Catholic Family Services spearheads training of practitioners
By Nathan Rumohr
The B.C. Catholic
New Natural Family Planning (NFP) services are coming to the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Catholic Family Services (CFS) recently announced they will be establishing an NFP centre and offering training for NFP practitioners.
"We are part of the marriage preparation process in the archdiocese, and I discovered we didn't have the capacity to provide full training for couples in Natural Family Planning," said Pavel Reid, director of Catholic Family Services.
CFS met with representatives from three different NFP groups: NaPro/Creighton, WOOMB, and Serena, and set a goal of training a minimum of 10 instructors for each method by the end of 2012, said Reid.
The first group of trainees started Sept. 8 under the NaPro/Creighton method. Trainers came from the Marguerite Bourgeoys Family Centre in Toronto. Reid said CFS was able to find donors to cover most of the costs for the 13 students, who agreed to teach introductory sessions at marriage prep courses.
"They've also agreed to see a substantial number of couples and instruct them in NFP," Reid said.
Along with helping fertile couples plan pregnancy, NaPro offers options for infertile couples. Reid said NaPro/Creighton is a very rigorous and thorough method in charting a women's fertility cycle. He said because of this detailed method, doctors have more information about a woman's cycle.
But while NaPro/Creighton method is quite successful, according to Reid, in both controlling and producing pregnancies, it is also more costly than the other NFP methods.
He said WOOMB and Serena methods are very low cost, "virtually free." Training for those methods will take place over the next few months.
Reid said CFS would act as a liaison for NFP practitioners, giving them financial and logistical assistance in teaching the three NFP methods.
"We hope over the medium to long term this will mean setting up consistent support and funding to assure we have NFP services available to couples in the Lower Mainland," he said.
Reid knows the NFP centre is an ambitious goal and hopes to attract donors and parish support. He said NFP is an urgent need for young Catholic couples.
"We want to have more services available so Catholics going through the marriage preparation process can have adequate, well trained, and sophisticated instruction in NFP," he said, "so they can avoid pregnancy for the good of their marriage and achieve pregnancy if they're having difficulties."
Reid added that most doctors provide artificial contraceptives and suggest in-vitro fertilization for couples dealing with family planning issues. He said Catholics want to deal with these issues in a pro-life and ethical way in line with their faith.
"We also anticipate that as more people have success using these methods, non-Catholics will seek these services as well," Reid noted.
He said NFP isn't just for Catholics; people trying to live a healthy, natural lifestyle, for example, also see its benefits.