Diocese's millennials weigh in on 'Dating Project' film
By Katie Cerni | Digital & Social Media Coordinator
Single and married young people from the Diocese of Trenton were among the moviegoers nationwide who attended the one-day screening of “The Dating Project” – a documentary that begs the question: “What is dating today?”
“[The film] revitalizes the humanness to looking for a life companion and reminds us that it is indeed another person you’re looking for, not an object for use,” said Katy Doran of St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown.
“The Dating Project” – a documentary that demonstrates how a faith-based approach to courtship can lead to more meaningful and lasting relationships – was shown in theaters nationwide April 17.
It follows five people ages 20-40 who would like to date, and date well: Matt and Shanzi, students at Boston College; Cecilia, an architect in Chicago; Rasheeda, a television producer in New York City, and Chris, an actor looking for love in the Golden State.
Through sharing their own lives, each person comments on what they thought dating as a young adult would be like and how dating in today’s culture has led them to experience a longing for something more definitive.
The film also zeros in on Boston College professor Dr. Kerry Cronin, who is widely known across campus for her “Dating Assignment,” in which students ask someone out, but with requirements such as the date being alcohol-free and lasting less than 90 minutes.
Cronin, whose dating philosophy is based on traditional faith-based beliefs and customs, offers some insight during the movie as to why she decided to make this seemingly traditional act into an assignment for one of her classes.
“I realized that students weren’t dating,” she said, explaining that she learned that “dating” was turning into more of a “hookup culture.” “So I started asking students to go on what I referred to as ‘traditional dates.’”
“Traditional dating” is collectively seen by those interviewed as a thing of the past. The film brings to light how dating has turned from actually going on dates with people into “hooking up” – an ambiguous term used to describe physical intimacy between two people.
“It’s amazing how much people are surrounded by the hookup culture, but also how people don’t always want it,” said Brianne Remy, a parishioner in St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, and member of the Rider University Catholic Campus Ministry, who saw the movie.
Cristina D’Averso-Collins, Catholic campus minister for Monmouth and Rider Universities, went to the movie with her husband, Brian, and two students.
“It is essential for us to understand the current culture and its practices,” D’Averso-Collins said. After watching the film, she said she felt empowered to take on a greater role in mentoring single young adults. “Married couples who have experience with traditional dating, and healthy relationship practices can become a tremendous witness for others.”
Her husband, who recently was a guest speaker at the “Before I Do” marriage readiness retreat sponsored by the Monmouth University Catholic campus ministry, agreed. He said the film will help him “better minister and evangelize this generation through the witness of my marriage.”
To watch “The Dating Project,” visit www.thedatingprojectmovie.com to pre-order a copy of the DVD or request a screening.[[In-content Ad]]