Ireland part 4: Thaddeus

Part 1: Edel

Part 2: Radek

Part 3: Anne

A funny little thing I do when looking through books of Saints’ names or Catholic names is to see if there’s a listing for Thaddeus — it’s one of my benchmarks to see how extensive the book is. If Thaddeus isn’t included as its own entry, I don’t usually think the book has much new to offer, that’s how rare it is for me to find Thaddeus listed as its own entry in a Catholic name book. It’s always included in the entry for Jude, which I find so frustrating — that doesn’t help someone rifling through the T section for interesting T saint names, for example, nor does it let parents know that Thaddeus can be used on its own without Jude attached (some parents need that reassurance — or even to be shown that it’s an option at all!).

(I also consider Thaddeus to be a sort of compromise benchmark — my true ideal is a name book that also includes names like Kolbe, Becket, and Campion as their own entries, but I’ve never come across that — those names are always only mentioned in the entries for Maximilian, Thomas [sometimes], and Edmund).

Anyway, I’d learned about Bl. Thaddeus Moriarty several years ago — an Irish Dominican priest who was martyred for saying Mass during the time that priests were banned in Ireland (this says he was beatified in 1992, though the previous link from 2013 says they’re still praying for his beatification) — and I developed a devotion to him because of (1) his amazing courage and faith, (2) Irish, (3) Dominican, and (4) his name (I know, it’s always about names with me :p ). I also loved learning that he’s also known as Bl. Tadhg Moriarty — I discovered that Tadhg (pronounced like the first syllable of tiger) is used as the Irish version of both Thaddeus and Timothy. (It also has a history of being used as a derogatory term for Irish Catholics … which makes me love it even more. I know one Tadhg in real life, he’s my age and his mom is from Ireland.)

BUT this post isn’t about Bl. Thaddeus Moriarty! It’s actually about ANOTHER Bl. Thaddeus I learned about on my recent trip to Ireland for my sister’s wedding: Bl. Thaddeus (Tadhg) McCarthy! So fun to learn about yet another Irish Thaddeus, who is also known as Tadhg!

I first saw info about him at North Cathedral (Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne) — you guys, there’s a bone of his in there that’s HUGE — it must be a leg bone, it’s so long! And I only just this morning discovered that there are relics of his in St. Colman’s Cathedral, which is where my sister’s actual wedding was! His story is kind of crazy: he was named bishop twice (by the Pope) of two different places (Ross, and Cork & Cloyne), but couldn’t assume his post either time because of politics regarding the previous bishops (one of whom refused to step down, the other had been chosen by the people rather than the Pope). He was also excommunicated! It was later revoked and he was cleared of all charges. Poor guy! He is known as the White Martyr of Munster, which “commemorates the mental and physical anguish he suffered while trying to do the Church’s work.”

Check Instagram later today for the photos I took! I hope your July has started off well!


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!

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Ireland part 3: Anne

Part 1: Edel

Part 2: Radek

I posted about this on Instagram already (part 1, part 2, part 3), but blogging allows me to be chattier. 😉

You know that St. Anne is the patroness of the blog, and I’ve leaned on her intercession for these past few years for Sancta Nomina — that I do God’s will through it, that marriages and families are blessed by the beautiful names of our faith that we discuss here, and for the completion and acceptance of my book for publication (when I was writing it) and that it will reach those who need it (now that it’s here!) — and also for all of you! I’m always asking her to intercede for you all, and myself as well, and I’ve felt her grandmotherly love many many times.

I started the blog on June 27, 2014, and each year since then at the end of June or beginning of July, my husband and boys and I have taken a mini pilgrimage to a St. Anne Shrine within driving (and my own sanity’s) distance to thank her for her intercession and pray for you all. Year 1 was Isle la Motte, year 2 was Sturbridge, MA, year 3 was Scranton, PA, and last year was Waterbury, CT.

(As a side thought, looking through these old posts, it’s amazing to me to see our progression as a family from one for whom traveling was the worst thing imaginable (year 1) to one for whom it’s getting to be a not-terrible thing to do (currently). Young families, take note! It gets easier!)

Next week marks five years since I started Sancta Nomina (!!!!!), so I’d already had a vague idea of trying to do something a bit bigger pilgrimage-wise this year — the St. Anne de Beaupre Shrine in Canada was one of my ideas, which would have been quite a thing for us (probably too much, really) — when my sister got engaged and she and her fiance were delighted to fulfill my sister’s lifelong dream of getting married in Ireland, in the town where my grandfather was born and raised, in the cathedral where he’d been baptized and had been an altar boy. I initially looked into whether or not we could swing all of us going — me, hubby, and all the boys — and quickly decided this was pretty far past impossible. But I could go (and really should, if possible, as I was a bridesmaid), and where I go the baby goes, and I brought my oldest to help (and he got to be the altar boy at the wedding!), and when making our plans I had the idea of checking to see if there could possibly be a St. Anne church anywhere near where we were staying.

Guys. There are two (TWO) (2!) St. Anne churches near where we were staying!

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. That St. Anne. ❤ ❤ ❤

The Cathedral in Cork City, which is locally known as North Cathedral and is just a little over 3km from our hotel, has as its official name (prepared to be blown away): The Cathedral of St. Mary & St. Anne.

!!!!!

But wait! Turns out, there’s a SECOND church in Cork dedicated to St. Anne! The Church of Ireland’s (Anglican) Church of St. Anne, Shandon (with its famous bells) is right down the road and within sight of St. Mary and St. Anne’s!

I mean. Could St. Anne (and her holy baby girl) be talking any more directly to me??

St. Mary and St. Anne’s Cathedral is, as it says on its web site, “‘the Mother Church of the Dioceses of Cork and Ross’ and was dedicated in 1808, (building had begun in 1799). It is the fourth church of this parish since, at least, 1306. The construction of the Cathedral was planned and overseen by Bishop Francis Moylan (Bishop of Cork 1787-1815).”

My boys and I were only going to be in Ireland for three full days (half of one of those days was traveling from the airport to the hotel, and we were there for half of a fourth day, that was traveling from the hotel to the airport), and most of our time there was booked with wedding business, but until 3:00 on the day before the wedding we were free to do as we liked, so I planned our pilgrimage to the Cathedral for that day.

Being that I was trying to keep the baby on our home schedule timezone-wise, we slept in until 10:30am or so on that Friday, and set off from the hotel around 11. I figured we had to be back at the hotel by 3 to get ready for the rehearsal, and we were walking to the Cathedral and back (with a stop for lunch with my brothers, sister-in-law, and priest friend, as well as to find Turkish Delight, at the request of one of my boys at home), so we had to be purposeful in our walking to stay on track. I used Google maps on my phone and looked such the tourist, constantly checking my phone to see where to go next.

My goals for my St. Anne pilgrimages are always modest, given that traveling is already such an opportunity to offer up suffering. 😀 Usually I hope to go to Mass at the Shrine, take pictures to show all of you, and get to the gift shop. But for this trip, I scaled back my expectations even more. I would have loved to have gotten to Mass, but it was too early for us, and I saw something about a gift shop on its web site, but didn’t see signs for it while we were there, so I didn’t worry about it. I was just so thrilled when we finally arrived at the Cathedral — I felt like, “We did it! We’re here!” The photos I posted on Instagram two weeks ago were the major ones, but I’m going to post some more tonight.

My boys and I (the baby was sleeping for a good deal of our four-hour walk!) tried to take our time inside the Cathedral, but it wasn’t easy — I was antsy about getting back to the hotel in time, and there were professional cleaners doing something loud on the altar while we were there. I was sorry to see that the interior was quite modern (their web site says, “The Neo- Gothic originals and the later extensions lacked harmony until the 1996 reordering and renovation. The vision of architect Richard Hurley drew the Sanctuary into the body of the Cathedral and brings congregation around three sides of the altar”), as I love a good old European cathedral; I was even sorrier to see that the tabernacle had been removed to a side chapel. Also, the only statue of St. Anne that I could find was the one in the front parking lot, and the one picture I was able to get of it was partially obscured by cars.

But no matter! I made a donation to the restoration fund in honor of all of you (with a prayer that it would be well used), and fairly clicked my heels as we left — I was so pleased to have visited a St. Anne shrine in Ireland in commemoration of Sancta Nomina’s fifth year!

St. Anne’s, Shandon was just down the road, so we walked quickly there on our way back, though I was eyeing our time and took only a minute to take a photo from the road. I love that Anglicans love St. Anne too. ❤

All in all, a memorable St. Anne’s pilgrimage to celebrate five years in this little corner of the internet, and to celebrate five years with you all!

kingsley-stmarystanne-map
Screenshot from Google Maps of the route from our hotel to the Cathedral, and where St. Anne’s, Shandon is in relation to the Cathedral

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!

Call for Pro-Life Resources

A reader approached me with an unconventional request, which I’m happy to support and share! She writes,

I want to curate a list of existing free resources in each US state for any and all pro-life issues: for pregnant women, people who are suicidal, adoptions, euthanasia, convicts looking for work, addicts looking for help, etc. For now, I’m thinking just things that can be accessed online and via phone (such as suicide hotlines). Assuming I can come up with a substantive list, I would create a website where you can search for these programs, or find them listed by type or state … I just want to make a place where people can easily find help, whether it’s a private or public program. (I personally needed government aid for my two pregnancies, and it was difficult just to find where to apply for it online.)

This is a monumental task, though, and I would appreciate if you could ask your readers to send links/phone numbers they know of my way.”

This is such a great idea, and I’m betting a lot of you have good info to share! If so, please email Kathleen at alive.usa19@gmail.com.

Thank you!! And happy Father’s Day to all the dads in your life!!

Ireland part 2: Radek

Part 1 here.

I just have to tell you all about the driver we had during our trip to Ireland for my sister’s wedding, both because I can’t recommend his company highly enough — so if you’re ever in Ireland, you *must* hire him! — and because of the Sancta Nomina connection!

First off, because I’m not twenty and single but rather forty and traveling with a baby and my oldest as well and wanting to make things as easy and convenient as possible for myself, I booked a car service from Shannon Airport to Cork City when we were first making our plans. I don’t remember how I found Easy Transfer, but its clean web site appealed to me and its prices didn’t seem crazy. My booking was for four of us (me, my two boys — one of whom needed a car seat — and our dear friend, who is also the baby’s godfather, who was also the priest saying the wedding!) for the hour-and-a-half drive from Shannon to Cork.

But then the Boeing tragedies happened and my flight got re-routed, as well as those of my parents and sisters (who were supposed to fly into Cork itself), and now we were all flying into Dublin Airport, which was double the driving distance away from Cork and, according to my preliminary research, more than double the cost to hire a car service. I looked into bus and train, which were both cheaper, but I’ll admit I was having quite the freak out about traveling abroad with a baby, especially regarding his sleep schedule, and the thought of getting on and off a bus — with the waiting, and would it be on schedule, and would there be enough seats or would we have to wait for the next bus, and all our luggage — either to take the bus to Cork or take the bus to the train station and then get off the bus and on a train (all of which made me feel faint with despair — I know, I’m a big baby), all after having been on a 6+ hour flight — and I’ve never been a super great traveler jet-lag-wise — I just couldn’t. I didn’t know how we would manage a car service for eight people and all our luggage and still have money left to live, but I was determined to do so.

In the midst of this, I went back to Easy Transfer’s site to find their email address so I could cancel my plans, and discovered that they also had a service from Dublin Airport! So I emailed them and explained the situation and they said, “Of course” — of course they can pick eight people up at Dublin Airport and transport us all to Cork, and of course they can pick me/sons/priest up on Sunday morning and bring us back to Dublin, and of course they can pick up my parents and sisters on Tuesday and bring them back to Dublin, and this is what it would cost, which was cheaper than anything else I’d found, and I said YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU SO MUCH and so we were booked. And I’m telling you the absolute truth that every time I emailed, no matter what time of day or day of the week, I had a response within a half hour. I raved about it to my parents and husband more than once — I have no memory of ever having such great customer service anywhere else in my whole life!

When we arrived in Dublin, our driver, Radek, was there with my name on a sign, just like he promised. Karolina was the other driver — she drove a minivan for seven, and Radek’s car took four, so there was even enough room to add in another friend who unexpectedly landed at Dublin the same time we did. From the first moment, Radek and Karolina were lovely — friendly and personable — and the answer was “of course” to everything. Of course there’s room for your friend, of course it’s no problem that this is all taking longer than expected. My parents and sisters reported that the minivan was wonderful; I rode in the car, which was immaculate, and there was an immaculate car seat waiting for the baby, and several bottles of complimentary water. I was SO THIRSTY after the flight (I was so desperate for the baby to sleep during as much of the flight as possible that I didn’t want to drink anything so I wouldn’t have to get up and go to the bathroom) that I would have given my right arm for a bottle of water, so when I saw the bottles in there I about died of happiness. “Are these for us?” I asked Radek, and he said, “Of course!”

“Of course” was also the answer to “Do you take credit card?” and “I didn’t get a chance to change money, you don’t accept dollars, do you?” — every single detail seemed tailored to make the customer’s experience as easy and convenient as possible.

We chatted for a bit during the drive — I discovered Radek is from Poland, and that Easy Transfer is his company — and then we all quickly fell asleep, which he didn’t seem to mind either. It was all so lovely and easy and exactly what we (I) needed.

That would have been nice enough, but then when Radek picked us up from the hotel on Sunday to drive us back to Dublin, he told us more about himself — including his RELIC OF PADRE PIO that he always carries with him and his ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL in the car and the ROSARY he keeps in his pocket and actually prays! He talked about our beloved St. John Paul the Great, and the Church in Poland, and his beautiful family (his wife helps him run the business, and I got to see pictures of his three children), and how he’d gone to Mass the night before because he wouldn’t be able to that day (Sunday) — I was SO delighted to discover these things! THEN he said to me, “My wife looked you up” — I’d paid the deposit with my PayPal which has my Sancta Nomina email — and that was why he felt comfortable to tell me about these beautiful faith-y things! I’m SO THRILLED! God works in such amazing ways!

So the next time you’re planning a trip to Ireland, I hope you’ll hire Easy Transfer, and tell Radek that I sent you!! (You don’t have to take my word for it either — it’s got all 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor!)


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!

Giveaway winners!!

Happy Memorial Day! It is so appropriate that we have a day to remember those who gave their lives for our country and our freedom. 🗽🇺🇸 I discovered this beautiful prayer for our fallen soldiers, loving Lord, bless them forever in Your eternal peace. ❤ ❤ ❤

The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life giveaway has ended, and two winners have been randomly selected from all those who left comments on the blog post, the Instagram post, and the Facebook post! Congratulations to Lauren and Luisa!! And thanks to all who entered! If you can swing buying your own copy, I highly recommend it! Chapter 2 tells about the Working Mom saints, wonderful models 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 the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

Newwww giveawayyyyy!!

I hope you’re all enjoying this month of celebrating with me! It’s the month of Our Lady, which includes Mother’s Day and the feasts of some of my faves: St. Joseph the Worker, Rita of Cascia, and Bernadine of Siena (among others), as well as the birthday of JP2! It’s also the one-year anniversary of the publication of my book after working on it for nearly ten years (!), and next month is my fifth blogiversary! There’s so much to celebrate, and so much to be grateful for!

Continuing in this theme, because it’s still May!, I have another giveaway for you all! I’ve blogged about JoAnna and her beautiful family before, and I had the great honor of receiving an awesome endorsement from her for my book, and when I found out she was writing a book of her own, I couldn’t wait to read it!

I’m pleased to share that The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life (Our Sunday Visitor) is being released one week from today (!!!! 🎉🎉🎉) and is available for pre-order now! I thought it was so well done that I gave it the following endorsement (which can be found on page 2 of the book, along with the other great endorsements JoAnna received from some pretty great people!):

The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life is a gift for every mama who has wrestled with contributing to the family income while bringing up her children. Its practical and authentically Catholic guidance and advice — beginning and ending with the reminder to pray, pray, pray to discern God’s will, and including the teachings of the Church and the examples set by saints who were working mothers — make it an essential resource for all women who have both babies and bosses.

To celebrate JoAnna’s wonderful accomplishment and to continue in the celebration theme of May, I’m giving away two of her books!! And not just her books, but two of mine as well!! Two lucky winners will each receive one of JoAnna’s books and one of mine! Woo!!! 💃💃💃

To enter, please comment on this post, or on Instagram (post coming later today!), or on Facebook, or on Twitter with your favorite Working Mother Saint(s). If you don’t know any, don’t despair! Just comment, “Tell me more!” which will count as an entry! (And if you don’t win this giveaway, I highly recommend buying JoAnna’s book when you can and checking out chapter 2!)

The giveaway will run until Sunday (May 26) at midnight! Then I’ll tally up all the comments on this post plus those on Instagram plus those on Facebook and have my hubby or one of the kids randomly pick two names, which I will announce on Monday. Happy Tuesday!!


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!

Congratulations to our winners!!

The winner of the joint Sancta Nomina-Catholic All Year giveaway from the blog is JMV!! Congratulations!! Check your email JMV!!

I’ll post the Instagram winner over on Instagram! Happy Saturday y’all, day of Our Lady!!


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!