A number of central issues impact diocesan NFP programming including questions about increasing NFP acceptance among the faithful, recruitment of NFP teachers, and outreach education to clergy and Catholic healthcare professionals. The menu below lists these topics.

We welcome your suggestions for additional topics and authors.

Please write to nfp@usccb.org.

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Topics & Resources

Requirement of NFP Education in Diocesan Marriage Preparation

Among the most frequently discussed issues is whether a bishop ought to require engaged couples to take a complete course of NFP as part of marriage preparation. We begin with this critical issue since it represents a strong pastoral strategy that can foster awareness of NFP methods and more importantly, God's plan for married love. Subsequent issues follow in alphabetical order.

Distance Learning

Healthcare Professionals, NFP, and Church Teaching

Legal Issues in Diocesan NFP Programming

NFP Awareness Week

Recruitment of NFP Teachers

Support for Diocesan NFP Ministry

Volunteers

 


 


Requirement of NFP Education
in Marriage Preparation

Report: Requiring a Full Course of Natural Family Planning Instruction in Marriage Preparation

This report provides a summary of how several dioceses created a strategy to implement the requirement of NFP education as part of marriage preparation. The lessons learned by these diocesan NFP coordinators are useful for others who are faced with a similar task.

  • Update: 2008-2014 This report takes up where the above report ends. It provides information on the topic of requiring NFP education in marriage preparation from nine dioceses.
     
  • 2016 Diocese of Wichita Requires NFP Education in Marriage Preparation This brief article describes the process that was used to design and implement the requirement of a course of a method of NFP in marriage preparation in the Diocese of Wichita.
     
  • An example of requiring NFP education in marriage preparation can be viewed at the Diocese of Phoenix's website:
    • Vision and Teaching Vision and Teaching (2009) of the Diocese of Phoenix's NFP education and marriage preparation policy by Bishop Thomas Olmsted.
    • Marriage Preparation Policy (2009).
    • NFP: Ready Now. an implementation plan for adding a Natural Family Planning requirement to marriage preparation (2009) by Cindy Leonard (2009). Mrs. Leonard was the diocesan NFP coordinator who assisted Bishop Olmsted in creating the NFP and marriage preparation policy.
    • "Find us Ready," website page provides the overview of resources to implement the diocesan marriage preparation and NFP education policy (Note: some parts of this page are original to 2009).
    • "Covenant of Love" website page (2020) on marriage preparation and NFP education that highlights a unified approach to this pastoral education.

Crafting a Strategy for Requirement of NFP Education in Marriage Preparation

After reading the above report, it is useful to hear from the diocesan staff who have participated in the development and implementation of a strategy for requiring NFP education in marriage preparation programs. This three hour audio presentation is from the 2013 annual conference of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM).

The panel begins with a discussion on the canonical aspects of marriage preparation (45 minutes). The discussion then turns to how the requirement of NFP education was created and implemented in two different dioceses. The panel concludes with a dialogue between the panelists and participants. The participants included diocesan marriage and family life directors as well as diocesan NFP coordinators.

Panelists: Rev. Robert R. Cannon, MA, MEd, MTh, JCL, Diocese of Venice; Cindy Leonard, NFP Coordinator, Diocese of Phoenix; and Rachelle Sauvageau, Diocese of Fargo.
The MC is Theresa Notare, PhD, Assistant Director, NFP Program, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, USCCB.

Note: this audio file is here for your use with the permission of Catholic Seminars. If you would like to purchase this file and view other files available from the 2013 NACFLM conference, contact: www.catholicseminars.com.

Not ready to implement an NFP class requirement for marriage preparation? Read about this simple strategy to increase NFP class attendance through your marriage preparation programs.
 


Distance Learning and NFP Education

Diocesan NFP coordinators are often confronted with the challenge of recruiting enough NFP teachers to schedule an appropriate number of classes throughout their dioceses. Many wonder if NFP e-education can help them get the NFP message out to married couples. This three hour audio presentation provides answers to their questions. It treats the topic of NFP e-learning for couples/clients. It too is from the 2013 annual conference of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM).

Each NFP provider discuss the format of his/her on-line education and how couples respond to it. Questions from the audience are also included.

Panelists: Maria Garcia, NFP coordinator, Archdiocese of Chicago (e-introduction to NFP and the Billings Method); Michael Manhart, Ph.D., Executive Director, Couple to Couple League International (STM); Richard Fehring, Ph.D., RN, Director, NFP Institute, Marquette University, College of Nursing (Marquette Method, Sympto-Hormonal); Jessica Schaefer, Sympto-Pro Fertility Education Instructor, Northwest Family Services (STM). The MC is Theresa Notare, Ph.D., Assistant Director, NFP Program, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, USCCB.

Note: this audio file is here for your use with the permission of Catholic Seminars. If you would like to purchase this file and view other files available from the 2013 NACFLM conference, contact: www.catholicseminars.com.

 


Healthcare Professionals, NFP,
and Church Teaching

Please be patient with us as we develop this section.

See our page on Catholic healthcare professionals for resources to use in your NFP outreach education to healthcare professionals.

 


Legal Issues in NFP

Legal Issues in NFP 
Thomas J. Prebil 
In this classic article from the out of print publication, The International Review of NFP, attorney, Thomas Prebil directly addresses significant legal concerns, such as the crucial steps to take in order to avoid a lawsuit, and the necessary action of an NFP teacher, should a lawsuit arise. He stresses the importance of NFP instructors taking detailed records and a personalized, professional relationship with every client.
 


Recruitment of NFP Teachers

Please be patient with us as we develop this section.




 


Support for Diocesan NFP Ministry

Generating Support for NFP,
Rev. Robert R. Cannon, MA, MTS, JCL. Published in the USCCB's NFP Diocesan Activity Report (1993). 
Fr. Cannon discusses several challenges and offers solutions for the diocesan NFP community. He addresses issues regarding clergy support, misinformation, and education, as well as finances. Fr. Cannon is a co-designer and the lead analyst of the USCCB's annual National Diocesan NFP Profile Survey.

 


Volunteers

Volunteers-Steady Signs of Hope in the Church,
Therese Bermpohl. Published in the USCCB's NFP Forum, Diocesan Activity Report (1996).
USCCB NFP staff, Ms. Bermpohl, shares powerful and motivating guidelines from Marlene Wilson's book, How to Mobilize Volunteers, as effective strategies for NFP Programs. She highlights the need to keep volunteers feeling welcomed, motivated, utilized, and part of the team.

 

 

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