When Nora first saw Philip, she had a hard time thinking about anything except how cute he was. Nora says she kept telling herself, “Try to be funny...don't get lost in his eyes!” But from that first date, Nora says it was too late—she had already gotten lost in his eyes.
After prodding from her cousin, Nora, 26, looked into CatholicMatch as a joke. She didn’t take the fact that it could help her find her future spouse seriously, but God had different plans.
A few months after first making an account, Nora prayed seriously about her struggles with being single and God sent her a clear answer in the form of a CatholicMatch email about a St. Valentine’s Day deal. “I guess I figured a sale was God's way of telling me it was time to trust Him with my love life,” shares Nora.
Divine intervention also had a hand in getting Philip, 25, onto CatholicMatch. “I was up late one night watching a movie involving a Catholic school. I didn't recognize the name of the saint it was named after, so I looked him up. At the bottom of the page was an advertisement for CatholicMatch and my curiosity led me to the site. I figured, ‘Why not?’ and made a profile.”
Nora Sent the First Message, And Philip Hesitated
Nora wasn't looking for a long distance relationship, so she was lucky to find Philip, who lived only twenty minutes away from her in rural Pennsylvania. When she read Philip's profile, Nora found herself attracted to his openness about his struggles in his faith. “His honesty touched me, and I built up the courage to send him a message.”
Philip wasn’t initially impressed by Nora’s profile. “I actually passed up Nora's profile at first,” admits Philip. When he received her message, Philip took a closer look at her profile and decided to give Nora a chance. “The conversation kept flowing, and I wanted to see where else it could go, so I asked her on a date.”
A week after Nora reached out to Philip, they met at a restaurant for a date. Not only was Nora struck by how cute Philip was, but they also got along well enough to talk for two hours straight. After their first date, they continued to text and went out for a second date on the following weekend. Six weeks later, Philip asked Nora to be his girlfriend.
A Doctor And A Mechanic Walk Into A Bar...
People have wondered what Nora, a doctor, and Philip, a mechanic, have to talk about since they have such vastly different careers. But Nora says that hasn’t been a problem. “We both love to learn, and we are in very different fields, so we can bring new things to the table.” They also share a common bond in their Catholic faith and a value of family that gives the common ground a couple needs. “We think that's what makes our relationship great; we have the same core values, and the differences keep things interesting,” adds Nora.
Nora also shares that Philip allows her to open up in a new way. “We've always found it easy to talk to one another; even things that have been difficult for me to share with other people, I find I can tell Philip.”
Their relationship has also helped Philip grow in his faith. When the couple met, Philip hadn't been attending Mass regularly, but now he goes each week with Nora. “I never pushed him or told him he had to go because faith is such a personal journey. But ever since we became an official couple, he has attended Mass with me each week with a smile,” shares Nora.
I Nearly Knocked Him Over Before He Finished Asking
On a chilly February day, Philip took Nora out on a walk through a trail in the woods to admire the snow on the ground. As they went along, the couple held hands and chatted. Walking back to their car, Philip turned to Nora and commented on how happy she looked. She replied with a smile on her face, “I have every reason to be happy. I’m outside, and I’m with you.”
Nora's encouraging answer gave Philip courage. He placed his hands on Nora’s shoulders and turned her until she faced him. He then knelt down on one knee and pulled out a little, green box—opening the box to show Nora the diamond ring inside.
“He didn't quite get the words, ‘Will you marry me?’ out of his mouth before I nearly knocked him over trying to hug him,” exclaims Nora.
A Wedding With Square-dancing and Apple Dumplings
On October 1st, 2016, Nora and Philip had a big, Catholic wedding at Nora’s home parish followed by a reception at an old Catholic church repurposed into a rental space. Their reception included two unconventional things. Nora has been square dancing since she was twelve-years-old and says it is one of her favorite things to do, so their reception featured this fun pastime. And since Philip has never been a fan of cake, the couple had apple dumplings instead for dessert.