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Catholic dating guide

LOUIS — She was in her 30s, and eligible Catholic men seemed increasingly scarce.He had been burned by one broken marriage that ended with an annulment, and, as he entered his 40s, he was hesitant to meet someone new. Louis area, but it took Catholic to bring Ann Campbell and Dan Clegg together in early 2004.After 10 months of in-person dating, they married in 2005.

Today, the most often-cited meeting place for singles (21%) is online, according to a survey published in last year.

In terms of Catholic sites, Catholic Match says it has served almost 1 million people since its founding in 1999.

Three other Catholic sites — Ave Maria Singles.com, Catholic and Catholic (Catholic Mingle is part of the Christian Mingle conglomerate (aka Spark Network) that operates other sites for Jewish and Mormon singles) — all have had under 500,000 visitors, according to data.

According to David Nevarez of Catholic Singles.com, the site has more than 200,000 active members.

The site also is the only one of these sites that offers content in Spanish as Catolicos

But the smaller sites are growing: Ave Maria has gone from 2,000 to about 5,000 active users since 2000.After 15 years in business, it has 3,000 marriages under its belt.“It’s unrealistic for a single Catholic to assume they can meet their future spouse within their local faith community,” said Ave Maria founder Anthony Buono.“The other reality is that most Catholics in America do not believe 100% of the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Devout singles, he said, are in the minority in their community on issues like contraception, and thus they need a good way to find other like-minded faithful.Ave Maria Singles and Catholic Match connect people with shared values and beliefs, their founders say.In contrast to secular sites like OKCupid.com, which offers quizzes on sexual habits and histories, Catholic sites have questionnaires on user’s beliefs about contraception, confession, the Eucharist and papal infallibility.Users are encouraged to elaborate about faith: On Catholic Match, they can list favorite saints and specify liturgical preferences.Advantages and Disadvantages Such sites pair people who would otherwise not meet due to distance or other circumstances, said Catholic Match CEO Brian Barcaro.One match involved a man stationed on a submarine and a nurse on a nearly all-female staff in a neonatal unit.“Online dating offered them access and advantages that were unavailable through conventional dating,” Barcaro said. In a new book, critic has linked online dating to the “end of courtship” and the sexually casual hook-up culture of the millennial generation.Similar issues could arise on Catholic dating sites, said Christopher West, a Catholic author and speaker on John Paul II’s theology of the body.

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