In observance of National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week July 25-31, the Trenton Diocese will host a seven-day online series that will feature speakers addressing various topics related to the NFP movement. USCCB photo
In observance of National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week July 25-31, the Trenton Diocese will host a seven-day online series that will feature speakers addressing various topics related to the NFP movement. USCCB photo
The Diocese of Trenton Department of Evangelization and Family Life will join with U.S. bishops and faithful from around the nation July 25-31 for National Natural Family Planning Awareness Week – this year including a local speaker series.

“To have … To hold … To honor, Natural Family Planning: Supporting God’s gifts of love and life in marriage” is this year’s theme. The educational campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops celebrates God’s vision for marriage and promote the methods of Natural Family Planning.

Peg Hensler, associate director of marriage ministries and NFP for the Diocese, will host “NFP Week Conversations” a seven-day series that be will be posted on the DOT Family Life Facebook page nightly at 7 p.m. beginning on July 25. Each session has been pre-recorded on Zoom and includes different guest hosts. During the week topics such as the modern NFP movement, dealing with infertility and adoption will be discussed. 

“The zoom interviews enabled us to work with speakers who can provide important perspectives on the various NFP topics chosen. We were able to draw from all areas of the Diocese and beyond to interview the best people for each topic,” Hensler said, noting that the recordings of the discussions will be available as a practical resource for parishes and families. The videos will also be made available for parishes and small faith sharing groups with the hope the topics will “spark further learning and discussion at the parish level,” she said.

“Our lineup of speakers and our selection of topics covers the most important aspects of Natural Family Planning from a broad perspective. Including conversations on adoption and infertility will help many married couples and families dealing with these issues,” Hensler added, then said that the guests were selected because of their particular expertise or life experience regarding each of the topics covered in the video series. Each person is speaking on their topic from the Catholic perspective.

An emphasis on mother-daughter relationships relative to family life and natural family planning is also scheduled during NFP awareness week, Hensler pointed out, then elaborated on how “The Plan for Strengthening Marriage,” launched in 2015, calls for age-appropriate NFP-related topics to be introduced into youth ministry and teaching settings.

“This is necessary because NFP concepts are fundamental to God’s beautiful plan for marriage and family,” she said. “Young people must be introduced to these important topics that include developing healthy relationships, healthy self-esteem and a holistic and healthy understanding of human sexuality at the earliest possible age. We have a duty as a Catholic faith community to equip our parents to teach their children these concepts from the Catholic perspective so that our children make the best choices for their future well-being.”

“The Wonder of Eve,” presented by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and hosted by the Diocese, is a free online webinar for mothers and high-school age daughters on July 29.  The virtual presentation aims to help young women understand how some of the choices they make can have an impact on their health and fertility.

Those interested in attending this online event can register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-wonder-of-eve-registration-156129055207.

Hensler will be joined by her own daughter, Marian Hensler Laiks for “The Mother-Daughter Connection – Speaking about the joys and struggles of new parenthood” June 31.

“The Mother-Daughter connection is all about honoring the practice of mothers passing along their wisdom about fertility awareness and appreciation from their own lived experience,” Hensler said. “It’s about equipping moms to answer questions openly and honestly and to keep the lines of communication and trust open throughout the entire process of daughters becoming young woman and extending the process throughout their lives.”