|Fr. Joseph Dias, S.J.|
Father Dias quoted the pope as saying in a recent homily that “every baptized child acquires the character of the Son of God, beginning with their Christian name, an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit causes man to be born anew in the womb of the Church. A name is an indelible seal that sets children off on a lifelong journey of religious faith.”
The baptismal name should give a person a Catholic identity and it can be a powerful motivating factor, giving a “purpose and direction” to his or her life, he said. Father Dias said he has been counseling parents to give meaningful Christian names instead of naming their children after perfumes, Russian ballerinas, pop stars and regions. “Children are not merchandise or commodities or places,” said the priest, who is the assistant director of REAP (Reach Education Action Program, which aims to empower slum children and women through education), a Jesuit initiative in Mumbai. The priest said he was surprised to come across children named Aspirin, John Kennedy, Prince Albert, Ben-Hur, Brooklyn, Diana, Adelaide and Diamond.
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