The Sacrament of Marriage is an important part of one’s journey in faith as a Catholic. However with that being said, If God comes a knocking and has other plans for the one or both individuals then the Sacrament of Marriage may not be a part of his plan. For example, the soon to be groom and/or bride could wake up one day and feel like they are being called to religious life. That would definitely alter the plans for marriage.
During my education in the Catholic education system in my hometown, I was very active in various faith activities both within the local parishes and within the school system. During our years of Altar Serving, my twin brother Tony and I wanted to become priests. We had checked out various dioceses and religious orders. We even took part in a come and see weekend in our old diocese.
God definitely can call people in different directions whenever he pleases. He is God after all. After a long period of prayer and discernment, both my brother and I had realized God was calling us in different directions. The following is my story:
During my years of being in high school and up until 2005, I had been through various relationships with the opposite sex which seemed to come and go. There was a point where I was getting fed up and depressed because none of the relationships I had been in seemed to be working. I was getting hurt left, right, and centre.
On October 29th 2005, I started dating an amazing woman in College. I had no idea of where things were headed for us. I knew in my heart that she might be the one that God had intended for me but I wasn’t sure. I wanted to take things slow due to the fact of how previous relationships had worked out.
During our relationship, we have had many discussions about various topics which included faith. I grew up in a strong Catholic family. My wife grew up in a Baptist home and at the age of 16, became a Mennonite. We both believed in God which was very important. When people hear about Mennonites, they immediately think of old order Mennonites that use horse and buggies and are against Technology. My wife is what people would call a modern Mennonite. My wife and I have grown as a married couple but also as individuals too.
It took a while for both families to get adjusted to the idea of us being together considering the fact we were both from different faith backgrounds. However, they eventually got adjusted to it.
The end of 2009 was an exciting time for us because we started to plan our wedding. Both my wife and I have met many times at Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s to discuss our plans for our ceremony. At the time, my wife wasn’t comfortable in getting married in a Catholic church and since she wasn’t originally from my hometown and didn’t have a church to call home, we decided to get married in a non-Catholic church. My wife knew how much Catholicism meant to me and we met with my parish priest. We received a dispensation from the Bishop from the Diocese of London Ontario which oversees the community my hometown parish is located in.
We also had to take part in meetings with my parish priest at different times as well as a local Catholic marriage preparation course. The prep course was at the request of my parish priest. Since we chose to get married at a non-Catholic church, we also had to meet with the pastor of that church and take part in their marriage prep course too.
I am proud to say my wife and I were married April 17th, 2010 after 3 proposals. Two proposals were turned down. Third one was accepted. I guess the saying Third times a charm seems to be what happened here. The stories of the proposals can be saved for another time. Our relationship has encountered a fair share of bumps in the road during our journey to the Sacrament of Marriage.
My wife and I reside In Waterloo Ontario, Canada. We both continue to support each other in our faith journeys. My wife will attend Mass with me on Sundays when she can, and I will attend church with her when I am able. We both pray together every day because we believe that prayer in an important part of our faith journeys but also for the success of our marriage. I’ve made it clear to my wife that I am not here to convert her and if she does, it’s between her and God. If she has questions regarding Catholicism, I have made it clear that I will do my best to help her but if I can’t, I will find someone who can.
Since we have filled out a dispensation form and recieved a dispensation from the Bishop of my old diocese, Our marriage is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.
When I look back at the time we have been together so far and even as we continue to step forward, I see God present in our various bumps whether it is disagreements, issues with families, etc…. God has become an important part of our lives with being raised in two different faith backgrounds and of course apart of our marriage. Through this story, it proves that God is present in all of the sacraments including that of Marriage.