“Holiness means giving ourselves in sacrifice every day. And so married life is a tremendous path to sanctity!” Pope Francis
When God writes your love story, you know it is going to be beautiful. When I was a sophomore in college, I was introduced to Patti through a mutual friend. We were both searching for roommates and met up for coffee to see if we would be a good fit. Long story short, we lived together for two years and formed an incredible friendship. Patti was right along my side when I met Steven and she has been a constant friend throughout Steven and I’s love story.
Steven, well aware of our friendship, worked with Patti to bring me to John Carroll University’s Saint Francis Chapel – one of my favorite places in the world. Patti is a current student at Walsh University studying for her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her next clinical rotation was near John Carroll and she asked if I would like to visit apartments with her. I, of course, said yes! On our way, Patti said she needed to stop and use the restroom at Carroll and suggested we could walk through campus to get to the apartment.
She asked if I wanted to walk through the chapel while we were there and my heart exploded with joy. I knew my best friend would be there waiting for me. I immediately saw him praying peacefully by the tabernacle. He later told me that he was praying on the rosary I gave him a few years ago for Christmas – the rosary was for his future wife. My heart… my heart. I carried it in my bouquet on our wedding day and we held it during our engagement pictures!
(Credit: Sarah Renee Studios)
When I walked over, Steven took my hand and we prayed a Hail Mary together. We have an incredible devotion to the Blessed Mother, so it was perfect for her to be a part of our proposal. Steven then got down on one knee and used my full name – Mary Cecilia Anastasia Semenczuk – to ask me to be his wife. I said “yes, yes, yes!” before he could even finish.
Afterwards we celebrated with dinner at Melt (yum!) and went to visit his parents and my parents. We are so blessed! It was a beautiful proposal. I could not have dreamed up anything more beautiful, simple, and fitting of our relationship.
I wanted to propose at John Carroll, because it is a very special place to her. It is also special to us because Mary was a student there when our dating adventure began. I could not ask her friend to ask until I knew that the ring was in, because I wanted it to be a surprise. I do not keep surprises very well. I had two days to plan the proposal with her best friend Patti.
The day of I had planned on getting a haircut and arriving at John Carroll at least an hour before they did; however, Mary needed me to pick her up Ginger Ale, because she had a stomach ache. Before walking into the hair cut place I picked it up for her and brought it to her and then made an excuse to go watch the Notre Dame game. Then the fun began.
Patti was picking up Mary to go looking for apartments, because Patti had a new rotation close to John Carroll. The Notre Dame game kind of threw Mary off the scent of a proposal at John Carroll that day. I stopped to pick up flowers and then went to Saint Francis Chapel and sat and prayed before they got there. Patti asked Mary if she wanted to go to the Chapel and they came in.
I sat down next to Mary and we prayed a Hail Mary. Then I asked her to stand up while I got on one knee. Then I asked her if she would marry me. She said yes before I finished asking the question. We were both super excited and met a student at John Carroll while we were taking pictures at Mary’s beloved Saint Ignatius statue who was even more excited than we were. We then went to Melt for dinner and visited both our parents to share the good news.