I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly wish Sister Rebecca a happy and blessed name day!
For anyone who isn’t aware of the custom, celebration of the ‘name day’ is an observance honoring a person on the feast day of their namesake. This tradition is still maintained in our community; in fact, each evening we pray for our sisters throughout the world who have their special day on the morrow. We have a little book that lists them all for us.
Sister Rebecca, our administrator here at St. Anne’s Guest Home, has her name day on January 23. She had always kind of liked the name, although it wasn’t the name she was born with, having a special fondness for the women of the Old Testament.
When about to enter novitiate, along with nine others, she put it on her list of three possible names she would like to have as a Sister. She did this almost haphazardly, since she knew that one of her classmates wanted it very badly for her Religious name.
Sister Rebecca recalls the whole episode with a touch of humor, to this day. The order in which the postulants were to be received had been predetermined. As the young ladies watched their classmates receive their new names, none of them were receiving what they had requested. One of the classmates kind of ‘got the giggles,’ as Sister Rebecca recalls, though they were muted because of the somber setting.
Sister Rebecca also recalled that she really didn’t know what to expect after the first several of her peers received unexpected names. To her joy, however, she was given the new name of Rebecca.
Her patroness was one of the matriarchs in the Hebrew scriptures, the wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob. Her story can be found, beginning in Genesis 24.
I hope this day is filled with blessings for our Sister, and all those who bare the same beautiful name.