Family Ties


Patrick and I (Mary) found each other through Catholic Match, back when
it was still St. I had tried another online dating
service, since I wasn't one to go to bars and other typical singles
“hangouts”, and I had few close friends in town. I wasn't as
comfortable with the men listed since many said they "rarely attended"
church services, or were "agnostic". I finally decided that finding a
Catholic man was very important, especially since my ex-husband was not
Catholic and there were problems in our marriage because of that. I
knew of others that had found someone online, so I was hopeful this
could work. I was very careful though, not to give out too much

I received some responses in May 2003, then went on
a couple trips over the summer and was ready to just stop looking. I
decided to try one more time when I spotted Patrick's profile. He
sounded like someone I would like to know, so I emailed him at the end
of July. This was right after I went to start the paperwork for my
annulment. I was finally ready to get it started after being divorced
for nine months. Patrick emailed me back on July 29, and we
corresponded for several days before we finally spoke on the phone. We
talked for hours, realizing that we had quite a bit in common,
including coming from large families. Our first date was August 4.

and I live about fifty minutes apart. He travels with a part time job
and noted that he enjoyed traveling in his profile, so the distance was
never a problem. He drove about an hour to meet me the first time.
After that, we only saw each other once a week. We have kept that
schedule for the past three years, talking almost every night around 10
pm. We take turns making the drive.

After the first several
dates came harvest. Pat is a farmer, so during his busy time our dates
consisted of Sunday dinner at the farm. His busy work schedule that
first harvest season was something I wasn't prepared for. His mom told
me very early on that work has to come first, and then I realized it
was something she knew about first hand, being married to a farmer for
over 50 years. Our relationship was strengthened by being separated. It
made the time we had together even more special.

I was fortunate
to meet his father before he became ill and passed away in May 2004.
Pat got to know my mother before she passed away, January 2006. Since
we both came from large families, we enjoyed sharing stories. After his
father was diagnosed with cancer, I spent many weekends at the farm,
enjoying Pat's parents company and hearing about their family history.
Prayer was a big part of all their lives. I remember one night, Pat
asked me to come into the other room. There, kneeling beside the bed,
was his dad, 84 years old, dying of cancer, saying his prayers. My
grandfather had done the same, and my mother's dying wish was for my
brother to get her rosary. We each have buried a parent now and know
the depth of committment our parents had in their marriages. We are
pleased to be able to look forward to marriage.

Last July, we
went to his family reunion, near St. Louis. They have one every year,
and many times close friends are invited, so I thought it was nice when
he invited many of my family members. My parents, my son and daughter
and my three sisters were there, along with some of my nieces and a
nephew. After going to Mass on Saturday night, we went to a banquet
hall and had a nice Mexican-themed dinner catered, and Pat's mom made
several delicious pies. There were about 50 family members there. He
went up to thank everyone for coming, and then told the story of how we
met through Catholic Match. We were just about to celebrate two years
of dating. He called me to join him, and then got down on one knee and
proposed. We were both crying and everyone was cheering. The best part
was that my mom was there to witness it. She passed away only six
months later.

We think a little divine intervention helped in
getting my annulment finalized—it came through only two weeks after my
mom died. The final decree came from Chicago the day before my 42nd
birthday. Another reason to celebrate. We both had faith, and many
people praying for the annulment to go through. We immediately started
marriage preparation and are planning our wedding now. We will be
married on St. Patrick's Day, 2007. We truly believe that God put us
together for a reason and we have Catholic Match to thank for guiding


Update, July 2007
: We had a great day and everything went very smoothly. There were fourtee in our
bridal party..all our brothers and sisters and my two children.  We have enjoyed our four months of marriage and
are looking forward to finally living in the same house full time. I am moving
into the family farmhouse with my husband in August


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