Having just ended an emotionally exhausting relationship, Mary Kate cautiously took measures to protect herself from the pain of heartbreak, saying “every novena imaginable” to saints Anne, Jude, Joseph, Our Lady Undoer of Knots, Raphael, and Anthony. Her future husband was a constant fixture in her prayer life.
A line from the movie Little Boy, spoken by a priest, echoed in Mary Kate’s heart: “you moved me to move the bottle.” She deeply desired that the Lord would move to give her a holy spouse, praying for her husband’s strength and courage as they waited to meet each other.
That summer, she met a seminarian for her diocese. They became friends. And for a time, that was that.
In Mary Kate’s words: Jason and I always had good conversations, especially about the Catholic faith and about music. I often saw him, with other seminarians, at many young adult events in the area. At the conclusion of a pastoral year, Jason returned to seminary.
I continued my constant prayers for my future husband, trusting completely that God would bring him into my life when the time was right. One Sunday, about a year after our first meeting, I saw Jason’s announcement on Facebook that he had discerned out of the seminary, and would not be continuing in formation. I was shocked, and a little disappointed. If anyone would have made a good priest, it would have been Jason.
That Wednesday, I saw him again, and we were able to catch up. Over the next three and a half weeks, we saw each other frequently at different young adult events, attended several priestly ordinations together, and started getting to know each other better. At the end of that time, we went to a couple movies together. The day before Corpus Christi Sunday, Jason asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes. Two years earlier, I had asked God to bring me a good Catholic man, and to bring him to me on the Feast of Corpus Christi. In return, I would get married as close to Corpus Christi Sunday as I possibly could. To say I was a overjoyed might be an understatement.
On March 17, 2018 we celebrated nine months of dating. Jason had spoken with my parents in February and had received their permission to ask for my hand in marriage. On Tuesday of Holy Week, I assisted with the Chrism Mass in our diocese. The Mass totally got me in the Holy Week mood, and I was ecstatic. Jason and I usually see each other on Tuesdays and weekends, so I already knew I’d be seeing him that evening after work. On my way home, as we talked on the phone, he suggested we go to the Perpetual Adoration chapel in town that evening He got to my house, we had supper, and then we left for the Chapel.
We’d been there almost a full hour when Jason stood up from our pew and proceeded to kneel right in front of the monstrance. He’d done that before, so I didn't think much of it. Except that he knelt there for forty-five minutes. As it turns out, he had been waiting for me to get impatient and ask him if we would be leaving soon. We’d each thought the other simply needed some serious prayer time!
Finally, Jason looked back at me and nodded for me to come forward. I knelt beside him. After a moment or two he stood up, so I did, too. As soon as I was standing, he knelt back down, and on one knee, proposed to me in front of Jesus. I, of course, said yes. An older couple was there for their holy hour; they politely clapped and congratulated us. On the car ride back to my house, I learned some of my siblings and their families were waiting with champagne to celebrate with us! It was such a joyful evening, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect proposal.
Besides the fact that Jason proposed before Jesus in the Eucharist--thus making him the foundation of the next stage in our relationship--I think my biggest takeaway from our engagement is a reflection on my ring.
My ring has a sapphire and a ruby on either side of a diamond. My favorite color is blue, and Jason’s is red. There is a twofold significance: first, two become one in the sacrament of marriage. Second, it takes three to get married, with God as the center diamond and Jason and I as the jewels on the sides.
Engagement Location: St. Joseph's Church Perpetual Adoration Chapel | Ring: Diamonds and Jewelry Unlimited