Aristotle had been a part of the CatholicMatch community for a long time—with a profile number of 1719 he was there ten years ago when the site was still called St. Raphael.net. Back in 2001 the personal interview feature was still several years off. Aristotle ended up using it to find the girl of his dreams.
After growing up in the New York City area, Aristotle, a 35-year old musician, got a job offer at a parish in Madison, WI. Though he didn’t envision himself going to the Midwest, he took the opportunity that was in front of him and set in motion the sequence of events that would lead him to joy—or in this case, “Joy” with a capital J.
Joy, age 28, grew up in Madison and now is a Catholic middle school teacher in Milwaukee, a little less than two hours away from her hometown. Like Aristotle, she was praying for a spouse. Both had a thoughtful and intellectual way of approaching their search. So while Aristotle composed his personal interview, Joy carefully evaluated his profile.
“His temperament was similar to mine,” she recalled. She saw photos from World Youth Day pilgrimages and another that caught her eye—“He was sitting at an organ console with music spread around. But he was not paying attention to the music. He was looking at his hands with an expression of utter peace on his face. It was amazing. I wanted to talk to this man.”
Aristotle’s personal interview presented a vehicle for communication. With a deep love of the Latin language, Joy truly appreciated the question “How do you like your Latin?”, with her answer being ““In heavy doses; the more, the better. I can take it!”
The question about Latin was one of fifteen Aristotle had composed and Joy scored the highest. He was intrigued to say the least and they began e-mail correspondence and chatting in December of 2009.
Things moved slowly though, often to Joy’s frustration. She would be in the Madison area and drop hints of her availability, but get no response. Finally she decided she had to at least find out what this guy’s voice sounded look, so attended Mass at his parish—unbeknownst to him—and heard him sing. She didn’t introduce herself, preferring him to make the first move, but after he declined to attend her New Year’s Eve party, Joy decided it was time to force his hand. She asked him out for January 2 and he agreed.
It wasn’t a lack of interest or extreme passivity that led to Aristotle’s letting Joy initiate things. By his own admission, he was reeling. Things in his life were moving very fast—a new job in a new part of the country and now the possibility that God had answered his prayers for a spouse left him a little discombobulated. But he didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity when Joy offered.
They would go on to have an in-house dinner date where he cooked salmon and after several more dates, it was time to make their relationship official in a modern kind of way—Aristotle asked Joy if he could update his Facebook status to “Going steady”. She agreed.
If they ratified their courtship in a modern way, the steps toward engagement followed a more traditional path. After a visit to New York where she got to see where he was from, Aristotle paid a visit to her parents to ask for permission to propose. As luck would have it, her brother happened to be there when he arrived. It led to a humorous conversation—“Tony said no, Aristotle recalled. “Thankfully he was overridden by his parents.”
In the meantime, Joy had been unlocking the heavy artillery of prayer—the 54-day rosary novena in which she petitioned the Blessed Mother for healing from past relationships so she could commit herself fully to Aristotle. On the final day of the novena, in front of the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue at her parish, he proposed and she accepted.
Their lives together will begin a week from today, June 25, when they are wed. Aristotle described the engagement period as “a time of realizing how undeserving a recipient I am of such a beautiful gift in my future helpmate, and how the Lord, despite our frequent ingratitude, still provides for us through his all-encompassing love — especially when we turn in trust towards him and our mother.”
It is a joyous ending to a couple deeply rooted in Faith and the traditions of the Catholic Church. Given that, maybe it’s ironic as to what actually started it, when Joy first visited Aristotle’s old profile a year and a half ago– The first thing that caught my eye was his smirk…a mischievous glint in his eyes…I was intrigued.”
From the smirk to Latin to Facebook to the altar, Joy and Aristotle have already had a wonderful ride together.