Hi there! I love a good baby name story, so I wanted to come on here and share with you all the meaning behind our son’s name, Joseph Fulton. As Catholics, we see immense value in honoring Saints through our children’s names for several reasons. First, we believe that the prayers of that particular Saint are invoked when their name is said. Secondly, we feel this gives our children a patron, or role model, who they can look to whilst striving to live a holy life. Lastly, we feel it’s a beautiful way to honor the holy men and women who have gone before us and who intercede for us in a special way.
Joseph Fulton feels like a particularly timely name, and after much prayer and discernment, we felt God was truly leading us to this name that He had ordained for our little baby boy.
Last year, my husband Dominic and I consecrated ourselves to St. Joseph through Father Donald Calloway’s book. In completing our consecration, we learned so much about this incredibly powerful and beautiful Saint who I had never given much thought to before. We then prayed a Novena to the Holy Family, and conceived this baby shortly after. From the very beginning it felt like St. Joseph was an intercessor for this pregnancy and child. Admittedly, my husband is the one who first mentioned that this child’s name would be Joseph. Since I was very young I’ve been partial to another boy’s name, but Dominic continued to assure me that he felt God placing it on his heart that this baby’s name was to be Joseph.
So, I took this name to prayer. I similarly felt a pull toward St. Joseph during this pregnancy, but I asked God to give me a sign that this baby was to be named Joseph. Shortly after, my husband’s grandfather, a very spiritual and prayerful man, blurted out at dinner one night that this baby’s name would be Joseph. Most of the family members around the table that night don’t remember him uttering these words, but his statement struck me, and at this time we didn’t know the baby’s gender yet. We would go on to find out we were having a boy just a few days before Dom’s grandpa passed, and one of the last conversations we had with him was telling him that he was correct, this baby is a boy. He left this world being the only other person who knew what this baby’s name would be. Around the same time, Pope Francis declared it the “Year of St. Joseph” and it was yet another confirmation that the Lord gave me that this was to be our child’s name. Joseph is also a family name for us. One particular connection we have to the name Joseph is Dominic’s uncle, a carpenter, who was a strong witness in his life and whose tragic death was a catalyst for my husband pursuing his Catholic faith years ago.
His middle name, Fulton, is for the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, an incredibly timely Saint and a dear Heavenly friend of mine. Fulton Sheen was a holy priest and televangelist who boldly proclaimed the Truths of the Catholic Church and fearlessly warned against evils like socialism and communism. My husband and I felt very called that Fulton was to be our son’s middle name, but I took this to prayer as well. I had asked God once again to reveal to me that this was the name he intended for this child. He showed me this was His will through my husband. Dominic has a Fulton Sheen rosary from Shop In Via, which was gifted to us by our dear friend Christian who founded this ministry in which he creates these incredible rosaries and also donates rosaries to the homeless. Dominic prays this rosary every day, but he had misplaced it for quite some time. We looked everywhere and couldn’t find it. Shortly after I asked God to confirm the name Fulton for me, my mother in law told us she had found Dom’s Fulton Sheen rosary in her car! I took this as yet another little sign, a wink from Heaven, and confirmation that this was the name God had planned for this child. This rosary came with us to the hospital, and we prayed on those beads the day the was born.
One last sign from God came when we decided to do a Traditional baptism for our child. In the past year, we’ve really begun to embrace Traditional Catholicism and we decided it was important for us to baptize this child in the Old Rite. Traditionally, baptisms were done very soon after the child was born. So, we contacted our parish to request two potential dates that would be dependent on his birth date. We went with the two Saturdays following my due date, which was Sunday, April 25th. These two dates happened to be quite appropriate, as the first Saturday, May 1st, is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and the following Saturday, May 8th, is Venerable Fulton Sheen’s birthday! Our little Joseph will be baptized and welcomed into the Catholic Church on Saturday, May 1st, on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. This day begins the month of May, a month dedicated to Our Lady, and it’s also the anniversary of our consecration to St. Joseph that we completed one year ago. God consistently reminds me He is always, always in the details.
As I said earlier, both of these Saints felt quite timely for our son born in the year 2021. With a seemingly crumbling culture and a Church in crisis, their examples and their intercession are needed now more than ever. St. Joseph was a family man who lived a quiet life of service to God within the walls of his home. Venerable Fulton Sheen embraced his call to religious vocation and boldly and unceasingly proclaimed Truth whilst speaking against evils that continue to plague our society today. Joseph of Nazareth was head of the holy family and earthly father to Our Lord, Jesus. Fulton J. Sheen was an Archbishop and televangelist, a Catholic American voice heard around the world. They were from vastly different times, but each managed to change the world in their own way. Our hope is that they intercede for our son, their namesake — and for our world as well.