Mary and James first connected online, and it quickly became obvious that they were both looking for similar qualities in a spouse.
Although circumstances kept them long distance, their relationship remained strong, and the Lord blessed them with an unexpected grace: a wedding on the solemnity of his Sacred Heart.
From the Bride: James and I met on Catholic Match. We were both looking for someone who shared our faith and way of life--the most important things to us. After that, we dated long-distance between Jefferson City and St. Louis for a year and a half.
Before boarding his train back home one day, James asked if I wanted to go visit St. Peter’s church nearby. Next to the statue of Saint Louis, James told me that our time in the city had taught him that the world was not enough. He wanted to give me more than this world could offer, just like Saint Louis himself who lived his life not for this world but the next.
He proposed to me at St. Peter’s in Kirkwood, Missouri. Needless to say, I said yes!
Shortly after getting engaged James left to Army JAG (Judge Advocate General) Training in Fort Benning, Georgia, and Charlottesville, Virginia for five months. During this time, our Pre-Cana classes were put on hold while he completed his training and I finished grad school.
When he returned we hit the ground running with our Pre-Cana courses at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis under the supervision of Deacon Todd.
A month before our wedding we were told it fell on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. This meant we would not be able to use any traditional wedding readings or psalms. Although we did not realize it when we picked the date, we were now presented with a great opportunity.
It was a chance to show our guests the love of Christ found in His Most Sacred Heart and the reflection of this love found in the marriage of a husband and wife.
Our wedding mass was special in many ways. The biggest grace was celebrating our big day on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart in the beautiful Cathedral Basilica. Another fun and unique bonus was when the Archdiocesan Handbell Choir volunteered to play for the wedding, since I am a member! Hearing the beautiful bells ring throughout the cathedral was such a wonderful gift to us.
Additionally, even though James and I both have big families, we wanted everyone to have a part in the Mass if possible. Every member of the family was either in the wedding party or had a role as a lector, usher, or gift-bearer. Our photographer told us that our Mass was the most spiritual that he has ever witnessed.
Right before I walked down the aisle my bridesmaids and I began to pray, I could not hold back the tears of joy because I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for the wonderful ladies in my life. As the tears began to flow my future sister-in-law took over the prayer, somehow taking the words right out of my mouth. It was such a special moment I will always remember.