Faith/Spirituality Forum: Guidelines for naming a Catholic baby?
Guidelines for naming a Catholic baby? QUESTION from Theresa Ruiz on January 6, 2003 My husband and I are concerned. We would like to be able to name our expected baby girl by a name honoring one of his relatives (Caroline), but it is not a biblical or saint's name. (Although it is a feminine form of Charles, which of course is.) Can we choose this name? Should we choose a different name?
Thank you for your help.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on January 12, 2003 Dear Mrs. Ruiz:
I am pleased to see that you and your husband are thoughtfully considering naming your baby a name that is appropriate to the faith. Many parent are not that thoughtful.
You can name your baby anything you want as long as the name is not vulgar, blasphemous, or antagonistic toward the Faith (believe it or not there are parents who deliberately name their child something suggesting vulgarity or a name that thumbs their nose at the Church).
The tradition, of course, is to name a child after a saint that will become their patron saint. You can choose any saint you wish that my represent attribute you would like in your child, for example.
The Baptismal name can include several names. For example, my Confirmation name (I am a convert) is Richard Lee John Ignatius Collett.
So you can include the family name of Caroline AND also use a name of a saint. Caroline can be the first name and the saint name the middle name, or the other way around, whichever you prefer. You can name her after more than one saint it you wish.
Here are some possible examples:
Caroline Theresa Ruiz Theresa Caroline Ruiz Caroline Thersea Catherine Ruiz
Also Caroline is appropriate as a name for a patron saint since it is the feminine form of Charles. St. Charles can be one of her patron saints.
Hope this helps. And congrats on the new baby in your life. What a blessing!
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