Editor’s Note: I am pleased to share the following guest submission containing information about Living the Sacrament, a new support community for families interested in learning about and practicing Natural Family Planning. Check out their site at www.LivingTheSacrament.com. LMH
In the United States only about 1.5% of women use a form of Natural Family Planning1. Unfortunately this often means that many of these women are isolated from others who use NFP. For instance, one of our council members, Larissa, drove over 60 miles to attend an NFP class with her fiancée. Beyond family members she did not know who else she could ask questions of, or share in the joys and struggles of practicing chastity within marriage. She often wondered,
“Does NFP really work? “
“How come nobody else is doing this?”
“Abstinence is a lot harder than I anticipated, how do other women cope?”
As Catholic women we need a support system. Due to daily workload, family commitments, and physical distance from others with similar beliefs, we can often feel isolated.
Recognizing this need for connection with others, five women, in the fall of 2010, decided to take this need to prayer and find a solution. We felt called to provide a place for others, like ourselves, to learn more about NFP and Catholic teachings on marriage and fertility. We wanted women to have a safe space where they could receive encouragement and share ideas, supporting one another while living out their vocation. Thus, “Living the Sacrament: A Catholic NFP Community” was born!
Our Leadership Team
Like many of our members, our leadership team is spread out across the United States. Kara is from Kentucky, Larissa, is from California, CC is from Texas, Tara is from Arkansas, and Kristin is from North Dakota! We have already begun adding international members to our site and hope to one day have them represented within leadership as well!
What you can expect to find on-site
Women visiting our community can expect to chat with others who are striving for holiness whether they are single, dating, engaged, or married. Our members use a variety of NFP methods including CCL, Marquette, Billings, and Creighton, just to mention a few! Our current membership also includes several women who are currently NFP instructors as well as an IBCLC or two. We do our best to honor and support one another in following the teachings of the Catholic Church and encourage our members to do so as well. More specifically, we provide online forums for women prayerfully using NFP within their marriages to postpone pregnancy, achieve pregnancy, and cope with fertility issues. There are also spaces for sharing parenting advice, posting prayer requests, asking questions about faith and marriage, and even for reviewing products we have used in our homes. It is our greatest hope that all women will receive the love and support they need and that those still struggling with their fertility choices will be moved to abandon artificial contraception in favor of Natural Family Planning.
Do I Need To Be Catholic Or Married To A Catholic In Order To Join?
Absolutely not! We welcome women of all faiths to join us if they feel the need for support in their lives or would simply like to learn more about Natural Family Planning! We do however expect the conversations of our members and content of our site to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church.
What about the Men?
While we are currently a women-only site we cannot forget the importance of support for our husbands and Catholic Men in general. Natural Family Planning is about both husband and wife, working together with shared fertility to uphold the virtues of a chaste marriage. And this is often not an easy task. Historically there has been even less support for our husbands than for us.
There are two sites in particular that we would like to encourage Catholic Men to check out! The first is The National Fellowship of Catholic Men. They are on the verge of opening The Global Catholic Men’s Community. We believe this will be a wonderful resource for all Catholic Men. You can learn more about their plans here.
The second resource is Catholic Dads Online, a wonderful ministry that allows blogging Catholic Dads from all over the globe to share with one another through their personal writings and life experiences. If you don’t have a blog yourself don’t let that stop you. Read along and join in the conversation!
How To Join Us at Living The Sacrament
To better assure the privacy of our members and allow them the freedom to seek support in areas that are sometimes difficult to talk about, we are a private forum. This simply means that our main forum is not viewable to non-registered members. To log-in you will first need to register and your account will need to be activated by an admin which can happen almost instantly or take as long as 12 hours depending on if one of us is online at the time of your submission.
We Look Forward to Serving You!
Although we just recently opened, our membership is steadily growing with both national and international members! We welcome women from all over the world to come connect with others in their search for holiness. We look forward to meeting you!
Visit www.LivingTheSacrament.com for more information.
1Chandra, A; Martinez GM, Mosher WD, Abma JC, Jones J. (2005). “Fertility, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health of U.S. Women: Data From the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth” (PDF). Vital Health Stat (National Center for Health Statistics) 23 (25). Retrieved 2007-05-20. See Table 56.