Better late than never, they say. In September 2019, a section of seven dioceses under the Catholic Church in Kerala gathered 3,000 people, both men and women, in a stadium in Kozhikode to help them seek a life partner before it was too late to find one.
All aged above 35 years, the organisers wondered at the number of men who outnumbered women by a whopping margin of 2,800! They had a reason or two to press the alarm.
A few months from the gathering, the church opened a dedicated portal for widows, aged between 35 and 40, to help them start it all over again and find a better life. Prolifemarry.com is hope for hundreds of widows under the Catholic Church to remarry.
The matrimonial site is a two-pronged strategy set to erase the alarming rate of unwed men and simultaneously address the burgeoning size of widow population.
Managed by the Malabar zone of Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), the site is already marking a sizeable footfall of those on the lookout for a new ray of hope in life.
“The gender ratio touted by the national census is reflected in every community, including ours. Most men above the age of 35 remain single mainly because they find it tough identifying a partner from among the highly qualified women. The girls are reluctant to accept someone not as educated as them. Dowry-related matters also stand in the way. However, some men agree if the partner is ready to give life a second chance and is free of liabilities. That is how the idea of opening a wedding portal evolved,” Fr. Paul Madassery, secretary of KCBC Family Commission, told News18.
The website is the matrimony arm of the Widow Forum of the Catholic Church. The forum also intends to empower widows who are emotionally, socially, financially, physically and mentally affected after the passing away of the spouse.
The portal now covers members in one out of its five zones, the Malabar region, spanning the northern districts in Kerala. In future, the church plans to extend the service to the remaining four zones: Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kollam and Thrissur.
The Catholic Church is a congregation of Latin, Malankara and Syro Malabar sections.