For Clergy

Priests and deacons are on the "front line" in the Church helping the faithful understand God's plan for married love. Although no one expects clergy to become "certified NFP teachers," basic information on the science and methodology of NFP will help clergy in their pastoral efforts. In addition, study and reflection upon Catholic teaching regarding human sexuality, marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood, will fortify the priest's and deacon's ability to help couples.

The following resources are offered to assist clergy in their ministry.

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Preaching on Human Sexuality, Marriage and NFP

The Sunday homily is the primary way most Catholics learn about the faith. When preaching on the subjects of human sexuality, marriage and NFP in particular, it is important for priests and deacons to be mindful of the sensitive nature of the topics. For example, the homily is not the place where details of human fertility, or NFP methodology are provided (have printed resources displayed in the vestibule for that!). Rather, homilies are where Catholic teaching on marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood are covered and NFP information is included in a general and tactful style. Here we provide some written homily notes, film clips as well as audio files of clergy preaching on NFP.

Homily Notes

Below are some samples of homily notes written for the celebration of National NFP Awareness Week. Please take a moment to view what our authors have written:

  • 2019, July 21-27, Rev. Paul C.B. Schenck, Diocese of Harrisburg
  • 2018, July 22-28, Most Rev. Peter Sartain, Archdiocese of Seattle
  • 2017, July 23-29, Rev. Joel Wilson, Diocese of Trenton
  • 2016, July 24-30, Rev. Samuel A. Martin, Diocese of La Crosse
  • 2015, July 19-25, Rev. Robert R. Cannon, Diocese of Venice
  • 2014, July 20-26, Rev. Benjamin P. Bradshaw, Diocese of Memphis
  • 2013, July 21-27, Rev. Albert J. Bruecken, OSB
  • 2012, July 22-28, Rev. Daniel J. Merz, Archdiocese of St. Louis
  • 2011, July 24-30, Rev. Leo A. Walsh, Archdiocese of Anchorage
  • 2010, July 25-31, Rev. John Gordon, Archdiocese of Newark
  • 2009, July19-25, Rev. David L. Toups, Diocese of St. Petersburg
  • 2008, July 20-26, Rev. Richard B. Hilgartner, Archdiocese of Baltimore
  • 2007, July 22-28, Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop of Knoxville

Additional Resources

  • NFP Outreach is a national Catholic organization that provides pastoral resources for NFP ministry (see www.nfpoutreach.org). Founder, Rev. Daniel McCaffrey, STD, is available to offer assistance to all clergy in integrating Church teaching and NFP general information in the Sunday homily. Homily samples are provided at https://www.nfpoutreach.org/homilies.
  • Videos
    • Fr. Albert J. Bruecken, OSB, homily given on the first Sunday of National NFP Awareness Week, July 22, 2012, at the Basilica of St. John in the Diocese of Des Moines. In this homily Fr. Bruecken poses basic questions about the direction of the current culture in the wake of the sexual revolution. He asks whether the cultural changes regarding contraception are "helping or hindering" young men and women's ability to respect the dignity of themselves and one another. He contrasts the cultural emphasis on a false independence with a true, mature and interdependent existence with others. Father speaks about understanding freedom and sexuality in terms of making a sincere gift of self to others. (For a brief biography of Fr. Bruecken, see here.)
  • Audio
    • Rev. Jerome Cudden, OP, 45th Anniversary of Humanae vitae (National NFP Awareness Week, July 21-27, 2013). In this homily from the 2013 “Natural Family Planning Awareness Week” Sunday, Fr. Jerome Cudden, OP discusses American culture 45 years after Humanae Vitae and invites his congregation to reflect on the consequences or “prophecies” that Pope Paul VI warned could arise with the use of contraception. 

Bulletin Aides

"Bulletin Inserts"

  • Married Love and the Gift of Life     |     En Español
    • This brief document of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops summarizes Church teaching on marriage, conjugal love, and responsible parenthood in an easy to read question and answer format. It is posted here in its entirety (12 pages) and available to download in an abbreviated two-page bulletin insert below. (To order copies of the complete document, contact: USCCB Publishing, 1-800-235-8722. Ask for publication, #5-787.) 
    • Parish Bulletin Insert | En Español
    • English Audio; MP3 | Spanish Audio; MP3
    • You may also want to provide this web page link for parishioners to download the MP3 files in English or Spanish.
  • Conjugal Love and Responsible Parenthood - Love, Mercy, Life, Natural Family Planning, Opening the Heart of Marriage
    • This two-page bulletin insert reflects upon the Church's teaching on conjugal love and responsible parenthood through the lens of love, mercy, and life. Download the bulletin insert here: Front | Back

For additional bulletin inserts see the NFP Week Media Kit page.

"Bulletin Briefs"

Clergy Education Programs

  • The Couple to Couple League has NFP resources for clergy. The most important is their free online clergy seminar. CCL also has a variety of easy to read brochures which discuss NFP science as well as the couple-relationship building benefits of the method.The brochures are suitable for both clergy and parishioners. Contact CCL at (800) 745-8252. 
  • NFP Outreach offers parish missions focused on God's gift of married love and Natural Family Planning. Founded by Fr. Daniel McCaffrey, NFP Outreach has a standardized format but will tailor the mission to the needs of a particular parish. Fr. Dan is assisted by Fr. Matthew Habiger, OSB and Deacon Rick Condon. In addition, Fr. Dan has several physicians who take part in the mission offering talks on NFP science and methodology.

Return to Diocesan NFP Ministry