Fun! That is how three sisters who got married last year in three months, each three weeks apart in May, June and July, described their weddings.
Kelly, Rachel and Juliette Fogarty, three sisters from a family of eight children (five girls and three boys), became engaged within five weeks of each other in fall 2016. The sisters were roommates together in a house in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that their parents, Dan and Kathleen, bought for the older children to rent. The girls had been praying together for husbands. Originally, four sisters lived together in the house, but Brigette married the previous year.
Rachel explained that the sisters had been praying for God to lead them to their future husbands and also praying for those men, wherever they were.
“It was such a good time,” she said. “We all wanted to find a spouse, and it would have been difficult if someone found one before the others, but we knew we would keep praying for each other no matter what.”
The trio often prayed the Rosary and asked Mary to help them find good husbands since she was married to St. Joseph, a good husband indeed. They also sought the intercession of St. Anthony, who is the patron of finding things, and to St. Anne, Mary’s mother, who is known to intercede in marriage matters.
Ironically, Rachel’s future husband was right under her nose, but she did not realize it until she was 27. Rachel and Brent Bennett’s families had met at church many years earlier. Brent and his brother were friends with two of the Fogarty brothers. Eventually, she also became a part of their group of friends.
“At one point, I was thinking of Brent and realized that I was interested in him as more than a friend,” she said. “At that time, he asked me out, so he also thought of the same thing at the same time.”
They dated for two years and became engaged Oct. 2, 2016.
Six days later, older sister Kelly became engaged to Chris Whelan. They had met on CatholicMatch.com. He lived in Ashland, Kentucky. On paper and over the phone, they seemed compatible, but their first meeting in Cincinnati (the halfway point between them), confirmed there was a real attraction. Coincidentally, Kelly learned that she already knew Chris’ brother, who is a priest in Fort Wayne.
Their first meeting was in April. Two weeks later, after their second meeting, Kelly left feeling that Chris was the man she would marry. When he texted her, saying: “I’m going to pursue you,” it seemed like divine confirmation, since her frequent prayer was that when she met the right guy, he would “pursue” her. By October, Chris got down on one knee and proposed.
Four weeks later, Nov. 11, it was Juliette’s turn. She was a traveling nurse and had met Michael Jackson, an accountant in Washington, D.C., through a cousin and her husband. They had become good friends with Michael while attending the University of Notre Dame together. Juliette just happened to be visiting them in Virginia when Michael also visited. (They didn’t realize it was a setup.)
A couple of months later, in February, her cousin and husband moved back to Fort Wayne and Michael visited them again. After the second visit, the relationship began.
“He already came ‘prequalified’ from my cousin Elizabeth,” Juliette said. “And I saw that he was kind and caring and has such a fun adventurous spirit.” Nine months later, he asked her to marry him.
Rachel and Brent married May 20, 2017, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.
Since Kelly and Chris are both teachers, they planned a wedding after school was out, June 10, at the same cathedral.
Juliette and Michael married at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, that July 1.
“It was super fun sharing the joy and the planning,” Juliette recalled. “We’d call and text each other and compare wedding plans.” As working adults, the trio of couples planned and paid for their own weddings.
All the siblings helped and pitched in with whatever was needed. For instance, the boys prepared the music, the girls helped arrange flowers and décor, and they shared bridesmaids’ dresses. The youngest sister, Rose, baked hundreds of cupcakes for her big sisters’ receptions.
Mom Kathleen said the triple weddings were a glorious family event. “I was overwhelmed with the sacramental aspect of each of the weddings,” she said. “The girls were preparing with faith and lots of love, sprinkled with the joy of knowing that they are each participating in God’s plan for their future.”
Kathleen said she was especially touched by the gift of her children — all the best of friends — working together. “It is something that completely fills a mother’s heart with love,” Kathleen said, “and there is a sense of pride in a job well done.”
One year later, the sisters say they could not be happier.
“It’s so much fun always having my best friend with me,” Juliette said. She and Michael are buying their first house in Springfield, Virginia. They have found frugal ways to travel to Australia, Rome and South Korea since their wedding. “I hope one of the fruits of our story will inspire people hoping to get married to be patient, and stay strong, and pray for their future spouse,” Juliette said.
Rachel and Brent closed on a house in Fort Wayne the day before their wedding. He is working at a hospital as a facility technician, and she works at an insurance company. Rachel said she loves living out her vocation as a wife.
“I like the daily routine of serving each other,” she said. “My grandpa always says that marriage is not 50-50 but 100-100.”
Kelly and Chris live in Ashland, Kentucky, now. “Marriage is even better than I expected,” Kelly said. “It is fun just to share those day-to-day things with someone you love and want to get to heaven with you.” She said that Chris is still very romantic. For their anniversary, they went back to Columbus, Ohio, to the spot of the proposal.
This time, they were joined by their 2-month-old daughter, Anna Therese, born April 2, her Grandpa Dan’s birthday.
Patti Armstrong writes from North Dakota.
This story was updated after posting.