Below is a letter to parish congregations from Bishop Barbarito. There is additional information on NFP Programs on the bottom of this page and the top right of this page
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
“Pro-Woman, Pro-Man, Pro-Child, Natural Family Planning” is the theme of this year’s Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, planned for July 21st to 27th. This national educational campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) celebrates God’s design for married love, the gift of life and the benefits of Natural Family Planning (NFP). On July 25th, we will commemorate the 45th anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. On July 26th, we will mark the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Mother. ‘
NFP upholds Catholic teaching on married love by respecting “the God-given power to love a new human life into being” (U.S. Bishops, Married Love and the Gift of Life, 2006). Through an expression of reciprocal personal giving in the conjugal act, spouses become sharers in God’s creative action. With NFP, couples exercise responsible parenthood without breaking the “inseparable connection” between the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act that are written by God himself into the nature of the human being (HV, no.12).
Modern NFP methods are scientific in their biology. They rely on natural methods to help couples plan their families, while respecting God’s gift of fertility to women. Couples learn how to identify and interpret the natural, observable signs of the wife’s fertility cycle. As NFP becomes a way of life, both husband and wife share in the duties of responsible parenthood, and communication and mutual trust are fostered between themselves and God. It is interesting to note that couples who practice NFP suffer divorce at a rate of less than 3% as opposed to a national rate above 50% for first time marriages.
During NFP Awareness Week, I would like to thank those married couples who live their parenthood in an authentic and responsible way and particularly express my gratitude to those couples who sacrifice to teach NFP methods across our diocese. I encourage all married couples and those preparing for marriage to reflect on their current or future marriages and the way they can live out their parenthood. If you have not considered NFP, I encourage you to take a class and discover the richness of NFP. Please visit our website at www.diocesepb.org for a list of scheduled classes and registration information, or call 561-775-9557 for additional resources.
With every prayerful wish, I am
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito
Bishop of Palm Beach