The Role of The Diocesan NFP Teacher

A diocesan NFP teacher’s primary role is to provide NFP instruction and follow-up to couples/clients. He or she conveys respect for each couple/client and promotes their autonomy in the use of NFP.  By integrating Catholic teaching on human sexuality, marriage, and family life into their instruction, a diocesan NFP teacher encourages couples/clients to grow in their marital relationship. Diocesan NFP teachers are accountable to and work in cooperation with the diocesan NFP coordinator. (Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry, p. 7)

Learn about NFP Teacher Training Programs in our Annotated Directory.

The following articles provide food for thought or inspiration that will energize the NFP teacher. Sources are cited within the PDF files. The USCCB either holds the copyright for some articles or has permission to post the articles here. You have our permission to use these articles in your NFP educational activity.

On Teaching NFP

  • "Talking the Talk" NFP Forum, Diocesan Activity Report, 1996. This article provides practical tips when presenting NFP information in both formal and informal settings.
  • Teaching NFP is a True Mission, Natural Family Planning, Diocesan Activity Report, 1995. John Paul II courageously challenges NFP teachers to extend their commitment beyond a mere scientific knowledge of a woman's fertility towards a more serious approach that values the gifts of life and love.
  • Education Techniques and NFP Instruction NFP Diocesan Activity Report, 1994. This article provides basic groundwork in learning techniques to help NFP teachers more effectively reach their adult audiences.
  • Integration of Abstinence in NFP International Review of Natural Family Planning, 1987Maureen Ball and Dorothy Scally. In her section of this article, Maureen Ball states that the married couple should integrate periodic sexual abstinence into their lives. Dorothy Scally adds that with differing personality types of both husband and wife, it is the job of the NFP instructor to help couples view periodic sexual abstinence as built on positive values.
  • The Joy of Abstinence? International Review of Natural Family Planning, 1985. Louis P. and Sue Ann LaBarber. With years of experience as workshop leaders for teaching NFP, Louis and Sue Ann LaBarber explain psychological and practical tips for teaching periodic abstinence. They explain that for NFP teachers, the student's perceived "problem" of periodic sexual abstinence can be addressed through simple communication techniques such as a change of phrase.

Issues in NFP Education

  • The Best Intentions: Unintended Pregnancy and the Well Being of Families- A Review Charles and Sheila Potter, NFP Forum, 1996. Charles and Sheila Potter, former NFP co-coordinators for the Archdiocese of New York, offer a hopeful outlook for the NFP movement through a review on a 1996 overview of contraceptive use and failure in the United States.
  • Achieving Couple Autonomy in Natural Family Planning - An Aid for Teachers" by Hanna Klaus, M.D., and Mary Ursula Fagan, A.C.S.W. (coming soon)
  • The Client's Right of Privacy and the NFP Teacher International Review of Natural Family Planning, 1982. James J. Pattee. This author maintains that the NFP movement is part of the health care system and NFP teachers are required to act as such. This means they must be aware of and practice health codes and clients right to privacy.
  • Psychological Aspects of Natural Family Planning International Review of Natural Family Planning, 1981. Ronald Conway. Ronald Conway provides teachers and counselors with an authentic, practical, and holistic approach to Natural Family Planning with special attention given to current pervading sexual attitudes.
  • The Psychodynamics of Natural Family Planning and Instructor- Training International Review of Natural Family Planning, 1981. Mary Catherine Martin. Martin stresses that the most important element of developing a successful NFP program is the education and training of competent instructors. This article emphasizes the need for thorough training toward task-oriented NFP instruction and for objective evaluation of teaching candidates.


  • A Couple's Witness NFP Forum, Diocesan Activity Report, 1997. This is the kind of story that inspires NFP teachers--a wife shares her powerful story of the journey she and her husband took as children, as spouses, and finally spouses willing to accept God into their marriage. An amazing witness!
  • Natural Family Planning Is the Way to Go International Review of Natural Family Planning, 1986. Terence Cardinal Cooke. At the First National Meeting of Diocesan Coordinators of Natural Family Planning, Cardinal Cooke speaks of the importance of this pastoral ministry. He highlights Pope John Paul II's reasoning for inviting the church to participate in NFP and references the Holy Father for the benefits of NFP ranging from focus on family life to developing the virtue of chastity.

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