Often we are not given names accidentally. My first name, William, was given in honor of my mother’s father, her brother, and my father’s uncle (and unknown to them, William McKane who came from Ireland to Philadelphia during the Irish potato famine). “William” is derived from a Germanic word, meaning “strong of will, resolute,” as in “William the Conqueror.” In the monastery, my Abbot gave me the name “Paul” when I was clothed as a Benedictine. Paul, meaning “short,” was given in honor of St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. My last name, McKane, is Mac-Ian, “Son of John.”
And your names? What do they mean? Did your parents perhaps draw your name out of a hat, or give thought to the choice? What were they thinking in naming you? Were not many Catholic girls were named “Mary,” “Maria,” or “Marie,” or equivalents to honor the Blessed Mother? Many men were called “John,” derived from Hebrew meaning, “Gift,” as in “gift of God.” I wonder about names. What does “Nevala” mean in Finnish, or “Sweeney” in Irish?
I found the following in Wikipedia: “Sweeney is a surname that is in most cases, of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic Mac Suibhne meaning "son of Suibhne". The Gaelic personal name, Suibhne, was originally a byname meaning "pleasant" or "well-disposed.” Hence, the Sweeney family line was so named for being the child of a well-disposed, pleasant forefather.
Quite often, a Christian has protested to me, “Why do people call you priests `Father’? Do Catholics not know that Jesus said, “Call no one on earth your father?” The problem here is not that Catholics are disobeying the LORD. What Jesus was saying means: “Realize that no one on earth is your father in the sense of your ultimate origin. You belong first and foremost to God.” So, “Call no one your father” means “Do not consider anyone but God the one to whom you are ultimately responsible.” On the other hand, do not most of us call our earthly father “Father,” or “Dad,” or “Pa?” Jesus no doubt had a loving name for his father on earth, St. Joseph. But we know that Jesus addressed God as “Abba,” a term connoting strong affection and attachment, much like “My Papa” or “Mama” would in English.