We asked CatholicMatch Institute blogger, Catherine Frank why she is attending the National Catholic Singles Conference this year.
How did you hear of the National Catholic Singles Conference?
I saw an ad on CatholicMatch.com and was excited to see an event so close to home.
Why did you decide to attend?
It took some gentle encouragement from a friend, but I think it sounds like a great opportunity to meet new peopleespecially as I'm not totally sold on the idea of online dating.
What do you hope to get out of the experience?
I'd be happy to make some new connections and I'm really looking forward to hearing Emily Stimpson speak.
You're new on CatholicMatch (Catherine-887798). What has been your impression of the CatholicMatch community?
I was surprised that there was a community! I like how everyone participates in the forums and seem truly interested in other people. I was happy to find that there are so many single Catholics out there, practicing their Faith, like me.
Did you have any negative connotations about online dating before you joined?
I thought it was an unnatural way of meeting someone. It seemed like a really desperate, last-ditch effort to get married. I don't think I always come across well online (or in print) so I felt like meeting someone online wouldn't show me to my best advantage.
What is your CatholicMatch tragedy?
I was impressed by someone's profile, but he never seemed to be online. As I was getting up the nerve to message him, he got engaged. Maybe this isn't a tragedy, but I'm always a little disappointed when someone contacts me and he doesn't accept all of the Church's teachings.
Why do you stay on CatholicMatch?
I am a guest blogger, so I stay on CatholicMatch to keep up with trending topics. I am interested in broadening my circle of friends in my area, so even if I don't necessarily connect with someone on CatholicMatch, its nice to know that there are other local Catholics who might be interested in meeting up.
What is your impression of online dating now?
I think my time on CatholicMatch has erased the stigma that I thought was associated with online dating. I see now that it is important for Catholics to know that there are other people out there, working and living their lives, and just trying to get to Heaven. I find that its very hard to meet people in our daily routines who might be marriage material. Because I'm a church choir director for my local extraordinary form indult, I'm locked into attending one church for Mass every week so I lose out on a lot of opportunities to meet Catholic people.
What advantages does CatholicMatch offer over meeting people in person?
I think there's a lot of pressure on singles to immediately form an attachment upon meeting. Married people want to see their single friends happy just like them, so I tend to feel like I'm letting them down when I'm not interested in every guy they find for me. When I attend local Catholic events, the meat-market atmosphere is a little overwhelming for an introvert like me. I think being able to contact someone before meeting them is an advantage because you can both discuss interests and see how compatible you might be before you meet in person.
In what way has CatholicMatch exceeded your expectations?
I'm a big fan of the forums and the blogs. Sometimes the comments generate some really interesting discussions on single life and dating. I think its a relief to see that there are so many like-minded people out there! The workplace and the bar scene can be so disheartening for practicing Catholics. CatholicMatch gives us a positive place to talk and exchange ideas. There's safety in numbers!
What is the best dating advice you've ever received?
I don't think I've ever gotten any good dating advice from anyone I know. I've certainly gotten "Offer it up" and "Why aren't you married?" enough times, with a "Beggars can't be choosers" thrown in. I think the best overall ideas I've gotten and try to live by are from The Closet's All Mine
(Dorothy Cummings) and He's Just Not That Into You
(Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo).What do you love about the Catholic faith?I love that it is The Faith and that I was blessed enough to be born into it. I love that the Church always has the right answers and that I have a refuge from the problems of the world. I love that I can be happy in this lifedespite problems with work or relationshipsbecause I know that there is more to life than merely enjoying material things.In what ways are you joyfully living out your faith until the time when you can fulfill your vocation to marriage?
I try to be a good example to everyone around me, especially my niece and five nephews. I go to Mass on First Fridays and Saturdays and spend some time at Adoration. I enjoy my work as a choir director on Sundays and look forward to having rehearsals in my home. I'm currently reading two books on saintsSt. Catherine of Siena (my patroness) and St. Ferdinand III (whose body I visited in Seville last year).What would you say to other single Catholics that are thinking of going to the National Catholic Singles Conference, but need some encouragement?
Take a look at the schedule and start getting excited about tours, conferences, and dancing! I'll see you there!