St Monica’s North Parramatta explore natural fertility

By Catherine Bourne, 14 August 2019
Catherine Bourne presents at St Monica's Parish, North Parramatta. Image: Supplied.


On Sunday 4 August, Diocese of Parramatta’s Natural Fertility Services presented a talk on Natural Family Planning (NFP) at St Monica’s Parish, North Parramatta.

I attended the Chinese Chaplaincy Mass at 11:30am, which was followed by lunch with the community. The hymns were beautiful, and I felt so welcomed into this celebration of the Eucharist.

I was praying for my Pentecost moment of being able to understand parish priest Fr Ephraim Lam’s homily but I didn’t quite get there. Thankfully there were some English translations.

Approximately 25 people attended the talk in the early afternoon. Some young couples were in attendance as well as parents of married children, who will be able to pass the information on to their families.

The presentation included:

  • A quiz to see how much we know about fertility, for example “Are men and women fertile all the time?” Do women produce one egg every cycle?”;
  • Factors that effect fertility, with one of them being that fertility especially in women declines rapidly by her mid-30s;
  • A discussion on the most common ways people regulate their fertility;
  • Information about the most common methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP). How they can be used to give a picture of fertility and general health of women, space having children and achieve pregnancy;
  • Examples of how couples chart their fertility and the natural signs they look for;
  • Information on how the Catholic Church supports infertile couples through NaPro Technology; a medical science that both identifies and treats the causes of infertility of both females and males in the hope that the couple will achieve pregnancy naturally; and
  • A Q&A session.

One participant said, “Catherine presented the topic very concisely, and it is not boring as she promised.

“Other than the rationales behind the NFP, and the principles in the different methods, the other information I learnt from her are some real cases she cited which tell me some side health benefits that NFP may bring.

“I shall recommend pre-marriage couples or couples longing for a child, Catholic or not, to know about this.”

Another participant said, “The presentation is very informative and interesting. I would highly recommend this to the young couples, and especially the couples who have the problems of infertility. Thank you so much for the experienced speaker- Catherine.”

I wish to thank Goretti Yeung, who coordinated the afternoon, and Fr Ephraim Lam for their hospitality.

If you missed this presentation and are interested in learning about natural fertility and the services the Diocese of Parramatta can offer you, please come along to our Fertility Awareness evening.

“Managing your Fertility Naturally,” will be presented on Tuesday 20 August at the Diocesan Ministry Centre, Blacktown, from 7pm.

For more information and to register, please contact Catherine on 02 8838 6340, 0400 427 605 or

To book a talk in your Parish or community group, contact Natural Fertility Services.

Catherine Bourne is the Coordinator and Educator, Natural Fertility Services, Diocese of Parramatta.


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