In heraldry, a river is symbolized by a wavy silver band. Here it symbolizes the Genesee River Valley where the abbey is located. The golden wavy lines on each side express golden bank, derived from the Seneca Indian name for the Genesee River Valley.
The three Indian arrowheads on the river recall the Seneca Indians who made the Genesee Valley their home. They call themselves Tshotinondawage, people of the mountains. The arrowheads are red to further represent the Seneca Indians and are turned upwards in the militant position to signify the defense of their homeland.
Above and below the wavy band of river and golden banks is a crescent, the symbol of Our Lady under the title of the Immaculate Conception. It is under this title that she is patroness of the United States.