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Natural Family Planning


With all the misinformation in our media and even in some doctors' offices, it is necessary that we continue to help educate all those preparing for marriage and those in marriages about the beauty and truths found within Natural Family Planning.

The Diocese of Gaylord has men and women that are trained in the following Natural Family Planning Methods:

Ovulation Method (Family of the Americas)
Sympto-Thermal Method (Couple to Couple League)

Other resources:
Creighton Model FertilityCare System
Pope Paul VI Institute

NFP Instructors within the Diocese of Gaylord

Steve and Cathy Czerkes  Boyne Valley Catholic Community, Boyne City, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
Bill and Suzanne Montgomery  Holy Childhood of Jesus, Harbor Springs, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
John and Teresa Tillotson  St. Francis Xavier, Petoskey, Sympto-Thermal Method, Couple to Couple League

Sylvia Cortes-Lopez  Hispanic Ministry, Traverse City, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
Mark and Tina Dunphey  St. Philip Neri, Empire, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
Kris and Rebecca Kranz  Holy Rosary, Cedar, Sympto-Thermal Method, Couple to Couple League
Greg and Elisha Robinson  Holy Rosary, Cedar, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas

Angela Godfrey  St. Augustine, Hillman, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
Karen Karbowski  St. Rose of Lima, Herron, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
Seth and Amy Peters  Alpena Catholic Community, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas

Rod and Cathy Bragg  St. Mary Cathedral, Gaylord, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
Janet Hagedorn  St. Mary Cathedral, Gaylord, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
John and Kathleen Powers  St. Mary Cathedral, Gaylord, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas
Darlene Roper  St. Mary Cathedral, Gaylord, Ovulation Method, Family of the Americas

Contact the Parish listed or the Diocese of Gaylord Family Life Office to reach a local Natural Family Planning Instructor.

Medical Consultants
Dr. Jacqueline Fitzgerald (East Vicariate)
Dr. Lynn Swan (West Vicariate)

Contact the Diocese of Gaylord Family Life Office at  (989) 705-3522 to reach our Medical Consultants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Natural Family Planning?It is a means of learning how to cooperate with your body in its natural functions for the purpose of achieving or avoiding pregnancy.

How does it work?
Women experience physiological changes during their monthly cycle. Natural Family Planning teaches the proper recognition of these changes, which indicate the fertile period. NFP takes advantage of the biological fact that women are infertile more often than fertile during their productive years.

How effective is NFP?
Studies have shown that motivated, well instructed couples can achieve effective rates of ninety-nine percent. This is more effective than many contraceptive pills and devices and there are no side effects to harm the body.

What are the other benefits of NFP?
It may help to identify certain bodily disorders or mood swings. Because it requires a cooperative effort on both partners, it can foster better communication and promote understanding and respect. Also, because NFP cooperatives with normal body functions, it is completely free from potentially harmful chemicals and devices.

Is It Just Semantics?

Contraception or Abortifacient Procedures

Many women appreciated the pill, the shot, the patch, and hormonal interventions because they create lighter periods. This is a result of the thinning of the lining of the uterus. Break-through ovulation occurs when using one of these devices from 30 to 65% of the time. It takes 6 to 9 days on average for the newly formed human to travel from the fallopian tube to the lining of the uterus. Unfortunately, when he or she arrives, the lining is too thin, and there is an early abortion before the woman realizes she is pregnant. The progestin and estrogen actually interfere with the pregnancy by changing the lining of the uterus so that a newly conceived child cannot implant in the womb. She might notice that her period is late or heavier than usual, that there is increased cramping, or some other sign that is different than her usual 3-5 day light flow caused by the hormonal contraception. (However, the IUD acts as an abortifacient most of the time.) The child is flushed out through the uterus and appears as a heavy period. When she learns the truth and then thinks back and prays about it, she might have an intuitive sense that she has lost a child. This new version of the pill that was now supposedly safer for the mom was clearly more dangerous for the babies being conceived.

Another woman's story:

I am very angry that my doctor never explained the true nature of contraception when he prescribed birth control. My periods are like clockwork, and when I was getting the Depo-Provera shot there were three times that my period was late. When I called my doctor's office, concerned about my late periods, the nurse explained that I should not worry and that it was normal. They assured me that I would get my period. Well, I did get my period...after my child starved to death. I found out years later how this type of contraception works, and my heart is just sick. My periods were late because I was pregnant. My period was delayed until the baby had died because it could not attach properly to my uterus to be nourished.

Unfortunately, many women who would never consider a surgical abortion now use low-dose birth control pills that may cause them to abort a new life on an average of once or twice a year. (Information taken from "The Contraception of Grief, The Genesis of Anguish Conceived by Abortifacients and Sterilization" by Theresa Burke, Ph.D)

Advantages of Natural Family Planning

  • Safe medically
  • Since no drugs or chemicals are used, there are no physical side effects.
  • Promote romance
  • Romance is promoted as an essential part of a committed marriage relationship. Abstinence becomes a positive experience.
  • Appreciate reproduction and children
  • Encourages respect for the male and female body. Children are recognized as "gifts".
  • Enhance communication
  • Open communication about times of fertility and infertility encourages open communication in other aspects of life.
  • Develop awareness of normal discharges
  • A valuable guide to gynecological health: knowing when a discharge is not normal, a woman can seek early medical attention.
  • Plan to achieve a pregnancy
  • At least one out of four couples have an infertility concern today.
  • Develop awareness of fertility/infertility
  • During the fertile time a pregnancy can be achieved. During the infertile time pregnancy can be avoided with no need to use chemicals or devices.
  • Exercise responsible parenthood
  • Achieve or avoid a pregnancy taking into consideration your physical, economic, psychological and social conditions.
  • Minimal cost
  • Supplies for each method vary. Charts, and/or a thermometer may be used.

Natural Family Planning is used:

  • for regular cycles
  • for irregular cycles
  • during cycle changes
  • during pre-menopause
  • during nursing and weaning
  • stopping the birth control pill