The news was what we expected - she's getting married to David, the Selma lawyer she has been dating since June. David got on the phone with Bill and me and said, "I just want you all to know that I love Gabe and I want to be married to her for the rest of our lives" or something very close to that. Bill, Emily and Dave all met David when they visited Gabe in Selma in June or July, and they came back with glowing reports. Friday was the first time I'd talked to him, but I certainly did glow when he spoke up so eloquently of his intentions.
The announcement was not so much a surprise, and was pure pleasure. The date picked out was more of a surprise, October 9, 2004, that's 4 weeks from now. The place was again not much of a surprise: Selma, Alabama, where David lives and where they will make their home. The church was more of a surprise: not the Catholic parish where Gabe served her one year with the Edmundite missions, but the Methodist church of David's family.
I just got out my trusty Catechism of the Catholic Church and I see that she can have a licit marriage within the Church if she gets permission from the local ordinary. I hope she will do that. She's not sure of her Catholic faith at the moment, although she is sure about Christ.