Saint Joseph Seminary – Dunwoodie was the setting today for a clergy seminar on Natural Family Planning (NFP) sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York Family & Respect Life Offices, The Couple to Couple League International and with the generosity of others as well. Some 40 clergy types (priests, deacons and seminarians) attended. It was a blessing to have Dr Theresa Notare, Dr Kyle Beiter, Richard & Vicki Braun, Dr. Jack Burnham, Fr John Higgins, Andrew & Tracey Pappalrdo, and Erik & Anne Tozzi as presenters.

So what did I learn today?
YOU can control YOUR reproductive health care sensibly and morally without spending tons of money and selling your values. The point of the day was to introduce us to the most wholistic, safe form of family planning that there is today. This approach is pro-life, pro-woman, pro-faith, and pro-humanity. NFP is totally Catholic. It shows that it’s possible for a husband and wife to communicate and to collaborate with each other on all facets of life, especially the facet of sex and reproduction.

As it was explained to us, NFP shows the users of the method how read the language of the body. Likewise and no less important are the lessons of : empowering the couple to be honest and faithful to each other, appreciating for the dignity and value of each person, and teaching the couple how to cooperate with God in the begetting of a human life. NFP also demonstrates that it is possible to have a deeper awareness and respect for the other person (that is, that one can’t use the other for deceptive reasons). In the end, there is a mutual responsibility that is exercised in marriages that use NFP as a way to form a family (entailing communication, knowledge, spousal roles, decision making and prayer).
In comparison with drugs used to prevent contraception, which have a 92% effective rate, NFP has a 99.6% overall effective rate. One can also point out that use-effective rate of contraceptive drugs is only 90-96%. AND there are no health risks in using NFP.
Startling to me are the types of health risks that are possible from contraceptive drugs scientifically verifiable in reliable studies. Such health risks include: hypertension, acne, high cholesterol, weight gain, loss of libido, depression, gall bladder disease, headaches and uterine fibroides. Of course, there is the higher possibility of developing blood clots, pulmonary emboli, heart attacks, strokes, breast, cervical, liver cancers, birth defects, and infertility.
On the point about breast cancer, there’s a study spanning the years of 1973 and 1993 which shows there was a 25% rise in breast disease. Saint Agatha, pray for us! In this same period there was a rise in mortality by 6%.
NFP is alive, vibrant, radiant and accepting of Truth.
The link to the Archdiocesan webpage above has a tremendous amount of resources available online. But a short list is here: