Shane was looking for a fresh start when it came to relationships. The 26-year-old from the Denver suburbs had gotten out of an unhealthy dating situation and was acutely aware of the importance of finding a woman who placed God first in her life.
“Meeting girls with a strong Catholic faith was difficult for me,” said the young man who’d previously been a member of CatholicMatch. “So I decided try out the site again.”
Halfway around the world, Anne was in a Portuguese church—indeed, it was the main chapel at Fatima, site of the Blessed Mother’s famous apparitions back in 1917. The 26-year-old from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was praying for the right man in her life.
Anne was willing to get a little specific—she wanted a man blond hair and blue eyes, and as a little incentive, Anne promised the Mother of God that if her request was granted, Anne would return to Fatima on her honeymoon to say, thank you.
Two weeks later, Anne felt what she believed to be the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Another former member of CatholicMatch, she decided to give the site another try. Anne, being docile to the promptings of the Spirit, agreed, but with a condition—only for a month.
Shane wasn’t fixated on staying in his local area, so his search covered the United States. It was here the young couple got the breaks that come with a situation overseen by Divine Providence. Though Anne was living in Brazil, she’d studied at Harvard three years earlier when she was on the site. And before her address was updated, she appeared on Shane’s search.
“She saw that I looked at her profile and sent me a smiley face,” Shane recalled, thinking back to the summer of 2011. “I got the smiley and we started talking from there.” Anne quickly told Shane where she was really from, making sure he was not misled. Not only was he not put off, but he felt her location made her “ten times more interesting.”
Shane and Anne’s messages on CatholicMatch eventually became Skype conversations that lasted for a month and a half. “Skype is such a wonderful tool,” Shane said enthusiastically.
Indeed, the archive of CatholicMatch member stories is filled with members who used this video-conferencing technology to move their communications beyond the limited dimensions of e-mail. “Through talking and facial expression…we began to know we have an insane amount in common,” Shane said, looking back on their two-plus months of Skype communication.
“(Then) I did the craziest thing ever,” Shane told CatholicMatch, “and finally decided to see if there was really something to this relationship. I bought a ticket to a place I knew how to speak four words in!” He was on his way to Rio de Janeiro.
Shane stayed with Anne’s family (who did not know any English), and in that visit they both knew they had found the person they were looking for. “She came to visit my family on Christmas and I proposed to her the day she got to the States,” Shane said.
Both Shane and Anne have placed God at the center of their relationship and through that offering have felt secure in their future together.
This past fall, on September 8—the birthday of the Blessed Mother—they were married in Brazil. “And yes,” the blond-haired, blue-eyed Shane assures us, “We went to Fatima for part of our honeymoon.”