Book reviews, radio appearance, naming aborted babies

Happy Friday! I never appreciate Fridays as much as I do when school is in session, whew!

My most recent column at CatholicMom is a review of the first two books in the Sister Mary Baruch series by Fr. Jacob Restrick, OP. I loved them! And beyond the story itself — the NAMES!! I mean, the main character is given the religious name Sr. Mary Baruch of the Advent Heart, which has loads of meaning for that character. Loooooove.

Speaking of book reviews, if any of you who have read my book are able to leave a review on Amazon, I would be most grateful! (Thank you to those who have left reviews already! I’m so grateful for each one!)

I was on Jon Leonetti’s morning radio show a couple weeks ago, and wanted to share the link for anyone who didn’t listen in: go to Jon’s show’s page on the Iowa Catholic Radio site, then scroll through his episodes to the September 17 episode — my bit starts at the 45:54 minute mark. I’d love to know what you think!

Finally, several years ago, back when the horrifying undercover Planned Parenthood videos were being released, I wrote about giving names to aborted babies, which included a discussion of why this might be an important to thing to do, and included a link to the 50 Million Names web site, “a grassroots campaign to collect names for the now-more-than 50,000,000 children aborted in our country.” My post also linked to a Students for Life post in which the name Emmett was originally suggested as the name by which the baby boy in one of the Planned Parenthood videos from the Center for Medical Progress could be known (instead of “Eleven Six,” which is how he had been being referred, for his age at the time of the abortion): “This baby deserves a name, deserves dignity that is rightly afforded him as a member of the human race.” The name Emmett was then expanded to include a second baby portrayed in another of the videos: “Call them Emmett, for they may very well be the catalysts to end abortion in our nation, just like Emmett Till.” I loved this idea — I loved having something concrete and dignity-affirming to do for all the babies whose lives were and continue to be taken from them.

There’s a new effort to do the same thing for the babies whose bodies were recently found at the home of abortionist George Klopfer, spearheaded by Priests for Life: Name the Aborted Babies Found in Illinois. One of you readers sent the link to me, thinking, rightly, that it would be a good one to share here on the blog, and normally I’d do so without reservation. Certainly, the intention is such a good one! But I more recently read that an equally ardent pro-lifer as myself thinks doing so is abhorrent, for reasons that I never considered. In a post entitled, “Fr. Pavone cashes in on dead babies again,” one of my favorite bloggers/authors, Simcha Fisher, writes:

Naming is an act either of authority, or of ownership — the act of a parent, or of an owner. You don’t get to name a baby unless you’re the parent; and you don’t get to name anything else unless it’s something that can be owned. So what does this mean, for strangers to name unborn babies they’ve never met, who do have parents? Who gave them that right?

While I don’t always agree with Simcha’s conclusions in the many important things she writes about, I often find her position helpful as I seek to clarify my own. I’ve been thinking about her post since I read it, and I’m still not sure where I land — I know she doesn’t care for Fr. Pavone (an understatement, from other things I’ve read by her about him), and the fact that he’s been rebuked by his bishop in the past for actions “not consistent with the beliefs of the Catholic Church” is so important to know. That said, I’d be interested to know if Simcha’s belief about naming aborted babies would be the same if Fr. Pavone wasn’t involved? Is it possible her dislike of him is clouding her judgment regarding this particular issue? Maybe not! I’m just not sure what I think yet. What say you?

And on that note (oh dear!), I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from and Amazon — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!


7 thoughts on “Book reviews, radio appearance, naming aborted babies

  1. It’s refreshing to hear someone who is still thinking and mulling over multiple sources to find her own opinion on a tough subject. It seems like so many nowadays are just so certain how they feel about heavily charged topics as soon as they hear about them-often without considering opposing views. I find myself surprised by this as I like you prefer to take my time finding the truth!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the very same reaction as Kathryn described in her comment. It’s so refreshing to find a thoughtful discussion with people open to reconsidering their opinions and stances based on new viewpoints/information.

    That said, I was nodding my head along through the whole post. At first, I thought it was such a good idea to give the babies names. I mean, why not? But then, Simcha’s opinion really struck a chord with me as well. I agree that naming comes from a place of responsibility and “ownership” (but not in such a dominate way as that word normally implies). That said, if there are no responsible parties for a life (ie, the responsible parties have chosen to give it up), can it not then be appropriate for those who are remembering that life to give it a name, as a gift, in a way?

    Also, we should remember that it’s entirely possible that the parents could have named the baby, before or after as well. Of course, we’ll likely never know. I just think that often there is a great deal of regret with abortion, and the circumstances can be vastly complicated (I’m not defending it, I’m just stating the reality), so it’s entirely possible that one or both parents have named that baby.

    But I don’t think it is important whether or not an additional name is given by unconnected people trying to honor and remember that life. Both would be coming from a place of love, and that in and of itself is what matters. If the name is an act of love, maybe it doesn’t matter who bestows it or how many such names are given?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. …if someone were to have named the child I lost, especially after the sudden loss but before we had agreed on a name, I would have been furious. I don’t know if I could ever forgive them.

    Food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think your pinned tweet says it all: the ultimate authority on naming belongs, of course, to God (a good example is Saint Peter). He allows parents (or other family members, in their absence) to name their children. He does not allow that to random strangers.
    Nicknaming, on the contrary, comes from affection: anyone can nickname you as long as it’s a way of showing their love for you (your best friend, for example, can call you something no one else does).
    I think it might be a lovely idea to pray for these babies using a nickname to individualize each one of them as a unique and precious soul, but we must make sure we realize it’s not their real name, because we have no right to name them, it’s just a way to lovingly remember them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like how you articulated this, and I think your final point makes so much sense: “I think it might be a lovely idea to pray for these babies using a nickname to individualize each one of them as a unique and precious soul, but we must make sure we realize it’s not their real name, because we have no right to name them, it’s just a way to lovingly remember them.”


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