Mary Therese & Wilf

Since I was little, my biggest dream in life has always been to get married and start a family. There was always something so beautiful about the idea of marriage that attracted me; the beauty of the husband and wife helping each other on the way to heaven and raising a holy family of saints. I wanted to be counter-cultural and show the world what a true Catholic family looks like – one that has more than just 1 or 2 kids and the mother stays home with them. I remember when I was little, I was always asking my mom for more dolls to add to my “family” to which I was the mother. There were never too many dolls/kids for me; the more the merrier. Big families were always so much fun!!! Whenever I saw one of those 12 or 15 passenger vans on the road it always made me say to myself: “I want one of those someday and I want to fill it with all my kids.” So, twelve children have always been my absolute minimum.   

So, I knew what I wanted, the only problem was finding a husband to make it all happen. And that began the first of many novenas and Rosaries for the intention of finding my future husband. I attended as many young adult events as I could, and to give myself more options, I signed up for a few online Catholic dating sites. Time passed, and I began to get discouraged. I had been working at a Catholic religious goods store just to get a little income while still living at home with my parents. But when the store started struggling financially, they had to let me go, and it was then that I really began to question what I should do with my life. It didn’t seem like marriage was never going to happen and I suddenly came to the realization that if something ever happened to my parents I would never be able to support myself. So, I made a decision. I decided to give up on the idea of getting married and sign up for a program at the local technical college. If marriage happened someday, great! But for now, I was going to give up on that dream.  

It wasn’t too long after that, that I got a notification email from Ave Maria Singles to let me know that a “Wilf” had sent me a message. Feeling very skeptical of anybody with a name like that, I logged onto Ave Maria Singles to view his profile. I was pleasantly surprised! There was nothing to dislike about his profile; he was authentically Catholic (which was what I had been looking for). I showed my sister his profile and she said that we were twins. And the best part was, he was a farmer! At one time, I had asked God to let my future husband be a farmer. 

Well, you can bet that I messaged him back right away! The messages flew back and forth until the day came when we talked on the phone for the first time. We had a delightful phone conversation and after a few more phone calls, we met in person. Wilf drove all the way from Kansas pulling a 35-foot combine head on a trailer—talk about a hard trip. His family had bought it at an online auction and it was located in Iowa. So, it worked out for Wilf to pick it up and then swing over to see me. 

He came over to our house and met my family, and then for our first date, we drove almost three hours north to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help and after that, we went biking. About a month later, I went down to Kansas to visit his farm. It was there that he first told me he loved me—taking me completely by surprise. I am a very shy person who had little to no dating experience and I was having a roller coaster of emotions that I couldn’t explain—I had no idea how I felt about him yet. But he told me that he had always prayed to be sure when he met his future wife---and he was sure about me. He told me to take as much time as I needed to decide about him.  

That began our dating relationship, with many trips back and forth between Kansas and Wisconsin, video chats, phone calls, and texting. Wilf soon became my very best friend. I had always thought my family and I were very Catholic, but Wilf and his family were even more—they were Catholic to the max! Wilf impressed me with his faith and trust in God and his belief that God can work miracles. If anybody was meant to be my partner in life to get me to Heaven, Wilf was definitely the one. He was so much holier than me! I found myself falling in love with him.  

Wilf invited my whole family down to Kansas to meet his family after Christmas. It was then that I told him that I loved him back, and the next time he came up to Wisconsin, he brought a ring and proposed! We were married in June of this year. We can’t wait to start having our 12 kids!

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