Natural Family Planning
A Program of the NCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities
Diocesan NFP Program-National Profile
In the Fall of 1990, the Diocesan Development Program (DDP) initiated an annual national survey. Diocesan NFP coordinators or contact persons were asked to complete a Profile questionnaire that would:
- Give the DDP a clear understanding of diocesan NFP efforts, by focusing on the unique needs of individual dioceses.
- Enable the DDP to provide the bishops and NFP coordinators with a broad national picture of diocesan NFP program activity.
Overview of the 2000 Profile
In November of 2000, 189 Profile questionnaires were mailed to dioceses. One hundred eighteen or almost two-thirds (62%) of the dioceses completed and returned questionnaires. This represents the largest baseline data on NFP programs throughout the nation, since the Profile began in 1990. As in previous years, the data indicates that certain aspects remain unchanged concerning NFP programs with a slight improvement in a few areas.
- In almost every diocese, there is a person designated as the NFP coordinator. Often this responsibility is only one of many jobs performed by the person, e.g., marriage and family life director. A significant fact is that 82 percent of NFP coordinators are trained in NFP methodology.
- Forty-eight percent of dioceses allocated less than a $5,000 for NFP efforts. Sixty percent of all NFP diocesan programs operate on less than $10,000 per year. Twelve percent of diocesan programs spend from $10,000 to $29,000 annually. Nearly 25 percent of dioceses allocate from $30,000 to more than $70,000 for their NFP programs. Well-funded diocesan NFP programs usually rely on various forms of federal and state grants to supplant diocesan funding. There are some dioceses where NFP instruction is covered by insurance plans. In most dioceses, a typical arrangement is for an NFP program to share the funding, material, and staff support of an umbrella department, e.g., Marriage and Family Life Office.
- The majority of diocesan marriage preparation programs make at least some effort to provide rudimentary NFP information to engaged couples, e.g., booklets and fact-sheets. Through NFP introductory sessions, more than 120,485 individuals received information on NFP. The time given to NFP is not lengthy, in 68 percent of Pre-Cana programs, it is less than one hour. There has been slight improvement in the amount of time given to NFP in marriage preparation programs. A more thorough and substantive inclusion of NFP in educational programs about human sexuality and conjugal love remains a challenging goal, not only for marriage preparation, but on every level of instruction. Sometimes, NFP is barely mentioned in Pre-Cana programs, e.g., literature is simply given to couples without discussion. Only one diocese requires a complete course of instruction in NFP as part of their comprehensive marriage preparation program.
- Across the nation, more than 21,062 individuals received a course of instruction in NFP.
- The Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) and Ovulation Method(OM) are the most preferred methods of NFP. A variety of NFP national, regional and local provider groups are used by dioceses.
- The majority of diocesan NFP teachers, 52 percent, are volunteers. A few dioceses, 27 percent, provide stipends to volunteer teachers to cover personal costs, e.g., transportation, baby sitter, materials, etc.
- From the dioceses surveyed, there is more than 2,200+ NFP teachers across the nation. They represent a huge resource for the teaching of human sexuality within a faith context.
Finally, regardless of the diocese, the single most compelling pastoral question when examining diocesan NFP efforts is "Can couples who wish to be faithful to Church teaching on responsible parenthood get the NFP help they need?" The answer to this baseline question will determine how best to plan and support local diocesan NFP Ministry.
which provided data for the 2000 Profile survey
Diocesan Plan for Natural Family Planning Program Development. Washington, D.C.: Diocesan Development Program for NFP, 1981. (Available from the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities; 202-541-3070.)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry.
Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Publishing and Promotion Services, 2000. (Available from USCCB Publishing; 1-800-235-8722; #5-357.)
*The bishops of NCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities are very grateful to Rev. Robert R. Cannon, M.A., M.Th., J.C.L. of the Diocese of Venice for preparing the 2000 Profile Report.
I. PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
- The (arch)diocesan NFP Program is: (Check one.)
65% Part of the office of Marriage and Family Life
07% A service of one of our Catholic hospital(s)
02% Part of Catholic Charities
09% Its own department
01% No Response
- Does the (arch)diocese have an NFP Advisory Committee?
38% Yes 62% No
- Who is responsible for coordinating NFP Ministry, (e.g., Family Life Director, NFP Coordinator, Respect Life Director, etc.)?
41% Diocesan NFP Coordinator
32% Family Life Director
07% Respect Life Director
02% Director Catholic Charities
02% Its own department
5% No Response
The person responsible for coordinating NFP ministry has held the position for an average of (8) years.
- For this position, NFP work is: (Check one.)
45% One aspect of other responsibilities
08% Full-time, paid
01% Full-time, volunteer
30% Part-time, paid
14% Part-time, volunteer
02% No Response
- Is the NFP coordinator trained in NFP methodology? (Check one.)
82% Yes 14% No 04% No Response
- If the answer to question (5) is "Yes," for which of the following roles was the NFP coordinator trained? (Check all that apply.)
28 No Response
Those who have been teaching have taught for an average of (17) years.
- If you answered question (5), please indicate which school(s) of NFP trained the coordinator: (Check all that apply.)
28 Billings Ovulation Method Association (BOMA)
40 Couple to Couple League (CCL)
23 Creighton Model Ovulation Method Programs (FertilityCareTM Center)
17 Diocesan NFP Teacher Training Program
12 Northwest Family Services
06 Family of the Americas Foundation
24 No Response
- How many NFP teachers are part of the (arch)diocesan program? (Count teaching couples as two.)
Total: 2,243 8 No Response
- Which statement best describes the NFP program policy regarding remuneration of its teachers? (Check one.)
52% Most of our NFP instructors are volunteers. We give them a stipend to cover expenses.
27% Most of our NFP instructors are volunteers. We do not give them a stipend.
12% We pay our NFP instructors (part and/or full time).
08% Salaries/stipends for instructors are provided by other sources (e.g., Catholic Hospital, Knights of Columbus, etc.).
03% No Response
- Which organization trains the (arch)diocesan teachers? (Check all that apply.)
37 Billings Ovulation Method Association (BOMA)
72 Couple to Couple League (CCL)
49 Creighton Model Ovulation Method Programs (FertilityCareTM Center)
28 Diocesan Teacher Training program
10 Family of the Americas Foundation
22 Northwest Family Services
03 Other: Various locally sponsored settings
08 No Response
II. PROGRAM BUDGET
- How much money was spent on (arch)diocesan NFP programing last year? (An estimate should include salaries, stipends, postage, materials, etc.)
28% $1,000 - 4,999
10% $5 - 9,999
12% $10 - 29,999
06% $30 - 49,999
08% $50 - 69,999
07% No Response
- How much (arch)diocesan money was allocated for NFP programing last year?
29% $1,000 - 4,999
11% $5 - 9,999
12% $10 - 29,999
07% $30 - 49,999
05% $50 - 69,999
07% No Response
- Is there a fee for an introductory session? (Check one).
Prices range from a low of $5.00 to a high of $55.00 depending on materials and length of an introductory session(s).
- How much is charged to clients/couples for a course in NFP? (If amounts vary, give average.)
The average charged for a course in NFP is $70.00. The charge varied from a low of $25.00 and to a high of $233.00, depending on materials, length of course, and the number of follow-up services required.
- Is a fee charged for follow-up? (Check one).
27% Yes 58% No 15% No Response
The average charged for a follow-up is $20.00. The amount varied from $0 to $40.00
III. PROGRAM SERVICE
- Which NFP method(s) is currently taught in the (arch)diocesan program? (Check all that apply.)
12 No Response
- How many individuals (couples count as two) in the (arch)diocese received an introductory/promotional talk on NFP during the last twelve months?
More than 120,485 individuals received some information on NFP.
- How many individuals (couples count as two) in the (arch)diocese attended NFP class/instruction during the last twelve months?
More than 21,062 individuals attended a class/instruction on NFP.
- Does the (arch)diocese have guidelines for marriage preparation?
91% Yes 5% No 4% No Response
- If the answer to question (19) was "Yes" is NFP included in the guidelines for marriage preparation?
76% Yes 16% No 8% No Response
- Does the (arch)diocese require an introduction (overview) to NFP for the engaged? (Check one.)
51% Yes 44% No 5% No Response
- Does the (arch)diocese require an NFP course for engaged couples? (Check one.)
02% Yes 93% No 5% No Response
- On average how much time is allowed for NFP education in marriage preparation programs? (Give your best estimate.)
20% 5 minutes - 15 minutes
25% 20 minutes - 30 minutes
23% 35 minutes - 45 minutes
23% 1 hour - 2 hours+
9% No Response