The Vocation of Marriage

In recognition of World Marriage Day (February 12, 2023), we invite you to join parishioners Jim & Tatiana Promessi in their reflection on their journey of courtship and marriage.

(Jim). “He who finds a wife finds happiness; it is a favor he receives from the Lord.” PRV 18:22

Growing up Catholic and going to Mass gave me a grounding, great comfort, and ties to the community. Later I drifted away from practicing my faith as I was not strongly grounded in my belief. Soon after purchasing a home in Los Altos I sensed a longing for a faith community, and realized I wanted my God and my Church which thankfully led me back. I knew at that point I desired marriage and family more than ever.

(Tatiana) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” PRV 3:5

Marriage as a vocation wasn’t a clear calling early in my life. I vaguely knew that I wished to be married. It never occurred to me to seek religious life or to seek a celibate life. And it didn’t occur to me to ask God for help.

I had my work, friends, a busy life with lists describing my perfect match, and full dependence on myself.

Finally, I asked God to help me find a husband. I went to work in cooperation and soon my petition was answered. I asked God daily to block us if it wasn’t right, and each time I received an instant flood of peace and hope. I asked the same petition all the way to my wedding day and then walked up the aisle to my Jim with total confidence and calm.

I had asked Fr. Duggan, my spiritual director, if we could be married in the Santa Clara Mission Church. He said yes, but it would be better to be married in the church where we would attend Mass, and perhaps have our children receive the sacraments. He was right! St. William became our spiritual home and on Sunday when we attend Mass, we remember standing in the sanctuary, taking our vows, and beginning our life together.

(The Promessi Family) “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!” PRV 3:3

Pregnancy came early in our marriage when Tatiana was fighting a serious disease, and the doctors strongly pushed us to abort the pregnancy. That wasn’t an option for us, and because we were aligned in our stance, it wasn’t difficult to put it in God’s hands and pray together for a good outcome. Scary? Absolutely, but not difficult because our faith gave us confidence that it was the right choice. We were blessed with a healthy preemie who has brought immeasurable joy to our family. And curiously Tatiana’s health issues resolved after giving birth.

As members of our Parish, we’ve witnessed our daughter’s Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, and years of separate Liturgy of the Word for Children, Junior High, and High School faith programs.

Together, as a couple and as a family, we’ve enjoyed many ministries, learned to serve from faith-filled people, and developed strong and fun parish friendships.

Our faith has become our common ground, it unites and strengthens us. So much of our life revolves around our faith.

Encouraged by the parish, we looked for where we could serve, and trained to become Eucharistic Ministers and Lector. We prepare for Sunday Mass together by reading holy literature during the week, and listening to Sunday readings and reflections online before Mass. It’s where we want to be, together, at Mass, praying in community, petitioning Our Lord for our heartfelt needs, and those of others… it’s where we belong as a Christian couple. In gratitude we come, fed we are sent, and with faith, we hope to serve in the manner that God wants.

With humility and humor, we learn to love each other more deeply as time goes on. It’s not easy to always be kind and good. Our flawed egos can thwart our love. We have found when anger takes over, if we pause to quiet our emotions we remember God brought us together in marriage and He will help us maintain a happy, harmonious marriage. Our hearts soften and we find ourselves humbly asking each other for forgiveness, and our love grows.

We are grateful to have been called to the vocation of marriage.