Naming Rights

I read Bonnie’s name stories for her babies today and I just knew I had to play along. That and I didn’t have anything much in mind for today’s requisite post, so…c’est la baby names.

Starting out our line up of all star Catholic names we have:

Joseph Kolbe

Joey, as he is more frequently called, was named to honor the patron saint of our courtship and engagement and the foster father of Jesus, St. Joseph, and a favorite saint of Dave’s – and now one of mine – St. Maximilian Kolbe. Also known as the priest of Auschwitz. Aka prisoner 16670. He died in the camp after offering himself in place of a father who called out for mercy for his children’s sakes when he was randomly selected for exaction by Nazi guards looking to make an example for the general population. Fr. Kolbe was sentenced to death by starvation, but after weeks without food, he was still alive and still offering encouragement to his fellow prisoners. The Nazis finally killed him. Cool fact: the family of the man whose place he took was present in St. Peter’s Square years later when JPII beatified him (the precursor to canonization, or recognized sainthood.)

Another cool story: while traveling in Italy (the first time) we chatted up a capuchin Franciscan from Poland in a restaurant in Assisi of all places, and as he bounced 7-month-old Joey on his knee, we proudly told him that his middle name was Kolbe “for Father Max.” The happy friar shot us a look of horror and asked in disbelief You took his family name?! So I guess the American trend of assuming surnames is not kosher the world over.

Next up:

John Paul Francis

So after the aforementioned trip to Italy, where we attended the beatification of Bl. John Paul II (soon to be St. JPII!) and profoundly encountered the spirit of St. Francis in Assisi, we returned home and found out we were expecting this little dude a couple months later. We tossed around a couple other names but when he arrived, we both looked at each other and said, oh, this is John Paul, right? Fun fact: to complete the papal trifecta, John Paul Francis was named almost a year before Pope Francis was elected, but not before Pope Benedict took him in his arms and laid one on him. If this kid isn’t destined for the seminary, I don’t know who is…

Bringing us finally to:

Genevieve Therese
This little sweetie was the only baby whose sex we discovered in utero, but we still hemmed and hawed over her name pretty much until she was placed on my chest. Genevieve is a nod to a sometimes nickname from childhood when my dad would substitute the french version of Jennifer, and she is also the patron saint of Paris. Therese is my favorite female saint, and it just seemed right and beautiful to pair two such lovely names together. So she’s our little flower. And she has 8 e’s in her full name. So you’re welcome, sweetheart. Good luck with roll call. Fun fact: we thought we were being a tiny bit unusual without being actually, you know, unusual with this name, and in secular circles we for sure get that reaction, but no sooner had the ink dried on her birth certificate than we discovered not one but two fellow FUS alums with Genevieve’s of their own. And not just Genevieve, but Genevieve Therese. Both of them. One born less than 3 weeks after ours. Go figure.
So there you have it. The moniker medley for family Uebbing. Thanks to Kathryn for giving me something to post about for day 3.


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