After graduating with a theology degree from Fordham University in 2012, Stephanie Pennacchia, 24, joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Los Angeles, where she worked at a drop-in center for teens experiencing homelessness.
Today she is as a social worker who assists chronically homeless adults and says she is looking for someone with whom she can discuss her work and her spirituality.
’ The community had some social capital, and it allowed you to be comfortable knowing what you would and wouldn’t have to make decisions about.
My mother told me that her biggest worry on a date was what meal she could order so that she still looked pretty eating it.” Today, she says, young adults are bombarded with hyperromantic moments—like viral videos of proposals and over-the-top invitations to the prom—or hypersexualized culture, but there is not much in between.
“Catholic events are not necessarily the best place to find potential Catholic dating partners,” says Christopher Jolly Hale, 25.
“What I’m looking for in a relationship is a person that can draw me outside of myself,” he says.In 2013 Kania traveled to the National Catholic Singles Conference in Philadelphia.She went for the speakers, the fellowship, and the info on theology of the body, but not necessarily to meet someone, she says. No matter what, she says, “I pray for myself and for my future spouse as we both are on our path to grow closer to the Lord, and if it is God’s will, we will meet when we are both ready.” Yet for other young adults, dating events geared specifically toward Catholics—or even general Catholic events—are less-than-ideal places to find a mate.And while many acknowledge that such venues might improve their chances of meeting a like-minded mate, most also say they’re not arriving with a game plan for spotting a spouse.“In a way, I am always looking,” says Rebecca Kania, 28.