Posted January 14, 2013on:
At one time a child baptized in the Catholic Church had to carry the name of a saint. The name could be the first or the middle name but it was a requirement.
I recently received an invitation to a baptismal ceremony welcoming twins Cameron and Hayden into the church. The invitation did not include middle names. To my knowledge there was never a Saint Cameron or a Saint Hayden in the archives of saint’s names.
For example, I attended school with a host of Mary’s: Mary Ellen, Mary Catherine, Mary Elizabeth, Mary Ann(e), Mary Margaret, Mary Jane, Mary Claire, Mary Esther,Mary Frances, Mary Rose and Mary Teresa. Most of the boys had either John or Joseph as their first or middle names. “Creativity” had yet to rear its head.
The same applied to the nuns. We were told that their chosen names were those of their parents: Sister Mary John, Sister Helen William, Sister Joseph Grace. You get the point. I was once taught by a Sister Mary of the Rosary who we suspected was an orphan but I digress.
Since most of these “rules” have disappeared it struck me that had this same requirement be in fashion today would we see something along the lines of Sister Beyonce Jay-Z or Sister Kim Kanye holding forth? Good god!
With the names Mary and John you knew where you stood. There was no mistaking their gender. I was amazed to learn that in this instance Cameron was the boy while Hayden was the girl in this mix. “Who knew?” since each of these names have been applied to either gender over the years.
Nuns now carry their own names. Their given names have taken some of the “fun” out of nicknames we gave them to amuse ourselves. No longer a Sister Mary Lidwin (the Lid) or Sister Charles Bertille (Chuckie) to send us into paroxysms of giggles as they once did. Whatever happened to “tradition”?
Apparently the Church has “kept up” with some trends. Someday there may very well be a Jackson or a Haylee among its ranks of saints. Who’s to say?
Right now I am still trying to figure out when blue or pink is appropriate when choosing a gift for a newborn whose name is unclear when it comes to gender.
Obviously I am “in the weeds” if I have to ask.
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