ILOILO City, April 8, 2016– A Catholic priest advised parents to choose Christian names for their children at baptism.
On the patronal feast of the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer in Leganes, Iloilo, on April 5, Parish Priest Msgr. Jesus Enojo reminded the faithful of the significance of the baptismal name as taught by the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
To underline the importance of the baptismal rite, Enojo explained, “The sacrament of baptism is conferred “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
It is in baptism that the Christian receives his name in the Church, he said.
A baptismal ceremony begins significantly with the minister asking the parents, “What name do you give your child?” This name, he said, “is given before God.”
“The Catechism says the child’s name and God’s name are thereby linked as God calls each one by name. Everyone’s name is sacred. The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it,” the priest elaborated.
The season Easter is the season of “fiestas” in many towns in the Philippines. It is especially in these occasions, the time of the year when family members and town mates get together, that parents take advantage of to have their newborn children baptized.
Enojo lamented that the tradition of giving Christian names to children at baptism has been getting gradually lost in practice among Catholic families and it is in this connection why he brought this to the attention of the faithful.
Pray, think deeply
The pastor cautioned parents and godparents that they must pray and think deeply before giving a name to the child on the day of his baptism.
“The choice of name, he advised, should not be done by chance or whim but should communicate to the child and others one of the essential realities of the sacrament of baptism and the Christian life.”
“The Christian name signifies that in baptism every baptized person acquires the character of a child of God,” he stressed.
Choice of Christian names
One of the most lasting gifts that parents can give to a child is a name, for this Enojo specified some criteria from the Catechism in choosing a Christian name for a child.
“The baptismal name can be the name of a saint, that is, of a disciple who has lived a life of exemplary fidelity to the Lord. The patron saint provides a model of charity; we are assured of his intercession.”
“A name can also express a Christian virtue or a Christian mystery, he added. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)