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  #1  
Old Dec 19, '10, 12:56 am
verawang verawang is offline
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Default NFP issue

Iíve been using NFP for about a year now. I finally took the advice of my NFP consultant and went to the doctor about it. The reason I finally went to a doctor was kind of misleading because Iím in an infertile cycle (most likely) and I liked it that way but had hope at the time that I would be able to carry to term even though I'd been told before I probably wouldn't be capable of that. I found out that in my specific circumstances my chances are no higher than they were before I started NFP (to carry a healthy baby to term) because the problem is genetic.

Basically, I my chart says Iím fertile all the time so if I was intimate with my husband there was always that fear that I would get pregnant. BUT I liked the idea that I was infertile so going to an NFP doctor to get my cycle fixed was scary because that meant I knew I would be fertile part of the month even if that means I'd be able to recognize when that is. There is an intrinsic part of me that never wants to be fertile again. I've danced with the idea of getting my tubes tied but every time I decide I'm going to do it I change my mind back. I guess part of that has to do with some small glimmer of hope that I'll someday carry a healthy baby to term even though I know that would be a miracle unless there were a list of losses inbetween.

Iíve posted here before a few times about this. If I get pregnant my baby would probably just miscarry or be stillborn. If they lived they would likely die shortly after birth. I will not accept that responsibility because itís asking too much. And I know I have that exception under the Humana Vite. Iíve read it and watched the programming on EWTN a few years ago.

Well, I decided that getting my cycle healthy was a good thing so I can use the chart as itís meant to be used or what is the point? Iíd love to get pregnant but I wonít ever choose to because itís dangerous to my children and quite frankly I canít handle it emotionally. So I went in and they found a whole laundry list of things that are wrong on TOP of the genetic disorder that makes my chances of carrying to term so low. That AND years ago I had a surgical procedure that had a high likelihood of giving me an incompetent cervix. Itís realistically not smart to get pregnant. Right now I'm looking at a liklihood that I'll be getting surgery to try and help fix some of these issues (but I won't know that for sure until the end of December).

So, with that out of the way Iíve been wondering about something. With my cycle saying Iím always fertile (when in truth I may not even be ovulating but have no way of knowing yet since I only just started working with a doctor) my husband and I have been uncomfortable with the idea of not using condoms. So, should I confess this? I think God would be understanding and donít feel I need to repent. I don't feel like I'm sinning but I often wonder if I am because looking on-line or listening to the radio makes me feel like I should a) be open to getting pregnant even under these circumstances and b) that it is a sin to use a condom because there is no exception to the rule--a child is always a good thing (even if they die). I know that morally I should be all about trusting NFP but if I followed that we would have been celibate for the last year. That isnít something that we could or would ever want to do. It would be way worse for us if we got pregnant and went through yet another loss.

I keep thinking that there is no excuse. We shouldnít use condoms and if we get pregnant and endure another loss then that was meant to be. Yet, that is like taking an active part in opening ourselves up for something we cannot handle. There are so many emotional side effects to losing a child. Everyone wants to do everything possible to protect their children and we canít. I suppose that is another reason to work with a doctor because IF we ever did get pregnant I would be as healthy as possible and give my baby an edge to survive if it's the right egg with the right genetics and I can carry to full term. But right now I canít imagine God would ever want us to go through that again. I know life is hard and who am I to prevent these children from living their short lives. So they get to go to Heaven and I get to look forward to seeing them there someday.

Sometimes I'd like the situation to be out of my control. I could get pregnant but what if there were some medical reason I really couldn't? Or what if I could be given the chance to die so they could live long healthy lives. I think most parents if given the chance would lay down their life for their child. That is human nature. But I don't have choices. My choices are to use condoms and protect them in the only way I know how. If they are never conceived then they never feel pain and they never have to die and my husband and I never have to grieve them. My other choice is to not use condoms and until I get my cycle fixed keep myself open to that possibility that I can't protect them and I can't sacrifice myself for them to live. I have to wait for them to be gone while I'm completely healthy. But in that scinario I don't feel I'm actively trying to hold back God's plan for all my children. How many have I prevented from getting to heaven so far? Isn't that more important? Life is supposed to be hard so what's some more grief added to the bunch?
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  #2  
Old Dec 19, '10, 3:10 am
verawang verawang is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

I just re-read this and it's confusing there at the end but I can't edit. So in short the pros and cons of using condoms (until my cycle is regular enough to tell if I'm ovulating and when I ovulate) are

Pros of condom use:
My husband and I don't lose another child

We don't have to sit by waiting to miscarry hoping that it won't happen this time

Pros of not using a condom:
It's morally the right thing to do even if I'm scared to death of the consequences.

I could get pregnant and if I do then it's part of God's plan for me

Cons of condom use:
I feel we are being selfish becuase if we are supposed to get pregnant than who am I to actively try and change God's plan?

It's a grave sin and I should feel like I'm sinning so morally I worry about that but rationally I know the situation I'm in is one only a few people are in (more than I ever realized before but still not that many).

Cons of not using a condom:
I could get pregnant until I understand my screwy irregular cycle (the cycle that never has any infertile days).


And, yes, I also know it's a grave sin to get my tubes tied which is another reason I haven't done it yet. Sometimes I think I'll just do it anyway because that is the only way I'll know for sure and then other times I remember someone saying that is like giving up on faith in God completely and then I can't do it. That would be the easy way out.

I've been reading some other posts on NFP and I'm now completely lost. I don't have to take my temp. every day and there were terms I've never heard before. I use the Creighton Model and am still pretty confused using it mostly because I've never had a normal cycle to really feel confident that I have the charting down (even with yellow stickers). I'm looking for people who have been in similar situations to know not just what they did but if they beleive God would still look at Condom use as a grave sin in this situation. Is that also giving up all faith in Him?
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  #3  
Old Dec 19, '10, 5:22 am
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lovemyboys lovemyboys is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

I think you should look into the Marquette Model of NFP which uses the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor. The monitor measures the hormones in your urine, so there is no temp. taking and charting to figure out. After you get this monitor and put it to use for a couple of months, you'll get a lot of confidence that it can detect your fertile time. That along with the cm observations makes it really effective--much more effective than condoms.

http://nfp.marquette.edu/

Last edited by lovemyboys; Dec 19, '10 at 5:33 am.
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  #4  
Old Dec 19, '10, 5:26 am
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lovemyboys lovemyboys is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

Another thing-- if you have a cycle that is always 28 days or longer, you can count on the fact that days 1-5 are safe.
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  #5  
Old Dec 19, '10, 11:36 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by verawang View Post
I just re-read this and it's confusing there at the end but I can't edit. So in short the pros and cons of using condoms (until my cycle is regular enough to tell if I'm ovulating and when I ovulate) are

Pros of condom use:
My husband and I don't lose another child

We don't have to sit by waiting to miscarry hoping that it won't happen this time

Pros of not using a condom:
It's morally the right thing to do even if I'm scared to death of the consequences.

I could get pregnant and if I do then it's part of God's plan for me

Cons of condom use:
I feel we are being selfish becuase if we are supposed to get pregnant than who am I to actively try and change God's plan?

It's a grave sin and I should feel like I'm sinning so morally I worry about that but rationally I know the situation I'm in is one only a few people are in (more than I ever realized before but still not that many).

Cons of not using a condom:
I could get pregnant until I understand my screwy irregular cycle (the cycle that never has any infertile days).


And, yes, I also know it's a grave sin to get my tubes tied which is another reason I haven't done it yet. Sometimes I think I'll just do it anyway because that is the only way I'll know for sure and then other times I remember someone saying that is like giving up on faith in God completely and then I can't do it. That would be the easy way out.

I've been reading some other posts on NFP and I'm now completely lost. I don't have to take my temp. every day and there were terms I've never heard before. I use the Creighton Model and am still pretty confused using it mostly because I've never had a normal cycle to really feel confident that I have the charting down (even with yellow stickers). I'm looking for people who have been in similar situations to know not just what they did but if they beleive God would still look at Condom use as a grave sin in this situation. Is that also giving up all faith in Him?
I did not read all you wrote above....but as to condoms...deciding to do such would be mortal sin. So that is the very big con!

Compendium of the Catechism issued by Pope Benedict XVI

497. When is it moral to regulate births?

2368-2369
2399

The regulation of births, which is an aspect of responsible fatherhood and motherhood, is objectively morally acceptable when it is pursued by the spouses without external pressure; when it is practiced not out of selfishness but for serious reasons; and with methods that conform to the objective criteria of morality, that is, periodic continence and use of the infertile periods.

498. What are immoral means of birth control?

2370-2372

Every action - for example, direct sterilization or contraception - is intrinsically immoral which (either in anticipation of the conjugal act, in its accomplishment or in the development of its natural consequences) proposes, as an end or as a means, to hinder procreation.

---
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  #6  
Old Dec 19, '10, 11:38 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

So if one has a serious reason...one can use NFP to avoid...

For some ..not all forms of NFP will work...some have very strange cycles etc

But have no fear! Here is where to contact http://www.popepaulvi.com/

http://www.naprotechnology.com/

Their method takes all this into account! They have practioner trained all over the country (and outside it)

(they would be recommended by Catholic Answers...and have been I think on the show)
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  #7  
Old Dec 19, '10, 12:25 pm
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Belle10 Belle10 is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by verawang View Post
Pros of condom use:
My husband and I don't lose another child
You don't know this. Condoms aren't 100% effective for preventing pregnancy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by verawang View Post
Pros of not using a condom:
It's morally the right thing to do even if I'm scared to death of the consequences.

I could get pregnant and if I do then it's part of God's plan for me

Cons of condom use:
I feel we are being selfish becuase if we are supposed to get pregnant than who am I to actively try and change God's plan?

It's a grave sin and I should feel like I'm sinning so morally I worry about that but rationally I know the situation I'm in is one only a few people are in (more than I ever realized before but still not that many).

And, yes, I also know it's a grave sin to get my tubes tied which is another reason I haven't done it yet.
You KNOW using contraception or sterilizing yourself is mortal sin. You know it. You're questioning because of your fear. I can't imagine being in your situation and I'm so sorry that you have this cross to bear. I agree that you should look into other NFP methods to see if they might work better for you. We use the Sympto-Thermal Method but I don't know if it would help you or not. Check out what the previous poster linked to.

I will pray for you and your husband that you have the strength to do what is moral despite the hardship it might seem to cause. Just remember that sinning in order to try to avoid sadness is still sinning. God bless you.
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  #8  
Old Dec 19, '10, 1:42 pm
agapewolf agapewolf is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyboys View Post
Another thing-- if you have a cycle that is always 28 days or longer, you can count on the fact that days 1-5 are safe.
This is not a creighton rule. This is actually dangerous to be telling people to be relying on a schedule. Creighton method is SYMPTOM based, every day.
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  #9  
Old Dec 19, '10, 2:29 pm
Augusta Sans Augusta Sans is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

I have an alternative solution that no one has suggested yet.

Pros of the alternative method:
You and your husband don't lose another child
You don't have to sit by waiting to miscarry hoping that it won't happen this time
It's a morally appropriate thing to do
There are no consequences that will scare you to death
It is NOT selfish
You don't risk an unplanned pregnancy, regardless of your cycle.

Cons of the alternative method:
It requires abstinence

Yes, I know this is controversial and most people will reject it outright, but it WORKS and it doesn't require you to make heart-wrenching decisions between mortal sin and risk of a pregnancy you don't feel emotionally capable of handling right now.

It is almost 100% effective. In fact, I think the only person it didn't work for is Mary, but it's unlikely you'll find yourself in her situation.

My experience is that when both partners agree that postponing pregnancy is the healthiest course of action for the marriage, abstinence strengthens, rather than erodes, the marital union.
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  #10  
Old Dec 20, '10, 4:33 am
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lovemyboys lovemyboys is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by agapewolf View Post
This is not a creighton rule. This is actually dangerous to be telling people to be relying on a schedule. Creighton method is SYMPTOM based, every day.
This is the 5 day rule from my Couple to Couple League book "The Art of Natural Family Planning." I have followed this rule many times and still trust the CCL people when they say this is a reliable rule. However, agapewolf is right-- there are better ways than simply counting days. That 5 day rule, btw, isn't part of the Marquette Model. Sorry I brought it up.

Last edited by lovemyboys; Dec 20, '10 at 4:52 am.
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  #11  
Old Dec 20, '10, 6:07 am
heart4home heart4home is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

First of all, I'm very sorry for all that you have endured. It must be so painful every month worrying about all the what ifs.

Would you mind sharing what the genetic condition is that you will pass on to your child? I'm guessing it must be something that you and your dh both carry, but my understanding is with most genetic traits(although I'm sure there may be exceptions), if both parents are carriers there is a 25% chance the baby will have it, 50% chance the baby will be a carrier but not have the disease and a 25% chance that child would not have the disease or be a carrier.

Or is it that you have a genetic problem that will keep you from carrying to term? I'm just confused, because you mentioned it being stillborn or having to watch it die after birth, so I'm assuming it's a condition you would pass on, not one that causes you to have trouble carrying.

I think in your position, I'd be sure to find a Catholic Doctor if at all possible that understands NFP and also understand your condition.

I'm an older mom who is still open to life, and yes, because of that, I've suffered several losses. We have lost 7 babies over the course of our marriage, but have also been blessed with a large family, so I know I can not begin to understand your pain.

Anyways, I do hope you get the support and advice you need. God Bless you as you walk this difficult path.
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  #12  
Old Dec 20, '10, 1:01 pm
verawang verawang is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

Well, I've thought about using some kind of fertility monitor. I don't know what they think about that in the Creighton Model but I'll look into anything that would help people with an irregular cycle. I didn't like the Creighton Model at first because I wanted to be free to decide to get my tubes tied. I guess that means I didn't like being Catholic but I always liked the Creighton model for the health benefits and kind of think every woman should use it for that reason. In a world where people say there is little way to detect uterine and ovarian cancer early this system is has a way if you use it faithfully. I don't know what the other systems do to fix an irregular cycle.

I was also under the impression it was sinful to be celibate for anything other than a given period of time in marriage. How long that period of time is Iím not sure but I kind of thought anything more than a few months was the max. And my husband is not Catholic. Being celibate for so long is a lot to ask.

And I have a Balanced Chromosome Translocation on 8 and 15. I think I got it from my Dad because he died from Cancer at 24 and people with cancer often have a translocation. That and my Mother remarried and had 5 healthy kids without ever even having one miscarriage that she knows of so itís unlikely the translocation came from her side of the family even though cancer runs on her side too. I donít know exactly what my odds are because it depends on how big the translocation is and we had to speak with a specialist in NYC who was gone and we never kept up with it. The basic rule of thumb is 50% chance of miscarriage right off the bat and a much higher chance of stillbirth and severe birth defects. Weíve already experienced all three of those.

And I know a condom isnít 100% effective but itís 99% and if Iím really meant to get pregnant then I think I would. God can do anything.
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  #13  
Old Dec 20, '10, 1:35 pm
verawang verawang is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

I forgot to mention the other option. I've been advised I could try Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD if I want to have a healthy child. There are only two out of 8 outcomes that would result in having a healthy baby with one of those carrying the same balanced translocation I have but is otherwise unaffected (so they would have the same problem conceiving) and another where they wouldn't have the translocation and would lead normal healthy lives. Two chances out of 8 and it all depends on what genetic material is in each egg and I can't choose which egg is fertilized w/out using PGD where they would ship my eggs to Chicago, fertilize them and destroy the ones that have a bad genetic code and use IVF to fertilize me with only the good eggs. I won't do that for what I see are obvious reasons.
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  #14  
Old Dec 20, '10, 2:24 pm
heart4home heart4home is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by verawang View Post

And I have a Balanced Chromosome Translocation on 8 and 15. I think I got it from my Dad because he died from Cancer at 24 and people with cancer often have a translocation. That and my Mother remarried and had 5 healthy kids without ever even having one miscarriage that she knows of so itís unlikely the translocation came from her side of the family even though cancer runs on her side too. I donít know exactly what my odds are because it depends on how big the translocation is and we had to speak with a specialist in NYC who was gone and we never kept up with it. The basic rule of thumb is 50% chance of miscarriage right off the bat and a much higher chance of stillbirth and severe birth defects. Weíve already experienced all three of those.
Yes, with a balanced translocation you theoretically have a 50% chance of having a baby with the unbalanced translocation which would likely lead to a m/c, stillbirth or baby with birth defects, an 25% chance of passing on the balanced translocation and a 25% chance of having a baby that doesn't even have it. Of course as you obviously know that doesn't mean that if you ovulated 4 times that you would get one of each chance, it's more like rolling a dice with 4 numbers on it and yet having the same number come up over and over.(or in your case an egg with the same unbalanced translocation) It can happen.

Anyways you are also right that PGD is similar in theory to IVF and yet goes further to destroy the embryos with the genetic defect and obviously goes against Church teaching.

I'm so sorry that you are faced with this difficult decision about what to do in regards to trying to regulate your cycles. It sounds like you may have PCOS. I personally would think that having a regular cycle would make NFP much easier to follow though, and then give you the opportunity to make prayerful decisions as a couple on what is best for you and your dh in regards to deciding to attempt another pregnancy.

Obviously the two options laid out by the Church are deciding to just keep trying and praying that you will one day get a healthy egg fertilized and carry to term, and accepting that if you do happen to deliver a handicapped child that lives that you will be OK with that, or choose not to have a child because of the risk and perhaps adopt, while of course still being ready to accept a child if it is conceived.

Prayers for you as you make these decision.
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Old Dec 22, '10, 3:36 am
verawang verawang is offline
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Default Re: NFP issue

It sounds like you have experience so thank you and thank you for the prayers. Those odds are better than what I'd heard so that is good. I guess I should say they are better than what I understood because I may have misunderstood what was said to me. From the way I heard it was I had a 50% chance of m/c and knew I had a higher chance of stillbirth and birth defects so thought that was on top of the 50% so I have been thinking I had a slim chance in you know where to have a child that is born completely healthy. I don't really care about the birth defects as long as they can live long happy lives (as in, I die first).

And I've wondered if I have PCOS. I'm going to ask about it next time I go in. They found cysts in my ovary though and I don't know much about medical stuff but that seems pretty conclusive to me (though until I hear it from them I'm not going to assume anything); especially since my sister has PCOS and we have a family history of getting cysts. That wasn't the only cysts they found in the ultrasound during my last appointment and a mass and some other things that had me scratching my head. They threw a whole bunch of terms at me that I should never have looked up but probably mean nothing because if there were any real reason for concern I can't imagine having to wait a month for my next appointment.

I don't think my husband is ever going to prayerfully agree too much let alone a pregnancy. I have to admit I've been tempted which is why I get so angry because rationally I know that it's wrong to try again. It's disturbing that I would want to try for more kids out of some desire to procreate (with my medical history, not for everyone obviously). I feel it's really very wrong on a deep moral level to try to conceive again after knowing how my son suffered. There was nothing they could do to lessen his suffering and I won't do that again. Even cancer patients get pain killers but I was still pregnant. I guess that falls under the whole debate on when the unborn feel pain. So, I won't be trying to get pregnant again on purpose.

I have thought about adoption though. My husband wasn't interested until recently. His family thinks we should start trying right now and that we shouldn't wait for the right time (because it will never come) but my family thinks I should get into a good career first so I can be done with school and financially support kids unlike what happened with them. My Mom got pregnant young, had her spouse die and was an uneducated single mother for years (she remarried when I was 13). She tried going back several times but my youngest brother is autistic and she would not drug him in order to have a babysitter so she could go to classes. She doesn't want me to have the same financial problems which makes sense so we are waiting for now.

My parents don't think I know what I'm getting myself into and I agree but that isn't the point of bringing kids home for the first time? I really don't care about special needs kids while my parents got upset with us for looking into adopting a special needs child. But they have also told us they are perfectly fine not being grandparents and have even gotten angry about NFP and trying again and I've heard the whole bit about, "these rules were written by men and they can't be in your position ever. It's always too black and white and your situation is one that you rarely hear addressed" (which came about because I was talking about listening to EWTN all the time to try and hear someone with a similar issue call but it never seems to happen which is probably part of the reason I thought it was so rare that people had to deal with chromosome translocations and stillbirths and miscarriages, it's feels like some big secret. I used to be naive and now I just wonder what else I'm naive about and have to learn the hard way) I think my parents would be relieved if I chose to get a tubal ligation and I usually tend to take my Mother's advice in the end.

The idea that it's a sin is sometimes the only thing keeping me from doing it. I'm also afraid I'll regret it and sometimes secretly hope that I'll get pregnant and have an excuse because I can't read my chart very easily but my husband won't be with me without some kind of protection. He doesn't trust NFP alone right now. And then there are the days where I just get angry at the church for lots of reasons but they all pretty much tie into what I've just written about here. That's been a lot lately. It was summer last time I went to mass. I did not have the heart to tell my NFP nurse that last time she came over when she asked me about church. Go figure, people using NFP are in the minority, usually really faithful and I am so far removed from that. I've been reading these forums and feel like I'm from a totally different planet from a lot of you guys.

But I went about a whole page off the rails there.
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