PITTSBURGH - Valentine's weekend was anything but lonely for hundreds of Catholic singles who flocked to Chicago to attend the National Catholic Singles Conference sponsored by CatholicMatch.com.
The conference, now in its fourth year, provided ample opportunities to socialize, pray and learn from high-profile speakers and practical panels. One panel examined online dating and featured CatholicMatch.com co-founder Brian Barcaro, a regular conference attendee. "It's so heartening to meet like-minded people," he said. "We always enjoy meeting and interacting with both people who use our service as well as those who never heard of us. It provides us with a chance to find out what single are thinking about even issues unrelated to online dating. We want to do what we can to serve the single Catholic community as a whole."
A large percentage of attendees were CatholicMatch.com users, many of whom had RSVPed on the dating site, swapping travel tips and requests for shared cab rides. "This is what we do," Barcaro said. "We do not exist online only. CatholicMatch.com encourages and facilitates in-person meetings all the time." The back and forth between on- and offline contact is a great way to get to know someone well, Barcaro said. Throughout the year singles across the country host "CM Get Togethers" coordinated on the site. They range from papal visits to chili cook-offs.
CatholicMatch.com will sponsor the next National Catholic Singles Conference, slated for Oct. 30-Nov. 1, in Clearwater Beach, Fla.