In their prime, having the time of their lives

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There's a hidden gem in the Arlington Diocese for older single Catholics and it's got it all: faith, service, fun and, perhaps most importantly, a community with shared values.

Prime Time Single Catholics (PTSC) of Northern Virginia is a club that serves single Catholics aged 40 and over who are free to marry in the Church.

The objective of PTSC, according to its mission statement, is to "share in Christian fellowship with one another" and, through a variety of activities, "to promote greater participation in our Catholic parishes."

Anne DeSena, club president and a retiree, joined PTSC 30 years ago, and it's "the best thing that ever happened to me," she said.

Members are kind, generous and live their faith, said DeSena, and that's evident at spiritual events, such as Mass and Scripture studies, and at service projects, like making sandwiches for homeless women or serving the needy at Christ House in Alexandria.

They also are interested in the world and full of spunk. Social activities include picnics, sailing at the National Harbor and dances - the spring dance is May 19 at St. Leo the Great Parish in Fairfax.

Cultural activities range from an upcoming U.S. Marine Band concert with fireworks at Wolf Trap to an ongoing book club and regular theater outings.

There are opportunities for the physically active - a man nearly 89 years old plays golf and kicks up his heels at dances, said DeSena - and for those who are not as physically energetic, such as a bridge-playing group.

Club member Florence Galayda appreciates that events are well-organized, and a comprehensive monthly newsletter keeps members up-to-date with the myriad of activities.

The average age of the nearly 200 members is around 65, and about 60 percent are retirees, according to DeSena, adding that they always are on the lookout for new members.

There's a mix of widowers, widows and those who never married.

Galayda was widowed at a young age with four small children. For her, involvement with PTSC for the past 22 years has been a gift.

It's the members, not the activities, that make PTSC special, said Galayda, now retired.

"The key is the people; it's a nice group that's truly Catholic," she said.

Father Mark E. Moretti, parochial vicar of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Warrenton, is the group's spiritual adviser and celebrates Mass several times a year for members.

Because everyone is a practicing Catholic, "we all know what our destination is and are hoping to get there someday," said Galayda.

"Faith is a part of my daily life," added DeSena, "and it's great to be a part of a group with people who think the same, who care about how they treat one another."

"When one is single it's extremely important to have a group of friends that shares your values and that you can do things with," she said.

"PTSC has been a real blessing in my life and I don't think there are too many places in the country that have something this good for single Catholic people."

Find out more
Contact Jannette Zigadlo, membership chair, at 703/481-9091 or

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2012