With roots in Middle Ages, Holy Name Society seeks to broaden appeal
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CNS) — How does a Catholic men’s society founded in the Middle Ages and dedicated to the name of Jesus shake off a negative image that it’s outdated? Southwest chapters of the Holy Name Society, which originated in the 1200s, are working to find out. “The Holy Name Society is something of the past but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. Respect for the name of the Lord and respect for the church is deteriorating,” said Msgr. Francis Xavier Eggert, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Albuquerque. He welcomed the reintroduction of the Holy Name Society at his parish last year. “I’m happy to do anything to enhance the spirituality of this parish,” said Msgr. Eggert. The society is entering its second year of reintroduction at his parish with more than a dozen members. But, said parish coordinator Leo D’Amour, “you can’t always go by the numbers alone. Jesus started with 12. … If someone wants to increase their prayer life, then joining is one way to do it.” The national Holy Name Society Web site, www.holynamesociety.info, provides information about the organization as well as how to establish a Holy Name Society chapter.