My March CatholicMom column is up, and a question I need help with!

My March column posted today over at CatholicMom.com: To Mary Through Three March Saints!

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(In case you were wondering what happened to February, it was the first time since starting to write for CatholicMom three years ago that I couldn’t get a piece done in time for my monthly slot, I was just not feeling well enough. So glad to be back at it!)

Also, I read an intriguing post over on the Baby Name Wizard recently, and though some of the comments on that post make some sense (my handle there is traleerose), and I’ve researched it a little to verify those comments and find more certain answers, I haven’t been satisfied with what I’ve found, and I wondered if you know the answer to the question: Why isn’t Jesus used as a given name in English?

I’m sure there are some instances of Jesus as a given name in English, and the SSA data shows that 3065 boys (and 8 girls [?]) were named Jesus in the U.S. in 2016, but their data doesn’t include accent marks, so I’m confident that most, if not all, of those are Jesús, which brings up the most interesting part of this question: Jesus isn’t well used in English, but Jesús is in Spanish.

I tried to find an official (or as close to as possible) Church stance on this, but didn’t come up with anything. The comments left on the BNW post suggest that the Muslim presence in Spain encouraged the use of Jesús as a given name, which I haven’t yet verified, but is interesting to consider. Joshua and Jesus are variants of the same name, and Joshua is well used; the Christ- names are well used, certainly, including Christ itself; Emmanuel has good usage; even Messiah has been bestowed on babies, so I admit I’m a bit baffled as to why Jesus isn’t used in English.

I did have the thought when I bowed my head at the name of Jesus recently that if there were little ones running around named Jesus, I’d be constantly bowing my head out of cultivated habit! I don’t do so when I hear Jesús, though I should — it doesn’t trigger that automatic bow that hearing Jesus does.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the answer is simply that Jesus is considered too holy for common usage by those who speak English (at least here in the U.S.). The name of Mary has a history of being considered too holy for common usage in Ireland, for example — it was a temporary and culture-specific consideration — so perhaps it’s the same with Jesus? Perhaps for today, in English-speaking families, naming a baby Jesus is foreign to Christian sensibility, as the Code of Canon Law puts it?

If any of you have any info about this — any sources you can point me to that explain this — please share them! My ideal would be anything from the Church, but I’d be happy to read anything authoritative on this topic. Thank you for your help!

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Happy feast of the Holy Name of Jesus!

I love when things like this happen: My December CatholicMom column was moved to after Christmas because of the topic I wrote about (the naming of Jesus), but I didn’t know what day it was being moved to, and yesterday I discovered that it was posted last Friday, so I planned to link to it here today, and when I was scrolling through Facebook this morning I saw that today’s the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus! How perfect that I was already planning to share an article about His Name on the feast of His Name!

This is my new article: Glory to the Newborn King.

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It links to an older one I’d written on the power of Jesus’ Name (Planned Parenthood vs. the Holy Name of Jesus); I also did a post a while back on some of the saints who were promoters and lovers of the Holy Name of Jesus (THE promoter of the Holy Name), as well as a post discussing some of the names of Jesus (March for Life: Comfort and confidence in the Holy Name of Jesus). And then today I looked up “prayers to the Holy Name of Jesus” and found this beautiful Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, which my littlest guy and I just said together. His Name is such a beautiful thing to contemplate today, on Its feast and while we look forward to the Epiphany!

Names for Fr. Solanus Casey over at Catholic Mom!

My October column is up over at CatholicMom.com! Naming After Fr. Solanus Casey.

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I’d love to know if you have additional ideas! Also if you’re going to the Beatification Mass in Detroit next month! (I likely won’t be able to, though my parents and my sister will be there!)

(I’d said last month that my topic this month would be “religious name changes for men,” but I wasn’t able to pull my research together in time. Hopefully next month!)

September CatholicMom column up! And research for my next one

My September column at CatholicMom posted today: Honoring St. Rita!

In the novena to St. Rita I frequently say (almost exactly the same as this one), there’s a part that says, “We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify, thee by making known thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever.” This article (informed by this post) is my little way of trying to do that.

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Additionally, last month I wrote about religious name changes for women, and I’d love to do a similar one for men. I’ve written about some here, here, here, and here, and I’d love to know what you all know about this practice. Do you know any brothers or priests who changed their names? Can you share any information about the process of choosing or receiving a new name? Thanks for your help!

Talking about religious name changes for women at CatholicMom

My August column at CatholicMom.com posted today! Religious Name Changes for Women.

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It was such a fun piece to pull together! I drew from the content and comments of these posts here, here, and here when writing it, and I have a few more posts on the topic of religious name changes if you want to read more, which you can find by clicking the Religious name change link under “Tags” in the sidebar. If you have any stories or info to add, please do so in the comments! I love finding out these beautiful traditions of our faith, and how they differ from Order to Order.