Faith focused dating and marriage is our mission, and we have been doing it for more than 15 years.
In 1999, co-founders Jason LaFosse and Brian Barcaro found themselves at a church picnic discussing the struggles that single Catholics were facing. They quickly agreed that there was a clear need for a community environment where Catholic men and women could come together with the intention of finding their future spouse. Before long, their new dating website, SaintRaphael.net, was launched from their Pittsburgh apartment. A couple of years later, Brian and Jason would team up with Mike Lloyd to begin the journey to CatholicMatch.com. Oh, how things have changed since then!
Initially, Jason was working full-time and Brian was in law school, so SaintRaphael.net was strictly a side project that the co-founders worked on for fun and as a service to the single Catholic community. The project was fueled by their sincerity for the mission. Brian and Jason wanted single Catholics to be able to easily communicate with each other, and most importantly, they wanted single Catholics to feel like they had a community in which they belonged.
A couple of years later, Brian, Jason, and Mike were working together on both SaintRaphael.net and another company that worked on website design. After the dot.com crash in 2001, much of the investment money for the latter dried up, and it became a scary time trying to figure out just how to keep the lights on. By this time, dating online had begun to catch on and Saint Raphael had 2,000 registered users. A light bulb went off!
This was really the birthplace of the current CatholicMatch, as the decision was made to begin charging for memberships on the site (current members received a free membership for a year), and in 2004 “CatholicMatch” became the official name of the service. It was shortly discovered that the name was a hit, and the company received a huge boost that would change the business forever!
On September 11th, 2014 CatholicMatch received a devastating blow. One of their co-founders, Mike Lloyd, passed away suddenly. Stunned and saddened, the company gathered to say goodbye to their dear friend and brother who had played such an integral part in the company and lives of those working at CatholicMatch. Mike will remain in the hearts and minds of all of the employees who were blessed to have him be a part of their lives.
The future of CatholicMatch, and online dating as a whole, is really exciting. In 2013, CatholicMatch received its 1 millionth account, proving that the days of online dating being seen as a last resort for lonely singles were long past. CatholicMatch has gained legitimacy in the dating world and the Catholic community as more and more single people turn towards online dating —the best and most efficient way to meet their future spouse.
Over the next 15 years, CatholicMatch hopes to continue to make online dating even easier for those seeking sacramental marriage. The coming years will also see a growth and development of the CatholicMatch Institute, which will strive to better educate Catholic singles, divorcees, married couples, engaged couples, and church leaders. This will serve as an information hub for things like purposeful dating and marriage preparation. The CatholicMatch team hopes to use both of these sites to reverse the marriage decline and support Catholic relationships in every way possible.
A Message from Brian Barcaro — Co-Founder and CEO
“In the early days, we never thought we would end up building the largest and most successful website for single Catholics. But here we are, and it never gets old. Every single time we receive the story of a happy couple, photos of newborn babies, or a thank you note for fostering a community through our website, it is both moving and humbling. We love what we do, and we hope you’ll join us on this journey.”