Latest CatholicMom column, and a namey question

My July column is up at CatholicMom.com! It’s the winning essay of the second year of the St. Francis de Sales Writing Contest I instituted at my alma mater, in which the student discussed his devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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This student won first place last year as well! The judges were the editor of my diocesan newspaper, the superintendent of schools for my diocese, and the campus chaplain at Siena College. Very impressive!

I’ve also been thinking about something a couple of you mentioned on a post last month — Sarah said,

My aunt was born the day after the Assumption so her grandmother named her Mary Virginia, but my grandma didn’t like her mother naming her baby so she re-named her Carole Jean

and Annie said,

My parents technically named me, but did so after my grandma’s wishes after she made her wishes very clear

and I’m still trying to wrap my head around how grandparents got to have such a strong say? It sounds like Sarah’s great-grandmother especially wasn’t merely voicing an opinion, but was actually naming the baby — I’ve seen references to this kind of thing from time to time and always wondered about it. I think it’s likely an older custom, which explains a lot; I can also see this being a cultural custom. Do any of you have examples of this happening in your family? Do you have any insight into how this happened, including from a generational or cultural perspective?


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 Amazon! It’s a perfect for expectant mamas, baby showers, and just because. Click here to read reviews and endorsements (and if you feel moved to leave a review on Amazon, it would be greatly appreciated! 🙂).

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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.