Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
Each year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsors a “Natural Family Planning Awareness Week” to promote an awareness of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and to mark the anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical letter, Humanae Vitae, on the dignity of marriage and the Church’s teaching on contraception and sterilization. The theme this year is: “It's Time! Say "Yes" to God's Plan for Married Love.”
I would like to emphasize that Natural Family Planning is a beautiful and healthy way for couples to live out their vocation to marriage and family in a way that is consistent with the Lord’s plan. I know many couples in our parish who have used NFP and can testify to this reality.
These teachings of the Church are undoubtedly countercultural, however they are truly life-giving and life- changing. It is important that we recognize the great treasure that we have been given in our Catholic faith with regard to these teachings on marriage and human sexuality. The responsibility to understand and defend these teachings is even greater in these days in light of the confusion that we are witnessing with regard to the very nature of marriage as between a man and woman, and even the very question of what it means to be male and female. I encourage you, if you have never done so, to read Paul VI’s encyclical and to study St. John Paul II’s teaching on the Theology of the Body as well. For more information on the Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, visit http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/natural-family-planning/awareness-week/index.cfm. Additionally, to find resources for how to learn Natural Family Planning, visit our archdiocesan NFP website at https://archatl.com/ministries-services/marriage-family-ministry/natural-family-planning/.