The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

When Catholics fall in love

Looking for Mr. (or Ms. or Miss) Right? Take a number and get in line. A lot of Catholics are looking, literally and figuratively, for their soul mate.

Which makes this charming essay by John Zmirak all the more poignant and sweet:

It’s no news to paleos that the Net empowers eccentrics of every sort, and helps us find each other. There are Facebook groups that summon from airless basement rooms the fans of squabbling heirs to the vacant throne of Byzantium, and dating services catering to the most peculiar tastes, and the tiniest coteries of dispossessed souls.


For instance, orthodox Catholics. No, not the folks who happened to grow up Italian-American or Irish in the wake of Vatican II, and learned a little less about their Faith than most 19th century Haitians. I mean the much smaller subset of people who have blundered somehow onto the actual teachings of the Church—and even worse, come to believe them. From a mass religion that exercised a sweaty grip on the minds of tens of millions, the American church in the past 40 years has become something very different: An exotic, almost esoteric sect of old believers, hidden inside the shell of a mainline Protestant denomination. Apart from the occasional Latin Mass full of elderly anti-Masonic activists, we typically sit through our dismal local services with teeth clenched and earlids shut, and spot each other (if at all) by secret handshakes and coded phrases. See that blonde over there, a friend might nudge you with his elbow. She took Communion on the tongue. I wonder if she’s single…. Such thoughts don’t always help you to pray.


It made matters worse that for most of my career I’ve worked from home, and missed out on all the happenstance meetings at water cooler and Xerox machine that can sometimes prove so fruitful. The casually glimpsed scapular dangling from an ivory, swanlike neck … the smudge of ash on a high, noble forehead that shows up one Wednesday every year, like a sticker reading “Marriage Material.” I found out the hard way that none of this happens by email.

So as soon as I heard about Catholic dating sites, I signed up for several of them. I wrote up a long and learned-sounding profile, posted pics I hoped were appealing, and began to send off notes to a wide array of bright-seeming, good-looking girls. I tramped off to Boston, Washington, Virginia, North Carolina, even Iowa. I learned (after more years than I’d like to admit) that phone conversations don’t always predict how two people will get along in person, and that photos can sometimes be… flattering. There are few things worse than having arranged to spend the better part of a weekend with someone six states from home… and realizing within 8 seconds or so that you want to go back to the airport. It’s worse, of course, when you’re the one still dazzled by surface attraction, and she’s staring at you like the burrito in which she found a human finger.

Read on to find out what happened. And a grateful crunchy h/t to Rod Dreher for the story and link.

Comments read comments(3)
post a comment

posted August 1, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Okay, am I the only nosy one who wants to know the rest of the story… Do they fall in love when they meet??

report abuse


posted August 4, 2008 at 3:24 am

Nope, Kathy, you’re not…I’d kinda like to know if it’s still possible too.

report abuse

pat- filipine

posted August 5, 2008 at 6:49 am

very insipiring story for those hopeless romantic people like me…God bless Mr.J.Z

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.