Reading round-up

The U.S. Bishops posted a story this week spotlighting a few of their “newly professed men and women religious to tell us something about themselves that others might find surprising. Their answers below provide some insight to how each discovered their vocational call”: Meet the Profession Class of 2014. I loved what each one had to say, and of course I couldn’t help but notice some their beautiful names:



Stella Mary

Maria Francesca

Ann Kateri


Abby Aurea

Some of these were likely new names chosen for religious life (my guesses: Stella Mary, Maria Francesca, Ann Kateri, and maybe the Aurea of Abby Aurea?); others may not have been (maybe not Elizabeth, probably not Thomas, being a priest, and in all likelihood not Ryan, being that I don’t believe there’s a St. Ryan?), but all are names of men and women who have given their whole lives to God (and maybe Fr. Ryan will be the first St. Ryan 🙂 ). Congrats to them!

I came across a couple ethnic-name posts/sites in the last couple days:

International Names: From the Catalan culture — there are some really beautiful names listed here, and I particularly loved that “Catalan names – with their Romance language base and Catholic heritage – are fresh but not unfamiliar.” One that jumped out to me right away: Èlisabet (it reminded me of the Elisabetta I suggested for Baby Girl Stark).

Greek Name Day Calendar — I thought this was quite a find. “According to Greek Orthodox tradition, nearly every day of the year is dedicated to some Christian saint or martyr. When someone in Greece is named after one of these saints, that saint’s celebration day becomes their “name day” and is celebrated much like their actual birthday.” This site lists all the names and all their days! They’re Greek names, of course, which would be amazing for anyone with Greek heritage, but I learned a lot about nicknames and name variants. One of my favorites: Genovefa and its variants Jenevieve, Genevieve, and Genoveva. I know a little Jenevieve, and I thought the J-spelling was used just because her parents wanted a J- name — very cool to find out it’s a common enough spelling in Greece!

Finally, speaking of Greek names, I came across the name Photine on — a name I never would have given two thoughts to; I would have seen it and passed it by — but I had cause to click on it, and guess what? It’s “[d]erived from Greek φως (phos) meaning “light”. This is the name traditionally given to the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well (see John 4:7). She is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Church.” Did you know the Samaritan woman had a name associated with her? I didn’t! I thought that was a very cool little nugget. Another cool connection is, the reason I came across it was because I was looking up “Toula,” the character’s name on My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and I remembered her saying on the movie that it was a nickname for what I thought she said was “Fortoula,” but it turns out it was actually Fotoula, so I looked that up and discovered Fotoula is a diminutive of Fotini, which is the modern Greek form of Photine. Mind blown.

Happy Saturday! Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary!


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