Thomas was finishing up medical school in the San Francisco area and preparing to relocate back to his native southern California. He decided to let the impending move change his approach to CatholicMatch. The 38-year-old expanded the search criteria to include Orange County, in the southern part of the Golden State. The change brought him in contact with Teresa.
It was November 2009 when they first made online contact and two weeks later, Thomas flew south to meet Teresa for her birthday. It didn’t take long for him to be convinced that the 27-year-old nurse was someone special.
“From the start I was attracted to Teresa’s pure heart,” Thomas told CatholicMatch. “She stood out to me because she was cheerful, and I could tell she was deeply loving.”
Teresa has strong musical gifts and had already sent Thomas a YouTube video of her playing the piano, and when their first date began with Mass, he was impressed by how “her beautiful and lovely singing voice glorified God.”
The joy Teresa lived and her natural goodness drew Thomas closer to her. They both began to see in each other the self-sacrificing love that Christ has for His Church—the same love that husband and wife are called to have for one other.
After courting for close to two years, Thomas and Teresa came to Gaudete Sunday mass—the third Sunday of Advent—in 2011. It’s an occasion where the priest wears a pink garment, and Teresa’s name in Vietnamese literally means pink rose. Thomas had a clear idea of the direction he would take with his plans for that day.
“I knew I must incorporate the rose garden,” Thomas told CatholicMatch. “And since Teresa and I have prayed to raise up a holy family, I knew I must include Jesus, Mary and Joseph when I asked her to marry me.” So it was at the statue of the Holy Family in the rose garden outside the church that Thomas placed a ring on the Child Jesus. Thomas proposed—with the choir practicing Christmas hymns in the background—and Teresa said yes.
This past July, Thomas and Teresa were married, and she is now expecting their first child. They find joy in knowing they have married their best friend and have found someone who will enable their eternal salvation.
“My lifelong journey finally led me to this precious lifelong partner,” a grateful Thomas said. “I have kept my word that my original prayer and CatholicMatch profile set forth.