Friday, March 5, 2010

Catholic 20-Somethings Ministry = Cupid

There's a joke in the Catholic 20-Somethings Ministry "founder circle" about the relationships that have evolved from the ministry.  Now, I will defend the notion that the ministry is not a dating service, especially since it is not a singles ministry and is open to anyone in their 20s, regardless of vocation.  When I began the ministry in 2005, it was a specific goal of mine to avoid the notion all together.  I wanted people to grow in their faith and Christian fellowship, not come to ministry events just looking for a spouse.

Now looking at the ministry five years later (five years of 20-Somethings -- crazy?!), after having met my own husband through it, I can appreciate the fact that it has changed lives in bringing future spouses together, resulting in families.  In fact, it's sometimes hard not to become too proud of it.  I call it the Mother Hen in me -- a nickname given me after nurturing the ministry's birth and growth in its first three years.  Mother Hen Jen.

Marriages resulted from the 20-Somethings
  1. Me and Mark
  2. Katie and Paul 
  3. Claudia and Fernando
  4. Anne and Timberon
  5. Sara and Chauncy
  6. Chelsea and Jon (May 2010)
  7. Lauren and John (indirectly, May 2010)
  8. Jenn and Justin (engaged)
  9. Kimberly and Will (engaged)
  10. Alexandra and Matt
  11. Selina and Richard
  12. Michelle and Matt

Plus countless other currently dating couples.

AND now, what I like to call, 20-Somethings babies!  (Not mine, mind you -- I know I'll get questions about that.)
  1. Baby Barboza
  2. Baby Lo
I had to emphasize the last one as I'm proud to announce the impending birth of my niece, July 2010!  Katie and Paul are expecting, and the family is thrilled.  We couldn't be more excited to meet her.

So even though the 20-Somethings isn't meant to be utilized as a dating service or meat market, I'm grateful for the new life and love brought forth by it.  Every now and then, I might quietly still whisper, "You're welcome."  At least to my friend Matt!

 March 2006


  1. It is pretty awesome that the central part of this relationships though was formed around a common faith. After all marriage does take three!

  2. Jen, this is beautiful. and a very true depiction of what all God can do with one ministry! :D

  3. Add Andrew and Becky to the list ;)

  4. And now John and Stefanie, and Valerie and Eldridge!

  5. Jen, I happened just to stumble upon this now and figured I'd add something...

    The 20-Somethings was the first time I've ever entered a new group of people and voluntarily
    said to myself before i showed up (and was mentally able to do it) that "I'm not coming here with the intention of looking for someone"...and it was such a liberating feeling with that in mind...a no-pressure environment....and it surpassed all my expectations...I loved everyone i met, including my future wife (who knew that was going to happen?? haha)...and couldn't wait to see them all was a breath of much needed fresh air!

    Last year I was reading Witness to Hope, the biography of Pope John Paul II (I don't know if you've read it or not - either way, a great book) and during a part about a group, the Srodowisko, he started for Catholics in their early 20s while he was a parish priest in Poland in the 1960s...i couldn't stop drawing paralells between them and the 20-somethings....a group of Catholics who could come together and pray together, do works of charity together, vacation together, talk about anything openly...a free thinking group of people who combined all their interests and passions...and as it may be, an unintended consequence...many of the men and women who were a part of Srokowisko eventually fell in love, married, and now have families and grandchildren and great-grandchildren...

    It's amazing how God's love works through us and can affect so many people!


  6. Wow, thanks for sharing, Will! Sounds like I might have to check out that book. Praying for you and Kimberly! God is so good.


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