Written by Mike Manhart, PhD, Board Chair. Originally published in Family Foundations.
In February, we launched PeakDay to our existing CycleProGo accounts. The new app makes the user experience charting fertility significantly easier and more intuitive. By Fall, we completed work on the ‘back end’ so the app is now fully up to date and void of some annoying quirks CPG had due to aging software and unavailable options. In October, we opened access to PeakDay broadly and will be promoting it heavily in 2024.
During this same time period, the staff had completed contacting thousands of parishes and dioceses throughout the country seeking to understand how CCL can serve them better. This effort gave us a clear view of how CCL is perceived and what’s needed to make NFP a more commonly discussed topic.
From these efforts, two major initiatives resulted. First, we launched MyParishnfp.org – a digital resource for clergy and parishes to access products and services related to NFP. Traffic to this clergy-focused website has continued be heavy and it’s helping to spread the word on NFP. An online clergy webinar offered via the site brought over 200 registrants from around the world.
Second, CCL embarked on building a first-class introductory program for NFP that can be used by dioceses, parishes, and community groups to introduce NFP and its benefits to marriage to whomever is interested. This program is Natural Plan. Available in both English and Spanish, Natural Plan’s modular format allows it to be used in several ways – as a stand-alone video presentation for marriage prep, by individuals preparing for marriage, by young adult groups wanting to understand their fertility, etc. Importantly, a parish or diocese can choose to use some of the modules and replace others with local, live presentations if they are so inclined. While Natural Plan discusses all the NFP methods, we expect its use will bring CCL at least its fair share of new students to our classes. Natural Plan is a new offering that our volunteer promoters around the country can start to talk about to interested parties.
CCL has also been showing up at key events where decision makers regarding NFP congregate. Thanks to some timely effort by one of our board members, I was invited to provide an update on NFP to the priests from the Archdiocese for Military Services at their convocation. Since the nearly 200 military chaplains are spread out around the world, the event is held in 4 locations (3 US and 1 European). I presented at the US-based events and spoke to approximately 170 clergy and provided lasting materials for the archdiocesan, clergy only portal accessed by all clergy around the world. CCL staff also attended the annual meeting of National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (CFLA) to promote Natural Plan, CCL classes, and the PeakDay app. Finally, as we have done since 2016, Dr. Richard Fehring and I organized a preconference session focused on the latest science of NFP at the Catholic Medical Association annual education event. The preconference was well attended, and recordings are available to all CMA members after the meetings are held.
I share this information, admittedly, with some measure of pride as a board member, but more importantly to remind us all that as the darkness of our culture’s misguided ideas on marriage, fertility, and now even gender, continue to darken, the light of the Truth of God’s plan for marriage only grows brighter. We were all born to this time for a reason, and I urge you to prayerfully consider how you might help in proclaiming the beauty of God’s plan for marriage in your community. CCL has very good tools to help.