Led by Grace
“So, he was basically stalking me!”
Kasia laughs and casts a teasing glance at her husband Dominic as she recalls the Youth Teams of Our Lady retreat where they first met.
“I was really resisting going,” she continues. “I ended up actually being dragged. By the grace of God, I had a good friend who literally forced me, and I’m so glad I went because, aside from meeting Dominic, it changed my entire life.”
Kasia reveals that she had been going through a “tough spot” in her life at the time of the retreat.
“I was not looking for a relationship or anything.”
But God had other plans.
Prior to the event, Dominic had been checking the Facebook group to see who would be attending, and he was drawn to Kasia’s profile.
“There was just something about her,” he muses, casting a thoughtful gaze at his wife.
He takes his time composing his next words, and his scrutiny flusters his beaming bride.
“Oh my gosh, he’s making me blush!” Kasia laughs sweetly.
“It was her energy, her beauty, her character…” Dominic says, finding his voice. “She was different, and a good different, and that attracted me to her.”
“We arrived at the same time, so I met him right away,” Kasia relates. “We totally hit it off.”
But despite their connection, she thought that the two would just be friends, especially after the retreat ended. Then, to Kasia’s surprise, Dominic messaged her after he returned home, and the two began to talk every day. Still, she was unaware of his feelings for her until her birthday, when Dominic surprised her by sending flowers to her home.
“In that moment, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, he likes me!’ and then that really changed everything.”
A few years later, Dominic and Kasia went on a pilgrimage to walk through the Doors of Mercy. In so doing, a person is able to receive an indulgence, or the wiping away of the consequences of sin, either for themselves or for a person who has passed away.
“It was the last day the doors were open, and I had to choose whether I wanted to walk for my brother or my nephew,” Kasia shares. “I couldn’t choose, and I just got really quiet.”
Dominic, who had been planning to walk through the doors for his uncle, noticed right away that something was bothering Kasia.
“I never in a million years thought when I gave him my dilemma that he would offer to walk in for my brother, but he did.” Kasia speaks those words as though still astounded by Dominic’s selfless response.
“I remember watching him and thinking, ‘This is the man I’m meant to marry.’ And then that night, he proposed!”
The two were married in 2017 and welcomed their daughter Olivia into their family late last year.
“The days definitely feel shorter,” Dominic jokes of their lives post-baby. “Our priorities have changed. Everything is centered around her.”
“I think our perception of each other has changed, too,” Kasia chimes in. “Because no longer is it Dominic and Kasia, it’s Dominic and Kasia, husband and wife, mom and dad. Seeing Dom as a dad, it’s really awesome.”
“We’re helping one another and ensuring we’re taking loads off each other,” Dominic continues. “Because it’s definitely hard. For me, at least, I finish work, and instead of just relaxing, it’s, ‘how can I help Kasia with the baby so that she can relax?’”
“What I appreciate about our marriage,” she adds. “Is that where I’m weak, he’s strong.”
“Marriage is meant to mirror Christ, and Christ strengthens us by His grace, so we’re able to strengthen each other in weak moments. The reality is that marriage is a daily yes, a daily dying to yourself. It’s not The Notebook, people!”
So what helps these two to navigate their dual vocation of spouse and parent?
“Faith is the number one thing for us,” Kasia asserts. “I can’t imagine not having our faith – it’s what brought us together!’’
Reflecting on Christ’s presence in their lives, Kasia says,
“The Catholic Church makes all the difference in my books. If you treat marriage like a Sacrament, then you will make it through the difficult times, but only by God’s grace, because we’re human, we’re imperfect.”
Kasia then draws upon some etymology to drive her point home.
“Compatible in Latin is compati,” she explains. “And if you break up the two words, it’s, ‘to suffer with.’ Very interesting how that works. Compatible actually translates into, ‘I’m willing to suffer with this person.’”
Such an idea seems diametrically opposed to the culture that many of us have grown up in.
“A lot of marriages fall apart because people are only looking for perfection or what’s good for them, not the other person,” Kasia states plainly. “And if you start thinking of just yourself, if you start giving up when things go wrong, then your marriage is going to fall apart.”
Her advice for couples?
“What’s really important is, when you wake up, invite God into your day.”
“Christ is a gentleman. He is willing to be with you, but He needs to be invited into your life to make a difference.”
“Also, don’t go to bed angry,” she laughs. “That’s a thing – don’t do it! Because tomorrow’s not guaranteed. And love each other through even the difficult moments.”
Dominic’s input sounds a little different.
“When you’re dating, save up as much money as you can for a down payment,” he says with a wry grin. “Do not go to restaurants!”
Kasia laughs, but wholeheartedly agrees.
“Can you tell he’s a project manager?” Kasia jokes of her husband’s practicality. “He’s very logical!"
All joking aside, Dominic insists that there is no universal advice that he can give.
“Every single relationship is different. I know a lot of couples out there and everybody has their own struggles, point of view, and perspective. There are so many variables that you can’t account for, so they have to figure out what works for them.”
From the looks of things, this is one couple who has figured out what works for them. Or rather, Who.
“You know how sometimes, you’ll take a moment and look back on your life and then you see God in all these moments where you didn’t understand why things happened, but now you just get it?” Kasia asks. “I see that all the time.”
Personally, what I see when I look at these two is a beautiful witness to the reality of love, marriage, and family.
And that isn’t something you see every day.