Catholics Do What?, Contraception, Culture of Death, Evangelization, JPII, Marriage, NFP

NFP survey headed to the USCCB (more or less)

May 30, 2017

Sometimes you just need to crack the door and God kicks it the rest of the way open.

It is my distinct pleasure to tell you, dear readers, that your enthusiastic and heart wrenching and cheering and inspiring and sometimes totally depressing responses (in the neighborhood of 500+ emails, comments, Facebook comments) to last week’s NFP survey are being curated into a helpful guideline for discussion for a panel discussion at the upcoming USCCB’s Convocation of Catholic Leaders on the challenges of living the Catholic vision of sex and marriage.

Which is exactly what we’ve been talking about these past few weeks around these parts.

Catholic author and psychologist Dr. Greg Popcak reached out to me last week asking if he could take a selection of these beautiful, difficult, and numerous responses with him to Orlando where he and his wife Lisa will be leading a panel discussion on the very challenges and scenarios we’ve been delving into in the comments section. Best part is, the convocation will be attended by representatives from every diocese in the United States.

So it was for sure the Holy Spirit who nudged this conversation out into the public square, as it is. I felt a little ridiculous asking “what do you need from the Church?” because, ah, I’m not the Church. But clearly, God had something in mind.

I have so many other ideas for what to do with this tidal wave of interest, with this tremendous wealth of feedback and some of the incredible ideas and suggestions. One thing that really crystallized for me in reading so many of your responses is that in so many areas, my very own parish is already implementing a lot of what is being asked for. And so I need look no further for best practices and implementation strategies than next Sunday. The real question is one of scale, of resources, and of how to light fires that burn brightly in parishes all across the US and the globe.

I want to especially thank the couples whose stories were particularly difficult to tell: the children who have left the faith, the failed marriages, the heartbreaking experiences of being denied by the very Church you are valiantly struggling to love.

I am nobody, just a mom with a blog, but on behalf of every Catholic, please accept my sincere and sorrowful apology that you were not seen. That your family was cast aside. That you went searching for the truth and were given rocks or a snake instead of the bread you desperately needed and deserved.

I’m sorry.

I know it’s nothing coming from me, except that I’m a fellow Christian and I wish I’d have been able to cook you a meal or take your kids for the afternoon or read through an Endow study with you in a small group. I wish that the sexual revolution hadn’t decimated an entire two generations, leaving behind a growing body count of ruined marriages and families and the landscape of utter “go it alone-ness” for so many couples.

We have so much work to do. The past couple weeks as I’ve been reading and responding and conducting interviews with many of you, George Weigel’s words have been ringing in my ears, his sweeping prediction on the importance of the Theology of the Body, and the growing realization that he maybe wasn’t being dramatic enough:“{Theology of the Body} is one of the boldest reconfigurations of Catholic theology in centuries…a kind of theological time bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences, sometime in the third millennium of the church.”

Y’all, he said this in 1999. It’s been close to 20 years, and we’re now ankle deep into the third millennium, and I’m like, “let’s make sometime NOW.”

So stay tuned. We’ve got a lot of work to do. And I thank you for your honesty, your transparency, and your faithfulness.

12 Comments

  • Reply Ari May 30, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    That’s awesome news!

  • Reply Julie May 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    First of all, great picture!! Second, YEAH! I love how God works through the faithful! I’m hopeful for what Dr. Popcak can start with this ammunition. And you are so right about our incredible parish–let’s see what fires we can start there! God bless you, Jenny, for starting the conversation!

  • Reply TerriB May 30, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Yay! Way to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, Jenni.

    I am still reading the comments as they continue to trickle in.

    I don’t usually have the time in my day of mothering to think in depth about things. But, I’ve been chewing on this topic and my response for days.

  • Reply Katie McIntyre May 30, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    This is such wonderful news! Especially after I am crying to my husband just this weekend about the burden of NFP, especially in postpartum/nursing phase we are in.

    The newsletters that I get from couple to couple league about it being so wonderful your mirror for your marriage are a load of crap!

  • Reply MK May 31, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Wonderful, Jenny! Glad these stories will reach ears beyond our own. (I too love the photo – how sweet!)

  • Reply Christy May 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Is it too late to add comments on the original blog post about living NFP, what that would look like, or is it all already sent off to the USCCB?

  • Reply Hillary May 31, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    This is awesome, Jen!!

  • Reply Lesley May 31, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    40 years ago when I married my first husband, I wish more than anything in the world we had known about NFP, forced birth control on my part destroyed our marriage I believe – I really wanted to start a family he did not – alas I strayed from the marriage and broke it up. I surely know now better what I should’ve done. I will also confesse that my Catholic faith was not properly formed at that stage of my life either. Thanks for your writing, I enjoy every single blog!

  • Reply Julie Billmeier June 14, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Ah, you are mistaken in one comment in the post. You ARE the Church. We are the Church. The priests, the USCCB, the Pope, they are not the entirety of the Church. We ALL are. Which is why the Holy Spirit can cerntainky use you to ask this question. Well done with this work – it will be so fruitful!

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