Jackie: Besides being a daughter of God, a total goofball, and a logical romantic, I’m a full-time traveling worship leader, speaker, songwriter from Orange County, CA. In 2006, I got signed with Spirit&Song.com/OCP and released two albums with them titled, “Your Kingdom is Glorious” and “Divine Comedy.” I love traveling (40 states & 5 continents down, a few more to go) and eating yummy food, but I mostly love having a husband who is my best friend and thinks my impending muffin top from the prior two things (traveling & eating) is attractive.
Bobby: I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and went into the seminary after college because Jesus wouldn’t leave me alone. Ironically, in pursuing the celibate priesthood I was led to marriage. So yeah, I’m glad I listened to Jesus. I now live in California with my very pretty wife. I work as a campus minister and theology teacher at an all-boys Catholic high school. I like to write, surf, lift heavy things, and keep my wife well-fed.
How did you two meet?
Bobby: Once upon a time, in the Pennsylvania Amish countryside, there lay a retreat center named Black Rock. It was there that the Theology of the Body Institute (http://www.tobinstitute.org/) offered several immersion courses for the teachings of Blessed John Paul II’s vision of divine love and human sexuality. It was there, in January of 2011, that I met a beautiful, goofy, fair maiden named Jaclyn. The only minor, teensy problem was that at the time I was in seminary…discerning the Catholic priesthood.
Jackie: In my fair maidenhood, I searched far and wide for my prince charming. Instead, I found a troll named Bobby Angel. Well, he was a troll in the morning hours before the coffee seeped into his blood stream. Then, he became a prince. The first week I met him, I remembered his handsome face and his ugly shoes. He was a goofy, prayerful, ruggedly handsome man. As any good Catholic girl would, I wept for the fact that he was becoming a priest. Okay, not really, but I wasn’t going to be a “chalice chipper.” Ain’t nobody got time for ’dat!
Bobby: Ok, so I did have ugly shoes. But she saw through my shoes and troll-like ways. Crushing on each other, we never stated our feelings, respecting the situation and discernment process, but stayed in contact as friends. In my own spiritual journey, I felt that God used the years of priestly discernment to form my head and heart to be the man He needed me to be. Though I felt like I could be a good priest, I sensed that God was leading me elsewhere, not knowing when or how it would happen…
Jackie: As a speaker and worship leader, I had been speaking to a lot of young girls about praying for their future husbands and never settling for a man who didn’t lead them to heaven. In July 2009, I started a journal for my future husband, consecrating him to Mary, and praying for him monthly. Mother Teresa said to be specific when you pray, so I wrote 3 pages of exactly what I wanted in a future husband, listing things such as “Passionately Catholic,” “loves scripture,” “ruggedly handsome,” “loves Theology of the Body & NFP,” and “likes ‘The Office.”” For some reason, the first six months of 2012, I felt the urge to offer my future husband up at daily Mass. In May of 2012, I had 2 pages left in my journal. Either my future husband was coming soon, or I’d have to start a new journal. So, I decided to do a 54-day rosary novena for my future husband (27 days in petition and 27 days in thanksgiving whether or not I got what I wanted). I thought ending the novena on August 15th would be a great idea, since it was the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, the novena began Saturday, June 23rd…
Bobby: We returned to the Black Rock retreat center on June 24th for a course on the philosophy of John Paul II taught by Dr. Peter Kreeft. Jackie was the first person I saw when I got off the plane, and we were pretty much inseparable for the remainder of the course. It took all of a day and a half for us to realize that something deep and profound was attracting us to each other. I had no idea she was praying a rosary novena for her future spouse at the time, but in each moment of prayer with her I somehow just knew that this was the person I was being prepared for all along. I was still technically a seminarian, but I was given such clarity and peace during this week with Jackie that I knew this was the sign I had asked God for. After that course, and much discussion with my spiritual director, family, and friends, I formally left seminary on August 1st. On the feast of the Assumption, August 15th, the last day of Jackie’s novena (and after only one “formal” date) I bought the engagement ring. We later won tickets to Mumford & Sons via a radio contest and I proposed a few months later…
Two daughters and a son. They are making us a little bit holier and a little bit crazier each day!