National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week
Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is a national educational campaign. The dates of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love, and responsible parenthood. The dates also mark the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne (July 26), the parents of the Blessed Mother.
Tools and resources for parishes to focus attention on NFP methods and Church teachings that support their use in marriage include:
- NFP Roadmap Kit for Couples – sold in bundles of 15, to provide to couples preparing for marriage at your parish
- Liga de pareja a pareja – clases virtuales y recursos en línea en español
- Prayers of the Faithful suggested for NFP Awareness Week
- Homily Notes for NFP Week 2022 starting with the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, in English and en español
- Bulletin insert flyer for NFP Week 2022 on the theme “Called to the Joy of Love” in English and “Llamados a la alegria del amor” en español
- Educational articles on Church teaching to be used as handouts for marriage preparation or enrichment for married couples
Thank you for taking this opportunity to highlight the beauty of God’s design for love and life.
DISCOVER NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING
Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the general title for the scientific, natural and moral methods of family planning that can help married couples either achieve or postpone pregnancy. It is not contraception.
NFP methods are based on the observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. Since the methods of NFP respect the love-giving (unitive) and life-giving (procreative) nature of the conjugal act, they support God’s design for married love!
In NFP both husband and wife are taught to understand and live God’s design for married love – this will give them countless blessings! NFP methods promote a holistic approach to family planning which both respects procreation and has the potential to deepen the intimacy of husband and wife. NFP methods support reproductive health. They are good for the body. For the woman, NFP charting can even assist in the diagnosis of underlying medical problems. And, if a couple find they are having trouble conceiving, NFP information can help them pinpoint the most fertile time of the wife’s cycle. The natural methods have none of the harmful side effects caused by contraception, especially chemical contraceptives (e.g. pill, injection, etc.). NFP methods can be marriage strengthening because it relies on couple communication and behavior change. When living the NFP lifestyle, husband and wife learn that they have a shared responsibility for safeguarding God’s gift of human sexuality, marriage and family. They also grow in their understanding of God’s will for their family size. NFP has the potential to make a good marriage great!
Natural Family Planning (NFP), also known as Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABM), come in several varieties. For a general overview on NFP, The Marriage Group offers a brief and basic introductory online course for engaged couples preparing for marriage: NFP Life.
You must take a full course to learn a specific method to practice NFP. In the Diocese of Orange, instructors for the following methods are available (scroll below to see local instructor information):
- Mucus-only methods utilize observations of biomarkers during the different phases of the menstrual cycle, specifically changes in the color and consistency of cervical mucus.
- Billings Ovulation Method
- Creighton Model
- FEMM Health
- The sympto-thermal method (STM) is based on the observations of cervical fluid, basal body temperature (waking temperature) and biological signs (i.e. changes in the cervix).
- Couple to Couple League
- Sympto-Pro Fertility Education
Wondering what NFP method might be best for you? Check out this “Method Matcher" tool from Fertility Science Institute to help you narrow down your options!
Check out the “Charting Toward Intimacy” podcast, sponsored by the Diocese of Oakland to expand the NFP conversation. Launched in July 2020, host Ellen Holloway brings real stories as well as deep theological discussions about Natural Family Planning. New episodes posted every other Monday.
For more information on Natural Family Planning, please see the USCCB website.
For a better understanding on why Natural Family Planning differs from contraception, please view this article by Pope John Paul II.
The first class consists of a two-hour Introduction to the Billings Ovulation Method. The couple must attend together. The Intro begins at 10:30 am and ends at 12:30 pm. The three other classes consist of fifteen minutes follow-up to review charting and the use of the BOM. Follow-up sessions are offered monthly between 12:30 till 1:15 pm, on a first-come, first served basis.
Couples are asked to attend four (4) classes consecutively. All classes are taught by a certified instructor over a 4-month period and are designed to fully acquaint couples in the use of the Billings Method of Natural Family Planning. NFP is simple, natural & effective in planning or postponing pregnancy, and is fully accepted by the Catholic Church. Open to all engaged and married couples.
Contact Louise Allard at 714-970-2771.
METODO DE OVULACIÓN BILLINGS (Curso in Español)
Las clases en español son ofrecidas de manera personal o en línea. Las parejas primero recibirán una orientación sobre los diferentes métodos de Planificación familiar Natural con base científica al final del cual podrán decidir por el método natural de su conveniencia.
El curso del Método de Ovulación Billings consiste en cinco sesiones con un total de 6 horas. Al final de la 5ta sesión, la pareja estará lista para continuar usando el método de manera independiente, sin embargo, se darán sesiones adicionales a su solicitud.
Para las clases en línea la pareja requiere tener una computadora o laptop en casa con internet y tendrá acceso a una pagina web para hacer sus registros e interactuar con la instructora.
Learn the Billings Ovulation Method of NFP Online – 3-part video series for $49 offered through the Archdiocese of Chicago
This online learning experience, combined with three months of complimentary access to the Fertility Pinpoint charting application, is designed to bring women and couples up to speed about Natural Family Planning. You will gain a clear understanding of the science and “how-to” regarding the Billings Ovulation Method, followed by the opportunity to actually put the method to work for yourself.
Some couples choose to connect with a certified fertility coach for one-on-one instruction after completing this online course. Hundreds of coaches, certified in the Billings Ovulation Method of NFP, are located throughout the world. Fees for one-on-one instruction vary because the costs are generally set by each individual coach. Fees commonly range from $75—225 USD.
CCL provides Natural Family Planning (NFP) instruction that is both thorough and engaging. You’ll learn the Sympto-Thermal Method, a modern, scientific and highly effective way to postpone or achieve pregnancy. With the guidance of a certified teaching couple, you and your fiancé or spouse will benefit from both their knowledge of the method and experience of using NFP in their own marriage. No matter which form of our class you select, you will receive our first-rate program and ongoing support while learning and beyond. CCL offers Live Onsite, Live Online, and Self Paced Online classes. The live course consists of three classes spaced approximately a month apart. For more information please click here to visit the CCLI website or contact:
The Creighton Model FertilityCare System (CrMS) and the new woman’s health science of NaProTechnology (Natural Procreative Technology) are available to women who want to understand their menstrual and fertility cycles. Married couples can use the system to plan their families naturally, as the CrMS can be used both to achieve and avoid pregnancy. All women can use the system to monitor their reproductive health. CrMS can be used in many reproductive categories and is “tailor-made” for any situation: regular cycles, long cycles, anovulatory states, pregnancy, breastfeeding, post-pill, pre-menopause, etc.Learning the Creighton Model FertilityCare System begins with an Introductory Session that explains the scientific foundations, methodology, application to various reproductive categories, and how to NaProTrack your cycles with the CrMS. This continues with a series of essential, individualized follow-up teaching appointments (personal instruction on use of the system and complete chart review). At each private follow-up, the FertilityCare Practitioner tailors the system to each client’s specific needs.Introductory Sessions provided at the following locations:
Catholic Charities of Orange County FertilityCare Center
1820 E. 16th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Contact Marianne Dyogi, FertilityCare Practitioner for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-803-4775. Website: www.stellamarisfertilitycare.com
St. John the Baptist Church
1015 Baker Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
For more information or to RSVP for an introductory session, please contact Dulce Carmona
Phone: 714-540-2214 (office) 714-272-7811 (cell)
St. Joseph Church, Placentia
717 N. Bradford Ln.
Placentia, CA 92870
Free Introductory Sessions (all start at 7:30 p.m.)
Meetings are held in Parish Office Meeting Rooms 3-4. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Samantha Aronson at email@example.com or 909-270-7336.
* New online webex sessions now available!
St. Norbert Catholic Church
300 E Taft Ave
Orange, CA 92865
Contact: Alyson del Hierro, FCP
NATURAL FERTILITY AWARENESS EDUCATION
Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABM) – Understanding women’s fertility with a “natural lens” is very important for a woman’s health. NFP methods are tools that help women understand their reproductive health as well as tools for family planning. At the heart of FABM is educating women to have greater awareness of their hormonal cycles and monitoring the effects of lifestyle factors, disease or stress which are known to negatively influence health and fertility health.
Fertility Awareness presentations are offered at various parishes upon request for engaged couples, Women health fairs, parents, teens, retreats, etc. These are offered in English and Spanish at various parishes and quarterly at:
Mission Basilica Pastoral Center
31520 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA
St. Edward’s The Confessor – in Dana Point, CA
Our Lady of Fatima Church – in San Clemente, CA
Fertility Awareness and NFP classes are ongoing. Contact Dr. Schoenfeld for more information.
Virginia Schoenfeld, PhD is an active Member of the Catholic Medical Association (CMA), the California Association of Natural Family Planning (CANFP) and the Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science (FACTS). Contact at 949-584-1942 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Schoenfeld is offering Fertility Education and Medical Management (FEMM) Method training. Dr Schoenfeld is in the process of becoming FEMM Method certified and is accepting no cost referrals during her FEMM Teaching Practicum.
SymptoPro Fertility Education is a highly effective, scientifically based method of natural family planning that can be used throughout a woman’s entire reproductive life to either postpone or achieve pregnancy. Regular cycles are NOT required. SymptoPro is a Sympto-Thermal Method of education based on changes in cervical fluid, waking body temperature, and changes in the cervix. After charting these observations, the couple interprets the chart and makes decisions on their family planning intention.