in 18K yellow gold. The fumie takes the prominent position on the top of the ring with the Cardinal’s Coat of Arms etched underneath the fumie against the skin. On each side of the fumie features a different symbol that signifies the crucifixion of Jesus, a cross and a Chi Rho.