February 14th is a day when love is celebrated by couples. We want to take this Valentine’s Day to honor “the icon of God’s love for us,” (Pope Francis) sacramental marriages! To display the beauty of a sacramental marriage, we are aiming to post one love story a day from our married brothers and sisters until we reach Valentine’s Day. May their stories draw you closer to the Source of their love. Happy reading!
I grew up in a wonderful family and participated in lots of activities as a child, but transitioning to college away from my family was very difficult for me. In that challenge, I sought and found God through the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic church and student center at Iowa State University, where I became quite involved and met some great friends. I discerned a potential call to the priesthood for a short while but always felt more of a call to marriage when praying, and in my growing faith and prayer life, it was clear that dating someone with a strong Catholic faith was important to me.
During college and while living in Iowa for five years after graduating, dating opportunities were close at times but just didn’t work out, due in part to my more quiet nature. I kept praying for patience and hinted to God that it would be great if I could meet a girl in church choir, and shortly after moving back to Minnesota, it worked! I met Katy in church choir at St. John’s Catholic Church in Little Canada, a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, USA, in the fall of 2015. I thought Katy was very cute, and after seeing her pray in the pews after mass, I knew God was calling me to pursue a relationship with her. I asked Katy out on the Feast of the Epiphany on January 3rd, 2016, and soon after, we went ice-skating for our first date in practically 100 below zero weather. We spent more time together playing cribbage, going snowshoeing, and singing choir songs.
Not having dated anyone before dating Katy, much was new to me and our dating relationship was very stressful to me. Through the help of a therapist and Katy’s loving support, I realized more that my relationship with God needed more healing to develop a healthy relationship with Katy. Through God’s grace, some healing came to me and our relationship grew, and it was clear after almost a year that Katy was who God had gifted me with to be my spouse. So, on December 8, 2016 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I proposed to Katy at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Hamel, and she said yes! Katy and I were married in a beautiful wedding mass on July 8, 2017 at the church we met at, and we continue to sing together in our church choir as God guides us through the early part of our marriage and beyond.
I grew up in Green Bay, WI along side a loving and supportive family even in spite of my parents divorce which was a definite trial in my life; however, it ultimately lead me closer to the Lord. As a high school student, I felt that the Lord was calling me to Himself in a special way when I encountered his peace and presence at a before-school Mass. No longer did I just pray to the Lord for snow days, good health, and good grades as I did when I was a kid, but since those pivotal moments in highschool I began to ask Jesus to enter into the whole of my life and direct the road ahead according to His divine plan. At St. Olaf college, the Lord introduced me to friends who were seeking Him as well and provided many opportunities to deepen my faith and trust in the Holy Spirit through those relationships. Following college, I embarked on a whirlwind of missionary adventures from New Mexico, to Chile, to Italy, to France, to Spain, and to Minnesota working primarily with the Hispanic community, and during this period, I continued to discern my vocation to religious or married life through the both joyful and challenging experiences that the Lord would send me. Settling down after my many missions, I began studying to earn my Masters in education while simultaneously working at a Spanish immersion school, and it was during this period that…
Tom came into the story! I had been singing in my church choir for a couple of years when Tom joined the choir. I had always been the youngest in the choir by a number of years until Tom came along. I first took interest in Tom during our fall choir bonfire as I eavesdropped on Tom’s conversations with other choir members to find out a little bit more about him. Over Christmas that year, my aunts and uncles grilled me as to where I was going to find a husband when I didn’t “go out” that much. Already sensing that the Lord had something planned for me, I explained that perhaps I would meet someone in my church choir.
My sixth sense was right. Soon after Christmas, Tom invited me to go ice-skating on what seemed to be the most frigid day in Minnesota. This, of course, was the first of many dates that followed. Throughout dating and to this day I am continuing to get to know myself and Tom and to grow and heal from past experiences as I experience Tom’s unconditional love for me. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Tom beautifully proposed to me, and even picked out a ring all by himself! We were married in a beautiful wedding Mass in which all of our closest friends and family were in attendance. Now sealed by a solemn covenant, we are learning the ins and outs of married life and striving to keep the Lord at the center and to serve Him as we serve and love one another. We are on the journey of leading one another to God, helping each other to become our best selves, and striving to give of ourselves as a choice in love.
Katy & Tom (MN)