Matthew and Janette were veterans on CatholicMatch. So much so that they were here when it wasn’t even called CatholicMatch. In 2003 when they met online, the site was known as St. Raphael’s (so named for the archangel who is the patron saint of singles).
A little geographic confusion helped the first online exchanges. When Janette contacted Matthew, he noticed her profile was marked “PHI” for location. For the man in St. Paul, Minn., it was a little long-distance to go to Philadelphia, but he was open to considering it…only later did he realize the abbreviation stood for the Philippines.
The mistake proved providential. He wrote and asked if she was interested in getting to know him. “The next day I received a wonderful message from a very kind lady,” he recalled. “I was struck by her kindness…I fell in love with her even before I knew what she looked like!”
Matthew didn’t rule out Janette because she didn’t have a profile picture. And Janette willingly shared a photo with him when it became apparent there was an interest in talking.
Janette and Matthew employed all the tools of modern technology to develop their international relationship. They used Skype and were able to talk every day and truly get to know one other.
The relationship didn’t follow the linear pattern that many success stories here do. It did not go from meeting to falling in love to getting married. There were trials and disappointments along the way. But the happy ending remained the same. Three years after their first online encounter they were married in Manila and now live in Minneapolis.
Both of them questioned whether or not they were supposed to be married. By the time they did reach the altar, Matthew was 44 and Janette was 37. “We were truly wondering if we would ever find the right one,” Matthew told CatholicMatch. “God has truly blessed us!” Indeed, He has.
And let’s not overlook the work and persistence the couple showed in cooperating with His blessings to bring it about. Trials, disappointments and even the Pacific Ocean couldn’t stand between this couple finding happiness with each other.