Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last Sunday was our summer seminarian Rafa’s last with us, and he has departed to capture some vacation time before soon heading back to St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. Although you may have caught only a glimpse of him at Sunday and, perhaps, daily Masses, Rafa was extremely active, most especially with our youth programs. Please continue to pray for Rafa as he prepares to enter 2nd Theology; and remember to pray for all of our seminarians. We are grateful to God for their willing sacrifice.
Celebrate and reverence God's vision of human sexuality. This week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, and we celebrate fifty years since Bl. Pope Paul VI’s prophetic publication of Humanae Vitae – Of Human Life, which reaffirmed and articulated Christ’s teaching through His Church about human sexuality, conjugal love, and responsible parenthood.
A few words from a journalist, Fletcher Doyle: “Two years after joining the Catholic Church, my wife and I began practicing Natural Family Planning (NFP). I found that the chastity required to get through the periods of abstinence caused profound changes in me. I stopped daydreaming of swimsuit models, wealth and fame. I became grateful for all God had given me, most of all for my wife. My appreciation for her and all that she gives me grew, improving an already good 20-year marriage.”
Doyle interviewed NFP couples and “read thousands of words on conjugal union and the effects of contraception on the relationship between men and women.” He continues: “Here is what I learned. When women took control of fertility with the pill and the IUD in the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, men said “cool.” Men’s behavior changed, as they no longer felt responsible for their sexual partners. … There was an accompanying drop in commitment between men and women. Trust between the sexes fell because men no longer acted in expected patterns.
“When you add in the increase in women’s wages and the decrease in men’s wages, you created couples who are neither financially nor sexually interdependent. This is why, social scientists say, the divorce rate doubled in that time frame.
“NFP can repair the damage. Men acknowledge a responsibility to their wives. Commitment increases because the couples know when pregnancy is likely before they make love. Their trust increases: she trusts he will fulfill his obligations when he assents to sex; he trusts she is making accurate observations of her fertility and is keeping him informed.
“He develops a sense of awe in the way God made her, and she develops a sense of gratitude that he is willing to sacrifice his own pleasure for her sake. And both grow in their love and trust in God when they see the plan for sex and marriage that He built into their bodies. I have seen and experienced how using Natural Family Planning can make a difference in marriage. That should come as no surprise because it’s God’s way to practice responsible parenthood – it’s His design for life and love!”
Much more can be found online at www.usccb.org. And let us always pray for each other!
Father WilsonBACK TO LIST