Beloved children of God

Did you all see the amazing thing BabyNames.com did? I saw it on CNN.com! Here’s a screenshot:

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“Each one of these names was somebody’s baby.” I love that. I’ve written before about how knowing a person’s name pulls them out of the masses into clear focus. Motherhood has really helped deepen the impact for me of remembering that all other people were other mothers’ babies, and of course we are all — every single one of us — beloved children of God.

Here are some other names to remember and to whom to pray for intercession, as shared in this post from Avera Maria Santo:

My dear brothers and sisters, we really need you now… 💔💔💔

To my dear friends,
My fellow African Americans now in Heaven with Jesus,
Pray for all of us who remain,
Pray for us who remain in the midst of those who may hate us,
Pray for us that we may love as you did, even in the midst of great hatred.

Pierre Toussaint,
Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange,
Henriette DeLille,
Julia Greeley,
Fr. Augustus Tolton,
And my dear friend Thea Bowman,
Please, pray for us!

💔💙💛”

Venerable Pierre Toussaint was born into slavery; “He is credited by many with being the father of Catholic Charities in New York. Pierre was instrumental in raising funds for the first Catholic orphanage and began the city’s first school for black children. He also helped to provide funds for the Oblate Sisters of Providence, a religious community of black nuns founded in Baltimore and played a vital role in providing resources to erect Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Lower Manhattan. During a Yellow Fever epidemic when many of the city’s political leaders fled the city in search of healthier rural climates, Pierre Toussaint cared for the sick and the dying. He was a successful entrepreneur, who did not hesitate to share the fruits of his labor with others.”

Servant of God Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange came to America in the 18th century as a refugee from Haiti; “Despite discouragement, racism and a lack of funds, Mother Lange continued to educate children and meet the total needs of the Black Catholic community.”

Venerable Henriette DeLille was the daughter of  biracial couple; she founded the order of the Sisters of the Holy Family “for the purpose of nursing the sick, caring for the poor, and instructing the ignorant … [she] devoted herself untiringly for many years, without reserve, to the religious instruction of the people of New Orleans, principally of slaves … The last line of her obituary reads, ‘… for the love of Jesus Christ she had become the humble and devout servant of the slaves.'”

Servant of God Julia Greeley was born into slavery; she was known as “Denver’s Angel of Charity” and “a one-person St. Vincent de Paul Society” for the help she gave to poor families in her neighborhood, and “The Jesuits who ran the parish considered her the most enthusiastic promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus they had ever seen.”

Venerable Augustus Tolton was born into slavery; he “became the first Black American priest in the United States of America … He gave service by helping the poor and sick, feeding the hungry and winning souls for God. His endless, tireless and devoted work led many to the Faith … [he was] lovingly known as ‘Good Father Gus.'”

Servant of God Sr. Thea Bowman was “exposed to the richness of her African-American culture and spirituality” at an early age; she was a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and “became a highly acclaimed evangelizer, teacher, writer, and singer sharing the joy of the Gospel and her rich cultural heritage throughout the nation … She explained what it meant to be African-American and Catholic. She enlightened the bishops on African-American history and spirituality. Sister Thea urged the bishops to continue to evangelize the African-American community, to promote inclusivity and full participation of African-Americans within Church leadership, and to understand the necessity and value of Catholic schools in the African-American community.”

Back to the naming community, Abby at Appellation Mountain, in her usual thoughtful way, has stated a commitment to highlighting more non-Western names. She also shared the article What’s up with black names, anyway? from Salon. Pam at Nameberry shared a few other namey articles, including:

A brief history of black names, from Perlie to Latasha from The Conversation

A depressing study of how people respond to stereotypically black and white names from Vox (see also this article I shared a while ago about the experiences of a white man named Jamaal)

Are Black Names ‘Weird,’ or Are You Just Racist? at the Daily Beast

And this fascinating piece by Laura Wattenberg: Implicit Bias in Names: An Unintentional Case Study.

I keep thinking about that old saying, “A mother is only as happy as her saddest child.” So many of us are full of grief and anger; many of our brothers and sisters are terrified, either for themselves or their children (or both). I previously shared this Prayer for Racial Justice, and this 19-day novena (currently ongoing — it ends this Friday, which is both the feast of the Sacred Heart and Juneteenth) as an act of reparation to God for the sin of racism in all of its forms — they are powerful prayers. Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Michael the Archangel, and the holy men and women mentioned here: please pray for us.


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 expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Free shipping from my publisher, and my book’s available on Amazon!

My book’s available on Amazon! Don’t be put off by the fact that it says it’s not Prime eligible — if you click on the “other sellers” link you’ll see that Amazon Prime is an option. If any of you would like to leave a review of my book on Amazon, I’d be forever grateful. 🙂 ❤

Also, my publisher’s offering free shipping until May 12! Buy it now on their web site ShopMercy.org.

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All purchases made at ShopMercy.org support the Marians in their wonderful work, so I’m delighted they’re offering this nice option.

I can’t wait to hear what you all think of my book!

My book cover: The Marian monogram

Happy Feast of St. Joseph the Worker! I love that his feast day is on the first day of the month of Mary — it’s not for nothing that Joseph has its own entry in my book. ❤

Speaking of my book, and the month of Mary, I really want to focus in a special way on my book this month. There are so many elements of it that are so wonderful! (Said with all modesty. 😉 Seriously though, so much of what I love about it was done by other people, like the graphic designer.)

One of the things I love the most about it is the Marian monogram on the cover. I posted on Instagram a while ago about the holy card that inspired me through the writing of my book — I kept it with me every time I went to the library for the many, many day-long Saturday work sessions I put in over the last couple of years, seeking to finish and polish my book. This is the holy card:

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“Mariae” at the top is Latin for “of/belonging to Mary”; “S.S. Nomen Mariae” underneath is the Latin Sanctissima Nomen Mariae, which means “the most holy name of Mary”; and in the middle is the Marian monogram — the fancy M topped with the crown. I really wanted to have this card be part of the cover of my book, but though I tried and tried to find out whether it was in the public domain, or, if it was copyrighted, who owned the rights, I was never successful. So my book cover designer, Catherine Shirley, set about to make one that we could own.

When I first saw it, I was absolutely blown away. Look at this gorgeous monogram:

monogram

I love everything about it! The crown! The blue for Our Lady! The roses! The way “Mary” is spelled out within the M! Or, alternately, I learned recently that in Marian art “MRA” can mean “Maria” (like IHS means “Jesus”), or it can stand for something like Maria Regina Angelorum (Mary, Queen of the Angels). So much meaning in this beautiful symbol! And it’s even more striking when you see it in person on the cover — it’s big and bold, it’s so perfect.

I wanted this book to be an ode to Our Lady as much as a tool for use by those looking to honor her by name. I really love that this monogram helps accomplish that!

Updated to add: I found this post, that explains a bit more about how Marian monograms have been used in the past. So cool!

(I hope you all got to see the post I did on Instagram the other day about the Nihil Obstat and Imprimi Potest that my book received — I might post the information on the blog as well in the next couple of days if you don’t have access to Instagram.)


My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady, is now available to order from ShopMercy.org, and should be available on Amazon soon!

Review of my book at Epic Pew!

My friend Theresa wrote a review of my book for Epic Pew! It’s amazing! How to Pick a Name to Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary!

I wrote the book I wish existed, and since we all have so much of the same mindset, I know you’re all going to love it. There’s a name for every kind of namer in there! Mother Mary for the win! ❤ ❤ ❤

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My book is available to order!!

You guys!! You can order my book!! Here’s the link at Shop Mercy — it will ship the week of April 23 — and though it’s not up on Amazon yet it will be soon!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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BIG NEWS!!

You guys! I am SO EXCITED to share with you a very special announcement:

I’m having a book published! A book of Marian names! Ahhhh!!

I’ve been researching and compiling Marian names for nearly ten years — with a good amount of help from all of you via our conversations on the blog! — and I’m so thrilled that Marian Press (publisher of Fr. Calloway’s and Fr. Gaitley’s books, among others) has agreed to publish it!

🎉🎉🎉🎉💃💃💃

It’s entitled Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady — yes indeed, names for boys too! It will be available for purchase in May (month of Our Lady!), and I’ll have more details for you in the coming weeks. It has turned out amazingly well under the guidance of the team at Marian Press, if I do say so myself. 😊

Writing a book is one of the dreams of my life, and you have to know that writing one that honors Our Lady, and has to do with names, is a greater gift than I could ever have imagined.

This is such a big week, with the announcement of our baby-on-the-way followed by the announcement of my book! God is so good. ❤️

I’m over at Jenny’s blog today!

You all know Jenny Uebbing from her awesome blog Mama Needs Coffee (awesome because of the content, of course — she’s direct and hard-hitting and courageous when writing about the issues facing Catholics today, which I love so much — and awesome because of the name of the blog. Sing.It.Sister), and also from the times I’ve had her here: the name consultation I did for her when she was expecting her youngest, and the subsequent birth announcement, for which this meme was surely made:

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From Catholic Memes

Get it? Get it? 😂😂😂 Star Wars + Catholic. My life is made. 😍

Anyway! Amazing Jenny, fellow JP2 fangirl, has just posted an interview with … me! And I give most of the credit for how it turned out to her — she asked great questions! I had to dig deep and do some research and pull together some things I’d been wanting to track down and I’m so glad I did, because it ended up being a great compilation of some important resources for Catholic namers (because of it, I created this new tab up at the top: Catholic Church On Naming, which I’ll add to as I find additional resources).

I’d love to know what you think of the interview! (I’m also dying over one of the tags she gave it — “Catholics Do What?” Hahahaha!)

Also, you’ll see at the end that I was given the go-ahead to mention two upcoming exciting things, both of which I’ll tell you more about soon, but quickly, regarding the second thing, I just wanted to let you know it became available for pre-order yesterday (the cover’s coming, don’t fear). You’ll notice that I wrote that very calmly and without any undignified exclamation points. You should in no way take this to mean that I haven’t been gasping for breath and doing touchdown dances in the privacy of my home over being in an actual published book.

And I’ve already blabbed too much. So sorry to keep you! I hope Jenny’s piece makes your Friday even more fun! ❤❤❤

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Gift ideas & marketplace

You’ll see I put together a new tab at the top called Gift ideas & marketplace. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and with Christmas coming, now’s the perfect time!

Several of the people and families I’ve profiled or mentioned on the blog through consultations, birth announcements, and other posts have shops that help them contribute to their family income. I just wanted to compile them all in one user-friendly place, for myself as much as for all of you (if I missed anyone please let me know!). I’ve also done posts in the past with gift ideas, so I included them as well. Hopefully this makes your Christmas shopping easier, and blesses our little community!

Gettin’ my Irish on

It’s St. Paddy’s Eve, y’all! ❤ 😀 ❤

I’m really excited to be speaking tonight at a dinner for Irish Catholic women on the usage of the name of Mary by the Irish in Ireland and America — I’ll be sharing a little history, a little language, and some really cool names (like my fave Miles that I’m always pushing on all of you!), and the comments you all left on this post were tremendously helpful! Go raibh maith agat! (“Thank you” in Irish!)

One of my college roommates sent me this article, which I thought was pretty great: Irish Names: Here are 17 unusual ones to give your baby by Nameberry cofounder Pamela Redmond Satran. Some of my personal faves are on there, like Emer (one of the co-founders of the student pro-life group at the university I attended in Ireland was Emer, so I have all good feelings for the name) and Nuala and Senan, and I’ve been crushing on recently on Fia/Fiadh. (Kind of reminds me of Fiat … hmmm …)

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve also got a special treat lined up tomorrow — a bonus consultation for an Irish name for the seventh baby/sixth boy of this mama colleen (who’s an actual Mama Colleen)! I can’t wait! I’m also totally cracking up over the in-utero nickname she says they have for the Little Mister:

Enda Dunn. It’s an Irish name that means “Mom and Dad are really, really tired.” 🙂 “

Finally, I think you’ll probably all enjoy this article: Staunchly defending second-hand blarney. It’s an Irish Times piece from 2001, when I was the New York Rose in the Rose of Tralee Festival in Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland, and while it doesn’t paint the greatest picture of the Festival (the author was definitely snarky before snarky was even a word), it says quite nice things about me. 🙂 I was doing some paperwork this morning and came across it and it made me laugh out loud. 😀 (I’ve actually tried to figure out who the author was, so I can thank him — he says some of the nicest things about me anyone’s ever said. Am I just missing his name? Can anyone help me out?)

If you’re finding all this greeny green tiresome already, I apologize, because I’m kind of a handful about all this. 😀 But if you love all things Irish as I do, be sure to look back over my old posts tagged “Irish names” and I ‘ll even repost this video, because I love it:

And for all of you who love to read to your little ones, check out Finney the Leprechaun and his faith-filled story-rhymes (the drawing of the church in this post may or may not have been drawn by my oldest boy ((proud mama face)) ).

That’s all I have for now, but I’m not promising I won’t be back again later today with more! We’ll see! 😉

Lenten almsgiving (to Catholic Charities) PLUS fill your Easter basket … all in one go!

I swiped the title of this post from Monica’s post of the same name over at Catholic Bloggers Network (I hope she doesn’t mind!), in which she talks about today’s Zelie & Co. Charity Auction — she lists all the bloggers and artisans who have teamed up for this endeavor, and all the charities that will benefit. Be sure to check it out!

All of the action is happening on the Zelie & Co. Instagram feed today. I’ll be posting on my own Instagram as well, but all of the bids have to happen at Zelie & Co. The auction starts at 9am Central (10am Eastern) and will go all day until midnight Central/1:00am Eastern tonight.

Here’s our beautiful set:

HappyNestZelieCharityAuction Full Set Collage2

All in all, our set includes:

The whole thing’s valued at $145! If you have babies, you know know these would be such great things to have, and they would make a wonderful gift for a new mama too — so nice to have beautiful, useful, baby-friendly things! And all of the money raised goes to charity — ours is PerpetuaLife Care, Inc., which is a 501C3 not-for-profit dedicated to supporting my local affiliate of the National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility™, Gianna of Albany.

Thank you for any support you’re able to give this effort!