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“Online dating offered them access and advantages that were unavailable through conventional dating,” Barcaro said. In a new book, critic has linked online dating to the “end of courtship” and the sexually casual hook-up culture of the millennial generation.Similar issues could arise on Catholic dating sites, said Christopher West, a Catholic author and speaker on John Paul II’s theology of the body.Today, the most often-cited meeting place for singles (21%) is online, according to a survey published in last year.In terms of Catholic sites, Catholic Match says it has served almost 1 million people since its founding in 1999.Three other Catholic sites — Ave Maria Singles.com, Catholic and Catholic (Catholic Mingle is part of the Christian Mingle conglomerate (aka Spark Network) that operates other sites for Jewish and Mormon singles) — all have had under 500,000 visitors, according to data.According to David Nevarez of Catholic Singles.com, the site has more than 200,000 active members.The site also is the only one of these sites that offers content in Spanish as Catolicos But the smaller sites are growing: Ave Maria has gone from 2,000 to about 5,000 active users since 2000.
"It connects through your Facebook so it made me feel a little more secure with the people being real," admitted Her Campus's Meghan Cramer while reviewing the app.
After 15 years in business, it has 3,000 marriages under its belt.
“It’s unrealistic for a single Catholic to assume they can meet their future spouse within their local faith community,” said Ave Maria founder Anthony Buono.
In contrast to secular sites like OKCupid.com, which offers quizzes on sexual habits and histories, Catholic sites have questionnaires on user’s beliefs about contraception, confession, the Eucharist and papal infallibility.
Users are encouraged to elaborate about faith: On Catholic Match, they can list favorite saints and specify liturgical preferences.