I always feel like names have a lot of meaning. In a way, our names encompass a huge part of our identity – who are you without your name to distinguish you? I find that’s the case even though names themselves are not unique to the individual. My first name is not a Christian name, and though it’s not hideous I has been thinking for a long time about using another name – actually my confirmation name, which is why here I am known as Emily (Emiliana). Perhaps another little sign of my vocation but who knows. Regardless, I want to change my name when I enter religious life. Because my name is not a Christian one I want to take a new name to truly, deeply signify the conversion of my life from a life of this world to a life of consecration to Christ.
These are my choices so far, in order of preference. Feel free to let me know what you think and if you’re a fellow discerner, what yours are!
1. Sr. Mary Agnes
I really want to honour the Blessed Mother in my religious name. One of my favourite saints is also St. Maria Goretti, so it also honours her. My all-time favourite saint is St. Agnes, so I would just love to take her name as my religious name. If the community prefers single names to the double names I would still choose Agnes. People might think it’s old-fashioned but I don’t care about the name itself, I care about the incredible, faithful servant of God that it would be in honour of.
2. Sr. Mary Ambrose
Again, the Blessed Mother and St. Maria Goretti. St. Ambrose is a great and wonderful saint but honestly it is mostly in honour of a wonderful priest who taught my RCIA. I was at that parish for three years and he helped me so much in my faith journey and I owe much to him.
3. Sr. Maria Albertina
And again the Blessed Mother and St. Maria Goretti. See a pattern here? Blessed Albertina is another virgin martyr (seeing a pattern here!) from Brazil. Still a Blessed, not canonized yet. But I am also half-Brazilian so I wanted to have an option where I honoured a saint from my homeland, since there are not that many. English saints abound, Brazilian saints not so much.
If I were to get a title it would be “of the Most Blessed Sacrament” because I have a great devotion to the Eucharist, I attend Daily Mass as often as possible (about five days a week) and Adoration every week (which is how often it is offered in my parish).