Welcome priests and deacons! I am thrilled you are interested in providing a strong Natural Family Planning touch-point for the couples in your parish, both married and engaged. Despite its inherently sensitive nature, NFP is an indispensable part of marriage prep and marriage enrichment. Think of all of the personal qualities that help one have a strong, lasting joy-filled marriage; patience, self-control, good communication, etc. Each of these qualities is learned and strengthened through the practice of Natural Family Planning. Besides being a tremendous tool for the preservation and thriving of marriages, NFP is a healthier option for the woman and is an effective form of family planning which is in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church. By providing a strong touch-point to your parishioners and engaged couples, you are performing a corporal and a spiritual work of mercy at the same time!
This is why numerous dioceses in our country have mandated an NFP course as a part of marriage prep. I invite you to learn more below about the resources and guidance available to you from the diocese. God Bless!
Assoc. Coordinator of Marriage, Family and Pro-Life Ministries | Natural Family Planning Coordinator
The Couple to Couple League offers a FREE clergy seminar on Natural Family Planning. You can register here or watch the trailer below.
Materials for your Office or Parish
"A Preachable Message" by BOMA-USA is an indispensable text for the priest or deacon seeking to help his parishioners better understand human sexuality, inspire them to be generously open to life, or motivate them to learn more about NFP. It includes engaging essays, sample homilies, suggested prayers of the faithful and homily starters for different days of the liturgical year. Call Todd at 920-272-8317 to borrow a copy. You can also purchase a copy from our office for $15.
"The Church welcomes with joy and compassion the mothers who, recognizing that all life is a gift from God, come to the Church seeking a blessing for their unborn child. Such a blessing sustains the parents by imparting grace and comfortin time of concern and need, unites the parish in prayer for the unborn child, and fosters respect for human life within society. The blessing may be given by the Priest Celebrant within Mass or as a blessing outside of Mass celebrated by a priest, or in his absence, by a deacon." -Introduction to The Rite of Blessing of a Child in the Womb.
This text is available to borrow from the Diocese (Call 920-272-8317) or to purchase from Liturgical Press.
Promotional Materials for the ournaturalfamily.com website are available in English and Spanish. To order more for your parish free of charge, please call Todd at 920-272-8317
Best Practices for Sharing NFP
While we do not mandate an NFP course in our diocese for marriage prep, some of you already ask your couples to take an NFP course during their marriage prep. If you already require it or are considering it, please keep in mind the following points:
|1. Most NFP providers offer a FREE introductory class and only charge at the time of the first follow-up.|
|2. There are four methods available in our diocese. Different methods may work well for different women or couples. Please encourage couples to learn a little about the methods first. Having the couple attend part II of A Marriage In The Lord and/or having them visit ournaturalfamily.com are great ways to help them make an informed choice.|
|3. Follow-ups are essential for a couple to experience success with the method. Follow-ups are for the couple to do a chart review with the woman's own data and for the instructor to assess the couple's ability to interpret their chart correctly. Follow-ups are also opportunities for the couple to continue a relationship with their instructor and address any issues related to intimacy, lack of trust in the method, communication, etc. Most methods have a minimum number of follow-ups and define a full course as when the instructor determines the couple has reached "autonomy" in their chart interpretation and understanding of the method.|
|4. Often, a couple will benefit from doing one or more follow-ups after the wedding so that they can log instances of intercourse on their chart. Learning to trust the method is a key part of their education and a post-nuptial chart review can be a big step in helping them get there. Because of this, it may not be feasible to ask a couple to complete the full course before the wedding.|
|5. When provided a quality touch-point from a knowledgeable source, many couples do in-fact look into NFP. The single best way to do this is to have couples attend Part II of A Marriage In The Lord as the chart below shows.|
[Diocesan NFP Policy Manual -forthcoming]
For Marriage Enrichment
If you are interested in how your parish might provide an effective and enticing way for your parishioners to learn more? Perhaps the radio commercial below from a 2019 diocesan event will give you some ideas. Contact Todd at 920-272-8317 for help making something similar happen at your parish.