Engaged Encounter meets Natural Fertility

By Catherine Bourne, 26 August 2022
Diocesan Natural Fertility Coordinator Catherine Bourne (back row centre) during her meeting with members of the Catholic Engaged Encounter community. Image: Catholic Engaged Encounter Sydney/Supplied.


The Catholic Engaged Encounter Sydney Community gathered for their annual “Day of Growth” on Sunday 14 August. They invited me to share my expertise on Natural Family Planning and how I go about my ministry helping couples preparing for marriage.

Following a shared meal, I presented on the topic “Fertility Awareness and Family Planning Decisions.”

The room was relaxed and lively with plenty of laughs! The community were well versed about Natural Family Planning but commented on the visual depicting combined fertility; this is a short time each month where pregnancy can take place. For many couples, learning when this window is, helps them to achieve pregnancy! For others, it helps them space their children with certainty.

“We want couples to better understand their gift of fertility and to invite God in when working together to achieve their goal of creating a family together,” they said.

Natural Family Planning is a healthy way to manage fertility. I have coordinated this program for eight years and note that couples at Pre-Marriage courses often comment on their desire to have known more about their fertility before their marriage preparation classes. The Natural Fertility ministry is working on answering this need with a new program for young women. “They will gain knowledge on what their cycles reveal about their reproductive health, learn that their fertility doesn’t need to be suppressed and how to preserve it for their adulthood.”

Catholic Engaged Encounter is an international Christ-centred community of ordinary couples who enjoy married life and are keen that new couples enjoy it to the full too. They deliver marriage preparation courses throughout the year and share with couples their experiences and tools for having a successful marriage; the weekend team being a senior couple (married 10 or more years) and a junior couple (a few years married). They prepare engaged couples to make life decisions, to love and support each other as they grow together.

To find out more about the courses offered by Catholic Engaged Encounter please visit: https://engagedencounter.org.au/

The Diocese of Parramatta runs Pre-Marriage courses throughout the year. To book yours, visit https://parralmf.org.au/marriage/ or call Marisa or Karin on (02) 8838 3460.

Natural Fertility is a ministry of the Mission Enhancement Team (MET- Parramatta). To learn Natural Family Planning, visit https://parralmf.org.au/fertility/ or contact Catherine, Coordinator – Natural Fertility, Diocese of Parramatta, on catherine.bourne@parracatholic.org or 0400 427 605.


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