Consultations closed!

You guys! I’m so pleased my Black Friday special was such a big hit!

Because of the number of orders I received, I’m closing all further consultations until after Christmas (though you can still purchase gift certificates at the regular prices).

Thank you all for your enthusiasm!! ❤


Black Friday Special: Ordinary Consultations!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

I’m jumping into the Black Friday craziness with my own little deal: Today all my Ordinary Consultations are $10 only! (Regular price: $50)

I tried to set up a special button and something’s not working right (probably me — I’m tired today!), so email me if you’d like one and I’ll send you an invoice: sanctanomina at gmail dot com.

This is for today only!

If you’d like to make it a Christmas gift, let me know and I’ll send you a certificate you can print out to present to the lucky recipient! Have a wonderful Friday!!

Spotlight on: Stanley and Stanislaus

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!! Today’s the last day of a novena to St. Anne I’ve been praying, in which I included all of your intentions; your children both living and deceased; those of you who are hoping for babies and those of you struggling with your motherhood; and in thanks for all of you. ❤ Be sure to check in again on Friday — I’ll have a special Black Friday gift for you all!!

Meghan asked for a spotlight on Stanley in light of the recent beatification of Bl. Stanley Rother, and Natalie had previously mentioned considering Stanley because of that same Blessed, and Annie said she *couldn’t wait* for this spotlight, and I heard Bl. Stanley mentioned quite a bit in the press for Bl. Solanus’ beatification this past weekend including in this article (in which my sister is also mentioned! Nbd), so! I think we need a Stanley spotlight!

I’m coupling it with Stanislaus because of their shared first four letters and nickname; because Stanislaus is another name and holy man I’ve had on my mind for a while because of the JP2 story included in this post; and because Stanley has been used as an anglicization of Stanislaus/Stanislaw (but they’re actually two totally separate names).

First, Stanley: from an Old English surname meaning “stone clearing” (according to behindthename). According to the SSA it was a top 100 name from 1900 until 1960, peaking at no. 34 in 1915, 1916, and 1917. I did some brief research into what might have inspired that peak, and found this comment on this post:

Stanley was extremely popular among Polish-Americans at the turn of the century. It was used as an Anglicization for Stanislaw. In fact, it was so common among them, that some areas refered to any Polish guy as Stan or Stanley.”

I looked for events in 1914 that might have contributed to the first year of the Stanley peak of popularity and found the 1914 naval Battle of the Falkland Islands that involved its capital, Stanley, and the 1914 Stanley Cup Finals, which is described as “the first officially sanctioned series for the Stanley Cup between” the champions of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association and the National Hockey Association. I don’t know enough about either historical battles or hockey to know if either/both of these events might have really inspired the peak, though. Do any of you?

One of the interesting things about Stanley is that, until Bl. Stanley, it wasn’t a holy name — not the kind of name Catholic parents might have considered (unless it was a family name, or a nod to Stanislaus, etc.). It reminds me of this sentence from this post by a Canon Lawyer on whether today’s Catholic children need to be given saints’ names:

Perhaps if we all raise our children as committed Catholics, names like ‘Ashley’and ‘Jennifer,’ ‘Curtis’ and ‘Todd’ may some day in the future indeed be the names of saints.”

And now Stanley! (It’s important to note that his middle name was Francis, which satisfied the then-requirement for a Christian name; this article about him noted, “When he arrived at the mission, the Tz’utujil Mayan Indians in the village took to calling him Padre Francisco, after his baptismal name of Francis.” So if Stanley isn’t your style but you love Bl. Stanley, Francis is a good alternative. Or Rother, if you prefer more unusual names? I’ve heard RO-ther, is that how you say it? Or RAW-ther?)

Now for Stanislaus: “Slavic stan ‘to stand, to hold, to become’ + Slavic sława, slava ‘glory, fame'” (according to the DMNES), and also known in variants Stanislav, Stanislaw, and Stanislas. Besides the St. Stanislaus of the JP2 story I linked to above (St. Stanislaus of Cracow, patron saint of Poland), another one that I love is St. Stanislaw of Jesus and Mary, also known as Stanislaus Papczynski, founder of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA (they call him Father Founder) who was canonized in 2016. I’ve also seen Kostka used as a name in honor of St. Stanislaus Kostka. There are a few other holy men with this name, and I even included Stanislaus in my CatholicMom article Unmistakably Catholic Boy Names.

Whether Stanley or Stanislaus, Stan is an easy, natural nickname. It’s funny too, because before I’d ever heard of Bl. Stanley or had Stanley/Stanislaus on my radar anywhere, my husband told me he kind of likes the nickname Stan! At first I was like Stan?? But I’ve been thinking about it, and I can totally see it! Stan is a familiar, friendly nickname — easy to say and spell and with that old-man feel that’s currently so appealing. In fact, when I was researching this name, I saw a couple different places online where people likened Stan to Max and Gus, so clearly it’s the next Big Thing. Like Max and Gus, it also has usage as a given name on its own — Stan was a top 1000 name from 1933 to 1973. If Stan isn’t your thing, there are other nicknames that are traditional to Stanislaus that are kind of cool, like  Stas and Stane (I’m assuming it’s not actually said to rhyme with rain — Forvo has the Czech pronunciation more like “stah-NEH” — but rhymes-with-rain is do-able here in America I think). (I might advise American parents to stay away from the traditional Stanko though).

Stan- has some pop culture references that may or may not be interesting to parents, like Stan Lee (stealth way to name for a Blessed AND your comic book obsession!) and Stannis on Game of Thrones (which is a [nick]/name I would find SO COOL if it wasn’t for GoT), and the Stanley Cup mentioned above (holy+hockey!). I’ve always been interested in the fact that Obama’s mom’s given name is Stanley, and by her name story as presented on Wikipedia: “According to [her], she was named after her father because he wanted a son, though her relatives doubt this story and her maternal uncle recalled that her mother named Dunham after her favorite actress Bette Davis’ character in the film In This Our Life because she thought Stanley, as a girl’s name, sounded sophisticated” (in that movie, Bette Davis’ character was Stanley and the character of her sister, played by Olivia de Havilland, was named Roy!).

You all know about my devotion to St. Anne, and because I have all boys, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of ways to honor St. Anne with a boy’s name — I’ve known a couple of parents who have also wanted to do so, and the ideas they and I have had have revolved mostly around the “Ann” sound — Anselm, Anthony, Anton, Anson, Ansel. But more recently I’d thought that the Stan- names could do it — you know, ST ANne! So Stanley/Stanislaus could nod to her as well. (I love getting lots of saints into one name!)

What do you all think of Stanley and Stanislaus? Would you consider either one for your son, or have you? Do any Stanleys or Stanislauses that you know like their name? Do they go by a nickname other than Stan? Do you think Stanley is the next Big Thing, both secularly and Catholicly?

Birth announcement: Damian John Francis!

(If you didn’t see the photos I posted on Instagram over the weekend of my parents and sister at the Beatification Mass for Bl. Solanus Casey, be sure to check them out! What an amazing experience!)

I posted a consultation for Christie and her husband over the summer, and Christie’s let me know her little guy has arrived and been given the handsome-and-heavy-hitting name … Damian John Francis!

Christie writes,

Baby Boy Collins was born on October 27th. We don’t reveal our baby names until the baptism so that was his name to everyone else at the time (fun family tradition — it remains a secret among parents and siblings for a couple of weeks!). The baptism was last night, so I wanted to write you today and let you know how it all turned out!

Firstly, we came to the realization that this fifth gift might be the last biological child we are called to have — my pregnancy was not easy on my body or on our family, and at one point I couldn’t do more than get to the bathroom and back to the bed/couch on full codeine pain meds. So then the naming pressure was ON! Last call for ALL the patrons! As a result, my husband decided to ditch part of our naming schema and not stand firm on having a British Isles reference.

Secondly, I was inspired by your suggestions and by your post on double middle names. I fell in love with the name John Dominic after John Paul II and St. Dominic, but we already have a nephew named John. Ah, but we could switch them! So Dominic John was my starting answer, but it was missing something at the end, and my husband really wanted to name the child after his favorite patron, Francis de Sales (who really had no other shortcuts/names to use but Francis). And he wasn’t sold on Dominic. But we came to an agreement- John Francis as a double middle name sounded really fun.

Given that middle name, we realized we like a D or a B up front (after eliminating repeat letters from other kids). We settled on a Final Four of naming: Dominic, Declan (still a British Isles pick), Damian (after St Peter Damian, patron saint of moral theologians like my husband), and Benedict (as in the saintly founder). Pretty quickly we realized that Benedict John Francis sounded like a litany of recent popes, so that one fell behind. Until the end, I was rooting for Dominic and my husband couldn’t decide between Declan and Damian. Once he was born, my husband decided on Damian (I have always let him have the final decision). At first I was saddened not to have a Dominic, but within two hours of whispering Damian in his ear while snuggling, I was totally sold.

So Damian John Francis became our family secret — and the other kids LOVED it. And then last night, surrounded by friends and with family on FaceTime, the priest asked us what name we give this child, and my husband quite literally beamed forth “Damian John Francis Collins” and our secret was out — he had his Christian name and a hearty 3 patrons to pray for him. Damian had already proven himself up to the name, and we are still in awe that God would give us this little one to hold and to guide.”

Isn’t that such an interesting tradition, of keeping the baby’s name secret until the baptism?! And this is such a moving story — this little guy is so blessed to have so many amazing patrons!! I LOVE all three of his names!!

Congratulations to Christie and her husband and big sibs Kolbe, Isaac, Eva, and Alexis, and happy birthday Baby Damian!!


Damian John Francis with his big brothers and sisters ❤

Special intention — please pray!

Our very own Grace, whose consultation I posted in March of 2016 for a then-hypothetical fifth baby, is nearly due with her actual fifth baby and she needs prayers!! She’s in the final stretch, but she’s been on bed rest for weeks (including part of the time in the hospital) because of hypertension/pre-eclampsia. She desperately wants to avoid a c-section after a very difficult time she had with the c-section and recovery after her previous baby, and she’s scheduled for an induction, but the baby’s position keeps changing. Her inability to take care of her family the way she’d like to and the worry and stress of the upcoming labor and delivery and hopes to avoid another c-section are taking their toll not only on her, but on the whole family.

Please keep Grace and her baby and her whole family in your prayers!! ❤

Birth announcement: Teresa Azelie Jane!

I posted a consultation for Colleen and her husband back in July, and I’m so thrilled to let you know that her green bean turned out to be a wee lady whose been given the gorgeous name … Teresa Azelie Jane!

Colleen writes,

You did a name consultation for us back in July and I am so pleased to announce that we had a girl on August 25 and we named her Teresa Azelie Jane. She was born as the outer rain bands of Hurricane Harvey began to hit where we live in the north Houston suburbs and we made it home from the hospital just before the serious flooding began. Thankfully our neighborhood did not flood and we were able to enjoy the extra time at home cuddling our newborn.

We really struggled with a girl’s name this time around. Early on we settled on Jane as a middle name because I have loved it for years. Also early on my husband had suggested Azelie as he had been reading about Sts. Azelie and Louis Martin and felt a strong connection with the entire Martin family. But, for a number of reasons, it just didn’t work as a first name for us so we set it aside and forgot about it for months while we continued to debate and struggle to find the name that seemed right.

August 12, 9 days before my due date, was the feast of St. Jane de Chantal. I woke that morning and during my prayer time asked St. Jane to please help us settle on a name. If we had a girl, what name would be best for her and what saints should be her patrons along side St. Jane? Later that day my husband said he had an idea. He felt strongly that the name should be Teresa, a name he was not excited about previously, but that we should also include Azelie. As soon as he spoke the name aloud, Teresa Azelie Jane, we knew it was perfect. I had not considered two middle names before! And boy does our girl have some powerful patrons! Teresa is after the three great Teresas: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Liseaux, and St. Teresa of Calcutta.

I call our little girl Tess. Her brothers call her Teresa and her sisters tend to call her Tessa Jane. My husband loves to call her Azelie or Zelie and I love that it’s his special pet name for her. All of us adore her name and we often call her by all three of her names because we love them all so much.

Thank you for the time you spent on our consultation and for your wonderful blog. Your thoughts and those of your readers over the months really helped us realize what was important to us in a name, gave us the idea of two middle names and the courage to chose an uncommon name like Azelie.”

Isn’t this all so wonderful?! I love love love the full combo, Teresa Azelie Jane, and how everyone has special nicknames for her! And I’m so pleased that we all were able to help Colleen and her hubs bring their favorite names into focus. ❤

Congratulations to Colleen and her husband and big sibs Jonathan, Elizabeth, Augustine, Clara, and Simon (and Catherine Gregory in heaven), and happy birthday Baby Teresa Azelie Jane!!

Teresa Azelie Jane at 5 days old (left) and 2.5 mos (right)