Post # 1
Does anyone else’s church require to a meeting with a Natural Family Planning specialist. Our church just told us they no longer require taking the FOCCUS test but we have to meet with a NFP counsler. I’m not sure how I feel about this.
Post # 3
No, I’ve never heard of that before. We had to take the FOCCUS test but were told that the NFP course was purely optional. An option we are NOT taking, btw… way too awkward for me!!
I would be very wary of that policy.. I thought the FOCCUS was an overall Catholic thing – not just at the discretion of the diocese. And I’d be super unhappy if we were forced into a NFP lecture. I wasn’t even thrilled when we had to watch a painfully long video about it in the regular pre-cana class.
Post # 4
Depending on the diocese/parish, yes. Varies from an introductory class to full instruction. Rumor has it that my parish is *thisclose* to making the NFP classes mandatory (not that I would have minded at all).
Post # 5
We just found this out, and I don’t believe in it, nor do I want to go to a class about it. Im not going to lie and say I do believer in it just to get the class out of the way. I’m really annoyed because we were never told this. We were told we would have to do Pre-Cana and the FOCCUS test; but now we don’t have to take the FOCCUS test and we have to take this ridiculous class.
I don’t mean to come off as snarky but I’m really annoyed right now.
Post # 6
We had to do both, and the Engaged Encounter. The NFP class was a surprise to us, as well. I knew it was available, but wasn’t aware that it was mandatory. I’m not gonna lie- it wasn’t the most comfortable class. And it didn’t change my views on birth control. But, it did end up being pretty interesting, and I definitely learned something. If nothing else, I got some helpful hints for when my husband and I start trying to have a baby. And it was short- just an hour. Hope that helps
Post # 7
@naticakes: Thanks for the info 🙂
Post # 8
@katiegirl84: Marriage prep depends on the diocese’s policies and on your parish’s policies. There are no universal policies, though the USCCB has a website “foryourmarriage.org”
My husband and I were required to take two marriage prep classes. One was about practical marriage matters. The other was a Christopher West marriage prep program called “God’s plan for a joy filled marriage.” which was more about the Church’s theology about marriage and sexuality and thus touched more upon NFP. I know had we gotten married in the diocese we were being prepped in, there was no mandate to learn NFP. However, we got married in my old parish. The priest asked us about NFP and we had already signed up for a class so it wasn’t an issue.
My sister and her husband had one class and were required to take an NFP course.
Post # 9
We had to do the FOCCUS, NFP, the West cd, and Engaged Encounter.
I’m all about using whatever/none birth control you want, but as someone with a science degree and extensive study/experience in reproduction, sitting through that NFP seminar left me wanting to bash my head against a wall. There were serious twisting of the facts, and making it sound impossible to get wrong or possibly not work all the time. And it’s not for ‘birth control’ it’s for ‘spacing’.
That and ‘our periods are such a wonderful part of our womanhood’ in response to women who are on hbc for medical/comfort reasons.
Ok, you come enjoy my ‘womanhood’ for me when I’m in misery, same for the women with endometriosis and similar issues.
Oh, and their model couple? Four kids no more than 1.5 years apart, with the youngest still in diapers. I thought you were going to show me that it worked?
*not a bash on anyone who wants to use/does use NFP – it can work, if you know exactly what you are doing. But for couples that could not handle a child at the time, I really believe you should back it up with something more. I don’t think it is something that all couples can make work…..hence the many, many options out there.
Post # 10
A required NFP class was the policy at our parish as well (also in Chicago), and it’s the same policy at the cathedral too. Full disclosure – my husband and I are practicing NFP. That said, the intro meeting they required was only 15 minutes long, and our practitioner wasn’t in the least pushy or preachy. She’s used it 9 years with one planned baby too, fwiw. I hope you’ll go in with an open mind, but even if not, I wouldn’t stress about it 🙂
Post # 11
@katiegirl84: I’m with you. We are not required to do NFP classes (thank God; we did have to do the FOCCUS, a half-day thing, and a full-day “engaged seminar”), but we had to sit through a little 45min info session about it during some of our prep and it annoyed me a LOT.
We also had to fill out a worksheet about NFP… one question asked “What is your intended method of family planning?”
Fiance answered “Pfizer.”
Post # 12
Our diocese did require us to attend 3 NFP classes. I guess I went into it with much more of an open heart/mind. My sister and brother in law have been married for 4 years now and only use NFP and thus far haven’t had any kids. They also encouraged us to be open to the ideas behind it. I think seeing how it positively affects their marriage made me want to learn more about NFP.
I will definitely admit the first class was a little awkward. It’s hard getting used to listening to a couple talk about your signs and symptoms as your fiance sits next to you. But by then end it resulted in a very open communication between the two of us. It has also allowed me to become more knowledgeable about my health. I experience very severe cramping (dysmenorrhea) and every doctor I’ve been to tells me to just get on bcp. Unfortunately, I had previously been on bcp and when I decided to get off was when this cramping started…so I didn’t want to just cover up the symptoms with the “drug” that may have caused them (maybe because I’m an addictions counselor and this sounded way to much like an addicts excuse “well miss, if I don’t drink alcohol every morning I shake real bad” “yes, but you’re shaking because you drink alcohol every morning).
I digress…Long story short, through tracking my cycle I was able to recognize that the last phase of my cycle is very short, which is a side effect of “coming off” bcp for some women and this was causing all of my really bad cramping and bad PMS (tears, lots and lots of tears). Knowing this, I was able to bring this info to an NFP only OBGYN and she helped me find supplements which work at the root of this problem, rather than masking the problem. I’ve already experienced a marked difference in my mood and a lessening of pain each month. It’s also good because when we are ready to have children I now have a lower risk of miscarriage (as a shortened luteal phase is often associated with miscarriages). I never would have known this if I had just hopped back onto bcp. Obviosly this won’t be everyone’s experience, but I’m of the general opinion the more knowledgeable you are about your body the better off you are in the long run.
I guess I say all of this to encourage you to not be closed off to even going to learn about NFP. It’s not all bad and I have already reaped benefits personally and my husband and I are reaping benefits together as well. There is an immense amount of respect between us…I mean he must really love me to be willing to do this. This isn’t to say it’s always easy or that it’s not frustrating at times. But overall I wouldn’t go back to using birth control. For me, it has allowed a whole different level of openness and respect between us. If you can get past all the biological and sometimes “icky” discussion, then it’s really a lovely thing for the two of you to be so intamately involved in all parts of each others life; and isn’t that what marriage is all about?
Ok that’s my pro NFP spiel.
Post # 13
We are required to do Pre-Cana OR Engaged Encounter, a full course of NFP (ranges from 2 classes to like 4), and take FOCCUS.
We’ve done Pre-Cana and FOCCUS so far, and I just scheduled NFP. I’ve really gotten a lot out of the required courses, to be honest.
Post # 14
We have to do both also. We took our FOCCUS test a few months ago and then our priest told us this week we have to take the NFP class.
Post # 15
We had to take the FOCCUS, Engaged encounter, pre-cana, and NFP classes.
The NFP classes we took online and it took about 2.5 months to complete. I am actually just sending in my last chart for evaluation in order to receive my certificate.
The NFP classes are not too bad, you learn a lot about your body and how it works and it can help you when trying to conceive. If you choose to use birth control that is you decision and its fine I am not against it either but at least have an open mind about the NFP.
All the classes and enconters together took us 5 months to complete.
Post # 16
I really suggest you go into this with an open mind. I just did a class (full disclosyre – I went by choice, and it was only ladies) and honestly it has very little to do with religion. It was really about how to recognize signs of ovulation. It’s information I want for when we’re ready to have babies.