On February 11, 2011—the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes—Sanjay signed up for CatholicMatch. It was an easy day to remember, and hardly a coincidence that he would choose this day to join the site. It was Sanjay’s mother who had been nudging him to join CatholicMatch, and one year earlier she had passed away on a trip to the Lourdes grotto in France.
“I kept thinking about her suggestion, so in her memory, I gathered myself and made my CatholicMatch profile live,” he said. The 48-year-old was apprehensive about the whole idea of online dating, but he felt that at least in this online community, finding a common ground of faith was possible.
“It does give an indication of the seriousness of an individual being personally and spiritually committed to meeting a potential life partner,” he said. “That makes CatholicMatch stand apart from other online dating sites.”
Liza shared Sanjay’s apprehensions about this venue for meeting people, but also shared his hopes for a potential spouse with whom she could share her faith. By March 2011, she and Sanjay had found each other online and were in communication. He lived in New Jersey, and she was 200 miles away in Maryland, but they got together on March 19 for their first date.
March 19 is the feast day of St. Joseph and it began an interesting pattern of holy days in the developing relationship for Sanjay and Liza. Their second date was on Palm Sunday. “Although we never planned our meetings keeping the holy days in mind, this all looks so symbolic,” Sanjay said. “It seemed like Mom was guiding and watching over us.”
While faith is the foundation for a relationship, there has to be a natural chemistry between a couple and Sanjay liked what he saw in Liza. He spoke effusively about her kindness, patience and her commitment to family. Both of them demonstrated the latter, when they traveled abroad to meet each other’s extended clans. Sanjay is originally from India, with Liza from the Phillipines.
They would soon be back in each other’s country of origin, but this time for a celebration. On the feast day of St. John Bosco—Sanjay’s patron saint—he proposed to her, and she said yes. It was one more special marking of a holy day on the relationship of a holy couple. And in July 2012 they were married.
Today they are approaching their one-year anniversary and living in New Jersey, where Sanjay works as an IT engineer and Liza as a nurse. To those who may doubt online dating, Sanjay offers this advice: “this method does work, but it requires one to be open, honest, serious and committed.” And, we might add, that some help from Our Lady of Lourdes never hurt anyone.