Baby name consultation: Classic Biblical and/or saintly name needed for baby boy

Laura and her husband are expecting their fourth baby on earth (second boy)! Their first two babies are in heaven, and Laura writes,

When we lost our first baby, I had a strong sense about the name Timothy and when I looked it up I found it meant “honoring God.” Then after our second loss, I was too emotionally drained and asked my husband to pray on it and he came up with Emma which means “whole”. I feel like these names definitely set the tone for our three here as well, as we always try to choose classic names that are either Biblical or Catholic saints.”

I love both Timothy and Emma, and I agree that they’ve set the tone well for their subsequent children:

Matthew Darren (“we love the name Matthew and it means “Gift of God” which he was because he was our first to make it to full term. Darren is the name of my husband’s cousin who was a CIA agent who was killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan“)

Margaret Claire (“Margaret was my husband’s grandmother’s name and it is also the name of our parish (St. Margaret of Scotland). I have always loved the fact that there are SOOOO many nickname options for Margaret. Currently we call her Mags. Her middle name is in remembrance of a family member that I lost a few years ago, but also for St. Clare of Assisi (I know the spelling is different)“)

Abigail Regina (“my due date [with Abby] was December 8th so it was very important to me that we honor Our Blessed Mother, but I kind of can’t stand the name Mary because it is SO plain and common. So we chose Abigail (which is actually in the Old Testament) and means “Gives Joy” and Regina of course is how we honored Mary. I really wanted Regina as the first name, but my husband wasn’t having it“)

Aren’t they great names?? I love the meaning behind each one — so much significance!!

Laura was hoping for some name ideas to fit with their older kiddos. For inspiration, names they’ve discussed for this little guy include:

John Paul
Maximilian
Rocco
Kolbe

Working on this was really satisfying for me because their taste is pretty consistent! You all know that I almost always start a consultation by looking up all the names the parents have used and like/are considering in the Baby Name Wizard as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity — looking up the names for this family was so fun because there was so much overlap!

That said though, names like Kolbe and John Paul aren’t included in the BNW, so that was a fun twist, trying to think of names that I think of as being similar to them in style and incorporating the results into my ideas for Laura and her hubs (I also used my Sibling Project to help — the John Paul entry was spot on!).  I came up with five ideas for this little boy:

(1) Gregory
Gregory was the very first name listed in the BNW as a match for Timothy, and was also listed in the Sibling Project as a match for John Paul, and as soon as I saw it I thought aha! I love Gregory for this family! He’s traditional and Catholicky Catholic like Pope St. Gregory the Great, and handsome and distinguished like Gregory Peck. The nickname Greg tends to turn people off a little bit, but I love Rory as a nickname for it, and I could also see something like Gregory Stephen lending itself nicely to the nickname Gus. I’ve also seen Grey used as a nickname for it, and I know a little Gregory who goes by Duke!

(2) Benjamin (or Benedict, Bennett?)
Benjamin was the biggest style match in the BNW, being similar to Timothy, Emma, Matthew, Claire, and Abigail! I love the name, and Ben is one of the friendliest nicknames in my opinion. While I think Benjamin is the closest match to the style of name Laura and her hubs like, Benedict is a great option if they wanted to get closer to the feel of John Paul, Maximilian, and Regina, and Bennett is a Benedict variant that, being a last name, is similar to Kolbe.

(3) Andrew
Andrew was another big hit for Laura and her hubs! It’s impeccable: biblical, masculine, great patron saints and nickname options. When I heard Fr. Andrew Apostoli speak at the Syracuse Women’s Conference a couple of years ago, I loved that he referenced Andrew as his patron saint, which of course is obvious, but I thought it gave Andrew an extra Catholic oomph.

(4) Philip
This was actually only listed as a style match for Regina, which I loved seeing, but I totally think of it as brother material for Timothy, Matthew, Andrew, Benjamin, and even John Paul with its two-biblical-names-in-one. (To be extra Catholicky Catholic, I love the idea of Philip Neri as a firstname+middlename combo! And Finn works as the perfect nickname I think.) (I loooove Finn!)

(5) Samuel
Finally, Samuel. It’s got a similar biblical style and feel to Timothy, Matthew, Abigail, Andrew, Philip, and Benjamin, and was also listed as similar to Emma. And that great nickname Sam! The story of Samuel is often particularly meaningful to mothers.

And those are my ideas for Laura and her hubs! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother of Timothy, Emma, Matthew, Margaret, and Abigail?

February CatholicMom column up, a Nameberry mention, and thanks for the fun!

I’ll start with the last bit of the post title — thanks for all your great ideas re: a sister for Reverie! That was so fun to read! You all have amazing ideas!

Secondly, our reader Clare, who has an awesome name site of her own (Name News) and is also my Welsh pronunciation expert, had a piece posted on Nameberry a couple days ago in which she mentioned Sancta Nomina — specifically the “Men Who Love Mary” category! If I’m ever remembered for one thing, having it be names for Mary would be one of my very top choices. 😍 Go check out her great post: Who Knew Victor Hugo was a Name Nerd?

Finally, my February CatholicMom column posted yesterday — a slight re-boot of this post from a couple years ago: Names for Miscarried Babies. Miscarriage was on my mind recently because my parish just started a miscarriage ministry and asked me to help with it (and you know I tapped into our reader Mandi’s great resources at A Blog About Miscarriage). I hope this is helpful for anyone who’s mourning a little one.

catholicmom_screen_shot-02-15-17

 

Miscarried baby’s name stolen?

A friend sent me this story yesterday, and I’m still thinking about it: ‘Don’t Talk About the Baby’ #ShatterTheStigma

Long story short: The author and his wife named their just-conceived baby Lydia Rose, and then lost her at 8 1/2 weeks. I know, as so many of you do, the devastation of miscarriage; mine was even earlier than the author’s, and yet it’s still fresh nine years later. I know you know! Later on (not sure how long) the author’s brother and his wife informed them that they would be naming their soon-to-be-born baby Lydia, which crushed the author and his wife, and despite them begging the in-laws to reconsider, the in-laws went ahead with naming their baby Lydia. Which led to the author and his wife basically cutting off ties with their family and even moving several states away.

The author’s very very sensitive about this topic, which makes me hesitate to even discuss it here, but since he wrote about it on his Patheos blog (so public! eek!) and it has to do with Catholic baby naming and a friend (who’s also a reader) asked me about it, I thought it made sense to post it.

We’ve talked here before about “name stealing,” and the example given in that post was a pretty emotional one involving family relationships; I’ve also shared my own story about asking my brother and his wife if they minded if we used a name I thought they might have been hoping to use (and we were committed to foregoing the name if it meant a possible family rift). Even still, I’m sort of blown away by the depth of grief this couple is still going through, years after the loss of the baby. I tried to imagine being in the same spot, but I just can’t see myself being so upset if my brother and his wife had wanted to use the same name for their son as we’d given to our baby. Of course everyone grieves in their own way, and just because I can’t imagine myself reacting similarly doesn’t mean they’re reacting wrongly. But I can’t help but think that talking about it all with a priest or even a mental health professional would be helpful (and maybe they already have). Dear St. Anne, please pray for this couple and their whole family!

What do you all think of this? Do any of you feel like you can understand where they’re coming from? If Mandi from A Blog About Miscarriage is reading, I wonder what your thoughts are and if you have any resources that might be helpful for a family in this situation?

Baby Patton

It was with great sadness that I read Grace’s recent post at Camp Patton — she recently suffered the miscarriage of their sixth baby, and in the midst of her grief she decided to let her readers know in hopes that doing so might help “even one mom feel a little bit less alone during the dark period following a miscarriage.” I myself took great comfort in hearing from other moms about their lost babies after losing my own — as Simcha wrote after her own miscarriage and the resulting wagon-circling of mamas who have been there, “What a crowd of beloved babies there must be, waiting and praying for us!”

Grace also shared the lovely story about the naming of her littlest one — she and her husband chose a name full of meaning for them, it’s just perfect. She also shared this quote from St. Philip Neri, which is also just perfect: “Let me get through today, and I shall not fear tomorrow.” And this perfect thought as well: “we know that as parents our primary goal is to get our children to heaven and that’s exactly where the baby is.”

None of which makes it any easier, of course. Please keep the Patton family in your prayers. 🙏🌹❤