Jimmy Denton proposes to Paige Markley at St. Francis Cabrini Church in Omaha. PHOTO CATHY BEELER ST. FRANCIS CABRINI


St. Frances Cabrini Church proves perfect backdrop for marriage proposal

Paige Markley and Jimmy Denton might not get married at St. Frances Cabrini in Omaha, but their beloved parish will always remain a part of their love story. 

The 5:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, June 25, was the last time Markley and Denton would attend Mass at St. Frances Cabrini for the foreseeable future. Markley, who is in the Air Force stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, was transferred to New Mexico and moved there a few days following the proposal. Denton, an auditor, also is moving to New Mexico. 

When Markley moved to Omaha in 2021, she was looking for a parish that would feel like a home to her. She found it at St. Frances Cabrini. 

“The people are so kind and so welcoming and so funny and just fun to be around, and you always feel loved,” Markley said. “It’s so special anytime you are at Cabrini. The church is beautiful, and Father Damian (Zuerlein) is amazing. I just love it.” 

Denton feels the same way about the community at St. Frances Cabrini, which is why he chose to propose there, even as he laughs that some of their proposal pictures look like wedding photos. 

“My whole thing is that if you feel the strongest sense of community somewhere, then that’s probably where you should do it,” Denton said of his choice of engagement venue.

Following Mass that evening, the church cleared and Denton got on one knee and proposed in front of the altar. It was just the couple, a photographer and the piano player in the church when Denton asked Markley to marry him. However, Denton had spread the word among their friends to come to the Mass that evening and those friends were waiting outside the church to congratulate the happy couple.


Markley had an inkling something was up when she arrived at Mass that evening and saw Denton in a suit. For his part, Denton panicked a bit when Markley was late meeting him at Mass that evening. “I was sweating that out.” 

The couple, both originally from Maryland, would love to get married at St. Frances Cabrini but aren’t sure that’s possible with their families living on the East Coast. They won’t be strangers, however. 

“We will definitely be visiting, that’s for sure,” Denton said. “We’ll be visiting as often as we possibly can.” 

Markley knows parish communities like St. Frances Cabrini are special and hopes to find one like it in New Mexico. 

“I think we’ll just have to wait and see where God brings us in the future,” she said.



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