From the Desk of the Pastor

Dear Beloved Family,

     When those old enough to understand hear the words “Natural Family Planning,” there are varied  reactions:

Some people wince and think that a couple has to birth as many children as they can possibly bear.

Some people smile and think NFP is the flawed science and technique of decades ago.

And yet other people see something very positive and life-giving.   They see deep affection, natural purpose, extremely low divorce rates, and family closeness.

You see, Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the general title for the scientific, natural and moral methods of family planning that can help married couples either achieve or postpone pregnancies.  NFP methods are based on the observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.  Since the methods of NFP respect the love-giving (unitive) and life-giving (procreative) nature of the conjugal act, they support God's design for married love!  Remember, pharmaceutical manufacturers make untold millions of dollars every year from contraceptives – only to leave couples weary of the artificial life they embrace.  Intimacy becomes a thing to do while they prevent life from happening, whereas NFP becomes a lifestyle of natural love and respect, which will never harm you with chemicals and sterile attitudes.

With my being a single, celibate priest, you may find it odd that my brother priests and I so fully embrace such a process of family planning.   In my journey of priesthood, having come in close contact with many families who practice this method, I have seen happy couples who, while not spared of the normal aches and pains of marriage, are extremely committed to making their love TOTAL, FAITHFUL, FRUITFUL, and FREE.  They are conscientious parents and friends.  They love gathering together with other like-minded families and form communities who really care for one another.  If I were married, I would not hesitate for one moment to learn and live the NFP method of family planning because it corresponds to the good of the couple, not the “fear” of a baby.  I am very impressed with the quality of marriages which embrace Natural Family Planning.  Really, there is a big difference!

If you are interested in learning more about Natural Family Planning, please visit:  http://www.eriercd.org/chastity.htm.   The diocesan staff will be wonderful to interact with and address your questions.  Don’t REACT to NFP; RESPOND to it.  Your marriage and family will be blessed!

In Christ’s love,

Father Mark

 

July 22, 2017