In Monday’s consultation an interesting question was raised. The mom of the post, Kym, had said:
“names often heard in Catholic circles: Rose, Therese, Mary-Agnes, Bernadette, Zelie — all would be out.“
“I would love a post or follow up on what names are Catholic popular? The only one that comes to mind is Zelie.. . . . . Would love to hear your opinion on others“
And Kym shared,
“In my area, the Catholic popular names are: Therese, anything with Mary or Anne (Anne-Marie, Anne-Elizabeth, Mary-Grace, Mary-Helen), Kateri, Bernadette, Gianna, Zelie, Genevieve, and I’ve come across a lot of Veronicas.
Boys would be Benedict, Joseph, John Paul, Michael, Francis, Dominic, etc…”
When I think of Catholic popular names, I think of the names that are being used a lot *now* — not the names that have always been popular with Catholic families, but the ones that are popular with 21st century Catholic families. There’s some good overlap, for sure, but not totally, especially when it comes to the new saints/blesseds like Zelie, Kateri, Gianna, Chiara, Maximilian and Kolbe, and John Paul. I thought Kym did a great job listing the ones that show up frequently in current Catholic families; in addition to those I thought some others I might add would be (rifling through the Catholic families I know):
Caroline and Karoline
Clare and Chiara
Helen and Helena
Lily and Lillian
Lucy and Lucia and Lucille
In those lists (mine and Kym’s) I see a lot of distinctive names — names that parents choose because they’re not heard so much in secular (American) circles and they have great faith connections, like Kateri, Karoline, Chiara, Evangeline, Faustina, Gianna, Magdalene, Seraphina, Zelie, Augustine, Benedict, Blaise, Fulton, John Paul, Jude, Kolbe, and Sebastian. I also see the vintage/retro/nursing home names that are coming back in style in society as a whole: Agnes, Bernadette, Cora, Edith, Helen, Lillian, Lucille, Rose and Rosemary, Stella, George, Leo, and Louis.
I’d love to know what names all your Catholic friends are using! When you all get together, which names are worn by multiple children?