Al & Vanessa Traveled The World To Find Each Other


How far have you traveled for a face-to-face date? Vanessa was from Lubbock, Texas and Al was from Boston. The place they chose for their meeting would be…Europe? By an odd coincidence, the Continent proved to be just the place for their paths to cross. In October of 2008 they made contact on CatholicMatch, with Al planning a six-month trip for the early part of 2009. Vanessa had plans of her own—a “Semester at Sea,” giving her an incredible opportunity to study and travel the world.

How quickly have you first met the family of the person you were dating? How about…prior to meeting the person themselves?

That’s how it worked out for Al when he was in Italy. Vanessa was finishing up her undergrad work, while her family was on vacation in Italy. Finally by June of this past year, their schedules came together where they would be both in Spain simultaneously.

A first date that had been nearly two years in the making was one to remember—they met in the plaza next to St. Anthony’s Church in the town of Cadiz, went to Mass together and then spent time on the beach. Can there be a better way to for Catholicism and romance to meet than being on the beach, praying the rosary, sipping wine and eating chocolate?

Vanessa’s next stop in her Semester at Sea was Croatia, and she e-mailed Al to see if he’d like to come and spend her birthday with her. He didn’t need to think twice about accepting and they spent time together discussing their long-term possibilities and also made a side trip to Medjugorje, a great spiritual lift for both.

“We agreed on the core teachings of the Church, from contraception to premarital sex to the Eucharist,” Al said. “We were equally yoked and thankfully still are.”

After each finished their time in Europe, they prayed together and determined that Vanessa would move to Boston.

She found an apartment in the Hub, and two months later Al proposed to her, having secured her father’s permission two weeks prior. It was Holy Thursday last year, and they were before the Blessed Sacrament.

Five months later they were married in Lubbock.

“God has truly blessed our lives and given us a story that we could not have written without experiencing first,” Al told CatholicMatch.



  1. Jacqueline-198 January 26, 2011 Reply

    And again I say, with God all things are possible! I was struck by the fact that they met in front of St. Anthony’s Church, in Portugal, St. Anthony is considered a patron of singles, I have a long time devotion to this saint myself and have always said, when the Lord helps me find my mate, I will come visit St. Anthony in Padua and thank him in person for his intercession! I’m so happy for Vanessa and Al, they stepped outside of the box (big time) and did what it took and were richly rewarded! Blessings to you both!!

  2. Hilary-649251 January 24, 2011 Reply

    Well, this gives me a tiny, infinitessimal shred of hope…

    Am I the only Anglophone Trad in Italy?

  3. Angie-584510 January 23, 2011 Reply

    Congrats! Amazing story,indeed. Thanks for sharing. God bless your new life together 🙂

  4. Marie-575233 January 22, 2011 Reply


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