Thursday, 13 February 2020

Introducing the Catholic Disciples Matchmaking Service

UPDATED: Here's the link to the Google form to register: https://forms.gle/UjWsqyMBuNe3t8zU9

Are you a Catholic disciple who feels called to marriage but have almost given up hope of finding a like-minded partner? Have you ever wished that someone would introduce you to more like-minded potential partners? Have you ever bemoaned the lack of easy ways to connect with eligible Catholic disciples? Has the traditional arranged marriage system and the casual dating system failed you so far?

Do you know people like that and wish you could help them out?

I’m here to help! (God willing) I’ve been pondering a matchmaking service for a while – but one with a difference.

First of all, who am I and why do I think I'm qualified to run this?

My name is Susanna, I'm a 33 year old (almost 34) Catholic disciple who has been working with young people for over a decade. I've run across the same problems and struggles again and again - disciples who feel that they have no options when it comes to looking for a good spouse. I've had my own struggles, but last year MY matchmaker (aka God) worked things out beautifully and I married another Catholic disciple and have begun to live out my vocation with him (fun read: one year ago I wrote 'What It's Like To Have a Catholic Boyfriend'). I'm based close to Mumbai, but I'm originally from Pune. My only qualification is that I feel inspired by the Holy Spirit to do this, and I don't know anyone else in India who is doing it. I've written a lot about relationships, dating, courtship, etc, and guided some people in real life too.

Second, what does ‘Catholic disciple’ mean?

Catholic – Faithful to all the teachings of the Church including the tough ones, willing to learn and grow in knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith, openness to and love for Mary, the saints and the sacraments; and committed to the Catholic understanding of marriage and family.

Disciple –  Committed to doing the will of Christ, trying to walk with Him every day, having a personal relationship with Jesus through a prayer life, dealing with personal sin, pursuing holiness, willing to ‘go wherever He asks you to go, do whatever He asks you to do, say whatever He asks you to say, and give up whatever He asks you to give up’.

Here’s what Catholic disciple does NOT mean: Perfect in every way, no longer struggling with any sin, only interested in talking about religious topics, extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of the Catholic faith, fanatical about all things Catholic. Yeah, no.


So how is Catholic Disciples Matchmaking Service going to work? 

1. Interested people fill in a Google form to help me get to know you better. It will include a photo, a bio, and a bunch of relevant questions. Job, salary, height, complexion, educational qualifications are NOT asked here. (If those are important to you, this is not a good place to join. You will eventually learn these thing after meeting someone, but they are not the most important things.) Instead, there will be questions about your interests, priorities, spiritual life and hopes for a spouse. The form should include a name and number of a priest you know who can vouch for you if necessary. Members pay a one-time registration fee.

2. As matchmaker, I personally will go through each member’s profile, and match members. I will send the photo and profile to two matched people, and if they both say yes, I’ll give them each other’s email ids to start a correspondence. If they feel comfortable doing so, they exchange numbers and eventually meet. There will be certain dating guidelines that all members should agree to – for example, that they should try to meet in person within a month of communicating (even if they’re from different cities), that both agree that no commitments or promises are implied in agreeing to go on a date, that they will maintain good boundaries, etc.

3. Once the two members have met in person, they will each debrief with me, and let me know what they thought and if they want to move ahead. Dating and courtship guidance will continue for those who want it.

4. As matchmaker I’m here to help and facilitate, but I am ultimately not responsible for your choices. It is up to each member to take this seriously, to be holy and responsible and prudent in the way they go about this process.

5. I hope to eventually add relationship advice videos and posts which will be available to members only.

What kind of attitude should a potential member have? 

1. Openness: Don’t come with a cardboard cut-out of the perfect spouse, or over specific ideas of how gorgeous they are, or where they are located, or their cultural background. Let God surprise you!


2. Adventurousness: You have to be willing to take a risk , to be courageous, to meet more than one person who may NOT be right for you. If you aren’t willing to take a risk, how can you hope for something amazing to happen to you?

3. Patience: It may not happen immediately, and it may not happen in your expected time frame. Some people take longer than others to know for sure. Marriage is a big enough commitment to merit investing time and patience into the search for the right spouse.

4. Willingness to step out of your comfort zone: Whether it means travelling to a different city for a date, or learning about love languages and marriage preparation and discernment, or more about your faith, or trying out spiritual activities that are new for you, or just learning to communicate with a completely different person, you can’t play it safe, or protect yourself completely. Be a learner! Whether or not you land up marrying that particular person, God can teach you a lot through the process.


5. Openness to God’s guidance: Commit to daily prayer for your future spouse, try out a novena or ask for a particular saint’s intercession and help, get your spiritual life in order, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you at each step. Trust that HE is your ultimate matchmaker.

Interested? Have suggestions? Have ideas about how to publicize this service? Shoot me an email at solosenilejive@gmail.com. The Google form should be live in a week.

P.S This service is mostly aimed at people in India to make real-life meeting more possible, but if you have the possibility of visiting India regularly (like our many Indian friends working in Middle-Eastern countries), you are welcome too.

UPDATED: Indians from other countries have expressed an interest too, so go ahead and register wherever you are, and if God sends other people from your part of the world, I'll set them up with you. If you are in the US, I'd suggest you look up Emily Zanotti, the Catholic Yenta, who is doing something very similar there.


P.P.S. Please share this blog post in all the Catholic disciples' groups you can think of, and ask individuals to spread the word too! 

12 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea! Praying for this endeavor!

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  2. Hi Susanna .. how can I register ??

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  3. Its a wonderful endeavour. What better can one ask for when God is the true matchmaker. I wish all who meet good luck

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  4. It's a great opportunity for like-minded faithful people to meet their potential significant other solely on the basis of the yardsticks mentioned. And not on those such as height weight color complexion etc. I pray that they may find their joy, their love just on this very site. It's awesome.

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  5. Susanna, do you have something similar in Australia?

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  6. Rational logical and not fantasy. It'll work for those seriously interested in commitment and loyalty.

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  7. God bless this beautiful ministry....would like to support and pray for this initiative. Am based in Perth and working with youth in Christ.Keen to support.Mum to four including a 18, 16 year old.

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  8. Wonderful initiative. Need of the hour. Shall pray for you and may the Lord bless your efforts.

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  9. Very good n need of d hour n time. Praise God

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  10. I am a Catholic priest who went through a lot of pain in a very deep crisis that saw me quitting Time and the priesthood and returning to India. After a big period of discernment I was readmitted to the priesthood in May 2018. Can I help in any way with guidance and discernment?

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