Yesterday we received a letter from our delightful daughter, Sr. Mary Kate. This one was special as it’s the last letter we will receive from her until after Easter.
One area of discernment and discussion among the postulants is the new religious name they will receive upon entering the novitiate this summer. The postulants have considerable input on this, though the final decision comes from the mother superior.
Anyway, Sr. Mary Kate said that she and some other postulants had fun one afternoon coming up with a list of names never to take–a process of elimination, of sorts. So, for your amusement, here are some of the names they came up with:
Sr. Rosary Bede (after Venerable Bede, of course)
Sr. Polycarp Esther (or Sr. Polyesther, for short)
Sr. Chrysostom Chrysologus
Sr. Esther Sylvester
Sr. Dies Domini (although every Sunday would be her feast day!)
Sr. Michael Jordan
Sr. Immolata Victima Sanguine (one of the professed suggested this, with a straight face, to a peppy, personable postulant)
Can you come up with any other religious names to avoid?
With Lent only a week away, I thought readers might be interested in “Sacrifice and Vocations,” a reflection by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., the late founder of the IRL.
In this reflection, Fr. Hardon notes that instilling in our children a spirit of sacrifice goes hand in hand with fostering vocations. He says that God “generally calls those persons to follow Him as priests or religious, who have been taught the value of sacrifice from childhood.”
He further explains:
“The experience of self-denial in the use and enjoyment of material things is the normal predisposition for a lifetime practice of evangelical poverty. Training in self-control of the senses, especially in the use of the media, is the ordinary preparation for a lifelong dedication to consecrated chastity. Careful and loving nurture in self-denial, almost from infancy, is God’s usual way of conditioning the human will for commitment to the counsel of obedience.”
Click here for access to a dozen of Fr. Hardon’s beautiful reflections on religious and priestly vocations.
Last week, my friend Elizabeth Lam became a consecrated virgin in and for the Diocese of Oakland. Bishop Salvatore Cordileone was the presider for the rite of consecration, which was performed in the context of a Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
Elizabeth is not bound to a religious community, but rather lives in the world. Through her consecration, she has made a total gift of herself to the local Church under the leadership of her bishop.
There are only about 200 consecrated virgins in the United States, but there is a revival of this ancient rite taking place. As Bishop Cordileone noted at the outset of his homily, some of the most revered saints of Christian antiquity were consecrated virgins, like Sts. Cecilia, Lucy, Agnes, and Agatha.
For more information, check out the following links: