We’re delighted to bring you Janet on this 11th day of Christmas.
What were the greatest blessings of 2011?
Blessings surround me daily. I have been blessed with a career I enjoy that allows me to travel and work in Catholic schools across the country. My friends have been by my side through many trials and tribulations throughout the year, energizing me when work travels simply wear me out. My family gathered around me and helped me when I had emergency surgery in September. I truly felt blessed when many of my CatholicMatch friends joined in prayer for my recovery!
As I traveled for work during 2011, I was able to meet some of CatholicMatch’s finest members: Deanna in Moses Lake, Wis.; Camille in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Diane in Rockville Centre, N.Y.; Lucy of Peoria, Ill.; Colette and MaryEllen, both of Reading, Pa.; Lucia in Philadelphia, Pa.; and former members, now engaged, Rigoberto and Yesenia of N.J.
As you can see, I covered quite a bit of ground. It’s great meeting CatholicMatch members at local events, and I truly appreciate their hospitality when I’m traveling out of state. I will be traveling again quite a bit in 2012, so I hope to meet many more CatholicMatch members!
How has your approach to finding a mate evolved?
I joined CatholicMatch quite a while back – seven years ago, I think – and I used it as any other online dating website. I just looked through the profiles and attempted to make connections blindly. I then got into some serious relationships and then didn’t officially return to CatholicMatch until the fall of 2007. At that time, I met a man who lived only 1 ½ hours from me. We had a wonderful connection and a great date, but he said the 90-minute drive was too far to develop a relationship, so that went nowhere.
The great thing that happened, though, is that I decided after that experience to plan my first CatholicMatch event! Then along came CM Sub-Zero in Milwaukee. It was truly one of the coldest weekends in January!
I made a very dear male friend (yes – men and women can just be friends) that weekend who I’ve been able to share a lot with as far as faith and friendship goes. Making a male friend who is strong in his Catholic faith has helped me prioritize what I look for in a mate. He and I both have been able to listen to joys and sorrows in each other’s lives. His friendship has helped me be a more supportive girlfriend with the men I have dated. I was in a year-long relationship with a man who I met in real life, and once it ended, it felt like coming home when I came back to CatholicMatch.
My approach has changed over the past four years because I take the time to heal from past relationships before entering a new one. I work on being a strong woman so I can be a strong partner for the man I hope to meet.
What’s your CatholicMatch strategy?
My strategy has been to let people see who I am both online and offline. I spend more time finding ways to meet people in person than spending time on the website. The website is a portal to wonderful people who I wouldn’t be able to meet otherwise.
Over the past four years, I have planned well over a dozen CM events (and I’m still planning more)! Some of the events have resulted in relationships for others and even a marriage. I have yet to date anyone who I met at an event, but I keep planning.
For me the joy comes out of meeting new people and providing them with an opportunity to connect with people to share in faith, fun and fellowship! I am forever hopeful that my day will come when I meet the man I am called to spend the rest of my life with in holy matrimony.
Why do you stay on CatholicMatch?
I stay on CatholicMatch for the community! Once a person steps outside her comfort zone and takes the time to meet various people your life becomes enriched in ways you could never imagine. God has placed special people in my life who have helped me through some rough times. Quite often they didn’t realize that they did so because it happened by me observing how they live out their faith and lives. When I think of the many friends I’ve met on CatholicMatch, I think of the line: “We walk by faith and not by sight.”
I have many wonderful friends who have so many precious charisms that blessed my life simply by spending time with them.
One of the best moments I can remember during my time on CatholicMatch is when I planned a Milwaukee Brewers gathering. After the game I invited the group back to my home for a fire out on the deck. We had some meditation time and then a lot of laughs, but the best part was saying the scriptural rosary together with only the moonlight and the glow of the fire. There were times during that rosary that I needed to tilt back my head to prevent the tears from flowing. Gratitude, reverence, joy. The fellowship we shared was so moving. The Holy Spirit was truly with us as we gathered around the fire.
A second time was when I planned my first Holy Hill event and four wonderful women road-tripped from Indiana together. We had the best “girls slumber party” (as we dubbed it) I have ever had.
What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?
My favorite tradition is simply spending time with my family. I come from a fairly large clan, so even though I do not have children of my own, I get to be “the fun aunt” with my 12 nieces and nephews. We have had Christmas Cookie Bake-Offs where we have baked hundreds of cookies.
I look forward being married and sharing this beautiful season with my spouse, planning special Advent surprises for him, as my family used to do when I was a child.
What is your hope for 2012?
My hope for 2012 is like most people on CatholicMatch: to meet the man God intended me to spend the rest of my life with in the sacrament of marriage. I keep joking that it takes only one smart man to figure it out!
In the meantime, I hope to continue traveling the country, meeting new CatholicMatch friends and deepening friendships that have already begun.
Make a prediction for 2012.
I am a true Cheesehead, so of course my prediction for 2012 is that the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl a second year in a row! After all, they are the only NFL team with a long-standing relationship with a fine Catholic institution, St. Norbert College (my alma mater).