WASHINGTON D.C., 30 January, 13 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Thomas Pangia, 22, says he couldn’t think of a better day to ask his beloved, Tori Ulich, 21, to share the rest of her life with him than the day of last week’s March for Life.
“The March for Life is all about being open to and accepting life,” said Thomas in an interview with LifeSiteNews. “Through marriage and having children, that is the way that God lets us create new life.”
At one point in the day, thinking the March had ended, the couple left their group and stole, hand-in-hand, to the Reflecting Pool by the Washington Monument.
Along the way, Thomas began to prepare the unsuspecting Tori for the question to come.
“I told her about how my life had become so much more full with her being a part of it. I said that through her, I see and I feel the love of God,” he said.
“I said that I wanted to give to her my life and my love, to add to the love that God already has for her. I told her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, loving her as Christ loves his bride the Church.”
The couple finally reached the Reflecting Pool. That was when Thomas got down on one knee and asked Tori if she would marry him.
“She was surprised as soon as I got down on one knee. She looked at me with her eyes opened wide. She put her hands over her mouth,” recounted Thomas.
And then he heard the words that he will forever cherish. “She said, ‘Yes, oh yes, of course,’” he related.
Thomas took off Tori’s glove and slipped a beautiful white-gold engagement ring on her finger. It was a perfect fit. The ring, which they had shopped for together before Christmas, contained a single large diamond with a sprinkling of smaller diamonds surrounding it.
The engaged couple returned to their group of friends and were surprised to discover that the March had not finished. They continued the March, but this time with a new set of convictions in their hearts.
Tori said she felt an even stronger conviction to support life. She thought about her own future family, and as she did the 56 million babies that hadn’t been given a chance at life suddenly became more significant to her.
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“I thought about respecting human dignity. I thought about respecting my fiancé, my future children, the unborn and all people because everyone is a child of God,” she said.
She said she now felt like she was marching for her future children, to bring them into a country that would one day be free from of abortion.
“There was a lot going through my head at that moment, but I wanted to focus on the purpose of the March in relation to what had just happened to me,” she said.
Thomas and Tori plan to marry in the summer of 2014. By this time Thomas will be well into his doctoral program in Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University.. Tori will be finished her undergraduate at Georgia College & State University where she is pursuing a degree in special education to become a special needs teacher.
They know that their 680-mile long-distance relationship will be tough, but they see it as a time to prepare themselves for making the ultimate commitment to each other.
“We are finding creative ways to communicate and keep the relationship going,” Tori laughed.
The young Catholic couple desire to live their relationship God’s way.
“We really strive to live out our faith. In our relationship, our whole focus has been to glorify God,” Tori related.
They take living the virtues seriously, especially the ones that are now pertinent to their God-centered relationship: namely chastity and purity. They have made a commitment to one another to save sex till their wedding day.
That night, after the March had ended, Thomas emailed Tori a love note about the significance of what had happened to them that day.
“Our engagement today is a statement on being open to life, and standing for life and for the love of God. We marched for those who have been killed unjustly and we marched because the world would have been a better place with them alive.”
“We got engaged because marriage is the way to create life, to nurture it and to raise it in love. That is the underlying reason why I realized that I could propose to you after the March because it is something that doesn't detract from it, but it adds to the ideas behind the March, and embodies them.”