Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Match

6/11/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Deanna, 24, and Michael, 28, had never dated before they meet each other on CatholicMatch. Michael had been discerning the priesthood for four years, and it seems God had placed a bubble around lovely Deann a saving her just for Michael.

Deanna and Michael with Pope Francis.

Deanna and Michael with Pope Francis.

Highlights

By Catholic Match

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/11/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Catholic Match


They were married on October 5, 2013, in her home parish in Memphis, TN. CatholicMatch talked with Deanna about her initial reservations about joining an online dating site, about her online dating experience, having her marriage blessed by Pope Francis, and more.

Why did you join CatholicMatch?

In 2010, I was 24 and had never dated. This was not by my own choice, and it was frustrating. Sure there had been the creepy guys at gas stations who would occasionally offer their best: Hey baby, whats your name? But no one expressed any serious sort of interest in me. Where were the good Catholic men? Was there something wrong with me? What I didn't realize at the time was that God was writing a better story than I ever could have imagined. And it happened in a way that I least expected it.

"Meet your CatholicMatch today - sign up for a FREE account!"

Online dating was something I said I would never do. Meet someone on the internet? I think I had my hopes set on running into The One at Mass, or my local Starbucks, or whatever the latest romantic comedy portrayed as a great way to meet your spouse. My perception of online dating changed in part because a friend, who I really admired, met her spouse on a Catholic dating site. They weren't weird or crazy. So maybe it wasn't that bad after all, but I still I held out hope that I would meet my husband in a more traditional way.

My decision to join CatholicMatch was a slow one, but I think the ball really got rolling when I attended the 2010 National Catholic Singles Conference in San Antonio. Brian Barcaro gave a talk about online dating and why he started CatholicMatch. Alright, I thought, maybe this wasn't such a crazy idea, but I still needed more time.

A few weeks after the Singles Conference, I finally hit my frustration point. OK, God, if youre not going to send me anyone, Im going to take matters into my own hands! (As if I was the one arranging all of this) So at the beginning of March, I made my account and paid for a two-month membership.

How long were you a member before you met Michael?

I had been a member for about four or five weeks when I first saw Michael's picture. My subscription was running out in a few weeks anyway, so I figured I would cast the net wide one last time before I threw in the towel. Around the middle of April, I saw the New Members feature and there was a picture of a guy with a nice smile holding what looked like a baby leopard (extra points for a unique profile picture!). After glancing through his profile, I decided I would send him a message with a nice smiley face at the end , but I didn't really expect a reply.

Never underestimate the power of a smile!

This would be the first of many messages we would exchange over the next few weeks. By the end of April, we were emailing one another once or twice a day with questions and answers on everything under the sun. By July 2, we officially started dating.

There's no doubt in my mind that Gods hand was part of all of this. His timing is perfect and Michael was definitely worth the wait!

What drew you to Michael?

I think the first thing that caught my attention about Michael, even before we started emailing each other, was his sense of humor. His profile expressed his deep love for chocolate milk and Haribo gummy bears, and the quiz he wrote showed his creative and quirky imagination.

I could also tell that this man really loved Jesus and his Catholic faith. He had spent four years in seminary before discerning that the priesthood was not his vocation, and he was ready to discern the vocation to marriage. I appreciated the fact that he had never been in a relationship either, and that we were essentially stepping into the unknown world of dating and relationships together.

This also meant that Michael and I agreed about the seriousness of dating. This wasn't a game. He wasnt just looking for a fling; we were really discerning marriage. Michael has always kept Christ at the center of our relationship, and that definitely made him a keeper!

Any interesting or funny stories about your online dating experience?

One of the memories that still makes me smile are those initial emails that we exchanged. After sending a few back and forth, Michael thought he would answer my questions in an audio recording, and I recorded my voice to answer his questions. So we sent MP3s back and forth. I think we did this a few times before Michael finally just asked for my phone number.

Our first two and a half years of dating were pretty much long distance, but I think this actually made our relationship stronger because we talked so often, so communication became a key part of our relationship. That's a benefit of online dating really, especially at the beginning of the relationship. You're forced to talk to the other person and the physical doesn't get in the way of getting to know the other person.

I think its really interesting to see how Gods hand has been part of our entire relationship, and everything happened in His perfect timing. A year after we started dating, we enrolled in a Graduate Theology program through Newman University in Wichita, which meant we got to see one another every few months or so for class. God really did make a way for us to continue this courtship despite the distance.

How did Michael propose?

Right after the Easter Vigil Mass on March 30, 2013, Michael and I were taking pictures with a friend of ours who had just joined the Church. A crowd of people were gathering around the altar, and I assumed they were waiting for us to get out of the way so they could take some Easter photos. I nudged Michael that we needed to hurry and take a picture of the two of us.

We posed for the picture, but right before the photo was taken Michael said, Deanna? I turned towards him and said yes? right as he was getting down on one knee. I was shocked and teary eyed, but once Michael asked the question I said, yes! That is when I realized that the people standing around the altar were taking pictures and video of the proposal.

One of the things I love about the pictures from our engagement is that Michael proposed at the foot of the altar, and in the picture you can see the tabernacle right in between us. Our prayer is that the Eucharist always remains at the center of our family.

What was like having your marriage blessed by Pope Francis?

On October 16, my husband and I attended the papal audience in St. Peters Square. We were able to obtain Sposi Novelli (Newlywed) tickets, which meant that we were invited to wear our wedding attire to the audience and sit in a special section that was a little bit closer to the Holy Father.

After the Holy Fathers address, the Vatican security guards instructed us to file out of the section. I assumed that meant everything was over now and it was time to go home. Then we realized they are taking us to Pope Francis! They looked at each couple, making sure the men had their jackets buttoned up appropriately, and that the women had the proper attire. Before we knew it, we were standing at the center of the platform waiting for the Holy Father to come and greet us.

It is hard to put into words the thoughts and emotions we experienced when we saw the Successor of Peter was standing right in front of us.

As the Holy Father shook Michael's hand, I said in Spanish, Holy Father, we are from the United States. We are praying for you. Pope Francis shook my hand, and then Michael handed him a holy card that we had given to our wedding guests, which has a picture of the Divine Mercy. I told the Holy Father, This is a gift from our wedding. We were married on October 5, the feast of St. Faustina. Pope Francis looked at both sides of the card, smiled, and then he made his way to the next couple in line. Michael and I stood there for a moment a bit awestruck at what had just happened.

Theres one thing that struck me more than anything else about our brief moment with the Holy Father: He knows the gift of being present.

When I think about our wedding reception and brief moments I was able to spend personally greeting our guests, I have to admit that I probably was not as focused on each person as I should have been. Sometimes all I could do is blurt out a quick Thanks for coming! Its great to see you! before running back to the floor for another favorite song.

And then I think about our moment with Pope Francis. The Pope had to have greeted hundreds of people before he came to us. He wasn't just shaking hands and kissing babies because of some kind of obligatory Papal Duty. Rather, he greeted each person, and he looked at each one of us like a father lovingly looks at his children. Even though he didn't say a word, he listened to us. He looked at us. He smiled at us. In that moment, he was present to each person, sharing the love and joy of Christ even if it was only with a smile.

Looking back at the pictures that were taken of us with Pope Francis, I still find it hard to believe that we were able to experience something so special. The Holy Father gave us just a few seconds of his time, but he taught us that sharing the joy of our faith can be as simple as being joyful and fully present to each person we encounter. This is one of the best wedding presents we could have ever received.

"Meet your CatholicMatch today - sign up for a FREE account!"

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Three adorable videos to remind us what love is Watch

Image of Kids remind us how to love.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Sometimes kids are the best examples of unconditional love. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kids are wonderful little people who are born to make connections with others, love unconditionally and innocently warm hearts with something as small as a smile.As adults, ... continue reading


STUDY: Can divorce turn your child into an atheist? Watch

Image of There is a correlation between divorce and children who become non-religious adults.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

If you want your kid to be an atheist, get divorced. That's the result of a new study from the Public Religion Research Institute. The study evaluated the correlation between divorce and children who grow up to become non-religious. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


Dozens join together to save trapped child from beneath SUV Watch

Image of Girl trapped in SUV (not pictured) saved by strangers.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A car accident in Tampa, Florida resulted in a flipped Ford Excursion and three trapped passengers in need of help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One of the SUV's right tires burst along the I-74, sending the vehicle out of control.It collided with a guardrail ... continue reading


The MUST WATCH heartwarming moment a baby girl sees her mom clearly for the first time Watch

Image of Amazing moment a baby girl sees her mother clearly for the first time (Jukin).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Babies are one of God's most miraculous gifts to humanity - but what happens when one of these precious gifts is born with a physical limitation? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Psalm 127:3 tells us children are blessings from God. Unfortunately, John 3:3 explains ... continue reading


Mexicans descend upon capital in defense of marriage Watch

Image of Mexicans march to the capital in defense of family values (AFP).

By Alvaro de Juana (CNA/EWTN News)

Some 400,000 people filled the streets of Mexico City on Saturday to protest the Mexican government's attempt to redefine marriage as anything but a union between one man and one woman. Mexico City, Mexico (CNA/EWTN News) - Juan Dabdoub Giacoman, president of the ... continue reading


'Incredible!' Amazing moment baby is born inside intact amniotic sac caught on camera Watch

Image of The child was born in the intact amniotic sac.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A rare birth was captured in a home video when a child is removed from its mother's stomach via c-section with the amniotic sac, called a caul, still intact. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The amazing footage shows the child cleanly placed on its mother's stomach ... continue reading


'It is a mortal sin to discard our elderly...' - We must love them Watch

Image of The elderly are lonely - Why we should care.

By Mary Rezac (CNA/EWTN News)

It was August in Rome, the dog days of summer, and most people had left the Eternal City for the beach or another summer holiday destination. Denver, CO (CNA/EWTN News) - It happens every year, essentially slowing the city to a crawl for a good two weeks or more. It ... continue reading


'He grows in the love of the spouses' - Exorcist warns families of devil's infuence Watch

Image of The devil targets families for the love living there.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

There's a demon that specializes in attacking the family, said exorcist C├ęsar Truqui, a priest who participated in a course on exorcism held in Rome last year. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Fr. Truqui warned that everything that is harming the family, including ... continue reading


'The Bible never allows us to close our eyes to those who are suffering' - How the Church can help to the unemployed Watch

Image of How can the Church help victims of unemployment?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Unemployment often leads to feelings of depression, shame and low confidence - so how can the Church help? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, explained: "Often ... continue reading


How to SURVIVE A TERRORIST ATTACK - Anti-terror expert offers tips Watch

Image of Police stage drill to prepare officers to handle an attack (PA).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Christians remain the most persecuted religious people in the world - so if a terrorist attack occurred at your Church, home or in a public place near you, what techniques do you need to survive? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Believers around the world are being ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know it is as you say: ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise up to praise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, 'I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 28th, 2016 Image

St. Lorenzo Ruiz
September 28: Saint Lorenzo Ruiz was born around the year 1600 ... Read More