William and Paula might not have fit the criteria of people conventional wisdom would peg as online dating possibilities. Neither had used this venue prior to coming to CatholicMatch, and both were skeptical. Both were looking for a second opportunity to build a life with someone special, having had their first marriages annulled. But what they did have was a firm desire to build their lives and relationships around the Catholic Faith.
Both had a devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother, but perhaps more important was that each had a deep humility in ordering their lives. William “prayed the daily rosary and asked God to choose someone from him, since he felt he had not been able to find the right person on his own,” Paula said. For her part, she had embarked on a 54-day novena petitioning the Blessed Mother to make the decision.
It was shortly after Paula’s novena that she noticed William’s picture posted as a November. Every time she logged on to CatholicMatch, there he was staring her in the face. Without even trying, or even being aware of Paula’s existence, William was burrowing into her consciousness. “I was thinking about him way too often,” Paul recalled. “Finally I couldn’t hold out any longer and clicked on his profile. My first thought was ‘Wow.’”
Paula, 43-years-old, was old-fashioned—the reason for her reticence about clicking William’s full profile to being with—and she found herself enormously impressed with the values of the 50-year-old Special Forces solider and there was no denying he was handsome. There was one problem—she lived in Maine, he was from Tennessee. She was disappointed, but decided to take one nothing-to-lose shot, and sent William an emotigram.
What Paula didn’t know was that William read through Paula’s profile and his own “Wow” moment as well. Between the physical—her smile and beauty, and the spiritual—her values and faith, she was what he was looking for. By that evening, they were chatting online.
The online chats were soon lasting 2-3 hours and they found their careers crisscrossed. William drew inspiration from Christian music during deployment, and was deeply impressed that Paula worked in management for Christian radio, and had also been involved with Catholic Radio. Distance or no, both believed something special was in the works and they agreed to pray a 33-day Marian consecration during Lent. Soon after they met for the first time—on the Feast of the Annunciation.
After a first date of Mass and praying their consecration together, William then took Paula for a ride on his Harley through the Blue Ridge Mountains. By the end of that weekend, William told Paula he loved her.
Love never comes without sacrifice, and William was soon deployed to the Middle East, taking the concept of a long-distance relationship to a new level. After his return she took a plane to Tennessee, and they made up for lost time. The summer was spent traveling the East Coast and making a trip to New York City with their combined five teenagers. “If we could survive that, we could survive anything,” Paula said.
From the beginning, the Lord helped them overcome distance, both Maine to Tennessee, as well during the deployment. This past November, on the Feast of Christ the King, he proposed. They will be married this summer. They are grateful that CatholicMatch provided them a place where they could be assured of the faith of a potential spouse. But the best decision either made was who they asked to be their Matchmaker.