life, marriage & family

Natural Family Planning


The Office of Life, Marriage & Family promotes Natural Family Planning (NFP) as a highly effective, maritally enriching, spiritually enlightening, emotionally uplifting, sexually fulfilling and moral means of planning one's family.

What is Natural Family Planning? This video, produced by the Diocese of Phoenix, offers an incredible glimpse behind the truth about Natural Family Planning, as seen through the eyes of real couples actually practicing and teaching its beautiful gift within their marriages.

On the teaching of NFP

...every effort must be made to render such knowledge accessible to all married people and also to young adults before marriage, through clear, timely and serious instruction and education given by married couples, doctors and experts. Knowledge must then lead to education in self control: hence the absolute necessity for the virtue of chastity and for permanent education in it. In the Christian view, chastity by no means signifies rejection of human sexuality or lack of esteem for it: rather it signifies spiritual energy capable of defending love from the perils of selfishness and aggressiveness, and able to advance it towards its full realization." (Familiaris consortio, 33)      Helping 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

Natural Family Planning

NFP is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman's cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. 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)*

Find a NFP teacher

There are many people throughout the Diocese of Winona-Rochester who are certified as NFP instructors. Use this directory to find one near you and to find a listing of online courses! In the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, three types of NFP are promoted:

*"Used with permission from the NFP Program, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved."

Natural Family Planning Program
Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life & Youth

3211 4th Street NE
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 5(202) 541-3040