JULY 04 2010, Vol60, No13

A couples’ faith journey through Natural Family Planning

Bernadette and Matthew Ang are trainee instructors from the Natural Family Planning (NFP) Service.

“We were engaged before we knew about the Catholic faith. During that time, we started searching for methods of contraception. However, the search was unfulfilling as we found most contraceptive methods put the burden on the women and often harms their bodies. Through a friend’s recommendation, we attended the Marriage Preparation Course and got to know more about NFP.  We listened with an open mind and did not look back since. NFP started our faith journey and brought us closer to God.”

“We found that God has given us a way to manage fertility together as a couple using NFP. Through the identification of the fertility window at each cycle, God speaks to us and helps us discern when we are ready to expand our family. NFP has also strengthened our faith and improved our communication such that family planning becomes our common goal as a couple. NFP is truly God’s gift to our marriage and family.”
The family is usually viewed from the outside, as a union of two persons.  But more often than not, it is a collaboration of two families as well.

Some people are blessed by having a very good relationship with their in-laws, while others can barely tolerate them. No matter what kind of relationship that you may have with your in-laws, there will surely be some kind of conflict after some time. Here are some ideas to help minimise such conflicts.

SINGAPORE – It’s that time of the year again in Singapore: Catholic parents will soon be faced with the question of which school to send their children to.

Some may also wonder why they should consider a Catholic school.

Years ago, there would have been few detractors from the idea of a Catholic child going to a Catholic school; it was almost automatic, Catholic children were sent to Catholic schools without further debate.

Fast forward to the present day and the situation has changed somewhat. Non-Catholic schools have improved by leaps and bounds in academic achievements and facilities. They are convenient and good, so what is the value-add of a Catholic education?
VATICAN CITY – Respect for human dignity and for human rights is an obligatory result of a natural moral law that everyone is capable of knowing and following, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“When natural law and the responsibility it implies are denied, the path toward ethical relativism opens dramatically, both on an individual level as well as on a political level,” leading to the threat of totalitarianism, the pope said Jun 16 at his weekly general audience.

The key to natural law, he said, is recognising the dignity of each person and every human life.

Continuing a series of audience talks about important Church figures from the Middle Ages, Pope Benedict spoke about St. Thomas Aquinas and his teaching on the relationship between faith and reason and on the relationship between grace and natural law.

(From left) Parish priest of St. Teresa, Father Michael Arro; National Addictions Management Service counsellor, Lawrence Tan; and Director of National Council on Problem Gambling, Charlotte Beck.
Photo by Daniel Tay

SINGAPORE – Nine years ago, James (name has been changed) was a software developer in Cebu, Philippines, who, while highly paid, had barely enough to cover for his expenses after providing for his family. So when he wanted to impress his girlfriend, he turned to the casino for some extra cash.

On his first night there, he walked away with 3,000 pesos (S$90) – enough for 90 meals – and was able to treat his girlfriend to a wonderful time. Soon enough though, gambling took over his life, and James retreated from her altogether.

After each major loss, James would feel a ‘need’ to recover his losses that kept him returning to the casino to “take revenge”. Once, he even pawned a gold necklace, a gift from his mother, just to have enough to eat, having lost his money at the casino.