Dropping the mask

This nom de plume I’ve been using, Paul Pilgrim, is getting a little burdensome and inconvenient.

Initially, while I was in the process of converting, my blog was semi-anonymous, only known to a few, select, trusted friends, and anybody else who randomly happened by. I was kind of timid of having to defend my nascent faith before I was ready. My blog then was known as Catholicus nascens, a “nascent Catholic,” or “A Catholic being born.”

I also realized that I had a problem with pride, and wanted these writings to be more about Christ and His Church than about me. So “Peregrinus” it was: a Pilgrim, a Stranger, a Foreigner. That sums up how I’ve felt all my life: wandering, never knowing where I was going, never fitting in anywhere. I felt an immediate connection when I learned that the Catholic Church calls itself a “pilgrim church”: for we are all pilgrims, sojourners in this life, seeking after our salvation.

After I entered the Church, and I became The Lonely Pilgrim (realizing that “catholicusnascens” was a mouthful and a handful), I changed my name here to Paul Pilgrim. Paul is my confirmation name; a pilgrim is what I am. But now that I’ve come out of the blog-closet to my friends on Facebook and Twitter, the nom de plume requires an extra step of explanation: “Here’s a link to my blog, and oh yeah, Paul Pilgrim is me.” And then I have to explain why I call myself that. And rather than being humble, it feels a bit pretentious. My Twitter has my real name on it anyway, so any alias is useless and confusing. I was only keeping it because I liked the name; but yeah, I am just me, not Paul Pilgrim.

So hi. I’m Joseph.

3 thoughts on “Dropping the mask

  1. Well, nice to meet you! I was also writing anonymously till I started RCIA. My reluctance to be named came from fear that what I had to say was irrelevant, uninteresting or uneducated. The decision to use my name came down to a matter of whether I was willing to be “found” or not. Like you, only a few friends knew at first. Was I ready to stand by what I write (especially as a new Catholic)? It was a little unnerving for a while, but I think it was worth it. I’m glad to have found your blog & am enjoying your study & insight!

  2. Being that it’s Father’s Day, I think it’s timely that you’ve let us know your real name. Joseph is a great name!

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