Arthur was ready to settle down and meet someone. The 46-year-old from Edmonton had spent 11 years in the Catholic lay community of Madonna House, and after four years back in the secular world he knew he wanted to get married.
“I wanted a practicing Catholic and wasn’t up for doing the bar scene like I’d been,” he said. A friend of his had gotten married to a women he met on CatholicMatch, so Arthur had an idea where to go in the search for a faith-filled spouse.
We’d like to say that things came together quickly for Arthur. We’d like to say that, but it wouldn’t be reality. The reality was that after a year on CatholicMatch he was discouraged and not seeing any progress. “I almost gave up,” he conceded. “Then it happened.”
What happened was Maria. The 43-year-old from Calgary had a profile that caught Arthur’s attention and her Catholic values clearly impressed him. She wasn’t a full member, but after reading Arthur’s profile, she upgraded her membership to read the message, and it led to two weeks of more messages and emotigrams.
“I didn’t want to spend two months doing messages,” Arthur told CatholicMatch. “We started doing Skype.” They made use of the video-conferencing tool for another two weeks and then met in person.
Arthur knew he found Maria physically attractive and seeing in her person only confirmed that. But something else, even more attractive, became clearer to him as they spent time together. “I liked her spirit…there was something inside Maria that made her special.”
The couple still had their challenges to overcome. He’s Irish and she’s Filipino, and the culture difference can result in misunderstandings that need to be worked through. He was candid in the struggle regarding physical temptation, telling CatholicMatch “we needed to contain ourselves.” But the commitment to a Catholic life together gave them the grace they needed.
After three months he made the decision to propose. “I wanted to do it on New Year’s,” he recalled. But they were at someone else’s house in Calgary and it made the proposal impractical. “I ended up doing it on January 2 at a Starbucks,” he chuckled. No matter—Maria said yes, and today they are married.
Now Arthur and Maria have begun the process of melding two lives into one. He’s working maintenance at a church, while she is employed at a furniture store and they have a cleaning business they’ve started up together. They have shared faith, shared ambition and shared dreams as they move forward together.