I would like to start an NFP Program at my church


#1

The subject line says most of it… but the real stickler parts is that I am single (never married), childless, and not exactly ‘trained’ in NFP.

However, I think that when people have tools to use, they are more likely to use them. There are a number of people at my parish that I have heard make comments about birth control, abortion, and STDs so I don’t think that we would be lacking on the NUMBER of people to benefit (our parish is about 600 families). Even if we don’t have the people from our particular parish, we have surrounding communities, and surrounding churches to feed from.

When I mentioned my interest to someone else, the comment was ‘Apryl, they will run you out of the church! Who do you think you are to even try that?’.

I respect the sentiment, I think, but I don’t want my parish to not utilize something because the wrong person mentioned it. I also think that we would do well to have a variety of services and programs for our parishoners.

Where could I start with this? Other than with our (imo) overworked pastor? I think that if we had something lined up, it would be loads easier for him to encourage it.


#2

contact your Diocese they usually have someone that handles setting up the classes and making sure you are qualified to teach.


#3

Have you tried contacting the Couple to Couple League? ccli.org They do training - Im not sure if they only to couples or not. And they might be able to get in contact with your church.

good luck!


#4

Contact the family life office at your diocese/archdiocese. If your church has a health ministry, they may be able to point you in the right direction too.

I also would like to offer NFP classes, but I’m on the opposite side of your problem. I have a 2 year old and am pregnant :slight_smile: And we’re not planning on preventing more pregnancies. So people may look at me and say “Well I guess *that *doesn’t work!” Just pray about it, ask God for discernment and to show you if He truly wants you to do this, or is this something coming from Apryl’s brain.


#5

First of all, you must decide on the type of NFP you would like to teach. I love Creighton (and personally I think it is the best choice, at least for me). Once you know which type of NFP you would like to teach you must… must… must go through a training session. It is extremely important that you know what you are doing or you will just teach a bunch of people an incorrect method of NFP. I know that the Creighton method takes several months and sessions to teach and you might even have to go to Omaha, Nebraska to get your training if you do not have a training session in your vicinity. If money is the issue, maybe you can raise it or see if your diocese will give you a grant if you promise to come back to teach NFP not only in your parish but to anyone in the diocese wanting to learn. I think the Holy Spirit is calling you to do something amazing so don’t give up. Just make certain that your zeal will be backed up with solid, medical knowledge to help these couples. Also, see if there is a good Catholic OB/GYN in your area where you can send women who are having problems. It might be hard to find one that just does NFP but maybe you can find one that is very open and receptive to NFP. It is very important to foster a relationship with at least one physician because it is neglectful to not at least have someone who will take care of anything that you will not be able to.

My story: I am a medical student and I wasn’t sure about NFP. As someone who is use to facts and figures I wasn’t sure if I could trust it. I started listening to some Catholic women that I admire, and I found out about Creighton method. I found some peer reviewed articles about the Creighton method of NFP and I was very impressed. The record of Creighton is amazing (99.6% method effectiveness and over 96% use effectiveness). The use effectiveness numbers were actually better than the birth control pill. Plus, Creighton is designed by a physician. (BTW Dr. Hillard will be on EWTN on Friday at 8/7 pm, I think) As a medical student that works at night and weird hours, there was no way that I could use anything that involved taking my temperature. I just love Creighton and I highly recommend it.

Good luck and God bless


#6

Thank you.

BTW: I don’t want to do the teaching! I just want to help to put the teachers in place with the audience.

(There is a LOT involved in NFP and I don’t want to think I know enough to try to teach it. Be a student? sure… but not teach)


#7

start with your diocese family life office and the person who is in charge of marriage preparation. Find out what is the requirement in the diocese for offering NFP as part of marriage prep. That puts you on solid ground. Find out who is in charge for the diocese, who the experts are that are already available. Through them, schedule regular classes in your parish.

If there is no one (the one person in this diocese who used to do it is retiring) Then link up with Couples for Christ and find qualified people. Quite frankly, even someone like me who did this years ago is not qualified to discuss newer more reliable methods. Someone who has never done the actual nuts and bolts of the day to day charting etc. is also not qualified to teach the nuts and bolts.

You or the priest can teach the theology, as our late pope so beautifully illustrated in his writings, but for a “how to” class you need experienced people who are committed to the philosophy and the science of NFP.


#8

Yes, me too, but with my fifth bundle of joy on the way, I can’t see myself being taken seriously either.


#9

I think someone like you would be the perfect person to teach NFP.

As Catholics, we are to be open to life. Many popes have written (most recently Benedict XVI) that large families are a blessing. But in many dioceses NFP is taught with a contraceptive mentality. Instead of presenting the Church’s true teachings on openess to life and that NFP is to be used only in grave or serious reasons, it is often taught simply as an acceptable alternative to artificial birth control.

I don’t object to NFP on the grounds that Catholics shouldn’t be aware of their cycles/fertility. I think that it’s something that is good to know - kind of like learning how to budget before you’re filing bankruptcy. But I have met so many Catholics who have entered into marriage with a proscribed number of children that they are willing to have, and a timeline on when they’re willing to have them, and they use NFP as just another form of birth control. That does not represent the Church’s true teachings at all.

Note: please note the bolded words. I am not implying that all NFP programs are like this, but the ones* I* have run into have been.


#10

Apryl,
I’m in a similiar situation here at my parish. Although I am not really sure what the attitude is about NFP, I do know that its promotion is noticeably absent, both verbally & in print.

Anyhoo, some advice that was given to me by a lifelong fellow parishoner was, “Be prepared to demonstrate how you will back up & not abandon any new program or endeavor you propose.”

In other words, our priests (heck, anyone, for that matter) are more inclined to give the go-ahead for a new project if they know it’s not going to collapse in a year due to lack of leadership. And, Lord knows, I know how hard they work & would not want to add to their workload.

With that being said, I followed the proper channels in my parish & archdiocese & made myself known to the pre-Cana couple in my parish. She was *thrilled *to hear of my interest & wishes.

Good luck! Keep us posted!


#11

kind of like going to the aerobics class or diet workshop taught by someone who weighs 200 lbs. however, you might be able to teach the class to those would like help in using the method to achieve pregnancy.


#12

I don’t think there is any reason why a single parishioner couldn’t manage the creation of NFP courses. Single people have callings too and it’s ridiculous to think that their callings would be completely separated from sexuality, nurturing, and other parts of personhood that are fulfilled in marriage.

You don’t want to teach the classes–I think that should clear up and silliness about it being inappropriate for a single to do this work. Someone needs to find a teaching couple or other teacher, advertise, keep track of interested couples, order books and materials, collect checks and deposit them, set out a plate of healthful snacks during classes, and any number of other things. I say offer your services and let your pastor know that you feel strongly called to do this. Offer to take on all the legwork, since he is already overworked. Contact whoever runs the pre-Cana at your church. Whatever it takes.

No one asks her OB if he’s given birth before. No one insists that a secretary to a CEO have previous experience as a CEO. The role is to help (the birthing woman, the CEO) and there’s no reason to think only people who have done the job before can help someone else do the job. I don’t see why anyone should care that you are single and helping married and engaged couples strengthen their marriages. Strong marriages benefit all of society, not just the couple.


#13

Actually, my NFP teaching couple announced during the class that they were expecting their 5th child, to explain some absences on the wife’s part. We gave them a round of applause. Because we all respected the creation of new life (and wanted it for ourselves someday, and maybe not 5, but you know, we were young married or engaged couples excited about those possibilities). And I think we all knew that they knew fully well how not to get pregnant if that was what they were called to do, but that they were using NFP to acheive pregnacy and EBF to space their children. They talked openly about child spacing and how they felt that the spacing usually afforded by EBF was ideal for the developmental readiness of the baby of the family, etc. It was just plain to us that this fifth baby was good for them, and we saw a little of what we could hope for, maybe, eventually, God willing.


#14

Surely you are great examples for NFP: allowing you to ensure you can support children without anti-life measures? If you can support 5 children, :clapping: , but NFP is for people who can’t, (and for other reasons too). In our parish there is a family with seven children- two of the boys are altar servers, and I kinda hope ( and of course :gopray: )one will turn out to be a priest.


#15

Why don’t you contact Couple to Couple League.

ccli.org/
They are so in need of promoters. Tell them that you are single and want to help the local teachers or call the local teachers directly.

They will give you the name of the teachers(on internet). You can post their classes or names on church bulletin board and leave flyers with their names stamped on back in rack. One more Soul has alot of their flyers also. You can order their magazine and leave it in church for others to see.

You can build a computer data base and send to churches- catholic and protestant churches letting them know when classes for NFP are to be held or who the local teachers are.
It is better if you go in person and talk to local churches. Some churches may reject it but don’t take it to heart.

When they hold a class, sometime they need sitters also.

:thumbsup: Let’s us know how you make out…


#16

I spoke to the woman in charge of our Health MInistry. She said that she would look into it. I was pretty disappointed, but grateful she would at least ‘look into it’.

But we kept talking, and she mentioned she was also working on an Abstinance Program for the Youth.

Wow! So she really IS going to look into it.

We have some road blocks, but they are farther up this food chain.

Every one, please keep praying for me, and for our parish, because I think we need this.


#17

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