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Have you met your spouse, deepened your faith or found support on CatholicMatch? Share Your Story

Joanne had mixed feelings about joining CatholicMatch. It wasn’t that the idea of online dating bothered her — in fact, she’d found her former husband through a dating site back in 1988. He passed away in 2004, and she wondered if she should be that active in seeking to marry again.

“Am I forcing it?” she wondered, feeling as though too persistent a search might be trying to force God’s will.

Her friends intervened and moved her toward actively seeking again. Joanne, in her late 50s, was one of the youngest members in a retirement community, and one of her friends saw an ad for CatholicMatch in the parish bulletin. Still another began going out with someone she met on CatholicMatch. Joanne decided to set up a profile.

John’s background was quite different.

“I lived in a Catholic monastery for 20 years,” he said.

As a non-vowed monk, it was determined that he was being called to live on the outside, so to speak. After being out of circulation for two decades, he was looking for ways to develop a social network. He originally joined a site aimed to general social activities and that started a path that led him to CatholicMatch.

Joanne’s search parameters were broad, covering age 49-66. That just covered John, who celebrated his 50th birthday shortly after joining. Both of them saw quick results in their time online. Joanne went out with someone her first two weekends. John was happy to receive a flurry of emotigrams.

Without a trace of ego and a good sense of humor, he recalled, “I was the hot new kid on the block.”

Ironically, his own search parameters would have narrowly missed Joanne, but she was able to find him.

He liked her profile immediately, finding her to be very devout, with a commitment to daily Mass and Adoration. After some correspondence, Joanne forthrightly asked John if he would like to get together sometime. It was a straightforward approach he appreciated, as neither one had any desire to find penpals — they were looking to meet people in the real world.

Her hometown was situated on his way to work, so they could conveniently meet for dinner. The eight-year age gap was no stumbling block, although John needed to adjust to the idea that Joanne was a grandmother. “I skipped a step,” he laughed, noting his jump from bachelor to grandfather overnight.

The first date, like most first dates, were “background checks,” as they just got to know the basics about each other. The next time out proved to be a real blast — literally. They went to the Shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral, spending 14 hours together between the drive across Florida and the time at the launch.

It wasn’t without its humor either.

On the way back, John feared he was about to run out of gas at a point when they were lost and he couldn’t see a gas station. He was convinced she would see it as the oldest ploy in the book.

A big turning point in their relationship came a month later. Joanne was going to be spending three weeks with her son and grandchildren. “John was ahead of me,” Joanne told CatholicMatch. “I felt compelled to tell him I’m not on the same page emotionally.” She assured John she did like him, but that she couldn’t guarantee she would be able to call and talk while she was gone, given the time and energy she spent on her grandchildren. By the third night she picked up the phone called him and they talked 2-3 hours a night for the rest of the trip.

And they both knew they would end up getting married.

John proposed to Joanne in her kitchen, an ironic venue, given that she doesn’t cook. “My favorite thing to make is reservations,” she said.

After six months of marriage prep they were married this February.

In looking back at their journey through CatholicMatch, both emphasized the importance of fidelity to Catholic teachings and hoped more members would embrace the fullness of the Catholic Church. And while the success story archives are marked with members who’ve found success in long-distance relationships, John felt it important to date within a radius that allowed regular face-to-face contact.

Joanne emphasized the single greatest lesson that is universal to all success stories: the importance of openness. Both feel the targeted audience of CatholicMatch is its greatest asset. “We’re living proof.”

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10 Comments

  1. Sherrill-anne-13557 April 11, 2011

    So glad to hear there is hope for us widows.
    Wishings you guys all the best

  2. Cheryl-426667 April 15, 2011

    Good story, somewhat of an unusual match.

    • Mary-487190 April 30, 2011

      Perfectly matched at the hands of our Maker. Many Blessings Jonh and Joanne.

  3. Fran-612107 April 20, 2011

    God works in such mysterious, but wonderful ways! Many congrats, and I am a widow also and have found a wonderful man from Catholic Match…been seeing one another for 7 months now! Feels like we have known each other our whole lives, and cannot wait to continue knowing each other!

  4. John-617895 April 20, 2011

    This was truly a comment on how “very real” the opportunity is to find a mate on Catholicmatch. During the first three months all I got (except for one) was inquiries from women whom I was not the least attracted to——-and I say that with all respect to te ones who did inquire of me. So, I then LEFT catholicmatch.com. I am finishing up a very demanding semester of online graduate school (end of April) and then I am certainly going to “re join” catholicmatch.com and be patient and join for a whole year. My problem was I was not patient enough——-I didn’t wait for “God’s timing”. This story of marriage is a big reason I am going back to catholicmatch.com. I say to ANYONE who has had an experience similar to mine—-be patient as well as persistent—-wait for “God’s timing”!!!!
    John, Colorado

  5. Michele-416062 April 22, 2011

    Wonderful story. It helped greatly that they
    lived near one another. Distance can be a problem for
    those who are looking for a real relationship and not a pen pal.
    Many blessings to them and their life together.

  6. Josh-196444 April 25, 2011

    As a writer, it’s neat to see the different relationship stories come together and the different writing styles used to tell them. Good work! That’s part of the fun of the site–reading and learning about new people, ideas and relationships.

  7. Derek-391180 April 27, 2011

    It’s curious how Catholic Match articles are quick to highlight couples’ fidelity to Catholic teaching, but then Catholic Match is happy to take the money of thousands of so-called Catholics who answer, “2 of 7″, “4 of 7″, “1 or 7″ to the 7 Faith questions.
    You do a disservice to faithful Catholics, and Mother Church, when you encourage the mingling of people who reject Church teaching with those who don’t, or enable rebel Catholics to connect with others of their stripe who believe they can fashion a God, and Church, after their own making.

    • Mary-487190 April 30, 2011

      The opinion’s in the article are those of the writer and not necessarily CM’s as a whole I would think. CM is not here to judge the journey Catholics are on nor should we. Regardless of whether a person answers 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 or 7 to the 7 faith questions that does not make them not Catholic. Perhaps they are in a decernemnt period and seeking to understand. Just because someone says they are 7/7 does not mean they walk the walk. CM is providing a service and we are all adults here who are free to make our own decisions and choices of who we want to date. One never knows how they may help another draw closer to God.

      • Derek-391180 May 2, 2011

        It’s curious how Catholic Match articles are quick to highlight couples’ fidelity to Catholic teaching, but then Catholic Match is happy to take the money of thousands of so-called Catholics who answer, “2 of 7″, “4 of 7″, “1 or 7″ to the 7 Faith questions.
        You do a disservice to faithful Catholics, and Mother Church, when you encourage the mingling of people who reject Church teaching with those who don’t, or enable rebel Catholics to connect with others of their stripe who believe they can fashion a God, and Church, after their own making.

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