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

When you read through the success stories of CatholicMatch, you find countless couples who seem to be more than just good matches—they seem to be truly meant for each other. Perhaps nowhere has that been the case more powerfully than with Emily and Park, a couple from Fairfield, Ohio.

Both had gone through excruciatingly tough marriages prior to meeting each other, albeit for very different reasons. Park’s was marked by tragedy. His wife had cancer and went through 10 long years of chemotherapy and radiation every step of the way, passing away in his arms. Emily suffered through a marriage to a husband, who had what can be delicately called “issues.”

Neither could have been faulted for just moving on with a single life. Forty one year old Emily had two boys, currently aged 11 & 8, to raise and her early ventures back into the dating world had produced conflict.

“I was dating guys who were Christian, but not Catholic,” she said. In one case, a man she was interested in said she could attend the local non-denominational “mega-church” with him, replete with its rock bands and cookies and cake afterward, but under no circumstances would he go to Mass with her. Another was even more blunt—if they were to continue dating, Emily would need to leave the Catholic Church.

“I was proud of who I was,” Emily told CatholicMatch. She went on a singles retreat to help sort things out and did an exercise called “The Labyrinth” to help sort things out. As she explained it, you walk through the labyrinth and when you’re at the center you tell God your problem. On the way out you figure out a solution. When Emily emerged from The Labyrinth a decision was made—“I will only date Catholic men.”

Emily felt CatholicMatch, with its seven faith questions helped get her off on the right start. 50-year-old Park liked the site for its structure. “The openness of the program—from the chat rooms to being able to contact anyone was nice,” he said. “We were able to start forging a friendship.”

Family was at the heart of a friendship that was becoming much more. “I believe when you marry someone you marry the family too,” Park told CatholicMatch, invoking his Italian heritage and its proud embrace of La Famiglia. As for Emily’s boys, they loved Mom’s new boyfriend and at one point where jumping up and down on her bed with the call to “Marry Park! Marry Park!”

For Park, the opportunity to embrace children of his own was a dream come true, one the tragic circumstances of his first marriage had denied him and his late spouse. For Emily, her boys needed a father figure and here was someone almost ready-made, ready to step in. “I still can’t believe I’m a stepdad,” Park said. The simple joys of parenting are ones he doesn’t take for granted, from videotaping a school performance to making lunches.

Their engagement didn’t end the challenges. Park works as a bio-medical engineer and had planned to move by Emily when he found a job, which would presumably be around the wedding. That he found a job even quicker was surely good fortune, but it presented a logistical issue. He needed to move in right away and they weren’t going to sleep in the same bed. He took one of the boys’ rooms and Emily’s eight-year old son stayed with her. He also left behind five weeks of vacation time which meant that the honeymoon they took lasted precisely one day.

Emily sees it as more evidence of her new husband’s willingness to do whatever it takes for his family. They were able to get the wedding date moved up to last Saturday, December 17 and restore normal living arrangements in the house and now they are underway with their lives together. Emily and Park both suffered a lot, but both worked through it and found each other. They’re a perfect match and this Christmas will be an extra special one in Cincinnati.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Charles-788994 December 25, 2011

    Just curious how others feel about being single during the holidays and in general?
    As of now I am going to be the only single person in my group of friends who is not getting married, dating someone or about to get married.
    It is cool for now because their ladies are awesome and love me, it worries me though the day one of them has a kid because that will be the end of hanging out. So, I am fine with it for now as long as they keep the pda to a minimum! lol.
    I would like to find a nice lady but it seems hard to right now as I am starting my own business and have plenty to do. But I want their to be balance. Anyway, I hope this commentary makes sense and comments would be appreciated.

  2. Elizabeth-753085 December 25, 2011

    Great Story! Congratulations!! sounds like he is certainly a keeper. This is a great example of how you can make it work and make time for who and what is important. God Bless and Best to you both!

  3. Candace-587406 December 26, 2011

    I have been in the same boat when a date pressured me to leave the Catholic faith, in order to become Protestant. I had to let that relationship end sadly, and now I hope to date and marry a Catholic man.

  4. Jacqueline-198 December 26, 2011

    Congratulations and many blessings to the Happy Couple!

  5. Alexandra-549295 December 27, 2011

    Congrats to both and more blessings on your new life together.

  6. Helaena-743478 December 28, 2011

    Inspiring !

  7. Anna-671172 December 28, 2011

    Beautiful story. The pursuit of love can be sometimes extremely hard, daunting, filled with dissapointment and heartache…but the Lord allows this kind of trials so that when love finally comes our way it will be cherished and treasured.

    God bless you Emily and Park

  8. Sarah-741007 January 1, 2012

    Congratulations to you both. Have a blessed life together.

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