Deacon Bill Turrentine grew up in a loving but nonreligious family. He became interested in Eastern religions and did not believe in a personal God until he had a conversion experience when he was eighteen. A wise college professor then introduced him to St. Augustine and eventually brought him into the Catholic Church.
As he was approaching baptism, Bill met his wife-to-be, Patricia. Although they went through marriage preparation, they thought that the Church’s teachings about sexuality — and especially against the use of contraception — were vague and impractical suggestions subject to correction by individual conscience. A year after they got married, however, Bill and his wife read Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae and discovered that these challenging teachings could not be legitimately set aside by individual conscience.
They decided that Jesus was speaking to them through his Church, but they were not at all happy about what he was saying. After learning natural family planning, however, they discovered that their marital love deepened. Even though NFP was difficult at first, they knew that they could never go back to contraception.
Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body revealed to them the reasons for the profound change they had experienced, and they discovered that God has a magnificent plan for marriage, which is designed to reflect the love of Jesus for the Church and the love of the Persons of the Trinity. The blessings they received as they came to understand and live the sacrament of marriage more deeply convinced them to share these often-hidden truths with others. As a Teaching Couple for the Couple to Couple League, they have taught NFP in the context of God’s plan for marriage and family life for over three decades.
In 1999, Bill was ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. He serves at St. Sebastian Church in Greenbrae, California. Deacon Bill has been pursuing a second master’s degree, this time at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and is currently serving on the board of the Couple to Couple League.
Married over 35 years, Bill and Patricia have five sons, two daughters-in-law, and eight of the cutest grandchildren in the entire world.