Be Willing To Go The Distance


After being a CM member for almost three years, I (Mary) decided to participate in the forums because there was a thread in St. Peter's Square that I felt I could actually relate to. The thread had to do with having little or no success here on CM, even after "putting myself out there" by emoting and emailing. When I posted in the forum, I wrote something like, "I've been snubbed four times today alone… I feel like no one browses my profile because I live in North Dakota." Even though I posted this, through prayer I realized that it’s all in God’s hands whether or not there would be someone out there for me. And as it turned out, Alan felt the same way.

This October 23, 2006 post changed my life. First, I had gotten several "feel better, chin up" emotes from men and women alike, but one particular emote was different. It was from Alan, all the way in Pittsburgh, PA. The note attached read, "to brighten your day." I emoted him back, thanking him for the kind thoughts, just as I had thanked the other people for their prayers and thoughts.

The next day, he emailed me. The first line read, "People do take notice when you use the forums." I was thinking, "Ok, this guy is trying to help me out. Great!" Naturally, I emailed him back, thanking him, etc., just to be nice. Over the next few days we had exchanged several emails per day, then gradually we progressed to online chatting.

Alan gave me his phone number and invited me to call him some time. Our first phone call occurred on November 4, 2006. It lasted five hours! We had so much to say, ask, share… it was amazing! I didn't want to hang up, but my niece was having her birthday party that afternoon, and I was already late.

Since that day, we've spoken every day for at least an hour per day (thanks to Verizon Wireless). We had our first F2F on January 21, 2007. Alan was kind enough to offer to take a train here to North Dakota all the way from Pennsylvania so my parents would feel more comfortable with our unique situation. We had an amazing visit that included our first Mass together, thirty minutes after he got off the train. There were lots of tears when he had to leave, but then we started looking forward to June 2007 when I would visit his family in Pittsburgh for two weeks. Alan showed this North Dakota girl all around town. We had lots of fun doing a variety of things, such as going to a Pirates game, kayaking, and Kennywood.

When Alan visited in August 2007, with much prayer and discernment, we decided that marriage was our chosen vocation. It wasn’t until October 2007, when Alan flew to Bismarck with his family to surprise me with the engagement ring. Alan appeared out of nowhere as I came out of the adoration chapel. It was his best surprise to date! He plotted with my family and friends–everyone was in on the secret but me! He did a fantastic job organizing the proposal and engagement dinner.

In keeping with his promise during our first phone call, that he would move closer to me if things worked out, Alan moved to North Dakota in the beginning of March 2008. Now that we are 1200 miles closer, we are able to continue our marriage prep classes. Thank you for your continuous prayers as we prepare for our August 9th, 2008 wedding.

We would just like to thank God for giving us the guidance and patience throughout our adult lives to find each other. If we could give one piece of advice about finding your special someone, it would have to be, "Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and get noticed."

God bless you!


This article can be reprinted by including the following credit:

This article is reprinted with written permission of 4marks Magazine
and is part of the network which offers a variety of online
services to Catholics, including our online Daily Catechism program,
Catholic Trivia, Temperament Test and single Catholic service. To learn
more about any of our services or how 4marks is helping Catholics
connect online in order to deepen their faith offline visit



  1. JO-205347 April 21, 2008 Reply

    Congratulations Mary and Alan! All the best for the future.

  2. James-169144 April 8, 2008 Reply

    This is a very inspirational story!! Thank you for sharing this with the Catholic Match Community. Congratulations Mary and Alan.!!!

  3. Maria-324185 March 31, 2008 Reply

    Congratulations! Will keep in mind your advice as I've just joined Easter Monday. I guess besides true love,patience and perseverance bridges distances as well.

  4. Belinda-326779 March 28, 2008 Reply

    Just wanted to say congratulations to both of you and may God continue to bless you all. Your story gives us singles hope for love.

  5. Alex-285308 March 19, 2008 Reply

    Great story! Congrats to the both of you!!

  6. Katherine-83125 March 15, 2008 Reply

    Hey- Mary! Great sucess story- Ryan & I really need to write ours too! Funny how love made me move to ND too! What can I say- if it's meant to be it will happen!

  7. JorgeNery-120035 March 13, 2008 Reply

    Well, being so far, far… far away (in Honduras) this beautiful story it really gives me hope!! God bless you

  8. Jill-319621 March 3, 2008 Reply

    Mary ~ Congratulations!!!! I am new to this site and to "online meeting"… Just last night I was thinking, after less than a week, that maybe this just isn't the way God wants me to meet someone… and today I read your article.
    God Bless you as you go forward with your engagement and pending nuptuals….
    May you be blessed with JOY and LOVE!

  9. Julie-291162 February 20, 2008 Reply

    awwwwwwww…. Congratulations to you both!

Post a comment