Helping couples to deepen conjugal love and achieve responsible parenthood is part of the Church's total pastoral ministry to Catholic spouses...To help couples become proficient and secure in using NFP, dioceses must provide competent NFP services. (Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry, "Introduction")
The Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry (Standards) articulate the key elements that exist in strong diocesan NFP ministry. These elements include: philosophy, theology, program structure, educational components, services, and professional requirements for staff and volunteer NFP teachers.The Standards can be used as a blueprint to build and grow diocesan NFP ministry.
In the United States, NFP ministry exists in many shapes and sizes. Most are located in the Marriage and Family Life offices. Some programs are well established and others are just beginning. The Standards are helpful since they can be used as a development instrument by diocesan staff. For those diocesan NFP coordinators who already have a well-established NFP ministry, the Standards can be used as a self-evaluation tool assisting in the continued growth of the program.
Diocesan NFP ministry represents a unique blend of education in human fertility and Catholic teachings on human sexuality, marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. Typically, diocesan NFP teachers represent a variety of NFP methods. Forming a diocesan NFP team from this diversity is part of the work of the Standards.
Read the content of the Standards in the PDF file below:
Within the complex national picture of diocesan NFP ministry, the Standards exist to ensure that the local Church leads with God's gifts of married love and the gift of life. It is important for the local Church to commit to this vital ministry since it strongly upholds God's plan for marriage and the family.
Diocesan NFP coordinators and directors of NFP teacher training programs (diocesan and non-diocesan), are encouraged to read the Standards and review the implementation process. There are three pathways to use the forms: as a guide for program development; as an internal formal process for self-evaluation and development; and as an external formal process for review, development, and validation. Please see our implementation page linked above or contact the USCCB's NFP Program for guidance (@email; 202-541-3240).
Diocesan NFP teachers can participate in the implementation process through a diocesan NFP program that meets the Standards. The formal pastoral certification awarded through the diocese creates a strong connection between the teacher and the local diocesan NFP ministry. Teachers who apply to a diocese are expected to have a current NFP method certification from an approved NFP teacher training program.
NOTE: It is recommended that the formal application for Endorsement (the diocesan NFP program's award for meeting the Standards), be made to the USCCB's NFP Program. The formal application to implement the Standards can greatly assist the diocesan NFP coordinator's efforts in building NFP ministry by bringing into the process a third party review. The USCCB's NFP Program staff will appoint a Board of Review who will act as mentors to the diocesan NFP coordinator throughout this process. For more information, contact @email.