On a Saturday in November, shortly before Notre Dame gets ready to kick off, what could be more romantic than a success story about two students from South Bend? Thus begins the story of Will and Annalee.
Will and Annalee’s story isn’t a case of couple just meeting in campus with a little electronic help from CatholicMatch. Though both were in grad school at Notre Dame, neither was doing their work at the hallowed grounds in northern Indiana. Will was in even more hallowed grounds, studying in Rome for his degree in architecture. Annalee was working towards her law degree on a summer internship in North Carolina.
Will, whose hometown is in Pittsburgh, was homesick and on a whim had signed up for CatholicMatch. But being overseas, he hadn’t gotten active and was inclined to let his subscription expire. Annalee wasn’t a member at all—her sister and a friend had conspired to buy her the gift of a subscription—and create a profile, and even contact a few guys under her name.
One of the guys that was contacted by “Annalee” was Will. In reading this story, it’s humorous in hindsight, but in the interests of full disclosure, please don’t try this at home for anyone you know. It is a violation of CatholicMatch rules, but Annalee herself was honest from the start and no one can deny the good will of her sister and friend.
This was in August and both were preparing for a return to campus for the fall semester. Will, in fact, was already in back in Pittsburgh. Annalee got the question of mistaken identity cleared up and they enjoyed some long e-mail exchanges that set the stage for a coffee date when they got back to South Bend.
The date at Starbucks ushered in a semester of dating and continuing to learn about each other’s interests. Thanksgiving brought the threshold moment. Not because they planned to spend it with each other. Both planned to return to their Pennsylvania and North Carolina homes. But Annalee was too sick to drive, so Will decided to drive her the 14 hours back to Raleigh
By the following spring, it was time for Annalee to get her law degree, while Will had another semester in Rome. For her 25th birthday Will gave her a ticket to come and see him in the Eternal City.
Annalee spent a week in Rome and Will brought her to the Trevi Fountain. Shortly before they’d met on CatholicMatch, Will had thrown two coins into the fountain—one was so he could return to Rome. The other was so that he could bring the woman he would marry with him. Shortly after midnight he made sure the second one become a reality when he proposed to Annalee and she accepted.
The couple was married at Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart last month and is now settled in Washington D.C, building their lives together.