Advent is offering a period of deeper reflection for Patrick-466954, a 40-year-old seafood salesman from Kent, Wash., beginning the annulment process.
It’s something he hadn’t planned to undergo until he joined CatholicMatch and learned that, although he and his ex-wife had been united in a civil ceremony, he still needs an annulment before he can have a Catholic wedding.
That’s one of many insights the cradle Catholic said he’s been grateful to glean since joining CatholicMatch last spring. “I feel like I’m part of a Catholic club,” he said.
After hearing from many CatholicMatchers who have had annulments, Patrick took his parish priest out to dinner to learn more. “I left feeling tons better,” he said.
Now he’s approaching the paperwork with a matter-of-fact attitude. “I just see this as a process that I have to engage in to meet my ultimate goal, which is to get married in the Catholic Church,” Patrick said. “You could get frustrated, but I’d rather just hit it head on and just move through.”
He’s confident that he’s looking in the right place. “Marriage is tough enough without the same value system and beliefs, but when that’s separate, it’s just not a great recipe for success.”
Still, he’s practicing patience. “One of the things my boss always tells me is, ‘No doesn’t mean no; it means not right now.’ You’ve always got to be positive. It’s similar to dating or any other thing in your life. Every no just puts me closer to that yes.”
In the meantime Patrick is embracing the richness of this liturgical season. “In Advent there’s the excitement of Christmas and Jesus coming, and there’s a different attitude about the Mass, a different reverence that I see in the congregation and in the priest, and those things, all tied together, make it special for me.”
He’s planning to make the most of the four weeks. “For me it means I’ll be attending Mass more frequently. It’s my goal to attend daily Mass at least once, possibly twice a week.”