Sneak peek of my contribution to The Catholic Hipster Handbook!

First off, thank you all for your lovely birthday wishes!! I had a wonderful day, and discovered that Arwen‘s birthday was also yesterday! Happy birthday to her, and to all of you and your children who were born on August 23/feast of St. Rose!

Secondly, and the point of this post: the time for the release of The Catholic Hipster Handbook is drawing nigh!! It releases on September 22, but I’m pretty sure if you preorder it you’ll get it sooner than that.

You might have seen that Tommy Tighe (Mr. Catholic Hipster) gave a sneak peek of my chapter at the beginning of the month — I can’t wait for you to read the whole thing! (He was using an older draft — I’m confident that my last name will be on it when it’s published, and the typos will have been fixed. 🙏) And don’t forget all the other amazing authors who have contributed to the book, including Sister Brittany Harrison, Lisa Hendey, Arleen Spenceley, Anna Mitchell, Mary Rezac, Melissa Keating, Matt Dunn, Sarah Vabulas, Fr. Kyle Schnippel, Steven Lewis, Tiffany Walsh, Sergio Bermudez, and Leticia Ochoa Adams, and the foreword written by Jeannie Gaffigan — lots of favorites here!

And of course — the cover. I’m still dying over being in a book with him on the cover. ❤

The_Catholic_Hipster_Handbook

Thanks for bearing with my shameless plug! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed to have The Catholic Hipster Handbook in your library! 😊😘

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Reading roundup et al.

Thank you all for your prayers for the mama I wrote about earlier! I don’t have any update — I will let you all know when/if she lets me know.

Otherwise today has been wonderful — autumn cool and sunny and I’m wearing green, which always makes me happy. 🙂

I have some fun things to share from here and there:

I was mentioned by Catholic Hipster Tommy Tighe recently in his The Chimney podcast (Episode 047)! I publish under Katherine Morna Towne because I love my full name, but I always go by Kate (or Sancta Nomina sometimes, which I also love 🙂 ), so it was funny to hear myself mentioned as Katherine Morna Towne. But so cool too! (And really, Grace deserves the kudos, because she was the one who told me the particular factoid that Tommy referenced!)

Ireland’s annual Rose of Tralee International Festival, which seeks to connect “the global Irish Diaspora in an international celebration of Irish culture in Co Kerry, Ireland,” finishes today. The highlight of it is the selection of the International Rose of Tralee — a girl chosen from among those representing all the parts of the world that have a concentration of those with Irish ancestry (tonight on live TV!). The names are always amazing — this year there’s:

Dearbhladh (the Abu Dhabi Rose)
Meabh (Armagh) and Meabhdh (Kildare)
Eimear (Derry)
Fainche (Down)
Mairead (Fermanagh)
Sile (Luxembourg)
Fionna (Mayo) and Fiona (Tipperary)
Treasa (Meath)
Aisling (Newcastle/Gateshead) and (Roscommon)
Blathnaid (Scotland)
Niamh (West Meath)

As well as the more manageable Ciara (Arizona), Sheena (Florida), Shannon (New Orleans), Kathleen (Ohio), Brigid (Philadelphia), Erin (South Carolina), and Molly (Western Canada). I also loved seeing Zoe (Donegal), Lorna (Dublin), Caroline (Longford), Petra (Toronto), Genevieve (Tyrone), and all the Marys and Annes: Annmarie (Leitrim), Marie (Limerick), Hannah (New Zealand), Anna (Newfoundland & Labrador), and Anne-Marie (Yorkshire). And all the Kates/Katherines 🙂 : Kate (Laois), Kathleen (Ohio — mentioned previously),  Katie (Sligo), Katherine (Texas). And I haven’t even mentioned everyone! Head on over and check them all out! (And as I’m writing this, the 2016 Rose has been selected: Maggie McEldowney from Chicago! A big congratulations to her!!)

Anyway, I’ve mentioned before that I had the great privilege of being the 2001 New York Rose (and one of you readers let me know that you, too, are a former Rose! So fun! 🌹), and my mom’s been posting pics of my time there on her Instagram (which follows the adventures of Finney the Leprechaun) this past week, so if you want to catch a glimpse of what the festival and I looked like fifteen years ago, see here (a Tralee street [Denny Street?] strung with lights for the parade), here (me signing autographs for the little girls), here (different day, different girls, more autographs), here (me and the Dublin Rose on our parade float — I’m wearing black), here (a mama in the crowd handed me her baby for a photo, one of my favorite moments), here (another of me and Dublin with some lovely bagpipers), here (me onstage with former MC Marty Whelan live on TV), here (the bit from the song The Rose of Tralee that sums up a Rose), and here (today’s my birthday so Mom posted a collage 🎂 — the two in the middle on the bottom are Rose pictures). It was an amazing experience, for sure!

I’ve also been bustling around the blog recently — I set up a Nicknames page where I list all the unusual/offbeat nicknames I’ve heard of or thought of for various names, and I also started a Sancta Nomina Pinterest account for (so far) the consultation posts, birth announcement posts, and my CatholicMom and Nameberry articles — I’m working on pinning them all there. I’m also working on adding the T(h)eresa bit to the Sibling Project page — hopefully I’ll have that added soon.

I think that’s all I have for now — have a wonderful rest of today!! ❤

Merry Christmas!!

Are you all getting ready for this most holy of nights? As I write this (in the morning of today), we’ve got cleaning and baking and neverending coffee 🙂 and Christmas carols and candy canes and clean clothes for Mass and gift-preparing going on, from the oldest to the youngest. What a wonderful time!

Before I sign off for Christmas, I wanted to let you know two fun things:

— Yesterday Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas and Christy from Fountains of Home interviewed me for their Fountains of Carrots podcast. I know! It was an awesome hour of talking about some really fun things, all having to do with architecture. Ha! 😀 Of course it was names. It’s so fun to talk with people who love the names of our faith as I do. Just like all of you! I’ll let you know when it posts — probably sometime in January — and you can listen while you fold laundry or wash dishes or relax with a cup of coffee or whatever you do when you listen to a podcast!

— Remember the guest post from The Catholic Hipster (Tommy Tighe)? And how he’s working on a book called The Catholic Hipster Handbook, due out in Spring 2017 from Ave Maria Press? He asked me if I would be interested in contributing to it! I know! There’s no guarantee what I wrote will make it into the final book but … it might! It was a really fun piece to work on and I’m just still in a swoony awe that something I wrote might actually appear in a published book.

So those are my fun tidbits to wrap up Advent with! With that, I want to tell you all, again, how very blessed my life has been because of you all. Life is full of so much sadness and suffering, which we know Jesus uses to draw us closer to Him, but it’s also full of joy, all of which comes from Him. This blog and our name conversations have been part of the joy of my life for the past year — such good, wholesome, innocent, joyful fun. Thank you all, a million times! ❤

I’ll be off the blog from now until Monday January 4, with the exception of the Monday consultation, which I’ll post as usual on December 28 and moderate the comments as needed.

And now — off to prepare for our Little Lord! Fall on your knees! O Night Divine! O Holy Night! A merry merry and very blessed Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Jean-Baptiste_Marie_Pierre_-_Nativity_-_WGA17676

Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Celebrity guest: Tommy Tighe (The Catholic Hipster)

Happy feast of the Immaculate Conception! One of my favorite things about holy days is that they’re meant to be celebration days, so let’s break out the yummy desserts and live it up!

A special treat for us today is this fun guest post from one of Mother Mary’s biggest fans, Tommy Tighe, who, as you probably know, blogs and tweets and writes at CatholicMom.com and podcasts — all as The Catholic Hipster. He’s also living my dream of writing an actual book that’s going to actually be publishedThe Catholic Hipster Handbook is in the works! (Available Spring 2017 from Ave Maria Press.)

I’ve had “Catholic hipster baby names” on the brain because of Tommy, but, as I told him, I’m either too old or too uncool to really *get* exactly what all this hipster stuff means, so I asked him if he could suggest a name or two for each gender that would fall squarely in Catholic hipster territory.

As with all his writing, the result made me laugh out loud! (Or lol, for all you younguns 😀 )

The Top Catholic Hipster Baby Names of 2015

By Tommy Tighe

It’s coming close to the end of 2015, and that means one thing: A ton of blog posts telling you the top somethings of 2015!

And this will be no different, as we bring you the top Catholic Hipster baby names of the year!

Boys

Hippolytus
Kids love themselves some horses, right? So why not name your son after the Patron Saint of horses, St. Hippolytus?!

The actual Hippolytus was a martyr from Rome back in 235. He spent some time in exile for being elected as an antipope, the first in the history of the Church; however, he was reconciled to the Church before his martyrdom.

Your child’s name would be a clear sign that no one is too far away for God to bring them back in.

Plus, you could call him “Hippo” for short, and that would be pretty clutch.

Guinefort
Now here’s one that may be even too hipster for the biggest Catholic Hipsters among you.

Guinefort was a 13th-century French dog that received local veneration as a folk saint after miracles were reported at his grave. Evidently, the dog’s owner was a well-known knight who left his infant son in the care of the dog while he went off to battle. When the knight returned, the nursery was in disarray, and the jaws of the dog were bloody. Figuring that the dog devoured his son, the Knight killed the dog, only to hear the sound of his baby crying moments later. When the Knight flipped over the overturned crib, he saw the baby, safe and sound, lying next to a dead viper, which Guinefort had killed in order to save the child.

The dog became recognized by locals as the patron of infants, and sick infants brought to the dog’s grave would often have a total and miraculous recovery.

Guinefort … do it!

Girls

Quiteria
Nothing like a good ol’ “Qu” name for your daughter, right?

The real Quiteria was one of nine children … all born at the same time. That’s right, she was nonuplet! In a fit of rage, her high ranking mother demanded that their nurse drown the babies in a river. Thankfully, the nurse couldn’t do it, and instead snuck the babies out to a remote village where they grew up together.

After they grew up, they formed a badass Christian gang that travelled around breaking other Christians out of jail and smashing Roman idols. After being jailed themselves, they ended up breaking out and waging a guerilla-style war against the Roman Empire.

Sure, they lost, but how cool would it be for your baby girl to tell the story of where she got her name to her Kindergarten teacher?

Helena
Helena isn’t just an awesome name for your baby girl because of that one tweeting nun; it’s also awesome because of St. Helena of Constantinople.

The mother of Constantine the Great, Helena is credited with finding the relics of the cross on which Jesus was crucified! She was a powerful empress, a very important yet still somewhat unknown figure in the history of Christianity, and even lived a life worthy of getting her face on a coin!

She’s also the patroness of divorcees, which is a pretty hot topic around the Catholic Church these days.

So, there you have it, the ultimate Catholic Hipster baby names list for 2015.

Are you pregnant right now and spending countless hours trying to select the perfect name? Well, I’m happy to have done all the work for you!!

And, for all of you kids out there with regular old names like James, Paul, or Andrew … sorry guys, but Daddy stuck with the classics.

Thanks a million to the funniest hipster I know for entertaining my namey request, and I hope you all have a very happy feast day!!