Besides being Ash Wednesday - 14 February is also is the feast of St Valentine, traditionally the patron saint of courtship, engaged couples and happy marriages If you are a single Catholic of any age, and would like to make new friends or maybe meet someone special - you might just find them through one of these sites on this up-to-date list.
The oldest agency must be the Knock Marriage Introduction Bureau, run by volunteers at the shrine of Our Lady of Knock in Co Mayo. Set up by the late Fr Michael Keane 50 years ago, more than 16,000 couples have met through the agency. The organisers say: "No definite promise can be made that all those who apply to the Bureau WILL find a life partner; but all who register can rely on the Bureau doing its utmost to help them."
For more information, write to The Secretary, Knock Marriage Introductions Bureau, Knock, Co Mayo, Ireland; enclosing an EU stamp; Tel: 094 93 75960 or 094-93 88100; Email [email protected] or see: http://knockmarriageintroductions.com
The newest Catholic site in the UK is: www.catholiconlinedating.co.uk Launched in summer 2015 by IT specialist Neil McGee, this state-of-the art site with its own app, is attracting hundreds of new members each month.
Catholicmatch.com is international, but has many members based in the UK. Author Michael Rose says: "CatholicMatch.com is a testament to the age in which we live. It is wonderful that Catholics can meet online and possibly be called by God to marriage or even a religious vocation. This is a great example of using God's gift of technology to evangelise and build up Christ's Church." See: www.catholicmatch.com/?hp=1
Catholic Mates is a free Catholic dating website. www.catholicmates.com
Catholic Singles - a voluntary organisation which helps single Catholics of all ages, over 18, in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, to meet other single Catholics, either one to one or through social events. This friendly site has a welcome in several languages. Catholic Singles are part of a national network of groups for unattached Catholics in cities and towns around the UK. See: www.catholicsingles.org.uk
The Catholic Unattached Directory - A website for single Catholics which includes internet members and postal members. See: www.cathud.com/CUD/1-PROSPECTS/index.html
Christian Connections - An introduction service for Christians of all denominations. They are celebrating their tenth birthday this year and have introduced many happy couples. See: www.christianconnection.com
Friends First - A Christian introduction agency based in the Midlands which takes great care with clients of all denominations and has an excellent track record. See: www.friends1st.co.uk
Christian Crush - New platform to help Christian singles find one another and strengthen their relationship once they become married. See: www.ChristianCrush.com
To learn about social events in your own parish or diocese check the ICN listings and links pages.
Finally - if you have forgotten to post a card - there's still time to send someone an e-Valentine - through Franciscan Media's www.catholicgreetings.org/#greeting-cards
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