APRIL 22,2020: Andelisia Darmansius had always wanted a church wedding, ever since she was a little girl growing up in Padang, Indonesia. That desire stayed with her when she left home to study in Malaysia in August 2007 and when she continued staying on after getting a job here.
“It is one of Andelisia’s childhood dreams, she is a Catholic,” said her husband-to-be Cliff Manifold. He came to Malaysia for a holiday in 2010 and fell in love with the country. So the Londoner got a job here and stayed on.
“We both also want our marriage to be blessed in God’s eyes,” the 35-year-old said this despite not being a Catholic.
Darmansius said: “Cliff has been following me to the church a few times now, and I am hoping for Cliff to understand a little more about the Catholic Church.” They responded through email to Journey With Us.
Darmansius now works as operations manager for a BPO and is the owner and designer of a business selling swimwear. Manifold was working in the hotel and gym industry before deciding to own and run his own businesses. He is the managing director for four clubs under Anytime Fitness in Malaysia.
They met in 2017 through the social dating app Tinder. “After some low key and casual dates and chats, we started spending more and more time together, and despite a rocky start we both knew we had found someone special in each other. And just as important, someone suitable,” said Manifold.
“Suitable might sound like an odd word to use. Let me explain. Relationships are about love, passion, fun, joy, laughter and all those things – which we are fortunate to have – but they are also about more pragmatic things, such as mutual respect, similar outlooks on life and the world, similar goals and future visions, and being with someone whom you are comfortable enough with to be open, honest and bare.”
The two started making wedding plans late last year and the wedding is to be on July 16, 2020 at Holy Rosary Church in Brickfields. “Malaysia is special to us, here is where our home is,” said Darmansius.
For there to be a church wedding, they are required to attend the Catholic Marriage Preparation Course which usually takes a couple of hours for six to seven weekends or one full weekend.
Darmansius and Manifold opted for the full weekend and were looking forward to being away with other couples during the March 27-29 weekend. But then the Movement Control Order came into force on March 18. So the Catholic Marriage Preparation Course went online. The presenting couple conducted their sharing using slide presentations and there were different discussion topics each day.
Darmansius said: “These were shared through WhatsApp and we were given some time to discuss before sharing our answers and views with others and the couple presenter will call out a couple, randomly, for us to share.”
“Sitting in front of the screen two days in a row (between 9am and 5pm) was not easy. However, we are grateful to the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur’s ArchKL Catholic Marriage Preparation Course (CMPC) team especially to Ms Charmaine for giving out clear communication and instructions on the changes, our presenter couples Mr Andrew Tan and Ms Nancy Liew, and Mr Delfinus and Ms Margret who managed to come up with this alternative at short notice,” said Manifold.
“We both think the essence of the course is to have an open communication with each other. Lucky for us, we logged from the same location and we were very committed to the completion of this course and we did our best. We learned more about ourselves, each other and also had a new clarity on the directions when we embark our marriage,” said Darmansius.
The Catholic Marriage Preparation Course is a time when couples learn about what living together as a sacramental couple is all about. It is for couples who are both Catholics and also for couples where one of them is a Catholic and the other is not. Those attending this course discover themselves and each other, discuss about subjects often left at the back-burner like finances, responsibilities, sex, priorities and how to grow together spiritually.
When asked if the wedding plans would go on as planned, Darmansius said: “Well, it all depends on the situation, we are still hoping that it will go as planned but we are also ready for a worst case scenario, which is to postpone the date. After all, safety comes first.”