Natural Family Planning
Helping married couples to deepen conjugal love and achieve responsible parenthood is part of the Church's total pastoral ministry to Catholic spouses. Fulfillment of this ministry includes both education and pastoral care. This means "instilling conviction and offering practical help to those who wish to live out their parenthood in a truly responsible way" (Familiaris consortio, 35).
God designed marriage as an "intimate partnership of life and love" (see Gaudium et spes, no. 48). In God's design, marriage is a unique union of one man with one woman "for the whole of life" (see Canon 1055, The Code of Canon Law). Marriage is oriented to the good of the spouses and to the creation and nurture of new human life (see Gaudium et spes, no. 48). Making decisions therefore, about when and how many children to have in marriage is a sacred responsibility that God has entrusted to husband and wife. This is the foundation of what the Church calls, "Responsible Parenthood," the call to discern God's will for your marriage while respecting His design for life and love.
The Catholic Church supports the methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) because they respect God's design for married love. In fact, NFP represents the only authentic approach to family planning available to husbands and wives because these methods can be used to both attempt or avoid pregnancy. When learning about NFP, it is important to know that:
- Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid conception. These methods are based on the observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. Some natural methods include use of fertility monitors to better understand the time of the wife's fertility. Married couples using NFP to postpone conception abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the wife's cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. Married couples who use NFP to attempt a pregnancy, make use of the fertile window--the optimum time when conception is likely.
- NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife. (Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry, p. 23)
Used with permission from the NFP Program, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved.
This section of the Family Life Office website provides information and resources to help couples and individuals learn about the methods of Natural Family Planning and Catholic teaching which supports its use in marriage.
If you are needing to fulfill your requirements for marriage preparation, please see the Marriage Preparation webpage -
Meet our Certified Practitioners and Practitioner Interns
Nell Cline, FCPI
Currently taking clients. Holds introductory and individual follow-up sessions online and in-person. May be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nell is an experienced HR professional and completed a master’s program in Guidance and Counseling. Nell is an educator at heart and wants to help women and couples learn to use the Creighton Model to know more about their bodies, fertility, and overall well-being. Nell enjoys reading, cooking, and going on rides with her husband, who is an avid biker.
Andrea Dovel, CT, FCPI
Currently taking clients. Holds introductory and individual follow-up sessions in person and online. May be contacted at email@example.com.
Andrea has been using the Creighton Model System for 3 years to monitor her gynecological health. She is passionate about the Creighton Model System and how women can learn the system to achieve and avoid pregnancy naturally while monitoring their gynecological health. She is also excited how integrating both the Creighton Model System and NaproTechnology can help identify and treat gynecological conditions. She enjoys cooking, reading and hiking with her husband.
Denise Winters PT, MPT, FCPI
Currently taking clients. Holds introductory and individual follow-up sessions online and in-person. May be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise is a fertility care intern with 36 years of PT practice under her belt. She desires to support a culture of life and natural health through the use of the CrMS. She is the mom of two adult daughters, who were conceived using the CrMS. She grew up in NJ but moved west to beautiful Utah as a young adult and never left. She married the man who followed her to Utah! She is excited to educate couples in a fertility care system which respects the seasons of life and the natural cycles of the woman’s body.
Elizabeth Jenkins, CFCP
Currently taking clients, available for online introductory sessions and follow ups. May be contacted at email@example.com.
Elizabeth and her husband were introduced to the Creighton Model in 2008 after facing their own struggles with infertility. They began using it and now have 5 Amazing NaPro kids! Now she has been teaching the system since 2012 and wants to help women and couples learn more about their fertility and how this system can be used in any situation. She believes that whether couples are trying to avoid or achieve pregnancy, there is valuable information they can learn from using this system and will help them on their journey. She wants women to feel educated and confident about their bodies and cycles. She loves reading, hiking, baking, playing games, teaching and spending time with her family.
Shannon Maguire, PT, DPT, FCP
Not currently taking clients.
Shannon is originally from the east coast, but loves the beauty and pace of life here in the mountains of Utah. She has long been amazed and intrigued by the human body's intricate design, and is a firm believer that an understanding of its physiology is essential to health and well-being. She is a homeschooling mother of six, wife to a scientist who also recognizes and appreciates the beauty in all of creation, and she works part time as a physical therapist. She enjoys trail running, hiking, camping, cooking, baking, and reading.
Lisa Hutchinson, FCP
Available for Introductory Sessions in English and Spanish.
Lisa Hutchinson has been using the Creighton Model for 9 years, including to avoid pregnancy, achieve pregnancy, while breastfeeding and to monitor her hormone/gynecological health. She and her husband Mark have three children, which they homeschool. She is passionate about helping people which first led her to becoming a licensed clinical social worker, which she still provides therapy part-time. She speaks Spanish and enjoys the outdoors.
**Please Note - All NFP Introductory Sessions for marriage prep must be scheduled through the Family Life Office NFP Calendar.
Natural Family Planning and Church Teaching
What is NFP?
Church Teaching on NFP
Love and Sexuality