Priests and deacons are on the "front line" in the Church helping the faithful understand God's plan for married love. Although no one expects clergy to become "certified NFP teachers," basic information on the science and methodology of NFP will help clergy in their pastoral efforts. In addition, study and reflection upon Catholic teaching regarding human sexuality, marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood, will fortify the priest's and deacon's ability to help couples. The following resources are offered to assist clergy in their ministry.
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Preaching on Human Sexuality, Marriage and NFPHomily Notes
The Sunday homily is the primary way most Catholics learn about the faith. When preaching on the subjects of human sexuality, marriage and NFP in particular, it is important for priests and deacons to be mindful of the sensitive nature of the topics. For example, the homily is not the place where details of human fertility, or NFP methodology are provided (have printed resources displayed in the vestibule for that!). Rather, homilies are where Catholic teaching on marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood are covered and NFP information is included in a general and tactful style. Below are some suggestions for your pastoral preaching.
Take a look at the 2013 National NFP Week's suggestions for homilies during the week of July 21-27
. VideosFr. Albert J. Bruecken, OSB
, homily given on the first Sunday of National NFP Awareness Week, July 22, 2012, at the Basilica of St. John
in the Diocese of Des Moines.
In this homily Fr. Bruecken
poses basic questions about the direction of the current culture in the wake of the sexual
revolution. He asks whether the cultural changes regarding contraception are "helping or
hindering" young men and women's ability to respect the dignity of themselves and one another. He contrasts the cultural emphasis on a false independence with a true, mature and
interdependent existence with others. Father speaks about understanding freedom and
sexuality in terms of making a sincere gift of self to others. (For a brief biography of Fr. Bruecken, see here
Rev. Jerome Cudden, OP, 45th Anniversary of Humanae vitae
(National NFP Awareness Week, July 21-27, 2013)
this homily from the 2013 “Natural Family Planning Awareness Week”
Sunday, Fr. Jerome Cudden, OP discusses American culture 45 years after Humanae Vitae
and invites his congregation to reflect on the consequences or
“prophecies” that Pope Paul VI warned could arise with the use of
This brief document of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
summarizes Church teaching on marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood
in an easy to read question and answer format. It is available to download in a two-page bulletin insert below. To order copies of the complete document, contact: USCCB Publishing, 1-800-235-8722. Ask for publication, #5-787.
MP3 | Spanish
Bulletin Insert | En
To enhance your parish bulletin, select quotes from the Church's magisterial documents, the writings of NFP pioneers and statements by NFP couples posted in the topics below. Please feel free to "edit down" those quotes that may be too technical; however, continue to provide the full citation of the source. Be sure to include local diocesan NFP information with each quote in the bulletin. To locate the name of your diocesan NFP coordinator, see: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/natural-famliy-planning/find-an-nfp-class.cfm. Please note, NFP "Distance Education" is also provided on this page. You may also want to include this information about where married couples can learn an NFP method in the comfort of their homes!
- General NFP Information
- Church Teachings
- Wisdom of Blessed John Paul II
- Couples Witness
For materials and resources regarding National NFP Awareness Week, click here.
Clergy Education Programs
NFP Resources for Clergy
The Couple to Couple League has NFP resources for clergy. The "Clergy
Packet". . . includes a
variety of easy to read brochures that include general information on the
science and couple-relationship building benefits of NFP. The brochures not only
provide clergy with brief but reliable information, but also can be used as
educational tools for parishioners.
NFP Outreach offers parish missions focused on God's gift of married love and Natural Family Planning. Founded by Fr. Daniel McCaffrey, NFP Outreach has a standardized format but will tailor the mission to the needs of a particular parish. Fr. Dan is assisted by Fr. Matthew Habiger, OSB and Deacon Rick Condon. In addition, Fr. Dan has several physicians who take part in the mission offering talks on NFP science and methodology.