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Evansville, Indiana
April 4, 1997     The Message
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April 4, 1997
 

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Couples praise the benefits of natural family pla By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor God, "May it be done to me according to your word," NFP advocate Maureen Duhn says. Maureen and Jerry Duhn first heard about NFP during their marriage preparation class some 18 years ago. "It waJ at the marriage prep cla,nes that an Ovula- tion Method teacher came to discuss family planning and mutual decision-making," Maureen said. "Our initial motivation was not totally for moral reasons," she contin- ued. "We wanted a method that would work easily and naturally, without chemicals." It didn't take long for their motivation to change, she said. "As we used the method and saw its beauty and bless- ings, we realized how wise our church is! We continue to use the method because it is the right thing to dot" Maureen does not hesitate when she tells others about what NFP has meant for her and her husband. "There were two years when I had cancer and needed treatment," she said. "During those years we needed a method we could trust. We used the Ovulation Method to help us to avoid a pregnancy until my health was restored." The Duhns have returned to southwestern Indiana after sev- eral years of absence. When they left the area, Shawn and Patrick Bender stepped forward as prominent advocates of NFP. The Benders give a talk about NFP at pre-Cana sessions in the Dio- cese of Evansville, and Shawn is an NFP practitioner. The Ben- ders recently authored an article published in the newsletter of St. John the Baptist Church, New- burgh. And they speak from their own experience. As was the case with Butch and Kim Moors, the Benders say they base their convictions on the encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Patrick is quick to insist on the positive, though, that it's not just that Humanae Vitae concluded that artificial contraception is "We have to be open to God's will. He knows what's on the next page of our lives," said Butch Moors of Evansville. His wife, Kim, agrees. Butch and Kim have two chil- dren -- Kelly, 4, and Stephen, 1. "Before we knew about (nat- ural family planning) we thought we had to have a lot of children," said Kim. Now, after having used NFP both to achieve and to avoid pregnancy, Kim says she and her husband have learned otherwise. "We have found that, as in any area of your life that requires discipline, there are real bene- fits," Kim said. "This is just another area." But discipline is not the only quality of importance in NFP. There is trust in each other as a couple and trust in God. Natural family planning "is just another area of our lives where we have a responsibility to turn it over to Christ," Kim said. The Moors began to investi- gate the teachings of the Catholic Church when they started plan- ning for their family -- "when we would have children, and how many," Butch said. "We wanted to be in sync with our Christian belief." They found their initial beliefs to be unfounded, that using NFP "may not translate into having a whole lot of children, but it means always seeking God's guidance in our lives," Kim said. Their doctor introduced them to NFP. He also gave them a copy of the 1968 encyclical of Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae. "That's what changed our hearts," Kim said. Kim and Butch hope that NFP will attract more couples during a week dedicated to raising awareness about it. National Natural Family Planning Week is observed April 6 through 12. And Monday, April 7 is National Natural Family Planning Day, coinciding with the Feast of the Annunciation. That's when the Virgin Mary gave her answer to From southern German dishes to seafood and steaks, dining at the "Schnitz" is wonderful! Authentic decor plus prompt, friendly service make The Schnitzelbank a dining experience you will always remember. 393 3rd Avenue, Hwy. 162 South, Jasper (812) 482.2640 -- Fax: (812) 482-7687 ern is a locally equipped kitchen on wheels for serving 20 to 20.000 guests the freshest, hottest food possible at any location. It is a per- fect choice for wedding receptions, out- ings. business mtings, civic functions and other large gatherings. wrong. Humanae Vitae also called on scientists to develop natural means of planning a fam- ily. They describe the Ovulation Method, Creighton Model, as the scientific result of that challenge. N .............. , ............ : .................... FP is as far , advanced over the Calendar Rhythm Method as the Toyota TI O0 is more advanced than the Ford Model T In their article, the Benders say that NFP is not the same as the "Rhythm Method." They say that NFP is as far advanced over the Calendar Rhythm Method as the Toyota T100 is more advanced than the Ford Model T. The Benders, married since 1991, have three children. They say they have used the Ovula- tion Method to achieve preg- nancy and then to avoid it, and to achieve, avoid, achieve and avoid again. The Benders are emphatic about the method. It is "not nat- ural contraception," they say. They are always open to life. NFP is what you do, not what you avoid doing, the Benders say. In conversation with the Ben- ders, some key statements are repeated. Their focus, in their own lives and in regard to those they teach, is for the spiritual, not the medical. And their methods are chosen, not out of condemnation of other methods, but because of the attrac- tiveness of the Ovulation method. They list 10 advan- tages for couples who use it. 1. It's a true method of family planning, to be used to achieve or avoid a pregnancy. 2. It works. They say its effectiveness in avoid- ing pregnancy is 99.1 percent to 99.7 percent. Its effectiveness in achieving pregnancy among couples of nor- mal fertility is 76 percent, they say, basing their conclusion on statistics published in the Jour- nal of Reproductive Medicine. 3. It's natural. 4. It's safe, with no side effects. 5. It can be used at any stage of a woman's reproductive life. 6. It's inexpensive. 7 It's easy to learn. 8. It's a shared method, not depending on one or the other so use a form of contraception. 9. It broadens the sexual hori- zons of the couple. "Sexuality is more about sharing our souls than sharing our bodies," they say. 10 It is morally right. Doctor Fred Wallisch, a med- ical doctor in the family practice Hospital, faith into He and his been m 19 They began about a yeal married. Fred, m at the time, saidt decision despite, mixed, even tion about ical community. "After some sot decided that it ! wanted to do," "Once we it, we found hoVq, that, yes, it does easy to leap of accept that this is It took them E about a said, NFP fident using Dr. victions and any form tion scribe an learn "fro I NAAS & SONS, INC. 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