#Tell His Story Link-Up // The Proposal

“Holiness means giving ourselves in sacrifice every day. And so married life is a tremendous path to sanctity!” Pope Francis

Steven proposed on November 15, 2014. I cannot believe it has been almost a year since that beautiful, holy day. Today is Wednesday, so I am joining in with the #TellHisStory Link-Up to share our proposal story, because it has has God’s fingerprints written all over it. So friends, here is our proposal story, written by the best Divine author.
Her Side

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!

PicMonkey Collage

(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.

His Side

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.

tumblr_nf5990Nq6o1qzgq6zo1_500

blog name logo

Advertisements

#BISsisterhood Link-Up // Communion of Saints

5 (13)
“I suffered a lot but my soul was singing!”

I’m joining in with the #BISsisterhood Link-Up today to share with you about Blessed Chiara Luce Badano. As we approach the feast of All Saints this weekend, it is a wonderful time to pause and remember the legacy of this soon-to-be-saint dressed in blue jeans.

3ed3c1e21b6f71d51d33cfe484bb0e11

I first fell in love with Chiara when I found out she failed math in high school and loved to wear blue jeans. Hello,soul sister! Then as I read more, I found a best friend in her.

Chiara was born in 1974 in Sassello, Italy. She loved to sing, hike, play tennis, and spend time with friends. She was a very simple, kind-hearted young teenager who kept Jesus at the very center of her life. She even referred to him as her “spouse” and consistently attended daily mass.

One day while playing tennis, Chiara felt a felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. Soon after the incident she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. When she became ill, she said, “For you, Jesus. If you want it, I want it too” and continued to put her faith in Him.

She is a prime example of love and suffering. She continually gave her pain to Jesus, trusting in His will and timing, up until the moment of her death in 1990. Her life, love, and light shows me how to lay my suffering down at the feet of the cross. I do not have to bear any of my suffering alone. We do not have to bear our suffering alone!

Come, holy spirit, teach us how to live more like Blessed Chiara!

blog name logo

10997247_10204899699185095_607975250_n_zpssx9ef3kd (1)

#4: Finish the Marian Consecration

5 (2)

This Spring Steven and I finished 33 Days to Morning Glory, a do-it-yourself retreat in preparation for Marian Consecration. We spent 33 days studying about and praying with the teachings of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed John Paul II.

What I find especially neat is that you begin your retreat on a specific Marian Feast Day. We started on our Lady of Fatima, which is April 10th.

Steven and I went to a wedding on August 14th (the Feast Day of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who Steven and I fell in love with during the 33 days) and after the wedding at Peak ‘n Peak we drove up to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, New York. It was a total spur of the moment random trip (which completed #1: Visit a New Church & #94 Go on a Spontaneous Adventure). I am not realizing until just at this moment how cool it is that we started our consecration on Our Lady of Fatima and then we got to visit the shrine!

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” Saint Maximilian Kolbe

What I loved about our consecration:

  • Total consecration to the Blessed Mother is beautiful beyond measure.
  • A set time to pray with Steven every day.
  • We gave Mary an even larger role in our lives and we feel more passionately in love with her as our Mother.
  • The passages to read were very do-able. We did not feel overwhelmed. It was the perfect amount of nightly reading and reflection.

If you’re interested, let me know! I would love to give you more information.

Enjoy a few pictures from the Shrine!

10314762_10204671810181427_7693356050639038199_n 11895956_10204671822341731_950841130319932697_n 11846720_10204671823141751_7210074162469302993_n

=blog name logo