Q - Why does it seem that the gift of NFP is a hidden secret nobody talks about? As a life-long catholic I have never heard the issue of contraception and why the church opposes it discussed in a sermon during mass. When I was preparing for marriage and was asked what my plans for family planning were I honestly didn’t know how to answer. I knew the church was against contraception but knew virtually nothing about NFP other than the negative rumors about it not working (NOT true!) I was not told how to learn more about it or what it was really about until I attended PreCana, 3 months prior to my wedding, fortunately I felt a call to seek out more information on my own and found this wonderful way of living. I feel like I, as well as many others out there, are let down by there not being enough information readily available for Catholics prior to engagement when things are so busy with wedding planning that many don't look deep enough into such an important part of their marriage - family planning.
A – Thanks for the question! I didn’t have time to get to it Friday and it looks like that decision was providential. At every weekend Mass here at St. Mary’s, NFP was the topic of the homily. So, I think Fr. David answered your questions better than I ever could.
But, to give you an honest answer. There has not been enough emphasis on it in marriage prep and in catechesis. While some areas around the country are doing a much better job, it usually takes a leader with a passionate vision to get it started. We are trying to do our part here at St. Mary’s by paying for the training of NFP instructors and requiring all engaged couples to learn at least the basics.
But, a cultural change within the Church must happen before we adequately address all the issues that surround this issue. Pray for that change.