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July 23, 2012 | Volume 87, Number 19


Brock and Emily Thompson, with their children, Jack and Lucy, members of Ascension Parish in Virginia Beach. The parents are involved in the NFP Seminar.
Brock and Emily Thompson, with their children, Jack and Lucy, are members of Ascension Parish in Virginia Beach. The parents are involved in the NFP Seminar.

Message in a Bottle

A man and woman walked on the cool sand at the edge of the ocean. The waves softly rolled the shells and seaweed onto the beach and retreated to gather momentum again.

The man looked at the mighty ocean caressing the shore.

As the woman gazed at the soothing scene before them, she noticed that a small greenish bottle bobbed in the blue green water. The waves had not managed to bring the bottle to the shore, but balanced it where the water was a few feet deep.

After nudging her husband, the woman pointed to the odd item that had caught her attention. Disregarding the sea water on his khaki shorts and shirt, the man started toward the bottle.

Careful to preserve what was inside, he grasped the bottle securely and brought it to shore.

Once the waves were again rippling at his feet, the man handed the bottle to his wife.

She opened the bottle, pulled out the dry paper from inside, and handed the paper to her husband. The man read the message scrolled on the paper aloud to his wife.

Looking to increase the romance in your marriage?

Think about what brought you to this point in your relationship with your significant other. Most people would answer that question by describing how they first met, started dating, the proposal, the wedding, joys, struggles, difficulty of having children or not having children.

A significant piece in almost every story is the description of their expectations of the relationship and the struggle to reach these goals.

With a growing number of divorces, the average Catholic might wonder what his or her chances are of having a successful marriage. Relationships founded on mutual trust and honest communication have a better likelihood of succeeding.

So where does romance come into this?

Saturday, August 25 at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church Pastoral Center, Norfolk, Va., 9 a.m.-12 Noon.

The seminar includes:

  • Testimonies by NFP users
  • “Why the Church teaches NFP: Life-giving Benefits” by Chris Gross, Ph.D. candidate in Catholic Moral Theology
  • Two breakout sessions
  • A question and answer period.
  • The breakout session topics include: Creighton Information Session; Green, Organic, and Chemical Free; For Pre-Cana Facilitators; Be Not Afraid, an outreach to parents who have a poor prenatal diagnosis; Dealing with Infertility with God’s Grace.

Registration for the seminar is free. Babysitting ($5 donation per family) is available from 9 a.m.-12 Noon.

Please confirm you will attend at or call Anne Hamrick at 757-420-5321 to register for the seminar, to register for childcare, or for more information.

This event is co-sponsored by New Creation Community and the Diocesan Offices of Marriage, Family and Life and Respect Life.

When there is mutual trust in a relationship, each person can safely and honestly communicate with the other. This provides a safe way of expressing who you are with the person with whom you promised to spend the rest of your life.

You might be asking how this relates to being a married Catholic.

You have probably heard somewhere, maybe years ago in a pre-Cana class that the Catholic Church is against any form of birth control. Maybe you have heard of some type of rhythm method, Natural Family Planning (NFP), or the like and imagine that it is stifling.

While it is true that the Church teaches that chemical and artificial birth control should not be used to prohibit pregnancy, the idea that the Church is promoting confining methods which inhibit a husband and wife from enjoying the married life is not true.

What’s the Difference?

There is a HUGE difference between what people THINK the Church teaches and what she ACTUALLY teaches about sexuality.

You may have questions. You may not even know about NFP or fertility awareness (FA), what it can do for you, and what the Church is actually teaching about sexuality.

Both NFP and FA are empowering tools that can help any woman of childbearing age. Fertility is not a disease that needs to be treated or masked with powerful class one cancer-causing drugs, devices, or sterilization.

Fertility is a gift from God; ask any couple struggling with infertility.

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