By Matthew Fischetti
He wanted to be a priest since he was in middle school. She wanted to be a nun since she was in college. But it turns out, God had a different plan.
Over 35 years ago, Kevin and Regina McCormack traded their respective robes and veils and their vow of celibacy to serve Him in a greater way: through each other.
She was in her second year at the Sisters of St Joseph when the novice nuns had classes with the priests in the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. They quickly became friends.
It wasn’t until they attended the same wedding, Kevin being the best man and Regina the maid of honor, that Gina felt like there was something more than friendship.
“I was still in the convent at that time, and I guess the wedding triggered something,” Gina said in a recent interview. “And I knew then that maybe the life I thought I wanted to live was not the one that was intended for me.”
One night after the wedding, Kevin was stationed in Glen Cove, when he heard a knock on the door. A nun was waiting for him.
“You can get to Flatbush by accident, but there’s no freaking way you’re getting to Glen Cove by accident,” Kevin said.
They braved the bad weather to go to a bar two miles away called the Barefoot Peddler. Over a few beers and mozzarella sticks, they started talking. They couldn’t deny it any longer.
Kevin left the seminary in January of 1985 and Gina left St. Joseph that following June. Two years later they got married at Queen of All Saints in Fort Greene.
As you may imagine, Kevin and Regina were more focused on their mass than their wedding party. They had about 15 priests at their altar and fretted on choosing the perfect music and readings for the ceremony.
They went with a passage from Corinthians: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
And persevere it has. This July, Kevin and Regina will be married 35 years. They have four adult kids, two dogs, a grandchild and another on the way, and one remarkable lifetime of memories together.
Today, Kevin is the principal of Xaverian High School, a private catholic school in Bay Ridge. Regina teaches religion to 8th graders at the same school.
“If you come to my house, I yell and scream at my kids,” Kevin said. “I like a cocktail on the weekend, I have to mow the lawn. I live like everybody else does, but that’s the way I think God needed me to live.”
Their secret to making it work? Not an act of God, but pretty mundane stuff like communication, listening and work.
But they still consider themselves incredibly blessed.
“We were being called to something that we had no idea many years prior to that,” Regina said. “We both thought our lives were set.”
“I still think she’s the cutest thing in the world,” Kevin said. “So that kind of works out for me.”