A friendly how to e-mail Fr. Z reminder!


Folks, I literally get hundreds of e-mails a day.  o{]:¬/

If you write to me, please keep a few things in mind.

1) If you don’t get a reponse, that is not a slight. o{]:¬)
2) If you don’t put anything in the Subject line, I will delete it unopened. o{]>:¬(
3) Do not put something vague in the Subject line, such as, "Hi!" or "I have a question" – I will delete those unopened. o{]>:¬(
4) If you send news that comes from the internet, please send a description of it, a link, and why you think it is important. o{]:¬)
5) If you send a document, and it is either a photo or scan of a page, or a pdf, please send a transcript – for the love of God and me, your neighbor. o{]<:¬(
6) If you send it, I can post it.  o{]:¬)   I usually try to edit out things that could identify you too easily.
7) I won’t help you do your homework, or pick a confirmation name.  o{]:¬x   If you want "name your baby" advice, pick a saint, spell the name normally, and go with it!

Your e-mails help keep people informed.  You make a good contribution.  But, I simply have too many to deal with, so help me out a little.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fr. Z, you are such a bright light in a world that seems so dark. You are humorous, serious, dedicated, and you don’t mind being up front with everyone. It is so nice to be able to come into your blog and know that I can get the truth and get a laugh as well. As St. Teresa of Avila said, “O Lord, save us from long faced saints.”

    If I ever send an email to you I will certainly abide by your rules.

    God bless you

  2. Lindsay says:

    LOL at number 7. It seems that you must get a lot of name-your-baby e-mails for you to mention it. Not meant as a slight to those who have sought your advice. I’m sure you would offer tasteful ideas if you had the time, but it made me chuckle to think that it apparently occurred to more than one person to ask you!

  3. Tim Ferguson says:

    Whenever anyone asks me for a suggestion for a baby name, I point out that St. Epiphanius of Salamis doesn’t have nearly enough young boys invoking his name in patronage, and St. Ia would gladly share her name if it’s a little girl.

    People have stopped asking me for suggestions…

  4. Geoffrey says:

    Too many rules. No more emails from me. Just kidding! Would the breaking of these rules constitute a mortal or a venial sin? ;-)

  5. Flambeaux says:


    That is pure genius.

  6. Mary Rose says:

    Thank you for the reminders, although they came before I sent mine. :-} (My apologies!) The “ASK FATHER Question Box” doesn’t seem to work for me. (I use Mozilla’s Firefox browser) However, no worries. I posted my question on the Catholic Online Forum and have been receiving some interesting comments.

    I was naive in my “noob” status. I had no idea about the volume of emails you receive but now I know. God bless you as you continue to be shepherd to so many. (friendly wave toward the direction of Rome)

  7. Anna says:

    Well thanks for words of advice, I have not received answer and thought maybe my question was inappropriate..

  8. Rachel says:

    Tim, your idea’s been taken– I know a middle-aged Asian woman named Epiphania. She was born on January 6.

    Personally, I favor Coatlaxopeuh for a girl.

  9. William Radovich says:

    Father Z: Very easy for a Christian baby boy’s name: St. John,
    the Revelator, the Beloved Disciple, the Theologian, the Mystic;
    After all, do we not live in the Millenium of the Lord? Many
    saints with this name are needed for the peoople of God!
    Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis!

  10. A says:

    Fr. Z: I submit for your consideration an unusual pastoral situation:

    A boy has chosen his confirmation name as…Joan. As in Joan of Arc. She is his favourite Saint and he feels quite firm on the point. His parents support him. There is no homosexual or political subtext in play.

    What say you?

  11. L says:

    I don’t think that there is any problem with taking an opposite-gendered saint as your confirmation saint, so long as it is not done for some skewed political/moral statement (which you have already said that this boy is not doing). If anything, I think that saying that one ought to take a same-gendered saint’s name could lead to the false idea that one is primarily taking a name, rather than asking a saint’s special patronage. That is: the idea the primary focus is a confirmaiton name rather than a confirmation saint.

    Of course, I could be biased because my sister’s confirmation name is Joseph. But it seems to me that the young man you bring up is simply asking the special patronage of a saint who inspires him, which is a beautiful thing, rather than somehow trying to imply that he is female. I would see no more problem with taking a opposite-gendered saint as your confirmation saint than I would with praying a novena to that saint.

    Just my two cents,

  12. RBrown says:

    A boy has chosen his confirmation name as…Joan. As in Joan of Arc. She is his favourite Saint and he feels quite firm on the point. His parents support him. There is no homosexual or political subtext in play.
    What say you?
    Comment by A

    It is/was not uncommon in France for men to have Marie as their middle names. And at one time Trappists took Marie as their first names, e.g., Thomas Merton was Fr M. Louis.

  13. He could just take “John”, I suppose.

Comments are closed.