I have so much to tell you all about my fast four-day trip to Ireland for my sister’s wedding! I posted a bunch of photos over the last few days on Instagram, and had some longer things to write here, which I’m going to break up into a few posts.
I’ve written before about Ven. Edel Quinn — e.g., I posted a birth announcement for a little girl given Quinn as a middle in honor of her; I posted a family spotlight of three sisters, one of whom has Edel as a middle in honor of her; and I did a consultation for a mama who loves Ven. Edel and Edelweiss and would love to work them both in somehow — and she has a pretty incredible name story of her own. She was born in Co. Cork, which is where my sister’s wedding was, and I had the fun experience of seeing a twenty-something Irish girl in Dublin airport on my way home whose bag had her name stitched on it — and it was Edel! I heard her friends referring to her by name a couple times, and they said it like “Adele,” which is what I’d always assumed was the dominant pronunciation. BUT that same girl was paged several times during the several hours I was at the airport, and one of the times her name was said to rhyme with pedal (EH-del), and another time like the first part of Edelweiss (AY-del). How cool! Three different possibilities, all used by Irish natives (or so I assumed, given their brogues). Encountering names of the faith “out in the wild” — seeing them used in real life — is one of my very favorite things!
My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!
Continuing our theme of St. Anne, I read two posts today about the name Anna that I thought you all would enjoy as much as I did! There’s this one at British Baby Names: Name Help: Honouring Anna, which provides an awesome list of names that have a connection to Anna.
One of you darling readers emailed me yesterday with this fabulous bit:
“Today is the feast of Bl. Clemens August von Galen, “The Lion of Munster”. He might already be on your radar, but just in case, I thought I’d share it.
I’m thinking that there are lots of great naming possibilities here… Especially Galen. Sounds modern (short, long a sound, ends in a n) … If anyone is looking for a “fresh” Catholic name, this could be it. And imagine how fun it would be for a little boy to have a patron called “the lion of Munster”!!“
First of all: Clemens. And August. And Galen! What amazing names this guy has! And to be called “The Lion of Munster”! Of course I had to look him up, and of course I loved what I found:
“Born to one of the oldest German noble families. Ordained on 28 May 1904 at Münster, Germany. Chosen bishop of Münster on 5 September 1933. Fiercely anti-Communist, and an outspoken opponent of the Stalinist regime. A strong nationalist who loved his homeland, his was known for his opposition to the Nazis, their programs and policies. He was a key opponent in the fight to end the Nazi program of “euthanasia“, the murder of the old, the crippled, the ill. Created Cardinal–Priest of San Bernardo alle Terme on 18 February 1946.”
I love him already. ❤ There’s more great stuff at that link, including homilies against the Nazis and euthanasia, if you want to read more.
What do you all think? Would you consider Clemens/Clement or August in his honor? And I’m particularly interested in your thoughts on Galen — like the reader said in her email, “If anyone is looking for a ‘fresh’ Catholic name, this could be it.”
I loved him in Homeland (though I haven’t watched it in ages), and I’m currently watching The Blacklist, and he’s great in that as well. So I looked him up to find out more about him, googling “who plays Ressler in Blacklist” since I didn’t know his name, and was so surprised to find out that his name is Diego Klattenhoff.
Diego! And Klattenhoff! I’ve been rolling his name over in my head for days, I’m so intrigued by that combination! I’m dying to know his name story, or some hint as to why he was named Diego (of course you have to know Diego is all St. Juan Diego to me 😂) … Alas, there’s not much to find — I know he’s Canadian (from Nova Scotia), and that Klattenhoff is German, but I can’t find any info on his parents/heritage/religion. Or maybe it’s a pseudonym? Whether real or not, what an awesome name for an actor — so memorable in its unexpectedness!
Do any of you know anything more about him and how/why he was so named? Do you find that combo as fascinating as I do?
UPDATE: Despite my sort of obsessive googling trying to find out more about Diego’s first name, I totally did not see at all this old article a friend just sent me after reading this post. It explains that Diego’s dad’s from Germany and his mom’s of Irish/Welsh descent — which explains his look and his last name — but as for Diego, it’s just a name his dad liked, maybe after a painter (his dad’s an artist). Mystery solved!
“This evening our postulants received the Holy Habit of St. Dominic — and now we have 9 beautiful new novices!!!“
And each one of those novices took a new name, which is just like Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter/St. Paddy’s Day/my birthday rolled into one!! 😁 Check out these gorgeous combos:
Sr. Stephanie — Sr. Karol Joseph
Sr. Patricia — Sr. Simeon Marie
Sr. Karla — Sr. Johanna Christi
Sr. AnnElise — Sr. Mary Avila
Sr. Rachel — Sr. Paul Marie
Sr. Savanna — Sr. Teresa Marie
Sr. Kelsey — Sr. Maria Cabrini
Sr. Abigail — Sr. Mary Vianney
Sr. Caroline — Sr. Basil Marie
Also, I finally got through the 71 pages of Swistle birth announcements (going back to 2008!) and had a few more I wanted to share with you (I posted about the first batch here):
Hornstein Twins (twin posts are fun anyway, but I particularly loved that in this one, one of the girls was named Rosabel Olivia and called “Roo” for her initials [her last name begins with O] — SO CUTE!)
Then there’s this one: Baby Naming Issue: Felony Fever Vice. Yes, those three words there were the proposed name (first + two middles) of the baby girl in question. Swistle offered some great suggestions and the final result was vastly better (at least the first two names … they just couldn’t let go of that third). I love me some bold naming, truly, but I’m sure you’ll agree this veered a little too mug shot/convict/prison. I was telling my husband about it and he was just so horrified — as I was I! Promise! — but I could also see the appeal: how similar is Felony to Melanie and Stephanie? Like a traditional name with an edgy twist! And Fever and Vice are both in keeping with the currently popular sounds of names like Everly, Evie, Violet, Vivian, Evangeline, Genevieve. I can see how the parents got there. But still — mug shot/convict/prison.
First, our reader Shelby sent me this amazing photo:
With this note,
“Recently went to Vienna and went to a string concert at St. Anne Church. Their tabernacle was kind of unique and it says Anna at the top (picture attached). The website shows a nice picture of their St. Anne statue. www.annakirche.at
Made me think of Sancta Nomina and how in many European churches the patron saints name or statue is right on the altar. St. Stephen’s in Budapest is particularly impressive. En.bazilika.biz“
Can you see it there? “Anna” in the middle of the rays? So cool!
While we were on vacation in my parents’ lake cabin last week, I came across old issues (like over ten years old, yes we are that kind of family) of the Franciscan University alumni magazine with these great sibsets shared in the “Class Notes” section:
(I was particularly impressed that they have a Mary, Sarah, and Clar3, as I think we’ve talked before about whether or not these names are too similar for sisters? I think they’re great here)
J0hn Paul (new info for the John Paul entry on the Sibling Project page!)
D0min!c G!les (both names given — could this mean it’s a double name?? 😍)
Mar!a Ver0n!ca (ditto D0min!c G!les)
I’ve also wanted to do a couple book reviews recently, but I’m just not getting to them and I want to alert you to them in case you’d like to know about them. First is African Saints, African Stories: 40 Holy Men and Women by Camille Lewis Brown, Ph.D. It was an interesting mixture of saints that I’d forgotten were/don’t think of as having been (or were likely, though not known for sure) African, like Sts. Augustine, Perpetua, and Felicity, as well as those I do know, like Sts. Josephine Bakhita and Charles Lwanga and Companions and Bl. Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi. There are several also listed as “Saints in Waiting” — those of African descent who led exemplary lives and may someday be canonized — and one of them particularly caught my eye today for a totally different reason. Sr. Thea Bowman took the name Thea upon entering the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration for its meaning, “of God,” and in honor of her dad, Theon. Theon! Anyone who’s familiar with the horrible character Theon in Game of Thrones will be as interested to see this tidbit as I was.
Finally, I got Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints by Colleen Swaim with my preteen and his quickly-growing brothers in mind, and though I’ve put it where I know they’ll see it and be likely to pick it up (the, ahem, bathroom), I haven’t yet asked them what they think of it. I’ll get back to you when I do!
I’ve been visiting my mother-in-law’s grave at the cemetery a fair bit since she died — I find it really soothing to pray for her and my grandparents who are also there, and then I usually walk for a bit, looking for surnames I recognize or fresh graves and saying prayers for them and all those buried there. I hope it’s not weird to say it’s been really lovely and grounding to do so. One day recently I had just my youngest with me, and he wanted to be held, and he put his head on my shoulder, and we just walked and listened to the birds and smelled the breeze and said Hail Marys (and I might have cried a little) (or a lot) (my kids are used to it, I’m a crier).
I’ve also been noticing names — first and last — and taking pictures in order to share them with you. I posted one on Instagram the other day of Br. Joachim’s headstone — he was a Redemptorist brother I knew when I was small, but embarrassingly I’d totally forgotten about him until I saw his grave! I’d also not known that Joachim was his religious name, replacing his birth name Wesley.
(I’m sorry that some of these are hard to read.)
This is Fr. Joseph Ignatius Sims. Joseph Ignatius is so handsome! I wonder if his parents named him Joseph Ignatius, or if Ignatius was his Confirmation name? I assume Joseph is his birth name …
I love this one: Fr. Clement Cyril Englert. Clement Cyril! St. Clement Mary Hofbauer was a
Redemptorist priest, so I’m not surprised to see it here, and because of that I assume it was Fr. Clement’s religious name.
Here’s Br. Liguori Englert, birth name Frederick. Maybe he was Fr. Clement’s brother? Though I’ve never seen Liguori in real life, Withycombe lists it as a feminine name of exclusively Roman Catholic use — so I’m surprised to see it on a man, but not at all surprised to see it on a Catholic. 🙂
I’ve been loving Anselm recently — I’ve even seen it considered as a way of honoring St. Anne on a boy. But Br. Anselm Dnooge (that’s a last name!) was probably thinking of the Doctor of the Church when he chose his name.
(Do you think I’m reading his last name correctly? I looked it up and found one site in Polish where it was listed, but no info offered on it at all, so I assume I do have it correct, since I did find it one place, and I assume it’s Polish?)
What do you think of O. Benedict? I’d love to know what the O stands for, and whether Benedict was Fr. O. Benedict’s given middle name or a religious name? (I can’t make out his last name.)
Moving on from the dear Fathers, I saw this surname and loved it: Ignatczuk. I can’t find any info on it, but I assume it’s related to Ignatius? Does anyone know for sure?
This one — Magdzinska — I’m guessing is related to Magdalene? I wasn’t able to confirm that though — like Ignatczuk, I couldn’t find any info on it — but all the Magd- names I found on behindthename were related to Magdalene.
We talk almost exclusively about baby names here, but I love bringing it full circle with looking at the names in the cemetery as well. It’s weird to think that each one of the people at rest there were once tiny babies whose parents spent time deciding what to name them. I also love to try to imagine the process of choosing one’s religious name.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May these souls, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Do any of you watch the series Longmire? My mom got my husband and I hooked on it, and we really enjoy it — there’s suspense (each episode is a murder mystery) and romance, and a lead actor that I think is perfectly cast (and I recently found he’s Australian, which amazes me, just like Hugh Laurie in House and Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’ Diary — brilliant at hiding their true accents!).
But the names are what I wanted to share with you — I’ve been loving them!! Starting with Longmire (whose first name is Walt)’s daughter. When I first heard her name I thought it was Katie and I didn’t have much thought about it. But when I found out it was Cady, I was much more into it! Spelling makes a difference!
One of the deputy sheriffs is Branch Connally. As far as nature names go, if I saw Branch on a list of possibilities, pre-Longmire me might have secretly scoffed and thought What next? Twig? But guys! He is SUCH a Branch! Hearing this hunky cowboy sheriff called Branch totally makes it feasible for me. It does have a little soap opera feel to it, but I definitely don’t think it’s as silly as I would have before.
The other deputy is Vic, short for Victoria, but Vic so suits her, and far better than Vicky or Victoria ever would. She’s a tough girl!
Other names that I love hearing:
Henry (played by Lou Diamond Philips!)
Mathias (police chief on the reservation)
Barlow (Branch’s bad-guy dad)
Lizzie (Walt’s lady friend. It perfectly suits her.)
Dacus (a character’s son, said DAY-kuss)
Fiona aka October (!)
Vehoe (sounded like Vio)
And those are just the characters I’ve encountered already … the full cast list shows these treats as well:
Owen Bennett (what a great first+last combo!)
Rosco (what do you all think of this name? I came across it in some research I was doing of names popular in the 1890-1910 time period [spelled Roscoe] and I thought huh. It doesn’t seem to have any saintly connection though …)
Those are just the names that jumped out at me from the really long list of characters. Interesting right? (Zip and Trot!)
The series is based on The Longmire Mysteries book series by Craig Johnson, and usually I love books more than their TV or movie counterparts, but I don’t know … I’ve really fallen in love with the characters as they are on TV as played by the actors that play them.
Have any of you read the books? And seen the show? Can you compare them?
I saw in the credits of a show I was watching the other night the first+middle combo Elizabeth Bauttista and of course I was immediately like Joyful Mystery name!!!!!!!! Isn’t that awesome?? And so meaningful!! I mean, seriously — her parents must have had St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist in mind, right?
The spelling Bauttista isn’t one I’ve come across — I’ve only seen the similar Bautista, and every one of the Baptist names are listed as masculine on behindthename, but they all seem so perfect for girls that I was surprised their usage is given as exclusively masculine. Which made me all the happier to see Elizabeth Bauttista — I knew they must have feminine usage!
I’m totally dying over the idea of Elizabeth + a Baptist name — whenever I think of the Baptist names I think of pairing some form of John with it, but pairing a form of Elizabeth with it is so great! I started toying with other combos and loved how pretty and unexpected combos like Elsa Baptiste, Isabella Bautista, and Elisabetta Battista would be.
Do you know anyone with a form of Baptist in his or her name?
I was doing some name research today (what!) and came across this awesome story of a little girl whose parents believe was healed through the touch Pope Francis. That in itself is, of course, the most amazing part of the story, but the part that’s most relevant here — and made me want to cheer — is that her name is Ave!
Ave!!! I LOVE it!! I’m saying it AH-vay, like Ave Maria,(though I don’t know if the family says it that way … though the only other way I can think it might be said is like Eve but with a long A? To rhyme with “behave”?), and I’ve long thought it can work as a first name, being so similar to Ava. I love love love seeing it used in real life, so the next time I suggest it to someone I can point to this beautiful little girl as an example. My whole day is made. 🙂 ❤