TORONTO – The family and those who support and strengthen it, have an especially important role at this time in history, said speakers at the annual meeting of the natural family planning group World Organization Ovulation Method (Billings) Canada.

“It will be mainly through Christian families that Christianity will be brought into the new millennium. that is why Satan is working so very hard right now to destroy the traditional family,” said Father Joseph Hattie, OMI, director of Marriage and Family Life for the Vancouver Archdiocese, and chaplain for WOOMB Canada.

Teachers of natural methods of family planning are part of the divine plan for helping families to be strong, to bring the faith and the truth into the year 2000 and beyond, he said.

Father Tom Lynch spoke about the difficulty of getting authentic messages about life and sexuality and love to today’s people, at a time when we need to become more effective than ever.

Co-founder of CYPLO (Canadian Youth Pro-Life Organization), Father Lynch is currently professor of moral theology at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto.

“Methods used successfully in the past to teach the faith, natural family planning, and other issues, simply don’t connect with today’s people,” he said.

We fail to take account of the fact that the earlier social constraints, sense of community, and experience of long term commitment not part of their lives. Many have replaced faith with feelings. THere is no common moral language.

“One difficulty for NFP teachers is that we are moving into the second and third contraceptive generations — neither people nor their milieu can be assumed to be receptive to NFP,” he noted.

There is a demonstrably close connection between widespread contraception and widespread acceptance of abortion. And — as all pro-lifers know — there is also a close connection between acceptance of abortion, and acceptance of euthanasia or assisted suicide. All militate against the family, against healthy society, and ultimately against the Creator.

“As we watch the old foundations and structures being dismantled, we can see only chaos and destruction. Or we can see building material — and determine to use it,” said Father Lynch.

He pointed out that it is important to realize the people of today are eagerly seeking out new ideas (including old ideas they’ve never heard before). They have a concern for the natural. They want authority and certainty.

“We can reach them if we restructure our approach, and use new ways to convey to them important truths like the scientific basis for NFP, and its great personal value in their lives,” said Father Lynch.

“It is important to break down the information into ‘hunks and chunks’ — the Scriptures were essentially sound bites,” he advised.

His other tips included:

Package information for younger people, and for couples early in their marriage;

Make ample use of the visual and the emotional;

Provide certitude in the form of scientific data, studies;

Above all, use the Internet.

WOOMB Canada is a national umbrella organization for groups teaching the Billings Method of NFP. The meetings were held at Loretto College in Toronto in June.