Birth announcement: Sunday Josephine!

Don’t forget to enter The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life giveaway if you haven’t already! You have until Sunday at midnight!

A mama I did a private consultation for has let me know her little girl has arrived and been given the a-MAZ-ing name … Sunday Josephine!

She writes,

When we went to the hospital, our top choice was Sunny — it was a name we both liked early on, and our both of our kids liked it, too — but it honestly did not feel like “the one” to me. My reservation was that it felt very nickname-y.

The middle name, Josephine, just came to me one day. We wanted something on the serious side to balance out Sunny, that would flow well, and that was not a noun (“Sunny Clementine”). As you know, Joseph was a top choice on our boy list. The name is really special to me since it honors my dad, who passed away on the Feast of St. Joseph, and my surrogate grandfather, whose name was Joseph. I noticed that Joseph is listed in your book as a Marian name, so I feel like Josephine can be Marian also. My husband agreed that we both love the name, and we have plenty of other boy names if we have a son in the future, so we decided to use it.

As I mentioned, I did not feel like Sunny was THE name. So we were sitting in the hospital room on the day she was born, and my husband was reassuring me that Sunny was the name. He said something like, “We have to name her Sunny, it’s such a sunny Sunday.” I had a light bulb moment and asked him, “What if we name her Sunday and use Sunny as a nickname?” He did not jump on it, which did not surprise me. What did surprise me was when he brought it up again a few hours later because he liked it too!

So that’s the story — Sunday Josephine, but we usually call her Sunny. It’s completely different than where I thought we would end up, but we love it.”

How great is this story and this NAME?!! Sunday Josephine called Sunny?? I die! As I told the mama, it’s not often that I’m surprised by a name choice, I LOVE being surprised! And Sunny is just the best, sweetest nickname, I love everything about this. Kudos to these parents for a bold yet traditional, faith-filled choice with such a great, friendly nickname! (Fun fact: Notre Dame du Dimanche means “Our Lady of Sunday” in French [feast day June 8], and as a result Dimanche and Sunday are included in my book of Marian names. ❤ )

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Sunday!!


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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Birth announcement: Clement Joseph!

Grace from Camp Patton has been a great friend of Sancta Nomina — I’ve had the great privilege of doing two consultations for her (here and here) and posting two birth announcements (here and here), and Grace also graciously (!) gave my book an amazing endorsement, all of which still blows me away since I was fangirling over Grace before she ever knew I existed. I’m so happy to share that she’s had another baby! (You know I would have been all over doing yet another consultation for her if it hadn’t been for my own plunge into reclusion after giving birth.) I’m happy to share that she and her hubby welcomed their fifth boy and named him the incredible … Clement Joseph!

Grace wrote in the birth story she posted to her blog:

We had pretty much agreed that if we had a boy we’d name him Clement in honor of Simon’s mom (you might remember the [excerpt from the Prayer of St. Clement] she scripted that was handed out at her funeral last December) … but had a tough time coming up with a middle name. Finally toward the end of my pregnancy “Joseph” just sort of clicked although don’t think I didn’t try to throw some wild and crazy middle name contenders Simon’s way. Simon was pulling for Clementine if we had a girl and I wasn’t completely sold despite the fact that I love the name (I just love a lot of girl names). So Clement Joseph he was!

Clement! I love it! It’s a sophisticated, saintly, handsome virtue name (clement means “merciful”) and Marian (!) (e.g., “O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary” from the Hail Holy Queen — Clement’s in my book!). And such a perfect and creative way to honor Simon’s mom. ❤ All in all, a great pick! (I’m also loving how Grace said, “don’t think I didn’t try to throw some wild and crazy middle name contender’s Simon’s way” — a girl after my own heart!)

Congratulations to Grace and Simon and big sibs Julia, Sebastian (Bash), Theodore (Theo), Phoebe, Bosco, and Abraham (Abe), and happy birthday Baby Clement! Go check out his sweet face on Grace’s Instagram (including the Clement Clips stories!)!


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!

Birth announcement: Reina Grace!

I’m still working through my backlog of birth announcements — several of which are from the end of my own pregnancy when I was burrowing into my nest. I’m so sorry not to have posted them sooner!

Just a couple weeks before my little guy was born, Sharon from Baby My Love had her sweet little girl! I shared about Sharon’s beautiful family before, and I had the great privilege of doing a consultation for her Little Miss, which I posted back in April, and I absolutely love the name she and her hubby settled on — the magnificent and Marian … Reina Grace!

Reina is the Spanish variant of Regina, meaning “queen,” and it’s been so fun to see Sharon’s Instagram posts playing on the “queen bee” theme! Never mind the fact that Reina herself is absolutely delicious!

Congratulations to Sharon and her hubby Zeb and big sibs (on earth) Gemma, Felicity, Nicodemus, Maximus, Quintus, Francis, and Evangeline, and happy birthday Baby Reina!! Check out both Sharon’s personal Instagram and business Instagram to see her sweet face!


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!

Birth announcement: Bridget Marie!

Thank you to all who entered the lottery for a baby name consultation! As long as it’s okay with the mama, I’ll post it here in a few weeks! Stay tuned for another “flash sale” next month or so. 

I’ve finished posting all the birth announcements that were emailed to me over the last few months — thank you to all the parents who did so! I’m now starting to work through the list of new babies I’ve seen in my Instagram feed over the fall and winter, and will be sharing their names and name stories as their mamas allow.

First up: the newest baby in a family whose names I’ve long loved! Kelsi’s older children are the swoony Finnian Doyle and Gemma Ruth, and when I saw she was expecting again, I couldn’t wait to see what she and her hubby chose! I wasn’t disappointed! Little Bridget Marie “Bridey” joined the family recently, and I just feel like sighing with contentment over these beautifully named children.

Kelsi writes,

1. Finnian Doyle — Doyle is my dad and my brother’s middle name. I wish I could ask my grandma where she got it, but we have no idea! I wanted to pass it on to my son and wanted a saint name as a first name. So after lots of suggestions from me and lots of vetoes from my husband, we landed on Finnian after St Finnian of Clonard. My husband’s grandmother has a strong connection to her Irish roots and the name seemed to honor that as well. We also liked the nickname “Finn” for its literary nod to Huckleberry Finn.

2. Gemma Ruth — When we were naming Gemma we decided we’d stick to the “formula” we had used for Finn: a saint first name and a family middle name. When I was pregnant with Finn, I was having terrible terrible headaches. Frustrated that I couldn’t take anything stronger than Tylenol and rubbing peppermint oil, I looked up Saints I could petition to pray for relief from my headache. St. Gemma Galgani came up. In truth, it was the first I had heard of her, but I loved her story and her name!! I asked her often to intercede for me. So when we found out I was pregnant with a girl, we decided to use Gemma. Ruth is my husband’s grandma’s name and just one of my biblical women.

3. Bridget Marie — We really like St. Brigid of Ireland and had heard the traditional nickname of “Bridey.” The nickname gave a literary nod to one of my husband’s and my favorite novels, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. But we decided we really liked the “-get” pronunciation better than “Brigid.” Marie is for my maternal grandmother and Mother Mary.”

How awesome is all of this?? I love it! I love each name, and the reason behind each one as well. How great is Kelsi’ love of Ruth: she’s “just one of my biblical women”?! Love it!

Congratulations to Kelsi and her husband and big sibs Finnian and Gemma, and happy birthday Baby Bridget!! Kelsi said it was okay to link to her Instagram — hope on over to see her beautiful babies!


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!

Birth announcement: Christian Gabriel!

You might remember Josh and Mari’s family, as I’ve posted three consultations and two birth announcements for them since I started the blog! I absolutely LOVE seeing the Sancta Nomina families grow!! I’m thrilled to share that the baby boy I posted name ideas for this past summer has been born and given the awesome, handsome name … Christian Gabriel!

Josh writes,

He’s finally here! We decided to go with Christian Gabriel and he looks just like his older brother Charlie did at that age. Born 12-8-18 and everyone is doing well.

Thanks again for the naming help — lots of good ideas and Cassian was a close second!

Christian Gabriel was the name his older siblings favored from the beginning — how sweet that that ended up being the chosen name! And since the baby was born in December, Josh and Mari expressed interest in having his name have a connection to the season — I’d say Christian Gabriel is a slam dunk. And born on the feast of the Immaculate Conception! So many wonderful details of this baby boy’s birth and naming!

Congratulations to Josh and Mari and big sibs Ariana, Audrey, Caleb, Amelia, Anne-Catherine, Charles, and Anessa, and happy birthday Baby Christian!!

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Christian Gabriel


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!

Advent and Christmas names

Christmas Eve is just a week away and my boys are EXCITED! Seeing their wonder and awe is the absolute best. ❤

I’ve done several posts in the past with ideas for Advent and Christmas names, which I wanted to be sure to share here again, in case you have a little one coming any time! Check these out:

Names for a Christmas Baby here on the blog

Names for an Advent Baby at CatholicMom

Holy Family Names for Christmastime Babies at CatholicMom

Names for a Yuletide Babe: The O Antiphons at Nameberry

There’s also this tag for “Christmas names” here on the blog, which brings up birth announcements and name spotlights for names that I think can be Christmas-y, and for generally getting your mind focused on the birth of Jesus, there’s this piece I wrote last year for CatholicMom that I’ve been thinking about recently, regarding His naming.

If it’s helpful for naming a boy, I’ve always loved the combo Luke Emmanuel for a Christmas baby — if my Luke had been born around now, it would have been a strong contender.


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 — a perfect Christmas present for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

Birth announcement: My little Sanctino!*

You guys. I started writing this post when the baby was two weeks old — that was eleven weeks ago! My high maintenance little guy isn’t a fan of me doing anything but mother him, and I’m not hating obliging him. 😊 ❤ He’s three months old today (by the calendar; thirteen weeks by weeks)!

I’ve been posting a bit on Instagram since he was born — it’s such an easy platform that doesn’t require two hands to type! — but I’ve been wanting to post his birth announcement and name story here for those of you not on Instagram, and also to provide more info than an Instagram post allows. (So sorry to those who prefer Twitter, I think I checked it once in the last three months, I hope to jump back in soon!)

So yes, my newest little one is a “he”! Another little boy! A seventh son! Just before the doctor delivered him he said to me and my husband, “Okay, last chance, boy or girl?” and we both said “Boy,” but more, I think, because we’ve never been wrong guessing boy than because we really *knew*. So we weren’t surprised by our little guy! And at the same time, we were. Seven boys!

Mr. Nomina (as one of you hilariously dubbed my husband!) actually agreed to let me post a photo AND the baby’s name on Instagram! It’s with great pleasure that I share the same info here: Introducing Luke Benedict!

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Luke is v v skeptical about this new idea of me trying to get something done.

His name likely won’t come as a surprise to those of you who read the consultation Abby did for us — Luke was always a frontrunner (and has been on our list for years), and Benedict was my favorite first-name pick for a while. But funny enough, though we finally agreed on Luke Benedict if we had a boy, neither my husband nor I were totally sold on it until he was actually born. I held out hope until the bitter end that I’d discover some new, unexpected name that would feel exactly right … Hubby said he would be open to last-minute suggestions (which is actually how our no. 6 was named!) and one of my last-ditch efforts was Walsingham (an entry in my book) with the nickname Walt, thinking hubby might like Walt because he loves Stan (he didn’t like Walt, and liked Walsingham even less, though he gave me points for creativity and apologized for being so picky). Hubs had one of his own — he reminded me of Abby’s suggestion of Peter, and I sat with it for a few days, but I’ve always called my boys Sweetie Petey or Stinky Pete, depending 😀 , so that really took the name off the table for me.

In the end, we bestowed Luke Benedict upon our boy and the next day my hubs said something like, “You know, I wasn’t totally sure about Luke, but it’s really grown on me” (in the last twenty four hours! Haha!). And I felt the same way! Since his birth, we’ve both marveled several times at what a strong, solid name it is; at how much of a Luke our boy is (even at his young age!); and at how well it goes with our other boys’ names.

But wait — there’s more! 😀 I wanted a Marian name for this baby, not only because of course I love Marian names, but also because this baby was born in the same year as my book, so it seemed extra special to do so. And in fact, during one of our name conversations during my pregnancy, Hubs made a point to look through my book for names he’d like, and Luke was his favorite of all of them. Additionally, there have been so many times in my life that I’ve found myself repeating the words of Our Lady’s Magnificat, which is found in the book of Luke: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Luke 1:46–49). This is exactly how I feel about the blessings in my life — I’m so, so grateful and humbled and in awe, and naming my son after the evangelist that included this canticle in his gospel is so meaningful for me. ❤ ❤ ❤

Speaking of Luke’s gospel, the Bible verse that has always spoken to me as *mine,* as the verse that most guides my life, is Luke 12:48: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” I have been given so much, and I keenly feel the responsibilities that come with such gifts. I love that Luke’s name is a nod to that as well.

As for Benedict, I love it for so many reasons (including that it’s another Marian name! Woo!), but I had a realization late in my pregnancy that cemented it for me as the perfect middle name for the baby: It’s important to me that each of our kids have a family name as either a first or a middle name, and since Luke isn’t one, the middle name would have to serve that purpose. But I was having a hard time finding a family name that would do, and I thought that rather than look through our family tree for a suitable name, why not think about who has been represented in our boys’ names so far and focus on those who haven’t yet been. We’ve covered my grandparents (both sides), my husband’s grandparents (both sides), both my parents, both my husband’s parents, my brothers, my husband’s brother … the only people who hadn’t yet been included were my sisters. Finding one name that included my three sisters was a challenge that I thoroughly enjoyed! I ended up with Benedict for two reasons:

  • My sisters’ Confirmation names are Bernadette, Bridget, and Anne, and I think it’s reasonable to consider Benedict a combination of all of those, letter-wise. It might seem like a stretch to think so, but once I realized this, it’s all I can see, which I love. I will always tell Luke that his middle name is for his three aunties.
  • My sisters and I all have Marian names for either a first or a middle, and Benedict fits right in with that.

So that’s the story of our little guy’s naming! I want to thank you all for your patience as well — I’ve received many messages and emails since I went on hiatus from baby name consultations, wondering when I’d be back at it. I’d hoped to reopen them at Christmas, but Luke and I are just not ready yet. I hate to put you off even longer! But this newborn time is so fleeting, and we’ve had some issues with my recovery and Luke’s eating that have made getting back into the swing of things a longer process than I experienced with my other babies. So I’m focused on being patient with myself and enjoying my little guy. I know you all understand, and I thank you for it! I’m going to try to get back into blogging, which will give me a good sense of how much time Luke will allow me to focus on things other than him. (See the skeptical photo above. 😀 ) I will certainly post here as soon as I can start consultations again. If you’ve emailed me and are awaiting a response, I’m starting to work through them, but it’s slow going — whew, I have a lot of emails! I’ll get back to you eventually!

Also, I wasn’t able to pull together a piece for my regular monthly spot on CatholicMom.com for September or October, but I did write one for November, which you can read here: Heavenly help and hellos. Mother Mary, St. Anne, St. Rita, and St. Gerard have had my back for a long time!

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I hope you’re all having a blessed Advent and looking forward to Christmas with as much joy as we are here in my house!

*I know, Sanctino isn’t grammatically correct, but for my whole pregnancy I’d wanted to come up with a fun little name for my wee babe that tied to the name of the blog, and Sanctino/Sanctina was the best I came up with!


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 — a perfect Christmas present for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!