The measure of any endeavour, great or small, is often found in its longevity. Though often quiet and subtle, the Natural Family Planning Association of the Archdiocese of Toronto has above all been persistent. This year, the NFP Association of Toronto has decided to make some noise. It will be holding a 30th anniversary conference entitled “Sexuality and the Christian Family” on Oct. 19-20 at Cardinal Newman high school in Scarborough.
Husbands and wives will be given the latest scientific information on the ovulation method of NFP, first developed by Australian doctors John and Lyn Billings in the mid-1960s. Focus will also be on the marriage relationship. Parents will gain insight in the task of educating their children in Christian sexuality, especially with the Sunday afternoon mother-daughter fertility awareness workshop. Engaged couples, along with young adults, will be encouraged to understand the value of NFP, even before they are in a relationship, as they need to be educated and led to appreciate the value the Christian teaching has placed on issues of sexuality. Physical education teachers will be offering a workshop on the fertility awareness curriculum unit for Grade 9 girls’ phys. ed., which meets ministry guidelines.
Thirty years ago, in the midst of a cultural revolution that has forever changed our society, a group of young women and men gathered together in order to respond to the needs of young married couples who were seeking an alternative to artificial means of birth control.
More than being a method of preventing pregnancy, the ovulation method naturally develops a sense of self-respect and awareness of one’s dignity which is often lacking in our contraceptive society. No one has become wealthy in promoting this method, yet, through the quiet and determined dedication of both women and men, countless numbers of lives have been touched and blessed by this association’s work.
Being pro-life is a multi-faceted proposition. Not only do we speak out against actions and policies that contravene life, but we are also called to promote solid life-affirming alternatives that seek to answer the day’s concerns. Aloysius Cardinal Ambrosic, writing recently to his priests on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the NFP Association, stated that, “It is, after all, through understanding and knowledge that people come to know both why and how to live this church teaching in their own relationships.”
Pope John Paul II, on his recent World Youth Day visit to Toronto, stated quite emphatically to the young people gathered at the Saturday Vigil: “God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with Him in the building of the civilization of love.”
The NFP Association sees this need to help young people understand and appreciate the gift of fertility and that natural family planning is a response to God’s call to build that civilization of love.
Please call (416) 481-5465 or visit www.naturalfamilyplanning.ca for more information.