Chris was disillusioned with the whole dating game. 45-years-old and living in Mississippi, he tried a dating website to change his prospects, but realized that a secular site was not going to work for him. His faith was important and after a year and a half of no results he came to CatholicMatch.
It didn't take him long to meet Jena. She was the same age, and working in banking in the Philippines. A devout Catholic and committed to her parents, she and Chris made an online connection and began getting to know each other.
A drawn-out process of getting to know someone electronically wasn't what either Chris or Jena envisioned for themselves. Chris looks back and sees the working of the Holy Spirit--with an assist from St. Raphael, the patron of singles--at work. "We marvel at the miracle that assisted us to persevere in email communication and continue engaging the process of discovery," he recalled. "We began to learn about each other and respond to each other."
Chris made sure Jena was aware that this was no casual correspondence, and that she was making an impression on him. It set the stage for him later stepping out in faith to see about a face-to-face meeting.
"Jena had the wisdom to request the suitor first visit her," he said. "After four and a half months of CatholicMatch emails, I asked if she would allow me to visit her over Christmas. She agreed." This would be the first time Chris had ever traveled overseas. It was no small commitment, including financially, but Chris had strong conviction that God wanted to him to follow through on his feelings for Jena."
Chris and Jena spent seven days together in December 2009. Jena lives just five minutes from her parish church and Catholicism is deeply woven into the fabric of her life. She does not lack for enthusiasm in embracing all life has to offer, and she kept Chris busy on what he called "a whirlwind out outings." She also won his heart. "I knew after that visit I would give my heart to her, if she would have me," he said.
The whirlwind did not stop until Chris and Jena arrived at the altar in August of 2011. She has joined him in Mississippi, where he works as a Program Coordinator for adults with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. Chris also has a passion for the theater and has been on stage at various points in his career.
It was two years later, as the dust from the whirlwind settled, that Chris and Jena looked back on it all with a deep sense of gratitude, and they reached out to say thanks to CatholicMatch. But thank-yous go both ways, and CatholicMatch is built on the willingness of members to go where they believe God is calling them--whether it's across the street or across the Pacific Ocean.