sometimes the small things are the big things...

How can I share NFP with my parish?

You want to promote NFP in your parish and support your parishioners who are living out this teaching...but you're low on time and out of ideas. Here are three little things your parish can do to make a big difference in NFP support.

THREE EASY PARISH NFP IDEAS [FREE GUIDE] 

sometimes the small things are the big things...

How can I share NFP with my parish?

You want to promote NFP in your parish and support your parishioners who are living out this teaching...but you're low on time and out of ideas. Here are three little things your parish can do to make a big difference in NFP support.

THREE EASY PARISH NFP IDEAS [FREE GUIDE] 

 
"The Church needs to do more to support NFP!"

Okay...but how? And who?

You're poignantly aware that your parish needs Natural Family Planning education. You see it in the broken families in your school and religious ed, the lack of weddings, and almost no young families at Mass.

But how can you share it with your parish in a way that will impact those who actually need it (versus the 10 people who show up to everything)?

Let me support you so you can support your people. Here's how I can help you bring NFP to your parish:

 
"The Church needs to do more to support NFP!"

Okay...but how? And who?

You're poignantly aware that your parish needs Natural Family Planning education. You see it in the broken families in your school and religious ed, the lack of weddings, and almost no young families at Mass.

But how can you share it with your parish in a way that will impact those who actually need it (versus the 10 people who show up to everything)?

Let me support you so you can support your people. Here's how I can help you bring NFP to your parish:

Green circle that says Green circle that says Green circle that says Green circle that says

A priest wearing a pink chausible greets a smiling bride with the church in the background. On the bottom in white letters with a green background it reads "Training for you."A priest wearing a pink chausible greets a smiling bride with a navy blue background. On the bottom in white letters with a green background it reads "Training for you."
A man and a woman sit with their backs facing the camera with their heads touching. On the bottom in white letters with a green background it reads "Training for your parish."A man and a woman sit with their backs facing the camera with their heads touching with a navy blue background. On the bottom in white letters with a green background it reads "Training for your parish."
Bride and groom with blue background facing the backs of two priests wearing white chausibles. On the bottom in white letters with a green background it reads "NFP promotion plan."Bride and groom with blue background facing the backs of two priests wearing white chausibles with a navy blue background. On the bottom in white letters with a green background it reads "NFP promotion plan."
Woman wearing grey blazer and gold shirt holding open classroom door with classroom desks and chairs in background. On the bottom in white letters with a green background it reads "NFP for schools."Woman wearing grey blazer and gold shirt holding open classroom door with a hot pink background. On the bottom in white letters with a green background it reads "NFP for schools."

The people in the pews are struggling with family planning.

Whether or not you know it, they are. That's because most of them probably don't even know there is a Catholic way to do it or think NFP is ineffective. (And that's most likely based in fear versus selfishness - maybe another pregnancy would be detrimental to the mother's health or they lack the finances to support a child right now.)

And even if they are using NFP, it's super counter-cultural and isolating, extremely difficult to find relevant health providers, expensive to learn and monitor, and requires a lot of sacrifice and discernment.

They want your church to help them.

The people in your parish are looking for so much more than a 15 minute presentation during Pre Cana. 

  They are looking for assistance in walking through the pain of infertility or extended periods of abstinence. 

  They are looking for guidance on discerning family size and what's licit when it comes to the marital union. 

  They are looking for practical resources to learn how to chart and spiritual resources to sustain their families.

It's really not an unreasonable request; after all, if the only licit method of family planning approved by the Church is Natural Family Planning...shouldn't She support us in it?!

parallax background

But this probably isn't something you feel prepared to take on yourself. 

If you're a priest or deacon, chances are you got one short presentation on NFP during seminary, and you have the diocese Family Life page to pass on to couples during marriage prep, and that's about it. And all that required reading from your Moral Theology class only goes so far when you have a couple in your office looking for guidance.

And if you're a lay parish employee or volunteer and happen to be using NFP yourself, that doesn't mean you feel equipped to teach it your fellow parishioners or walk with them pastorally.

That's where I come in. As a certified fertility and cycle educator and former parish staff member, I created what I wish I had years ago: NFP parish resources to help train you, so you can train your parish.

Because you see, NFP isn't the only thing you're missing.

I would argue that what your parish is actually missing is education on body literacy.

Body literacy (knowing the "language of our bodies" as designed by God) encompasses so much more than just fertility. By charting a woman's cycles, even without intending to use the information for family planning, a couple can learn invaluable information about health, energy levels, and even holiness.

And knowing how our bodies work is an inherent right of every child of God, regardless of their age or stage in life.

We can be sure the world isn't teaching them God's design for the body - will your parish?

Because you see, NFP isn't the only thing you're missing.

I would argue that what your parish is actually missing is education on body literacy.

Body literacy (knowing the "language of our bodies" as designed by God) encompasses so much more than just fertility. By charting a woman's cycles, even without intending to use the information for family planning, a couple can learn invaluable information about health, energy levels, and even holiness.

And knowing how our bodies work is an inherent right of every child of God, regardless of their age or stage in life.

We can be sure the world isn't teaching them God's design for the body - will your parish?

"This is the true purpose of anatomy: to lead the audience by the wonderful artwork of the human body to the dignity of the soul and by the admirable structure of both to the knowledge and love of God."

 - Bl. Nicholas Steno

Woman with her hair in a bun and navy blue shirt and crucifix necklace smiling at the camerawhy trust me?

Hi, I'm Christina, founder of Pearl & Thistle.

I have a bachelor's and master's degree in Theology and I'm a former campus minister and parish employee. I'm also a Lay Dominican and a trained fertility and cycle educator with more than a decade of experience.

I got my start in NFP from a pastor taking a chance on me.

I was a new wife and mom and wanted to be trained in NFP after getting kicked out of my doctor's office for refusing birth control. (Unfortunately that's not as uncommon as you'd hope - I'm sure your parishioners have similar stories.)

But, as a young family, I didn't have the money to pay for the training, so I asked my pastor if the parish would sponsor my education in exchange for teaching the method to fellow parishioners.

He said yes, and it's because of his generosity and recognition of NFP's importance that I can now share these resources with you today.

Since then, I've been blessed to speak at parishes and dioceses across the country, as well as be consulted as an expert in the field by a variety of Catholic publications.

All of my programs are rooted in science and Theology of the Body. Plus, they're authentically Catholic. No "people with uteruses" here: we use correct anatomical and gender terms.

Woman with her hair in a bun and navy blue shirt and crucifix necklace smiling at the camera
why trust me?

Hi, I'm Christina, founder of Pearl & Thistle.

I have a bachelor's and master's degree in Theology and I'm a former campus minister and parish employee. I'm also a Lay Dominican and a trained fertility and cycle educator with more than a decade of experience.

I got my start in NFP from a pastor taking a chance on me.

I was a new wife and mom and wanted to be trained in NFP after getting kicked out of my doctor's office for refusing birth control. (Unfortunately that's not as uncommon as you'd hope - I'm sure your parishioners have similar stories.)

But, as a young family, I didn't have the money to pay for the training, so I asked my pastor if the parish would sponsor my education in exchange for teaching the method to fellow parishioners.

He said yes, and it's because of his generosity and recognition of NFP's importance that I can now share these resources with you today.

Since then, I've been blessed to speak at parishes and dioceses across the country, as well as be consulted as an expert in the field by a variety of Catholic publications.

All of my programs are rooted in science and Theology of the Body. Plus, they're authentically Catholic. No "people with uteruses" here: we use correct anatomical and gender terms.

a personal note to parish staff

First, in case no one's said it today, thank you for all you do for the Church! As a former parish employee, I know how bombarded you are with alllll the programs and initiatives you "should" be doing with your parishioners. And I know you keep pushing this off for that one random Friday in the summer when it's quiet.

Let me encourage you, though - if reaching young families is one of your operational or pastoral goals, focusing on NFP is one of the best ways to do it. Because it touches on a lot of topics - infertility, abstinence, health problems, marital communication - that your parishioners are struggling with. (Whether they're married or not - because yes, cycle awareness is beneficial even for teens and single women!)

And because I know first-hand just how busy you are, I've done a bulk of the prep work for you. My programs and resources are "just press play ready," meaning you spend less time getting bogged down in research and more time on pastoral outreach.

I've priced these resources to ensure  they are accessible for all parishes. If you want to provide these resources for your parish but cannot afford it, I would highly encourage you to reach out to some of your key parishioners - maybe even that church lady who has been nagging you about this - to see if they would sponsor these programs for your parish.

- Christina

Explore NFP Resources for Parishes

Know that NFP is important but have zero time to implement yet another program? My NFP parish programs are designed with the busy parish in mind.

NFP FOR MINISTRY LEADERS

Freak out when you get to the fertility section of marriage prep? Not sure how to support couples struggling with the practical, lived implications of family planning? Consider this your crash course in NFP so you can effectively share it with your parishioners and pastorally accompany them.

COMING SOON!

NFP AMBASSADORS

You're a super enthusiastic lay person on fire to share NFP...but have no idea how to bring it to your parish. Do you run an info session? Create a committee? Stand outside weddings with a sign? (Don't do that.) The NFP Ambassador certification will prepare you to advocate for family planning in your church and community.

DONE-FOR-YOU NFP INFO SESSION

You know your parishioners could benefit from learning about Natural Family Planning...but how can you teach them when you don't really know how it works? This done-for-you info session includes a pre-done slide deck and presentation notes so all you have to do is host it. Or even better, just press play and I'll present the session for you.

NFP HANDOUTS

Want a super easy way to share NFP with your parish? Download these handouts to stick in your brochure rack! (And don't worry - they're not your typical church brochures that look like they were created in the 90s.)

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PROMOTING NFP IN YOUR PARISH

Sharing NFP with your parish takes strategy, so you need a plan. Instead of spending hours researching and putting one together, I did it for you! Grab my ultimate guide to promoting NFP in your parish guide and get started supporting your parishioners in a matter of hours.

NFP FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

So no, I don't teach NFP for children. But I DO teach cycle awareness and body literacy, which are the health foundations at the basis of NFP and should be learned long before marriage. And I do it all from a Catholic perspective that honors the goodness of our design and Church teaching. My children and teen programs are wonderful for your Catholic school, religious education program, or youth group.

Speaking and Consulting

Want me to get things started for you?

I'd be happy to come speak with your parish about a variety of NFP, body literacy, and cycle awareness topics. I'm also happy to consult with your parish or diocese as well to provide trainings, assist in implementing NFP programs, and more.

LEARN MORE

Speaking and Consulting

Want me to get things started for you?

I'd be happy to come speak with your parish about a variety of NFP, body literacy, and cycle awareness topics. I'm also happy to consult with your parish or diocese as well to provide trainings, assist in implementing NFP programs, and more.

LEARN MORE