“We make plans and God comes up with better ones,” Ilda told CatholicMatch, as she looked back on the journey that led her to Glenn. In September of 2011, 42-year-old Ilda had a plan—part of that plan was to remove her profile from CatholicMatch and give up on this whole idea of online dating. Then Glenn sent her an emotigram.
At the time, Ilda didn’t have a full membership, but she was able to send a return emotigram—albeit reluctantly, given her inclinations toward cancelling. But that reluctant emotigram was all the extra encouragement 47-year-old Glenn needed.
He wrote her a message and tried to initiate a chat. “Something in my heart kept telling me this one was different,” Ilda recalled. “Finally, I decided to make a subscription to be able to read his messages.”
Glenn and Ilda found they shared common moral values and they eventually moved their communications to Skype, so they could communicate by video. With Ilda living in her native Portugal and Glenn working in Germany, the distance was an issue, but not a decisive one. After two weeks of communication, Glenn flew to Portugal so he could meet Ilda personally.
After that first face-to-face meeting was over, the couple used their frequent Skype sessions to deepen their relationship. They even ate dinner together through video, including saying grace together and giving gratitude to God for all they had.
Glenn’s next visit was at Christmas. “I don’t have any family and Glenn, working abroad, was living alone too,” Ilda told CatholicMatch. “So that Christmas time was very special.”
They shared Christmas dinner and went to Midnight Mass, and it turned out they would have something more to celebrate together—after Mass, as they stepped out in front of the church, Glenn proposed marriage and Ilda accepted.
“God was literally taking us both by the hand bringing us together,” Ilda said. “Our relationship went for six months before we got married, which can be seen as a short period of time. But it’s not about the quantity, but rather the quality of time that went into every single day of those six months.
There were certainly challenges that had to be met in the period between their engagement and the wedding. Living in different countries presented them both with a considerable amount of paperwork and they would end up having two different ceremonies—one in Glenn’s native Seattle and the other in Ilda’s home parish in Portugal. Their five-day honeymoon was spent moving her belongings to Germany, where they now reside.
Glenn & Ilda put their faith in God from the start and were rewarded not just with finding each other, but with the expectation of their first baby. As a couple, and soon as a family, they are one by God.
“Our wedding bands have that exact inscription,” Ilda said. “He made us ONE. Our strength as a couple throughout life comes and resides on HIM.” They both encourage all CatholicMatch members to let God’s grace overshadow their journey and to follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads.