Bold blogger that I am now, I teased you all a couple of times with the fact that I am a (self-described) Catholic matchmaker! I am probably enamored with the idea of matchmaking for the same reason that I am obsessed enamored with the IF bloggers: I love the idea of building up great Catholic families for the Kingdom of God.
Under no circumstances will I admit that I have never had a single success at matchmaking since I have begun my mission. So, don't ask because I won't tell you. Seriously. I won't. Ha ha, just kidding. I admit that I am, so far, a failure.
I believe I am on to something with Catholic matchmaking, though. Think about it.... What is more natural than devout Catholic parents wanting to match up their kids? If you are skeptical, I give you two letters: E and C. We are all romantics at heart, no? (By the way, Shannon was right and E will have to battle it out with my little Matthew for C's heart!)
So, here is the genesis of my matchmaking dreams, spelled out in an article I wrote for Catholic Exchange way back in February 2008 (I have edited out irrelevant parts for this post):
As a faithful Catholic parent, have you ever found yourself secretly "matching up" your children with the children of other faithful Catholic friends? Perhaps you've jokingly promised one of your infants to the infant of a dear Catholic friend who laughed with you and happily agreed to the "betrothal"? If you are like me, you secretly (or not so secretly) have scouted out future spouses for your children, hoping for the perfect in-laws, dreaming that your beloved offspring would have the best possible chance for Holy Matrimony lived out as Christ and His Church envisions.Well, I've taken it all a step further, as the frustrated Yenta in me has finally burst forth into the public sphere in the form of Catholic Moms Matchmaking.The idea for this apostolate is simple, and it grew naturally over some time. A few years ago, I started to notice an epidemic of unhappy marriages and the ripple effect that spread a couple's misery to children, extended family, and even friends. It then occurred to me that many parents are working hard to ensure their children's academic and career success, but few are sweating and sacrificing to ensure that their children are marriageable. This is a grave cultural mistake. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the single biggest factor in one's happiness is the state of one's marriage. And a happy marriage cannot be realized unless a parent teaches a child, by word and example, how to be a good husband or wife. We expect our children to find a spouse of worthy character, but do we make sure that our own children are themselves a "catch"?During this time, I also started to learn more about the Church's beautiful teachings on marriage, specifically John Paul II's earth-shattering writings on human sexuality known as the Theology of the Body. I began to hope and pray for a way to give my children a chance at God's ideal, knowing this could only be attained by their finding a spouse with a shared vision of what marriage should be. It seemed pretty clear: For those of my children not called to a religious vocation, it would be imperative that they find a devout and believing Catholic with whom to enter into the Sacrament of Matrimony.
All these thoughts were ruminating in my head for a couple of years, when one day I came upon an article in a secular magazine about happily married young couples who met their spouses via an introduction from Mom. It made perfect sense to me, as who knows a child better than a mother? And who can a child trust more than a parent? And why shouldn't the family have some influence on whom a child dates, in order to keep the child from marrying the wrong person out of infatuation, immaturity or confusion? The idea of Catholic moms playing matchmaker became an exciting thought.I talked lightly to a few friends about my desire to set up a "database" for a future mixer for our children as they approached marrying age. Each time, the response was positive. I was actually shocked at the enthusiasm I encountered! Eventually, it occurred to me that the Internet afforded opportunities for Catholic matchmaking which did not involve large, expensive websites (after all, I had, no computer savvy, no time, and no money). What about an email group like the one my former homeschooling community uses to communicate among themselves?
Before the article ran, I'd already established my little yahoo email group, had received the blessing of my priest, and had several friends sign on. The day the article ran, I had over a thousand hits on the (now defunct) Catholic Moms Matchmaking webpage my friend Lisa had set up for me, and about a hundred people joined my email group (which still exists). Most of the members have small children, so the fruits of the apostolate will not be seen for many years.... Activity on the group has slowed up, however, and things are fairly inactive now.Nevertheless, a couple of interesting things have come out of my endeavors in recent months. A dear blogger that we all know and love is looking for her husband. I thought I would stick my nose right in and boldly proclaim my assistance in this matter! Although I did not know her at the time, I emailed her and asked what her "type" was, offering to put the word out to my matchmaking group. She pretended I wasn't a nut and graciously agreed. Fast forward, I almost flipped my lid when a date actually materialized! A pretty great date, too, save for one teensy weensy issue that could not easily be resolved -- a little something called the truth and meaning of human sexuality. But, there were great graces for both parties that came from that experience (or so I keep telling myself, as I feel like a heel that it didn't end in vocational bliss), and God knows what He is doing.I had another near miss recently with another single Catholic lady seeking a spouse. I sent the word out again to my group, and something bizarre happened! There was one response from my group (someone suggesting her brother-in-law), and it turns out that this same man was someone the seeking lady had singled out on a Catholic dating site weeks before, out of thousands of men! What are the odds? I thought I saw God's hand in this pairing, and that He would lead them straight down the aisle and to the altar. Alas, I was wrong. It didn't work out. Sigh.So here I am, the least successful matchmaker on earth (batting .000), ever hopeful that someday, somehow, I'll score a Catholic match! I have several children of my own who will need to find good spouses if they are called to married life.... Maybe that's another reason I am praying so hard for all the IF bloggers: I need your children to marry mine! There is always room for more in the little Catholic bubble!:)