In many ways, Lenny had it all, or at least close to it. The 44-year-old accountant from south Florida had a good job with a company that was growing. He had a close relationship with his family and an active life, from running marathons to making an excursion to Italy to see family.
One thing was missing—“A woman that is Catholic, with a positive outlook on life and with a passion for living,” as he described it in his CatholicMatch profile.
Ivania was ten years younger at 34, but it was fair to say that life’s challenges had given her a deeper faith. Born and raised in El Salvador, and working as an elementary school teacher, she’d gone through the pain of divorce. But on the far side of the pain was the great of her now five-year-old son. She decided to emigrate to Florida where her parents were living.
Her roots in El Salvador were what Ivania attributed her traditional moral values to, and upon her arrival in Florida, her brother suggested that she try online dating. “I was skeptical, she recalled. “Until I read an ad about CatholicMatch in the church’s weekly bulletin, I reluctantly decided to give it a try.
Lenny wasn’t as reluctant, but it was also the church bulletin that pointed him in CatholicMatch’s direction. “My mother always wanted me to meet and hopefully marry a nice Catholic woman,” he said. “Before Mass…she saw an advertisement…pointed out the website to me and I was intrigued.
It was Ivania who made the first connection online, sending Lenny a chat request. “After reading Lenny’s profile and looking at his pictures, I couldn’t help sending him a smiley,” she recalled. “That was the beginning of a beautiful romance,” she concluded, in Bogart-esque terms.
Their first dates went better than either one could have imagined. “We both knew we were a match and that God and the Virgin Mary had brought us together,” Lenny said. Indeed, the more time they spent together, the more they loved each other.
Being in each other’s presence was one proof of their love, but the pain of absence was the clincher. Ivania took a short trip back to El Salvador, but even though they continued to communicate, Lenny found being without her very difficult.
“I knew at this time that she was my soulmate and the woman I should marry,” he said candidly. During a video chat with Ivania, he told her that was a present waiting for her when she got back. One of Ivania’s friends was wise to what was in the air.
“It could be an engagement ring,” the friend told Ivania. To which the reply was a pointed “I would love that!” Ivania got what she was hoping for upon her return.
They were still difficulties to navigate. With Ivania still in the process of becoming an American citizen that haven’t been able to have a Church wedding. They had a civil ceremony first and now are in the process of planning a Catholic ceremony. “I am thankful to God and our Mother Mary for uniting us through CatholicMatch,” Ivania concluded gratefully.