Alumni couple shares love story, dating advice

By Grace Ostuni
Staff Writer

A married couple spoke on their past dating experience at Franciscan University on Sept. 4 in the Gentile Gallery.

One of the event’s speakers, Kate Lesnefsky, said she was undergoing the process of discerning religious life when she entered Franciscan as a freshman.

Along with others sharing a similar journey, Kate Lesnefsky said she revived Mary, Spouse of the Spirit household.

“I tended to over-spiritualize everything … especially friendships with the opposite sex,” said Kate Lesnefsky.

According to Kate Lesnefsky, her spiritual director encouraged her to pursue her personal vocation and live that out in the present more fully. Kate Lesnefsky said this gave her the freedom to go on casual dates and explore other vocations.

Kate Lesnefsky’s husband, Bob Lesnefsky, Franciscan’s director of evanglization, said he entered his freshman year at Franciscan University one year after Kate as a theology and catechetics major.

He described his younger self as “the ultra-discerning person and the always-flirting person … I was both of those extremes.”

After spending time in prayer, Bob Lesnefsky said he felt called to take a dating fast, using that time to examine his heart and discern the priesthood.

About one year later, Bob and Kate Lesnefsky said they both went to Austria during the same semester and started dating soon after. The couple married in 1999 and now have seven children.

The second part of the talk addressed common dating pitfalls the couple sees Franciscan students running into, as well as affirming some aspects students get correct.

Bob Lesnefsky’s main point of advice for the men was to simply ask girls out on dates.

“There is a beauty in being a little more free to just ask someone out,” said Bob Lesnefsky.

Bob Lesnefsky followed this up with a guide on how to ask a woman out on a date. He also gave the girls a guide to know how and when to reject a man.

Bob and Kate Lesnefsky reminded the audience that Franciscan students do a lot of things correctly in regard to dating.

“In a world that does not value relationships at all … we take dating seriously here and that’s a really good thing,” said Bob Lesnefsky.

“I think it was beautiful to see Bob and Kate Lesnefsky’s witness, especially because I think they can understand our situation a little bit better, as Franciscan students,” said Daniel Redfield, a sophomore social work major.

The event was part of the Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium series.