Che and Steve were both prayerful, discerning people and each walked through an arduous path to determine that marriage was the vocation God was calling them to.
“I was long searching for my vocation in life,” the 40-year old Che told CatholicMatch. “I thought I was being called to the celibate life, before I learned that was not my vocation.” For his part, 42-year-old Steve had gone into the seminary, before leaving in 2007, having realized that God was moving him in another direction.
Che felt like going online would be the best way for her find a spouse who shared her values. She lived a life focused on church, work, family and a few friends and believed that she needed a broader horizon in the search for a spouse. Steve had other reasons for choosing CatholicMatch—yes, of course he wanted a site that would enable him to match his own faith and values with that of a mate. But there were other reasons. “I picked y’all because you were cheaper,” the Texas native said with a laugh.
The odds that this couple would connect were remote, at least based on human wisdom. Che lived in the Philippines, but Steve came across her profile. Upon seeing that he’d viewed her, Che returned the favor to Steve and decided to take his interview test. Steve said later that she was the only one whose answers graded out as a perfect match, so distance or no, he contacted her.
It was December 2009 when that initial contact took place and between then and the following May, they continued to keep in touch, while also corresponding with, and seeing other people. By May, Steve felt like something special was developing even if they hadn’t met. He asked Che if she would agree that they would focus exclusively on each other.
She agreed, and for over a year they invested their time and money into frequent contact, international phone calls and e-mails to get to know each other. “We used up a lot of phone cards,” Che recalled. Steve worked on saving up the money to get overseas and finally, by September 2011, he was in the Philippines to visit her in person.
“I spent ten days in the Philippines,” Steve recalled. “And I realized I had a good thing and that I should ask her to marry me.” In reaching this conclusion, Steve had a little help. Upon going to sleep one night, he had a dream where his guardian angel told him to marry Che.
He woke up, and saw that Che had come into the room and was sitting by his bedside. He told her about the dream. Che pointed out that it happened on the Feast of the Guardian Angels. Steve asked her to marry him, and she said yes.
It was August 15, 2012 when Che’s paperwork was finally set for her to come into the United States and exactly one month later, on September 15, they were married in Texas. Steve later looked back at their relationship and realized that—without any deliberate planning on their part—they’d become exclusive to each other on May 13 (The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima), she’d come into the States on August 15 (Feast of the Assumption) and wed on September 15 (Our Lady of Sorrrows). Yes, it was fair to conclude that the Blessed Mother had a hand in all of this.
Steve and Che are both grateful for what they have found in each other. When it all began Che had her doubts that the distance would be overcome, having had friends on CatholicMatch and other online venues who got in contact with American men, and then saw them give up in the face of the challenge. “I thought he wouldn’t want to push through,” she admitted.
But Steve proved to be different. The honesty that she admired in him was accompanied by a prayerful fortitude. She admires the simplicity he brings to life, from being a good son and a good brother to also being a good listener to her.
“He knows just by listening whether I’m feeling bad or feeling tired,” she told CatholicMatch. “And he’s thoughtful in a simple way.” An example was that the first gift Steve gave her was a rosary that he handcrafted. Though he’s subsequently given her other gifts, including another rosary, it’s that first gift she likes best. “Because he made it.”
For his part, Steve advises others on CatholicMatch to be persistent in prayer, and to show patience in letting God’s plan unfold them. The fruits of his own patient and perseverance were the gift of a spouse who shared his values in every way. “For me, it’s heaven sent,” he said.