had been on CatholicMatch for almost three years back in 2006 and
honestly, I was at a point in my life where I was not even
contemplating marriage anymore. I assumed that it was not my destiny to marry; that God must have other plans for me, so I decided to discern religious life. I was in the midst of investigating several orders and had been in discussions with a few. In the meantime, I continued to practice one of my greatest passions…debating politics! Catholic Match
provides a great outlet in their forums and I found myself posting
often in, what is affectionately known as, “the war room”, aka, St.
So, here I was, minding my own business, posting in St. Thomas Moore when along comes some tough guy accusing me
of being, of all things, a FEMINIST! Well, I had to set him straight a
bit…we went back and forth via the forums discussing the topic at hand
until finally the thread was closed due to size. Well, I was in no way
about to allow him the last word (not a BIT of feminism in me at all)
so I shot him an email to further explain my position.
you, I NEVER initiated contact with men, as I believe it is the man’s
place to take the lead and as I stated above, I was not interested in
seeking a relationship any longer. In
any case, I was replying to a post and I just had to speak my peace.
Of course, that prompted a reply from him, which then brought another
from me, etc., etc., so on and so on.
to say, in the process, we discovered we have a great deal in common
(scary as that may be to some) and actually enjoyed our easy banter
back and forth on the issues we don’t exactly see eye to eye on.
addition, however, this gentleman was in the process of “researching”
faith. He had been to a variety of different church services,
Protestant, Lutheran, Episcopal, and even one of those
“non-denominational” types…but he kept finding that the only service
that made sense and felt “real” was the Catholic Mass. Yes…this
gentleman joined Catholic Match (CM), not as a Catholic…but as someone
looking for answers in regards to the faith.
course, our political discussions eventually led us to discussions of
faith and he had many, many questions. Questions that perhaps a few
years back, I would not have been able to adequately answer…but since I
had been on CM and participated in the forums, I found I learned a
great deal and have grown in my own faith. Participating
in the forums, particularly the Apologetic forums, where the faith is
discussed with not only much emotion, but also with extensive knowledge
by some CMer’s, provides a great learning atmosphere. I
found that many of the discussions in those forums prompted me to seek
my own answers and research our faith further…and all of which, helped
me guide Tony in his research as well.
Eventually, Tony and I moved from CM emails and chat sessions to phone calls. Both
of us anxiously anticipated each new conversation we would share and
the phone calls began to get longer and longer, sometimes with us on
the phone for six hours! This
went on for several months and we decided that at the end of six
months, if we were still as excited to talk with one another and still
were enjoying learning about each other that we would meet in person. We
didn’t actually pick six months on purpose, it just sort of worked
out that way; as we planned to spend a weekend together, Tony coming
out to California to visit me from Chicago. We picked our weekend based on a shared interest, air shows. The first weekend that October was the Mira Mar Air Show and we thought it would be a great event for us to share together. At
least we would have lots of things to discuss as we would spend the day
looking at all the planes and watching them fly about. Tony had never been to an air show and I basically was raised at them, with a father that was a pilot. So, it was all set…the first weekend in October, if we were still chatting, Tony would come visit.
Sure enough, we were, he did and it was the most wonderful weekend. Honestly, it couldn’t have gone better. Meeting in person was just sort of a formality. We
had learned so much about each other already and had such a comfortable
and wonderful friendship that seeing each other for the first time was
just very natural and easy.
From there, of course, the story is much longer, but basically…we promised to visit each other as often as possible. Thankfully,
I had a job that allowed me to travel and since I worked from home, it
didn’t matter where my “home” was…so I was able to visit Tony quite
often without worrying about taking time off.
then, Tony and I have come to discover we have similar thoughts on how
to raise a family and what we desire for our future, we share similar
beliefs, values and ideals in pretty much all of life’s topics, we are
first and foremost great friends and most of all, we both understand
that without God we won’t be able to achieve anything, nor will we want
called me one day, shortly after our first visit, to tell me that he
had just come in from his first RCIA meeting and asked if I would be
his sponsor. What a wonderful surprise that was and what an honor for me. Tony was confirmed through RCIA at the Easter vigil, 2008.
Our relationship continued to grow and we knew God had something wonderful planned for us. Together, we took time to always put God first. We would say the Rosary together at night via the phone. We said Novenas together and we often discussed our thoughts on the Gospels. We made a vow to always let God lead us and recited together often, “Jesus, I trust in You”.
We both experienced a great deal during our three-year courtship. After eight years with my company, I was laid off. Tony, being in the commercial construction industry, was in and out of work several times. We both own our homes, but both of us were dealt a blow when the housing industry dropped in value. After
much contemplation and discussion, we finally made the decision that
either our relationship was going to end or we had to move forward. Both of us being out work, traveling to visit one another was just no longer an option. So…last May, I flew to Chicago to help Tony rent his condo, pack him up and drive across country to live out here in California. We took a big chance, but honestly, had nothing to lose…so we once again, placed our trust in Jesus and let Him lead the way.
We were very fortunate to find wonderful tenants, almost immediately after we decided to rent Tony’s condo. We packed up and had a very pleasant journey together, where we learned even more about each other along the way. Tony
moved into my house (don’t get excited now…my mom lives here too and
Tony had his own room!) and believe it or not, Tony, who had been out
of work for the past six months, found a job in less than a month out
here and has been working fulltime ever since, in the industry most
heavily hit, nationwide and in particular here in CA, by unemployment! If that’s not a miracle, we don’t know what is!
Obviously, since Tony moved, we knew our relationship would be moving forward again, but were unsure of when or how. Again, with me being out of work, money was tight and finances have been a big worry. But once again, we placed our trust in our Lord and in September of last year, Tony asked me “formally” to marry him. Of course, I was thrilled and immediately said yes and then the planning began!!
We picked our wedding date, based on a couple of things, but one of the biggest being that February 6th is the birthday of one of the men we admire most, our hero, Ronald Reagan. We decided to get married at my family parish in San Diego, where three of my brothers were married as well. We were blessed to have a good friend marry us, Fr. Bill and our nuptial Mass was very traditional and simply beautiful. The whole day, for us, was an absolute dream come true.
We thank Catholic Match for being a part of our story. Obviously, we know we never would have met otherwise. We continue to place our trust in Jesus, as I am still out of work. But
we know that God has led us this far and as long as we continue to
follow His path we will continue to be blessed abundantly.
As for any advice we have, well…be patient, be honest, be yourself and most of all, be with God, always. Praise Him for all that you have…ask Him for all that you desire…and then trust in Him to deliver it! Matthew 7: 7-9
Postscript, August 2010: Tony and I have been blessed once again…as a new little one is on the way, due March 19, 2011…we are simply thrilled. Its a life long dream for both of us…we are forever grateful to CM and most of all to our Heavenly Father for blessing us so abundantly!
Thanks to everyone for all the lovely comments on our success story! It can happen, as long as you keep the faith and always pray to follow His will!!!