Reading round-up

Swistle posted an update today to a fun dilemma that could easily have fit in here: Baby Boy or Girl Seewald-without-the-S, Sibling to Urban, Charles, Levi, and Matthias. Those are some great Catholicky names! I especially like how there are the more unusual, like Urban, Levi, and Matthias, right alongside the more common, like Charles and new baby Thomas. That’s Catholic naming for you — all part of one big family. 🙂

I liked this article over on The Power of Names. Totally agree with this: “But I find it a daunting prospect each time, to name another person. To shape the beginning of identity by vowel and consonant. To help mold their life by the meaning of what they are called.” But totally disagree with this: “Sometimes I wish the perfect name would be dropped in our laps, so we wouldn’t have to worry about choosing the right one.” (Um, no. The list-making and sometimes-heated “discussions” and worrying that the baby will never have a name are some of my favorite parts of choosing a name. For real.) I also love considering that “Mary and Joseph probably had their own pet names for their young son.” That’s a mind blower.

Then there’s this article, from Pamela Redmond Satran: The Pope, My Catholic Girlhood, and Baby Names. Some fun points, like: “Nuns got to pick new names for themselves when they entered the convent. That itself was appealing enough, but what was really amazing was that their choices were not confined by ethnic background, historical period, or even gender,” but in general a sad bummer of an article:

  • “I couldn’t wait to hear who the new pope was going to be, not because I’m a practicing Catholic any longer or because I cared which Cardinal got elected. No. As usual, I was in it for the name”
  • “… sites as Catholic Online, Which sends out a Saint of the Day newsletter that I get for — what else? — the names”
  • “What was most appealing about Catholicism was the ritual of renaming, which extended far beyond the nuns to include pagan babies, popes, and even yourself … The only thing more exciting than naming the pagan babies was getting to pick our own Confirmation names. Not strictly a renaming, this meant adding a second middle to our own lineups. My choice, I’m chagrined to admit, was the pedestrian Mary, but for very name nerdish reasons: Combined with Pamela Ann, it made my initials P.A.M. Brilliant!”

I’m pretty sure we all here get the excitement she’s talking about when she swoons over Sr. Miriam Gervase’s and Sr. Jacinta’s names, but please, Catholic namers, be in it for more than the name. As Jen commented over on our FB page, “There’s more to a saint than just his/her name. But I thought everyone knew that.” Amen sister.


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