Grant supports training of NFP instructors

Categories: Around the Diocese

The Visitor

Earlier this year, The Catholic Foundation received a gift earmarked for natural family planning. The donors, George and Joan Jay of Assumption Parish in Morris, established The Saints Anne and Joachim Fund for Natural Family Planning to offset the expense of training NFP teachers who instruct couples in using this method.

The Jays taught NFP in the St. Cloud Diocese for more than 10 years until George, a physician, became ill. The couple saw this fund as an opportunity to keep supporting the work of NFP.

“We really feel that NFP made a big difference in our marriage,” Joan said. “And we felt like the state of marriage and family was under attack. We were looking for concrete ways to build up families and help them see the benefits that NFP can offer.”

Joan volunteers with Options for Women and Life Care Pregnancy Center in Morris. In January, she decided to become recertified after recognizing there was a new need.

“Our community has seen an influx of Hispanic people who are also coming to the center,” she explained. “I was able to utilize the training I received as an NFP instructor and share it with them through an interpreter. Many have remarked how much they love it and they tell their friends about it, too. It is a witness to me to see how it is helping others.”

Alice Coudron, consultant for planned giving for The Catholic Foundation, is excited to help the Jays cultivate this fund. “This fund has a beautiful purpose, one that directly touches couples and promotes the Catholic Church’s teaching on the respect, dignity and sanctity of married love and the openness to life,” she said.

Natural family planning is a method that allows women and couples to recognize their natural signs of fertility and infertility based on the woman’s menstrual cycle.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, NFP methods “respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them and favor the education of an authentic freedom.”

The Diocese of St. Cloud has 20 NFP qualified instructors who teach couples to successfully manage their fertility and plan their families while embracing church teaching in their marriage and family life.

The fund is named after SS. Anne and Joachim, considered to be the parents of Jesus’ mother Mary. Together, they are powerful intercessors for all married couples and especially those struggling with infertility.

To learn more about this fund, call The Catholic Foundation at 320-258-0390. To find out more about NFP, call the Office of Marriage and Family at 320-252-4721, or visit http://omf.stcdio.org/natural-family-planning.