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Confirmation Names

Guidelines from our bishops to help prepare candidates for the selection of a Confirmation name.

Guidelines from our Bishops

Each year, as we prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation, we receive general questions regarding the name used by the candidate. Even though Confirmations have already been celebrated in some parishes, we thought these guidelines could help in preparation of your candidates.

  • Candidates may use their baptismal name or another Christian name when receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. 
  • A Christian name would be the name of a saint or blessed.
  • Derivatives of names (Kelly for Catherine; Jenna for Genevieve) or Old Testament names are also appropriate.
  • Candidates may use their first or second names if they are Christian names, or they may select a new Christian name.
  • The candidate should know the relationship of the name to the religious Christian tradition.
  • Exceptions can be made if a particular non-Christian or family name has significant meaning for a candidate that can be articulated to the bishop.
  • Most importantly, candidates should be encouraged to learn about their patron as part of their preparation for the sacrament and should particularly focus on the virtues of their patron they wish to emulate.


Resources for Confirmation Names

There are several online lists of patron saints and confirmation names.  There are also numerous books of names and of the lives of the saints.  A candidate may use a list to generate interest in a name, or to see if their own name is a saint's name.  Then he or she should look to a more substantial biography. Following is a bibliography on saints, and several links to name lists.

Online Lists of Saints

Roman Catholic Saints by Name - American

Patron Saints by their Cause- American

Find Your Saints

Patron Saints - St. Charles Borromeo Parish

Saints & Angels - Catholic Online


Dictionary of Patron Saints' Names
by Thomas Sheehan
Our Sunday Visitor, 2001

Dictionary of Saints
by John J. Delaney
Image; Revised ed 2005

Encyclopedia of Saints
by Rosemary Guiley 
Checkmark Books, 2001

Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Saints
by Tessa Paul
Lorenz Books, 2009

New Dictionary of Saints, East and West
by Michael Walsh
Liturgical Press, 2007

Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints
by Matthew, Margaret, Stephen Bunson
Our Sunday Visitor, Revised ed, 2003

Oxford Dictionary of Saints
by David Hugh Farmer
Oxford University Press, 5th ed, 2004

A Saint for Your Name: Saints for Girls, and
A Saint for Your Name: Saints for Boys
by Albert Nevins and Ann Ball
Our Sunday Visitor, Revised ed, 1999

A Saint's Name
by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker 
Acta Publications, 2000

Complete Christian Baby Name Book:
Catholic Names of Saints, Angels & Virtues

by Nicole McGinnis
IUniverse, 2008

Our Sunday Visitor offers several collections:
Saintly Youth of Modern Times,  Saintly Women of Modern
Times,  Saintly Men of Modern Times,  Saints of North
America,  Saints of Asia,  Saints of Africa



Youth Evangelization Contacts

Doug Ulaszek
Associate Director

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408