Dear Emmanuel Brothers and Sisters,
I have some joyful news to share: Elena and I became engaged this past January! Our paths converged — a Lithuanian girl and a Texan boy — when each of us answered the call to go to ESM-Rome in 2012-13. For a year and a half, we’ve been discerning the call to marriage together. The vast majority of our courtship has been spent talking online via the wonders of modern technology (which has fostered the nearly miraculous improvement of my communication skills), but we’ve also managed to visit each other a few times. I was able to visit her in Lithuania, and then she was able to come to the U.S. to meet my family and spend time seeing what life is like in the Lone Star State.
When she went back to Lithuania, I felt that the next time I would visit her the time would be ripe to ask her a certain question. The city where she lives, Vilnius, has a special place in my heart because (a) it’s where she lives, (b) it’s the City of Mercy, for it was there that St. Faustina received the message of Divine Mercy and where the original image of Divine Mercy is kept, and (c) during ESM we traveled there for one of our mission trips.
On my way to see her a few months ago, one of the legs of my flight was delayed—and I ended up landing in the City of Mercy during the Hour of Mercy on a Friday afternoon. I think God was giving me a reminder of His providence. I had a wonderful time spending Christmas with her and getting to know her family better.
It was near the beginning of this year, in a tiny village in the remote fields of silence, not too distant from the Baltic Sea, under the shadow of three wooden crosses atop a shallow hill in wintry fields, where I asked her to marry me. During those moments, all else fell silent (except my heartbeat, to which she can attest!) as I waited for her reply. As I look back on it, I feel like it was another small version of the Annunciation when all heaven fell silent, waiting for Mary’s reply to Gabriel. And she said yes.
Please pray for us, brothers and sisters! I am home in Texas now, working before I go back to Lithuania. It is hard to be far apart during these months of final preparation for marriage. Our wedding is set for August 15, 2015, the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother, in the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Vilnius.
Pray with us: Jesus, I trust in You!
Robert Prybyla, Member of the Yee-haw Texan Household