Aaron Romportl and Kayleigh Kloncz are used to praying together. They began dating about a year ago toward the end of their college days at St. Mary’s University in Winona, where they both majored in education. Although they had been close friends for most of their time there, they only started dating a couple months before graduation.
For each of their weekly dates, they chose a nearby church where they met to pray the rosary together before heading off on an adventure, such as hiking or visiting an art exhibit and then enjoying a meal together.
“We began dating at the end of our college life so we wanted to know that we were going in the right direction,” Romportl said. “Faith is something where you know there are still question marks in your life but you kind of have that peace about you to do something bold. That’s been a big thing for us.
“We went to daily Mass together almost every day. Through prayer, we felt like this was the right thing to do, to continue dating, even though college was ending in just a few months.”
Summer came along and the two were separated by some distance — Romportl in Stillwater with his parents and Kloncz at home in Princeton. Yet, the couple continued with their weekly dates.
That summer, Romportl’s family had a mission trip planned to south Texas and he had hopes of Kloncz going along.
“I called and found out there was an opening but it was for a male leader,” he recalled.
About a week before the trip, Romportl received a call that another spot had opened up. Kloncz happened to be headed to Stillwater to visit Romportl that same day.
“All the paperwork was also due that day,” Kloncz recalled. “It was just meant to be.”
Both agree that the mission trip was a special week for them.
“We continued to pray about our future,” Romportl said. “My prayer life was, ‘God, help me find a job closer to her if that’s where I am supposed to be.’ We got back from the trip on Monday and that Thursday I got an interview in Sartell.”
Romportl teaches math and science to sixth-graders at the Sartell Middle School. Shortly after, Kloncz accepted a position to teach first grade in Mora. For the last year, the couple has continued their weekly dates and their prayer time.
On March 27 — the anniversary of their first date — the couple met at Kloncz’s home parish, Christ Our Light’s north campus in Princeton. (The south campus is in Zimmerman.) They prayed the rosary in the parish’s chapel, and Kloncz noticed the prayer concluded a little quicker than usual.
“I could tell he was nervous,” Kloncz said. “He was rushing through it.”
With light streaming through colorful stained glass, Romportl led Kloncz to a small table where he had placed a vase of flowers the day before. There, he dropped to one knee and asked Kloncz to marry him.
With tears in her eyes, she said yes.
“I like how Kayleigh is very honest with me. We are both strong-headed and I think she’ll be able to tell me when I’m being strong-headed. She isn’t afraid of helping me grow. She pushes me to be the best version of myself,” Romportl said.
“He’s so supportive and is always there for me,” Kloncz said through her tears.
The couple will have some decisions to make in their future, but they both plan to rely on the deep faith instilled in them throughout their lives.
“There are still a lot of question marks out there but that is what it means to be bold in our faith, to jump all in and God will always give it tenfold back,” Romportl said.
“We will figure it out together,” Kloncz said.