Thursday, September 15, 2011

Excitement in my diocese

I. Am. Thrilled!  I'm on the pro-life committee for my diocese, which is basically a compilation of pro-life activists in the diocese and we all get together and keep each other abreast of what's going on with each of our groups, brainstorm new ideas, etc.  

After decades of fighting with the diocese (not me personally, but my organization!) because of (from what I understand) a falling-out between my organization and the former head of pro-life activities, I now have a wonderful working relationship with the new priest who holds that position since the retirement of the former employee.  It has been such a blessing to have this priest in this position and be so open and supportive of our work.

Well, because of this great relationship, I have also been able to discuss with him some other ideas I have that don't necessarily pertain to DRTL.  Specifically I have approached him about the possibility of creating an infertility support group within the diocese as well as NaPro education and catechesis!  And he's 100% open to the idea!  In fact, at our last meeting it was an agenda item!!  Father's counterpart (they broke the position up into 2 different responsibilities when the last employee left) is already working with the Couple to Couple League on making NFP mandatory for pre-cana classes!  This is such great news in a diocese as liberal as ours (the Vice President receives Communion in this diocese, if that tells you anything).  

I need to begin working on a proposal for these issues.  Has anyone out there started something like this in their diocese?? Keep in mind, I'm not even remotely a Creighton practitioner or NaPro physician!!  My idea is to have a two-pronged approach: support and education.  My first order of business would be the IF support group, with references to nearby Creighton/NaPro resources.  Unfortunately we don't have any in our state....we'd have to refer to Pennsylvania.  But the most important thing is having a forum for Catholic women suffering from IF to have a place to go and talk to others...something I didn't have through 4 years of suffering.  Then, I would hope to get some pro-life physicians on board after that takes off and hopefully demand increased.  

Anyway, these are all just kind of pipe dreams right now.  It's great that the diocese is on board, but needless to say I have a LOT of discernment to do.  I'm swamped right now with my Right to Life responsibilities as well as getting ready for baby and running a kindergartner all over the map.  I'll be getting more involved with Jack's school, and he wants to join 4-H and Cub Scouts.  So I really need to figure out where I'm supposed to be and how I'm supposed to be using my talents.  But I do feel as though I'm being called more into diocesan catechesis (pro-life and its tangential issues) as opposed to non-denominational pro-life work.  We'll see.  Much discernment ahead.  If you could say a quick little prayer that I can figure all this out, it would be utterly appreciated!  :)  God bless!


  1. How fantastic! Great job, Nicole!!

  2. Woo hoo! That's awesome! Our diocese has mandated NFP courses as part of pre-cana for quite some time, and the fruits are very tangible! It's such a blessing for these couples as they might not otherwise ever hear of NFP.

    As for the Napro/infertility support group, our diocese is also just starting one and the woman who is heading it said she'd be contacting me to help her. Yikes! So I don't know much yet but I could give you her info if you'd like to toss around some ideas. Email me if you'd like!

  3. This is great news! No advice on anything for you, but I will definitely keep you in my prayers that things take off quickly!

  4. One thought - the IF support group might also include an occasional meeting with spouses. Even men who aren't joiners might like to know other guys who are going through this with their wives as I believe men experience it in how to be supportive when it's not in their every thought like it often is for the women.

  5. Two of us just started a free Catholic support program for couples struggling to conceive and / or carry in August! It's called Sarah's Hope, and we've got an excellent curriculum going so far. I'd love to chat with you about it. Can you e-mail me at jen0414 [at] gmail dot com so we can visit? Over the phone or e-mail. I'm so excited about this ministry and am thrilled you want to start one, too.

  6. Our diocese is sorting this out right now too! I am in touch with the couple who heads up Marriage Formation (thanks to the more experienced practitioner I work with who is fantastic at making connections and promotion). So, first, get in touch with all the local CrMS practitioners and Medical Consultants (listed at Know who they are in your diocese (I am hoping you have at least one practitioner nearby??). Then, this is what we're doing right now:

    Thanks to the marriage formation folks, NFP is discussed at every Engaged Encounter and all the local CrMS practitioners (um, me, haha and the two from the neighboring city) are listed as resources/teachers. Ideally, have a practitioner personally witness at EE's.

    We're trying to establish a monthly CrMS Intro Session at the main Diocesan Pastoral Center. This requires practitioners who are available of course. That way, on any given month, couples can sign up for a group Intro Session (or they can also always set up a private intro). Again, right now this is just me in our city. Whew.

    In November, local Catholic doctors are putting on an NFP conference in our city. All professionals and couples are welcome.

    Media: Have someone write an article about NaPro in the Diocesan paper or local paper. List resources at the end.

    Have someone like me make a dorky video for a parish website (haha):

    The point being: priests and their parishes need to know what's available!

    Even better, share this professional-looking video:

    I am hardly an expert on this, of course, but there's so much that can be done! Sorry for hijacking your comm box. :)

  7. And if you need more practitioners... hopefully as awareness spreads, some folks will want to get trained. Perhaps including info on how to get involved/get trained (for all levels - even doctors) could be part of your plan? I was thrilled to find out that one of our Catholic, NFP-only doctors in a neighboring city is now getting certified in NaPro *and* we may have another one soon. Just a few years ago, our diocese had nothing.

  8. Maureen - great idea! Hadn't thought of that, but you're absolutely right. Men need support too!

    Jen - Awesome! Totally emailing you now!

    Sarah - I can always count on you for a wealth of information! Unfortunately we don't have any practitioners in my area (I know from when I was driving an hour to see mine in PA). I also know of a pro-life doc who is looking into NaPro, but she's not a gyn. I'm going to approach an NFP-only gyn that I know to see if she's open to NaPro. Yes, my goal is to spread awareness and have many more resources available in our area! Keep me posted if you have any advice for me!

  9. Nicole - yeah, sounds like getting a practitioner or two and some doctors in your area would be a great step (although some clients will benefit from seeking out Dr. H or Dr. S even if there is a local NaPro doctor anyway).

  10. awesome awesome awesome! I LOVE when "road blocks" retire! Happened recently here too. Email me at creightonmodel at gmail. I am involved with changes to our pre-cana program and the future of NFP in our Dio. I also ran "The Hope Retreat" last year for IF couples in our dio and surrounding area. I easily got the support of Archd of Phl, Dio of Allentown and Dio of Harrisburg for our retreat.

  11. That is a great idea. The States is so amazing that way. You have so many resources and access to so many things and the population to draw from. I certainly would love to go to a place filled with women who are researching infertility and have knowledge to share and to be directing to appropriate dr.s.