Trees, whales, ocean environments, forests, habitats – even the food we eat. The whole world believes natural is best – except when it comes to the relationship between a man and a woman. Long dismissed or ridiculed by the media and lobby groups, proponents of Natural Family Planning have had a hard time getting a fair hearing on an issue that’s fundamentally important. And yet, as it turns out, what they are offering is the best news of all. This latest edition of the Committee for Family and for Life’s newsletter focuses on some of the unexpected – and still little-known – benefits of NFP.
The need for Catholic Schools to teach young people counter-cultural truths about their bodies and the meaning and purpose of human relationships is fuelling ongoing demand for Family Life Education.
Family Life Education (FLE) is one arm of a suite of services offered by the Archdiocesan agency Natural Fertility Services.
FLE provides sexuality and relationship education services for a range of groups including schools, community groups and new mothers at St John’s hospital.
“Over the last couple of years we have seen a steadily increasing demand for our services from the Catholic Schools,” said Derek Boylen, Director of Natural Fertility Services.
“The Catholic education system does a great job of inviting students into the Church’s vision for sexuality and relationships through its curriculum in a variety of subject areas. In today’s society that’s challenging work.
“Wherever possible we try to support their efforts by providing trained educators to give students the latest information about their bodies and relationships.
“We want to present the Catholic Church’s message as an appealing and real option for their lives.”
The increasing demand for FLE services in schools saw NFS seeking applications for new educators in December last year.
This resulted in an explosion of new educaters – Jane Sawicki, Adele Plumridge, Alessandra D’Amico and Maria Antoniazzi, who have already have started training for the program.
“It takes a special kind of person to do this work and the training process is very comprehensive and rigorous,” teacher trainer Anne Raymond said.
The training process for new FLE staff includes in-depth coverage of areas such as sexuality, human relationships, reproduction, family planning, the psycho-social and spiritual development of young people and related theology (including the late Servant of God, John Paul II’s Theology of the Body), to name a few. “We hope our new educators will be out there connecting with students in the second semester this year,” said Mrs Raymond.
“It’s important work and it’s wonderful to see the demand for our services expanding at such a rate.”
NFS also carries out key work in the diocese teaching couples the sympto-thermal method of natural family planning. For more information about Family Life Education programs or Natural Family Planning the agency can be contacted on (08) 9223 1396 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.