In creating man and woman for each other, God made marriage to be love-giving and life-giving. We call these two purposes or ends of marriage the unitive and the procreative. They are inseparably connected and are ordered to each other. The two purposes cannot be separated “without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2363). For this important vocation, couples need the support of a loving Church community.
Parish Action Ideas:
1. Host instructions in natural family planning methods at your parish. For educational resources, visit the Natural Family Planning homepage http://www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/nfp/index.shtml 2. Build a team of experienced parents to mentor new parents bringing their children for baptism. This team could be trained to teach baptism preparation in the home, rather than in a classroom.
3. Facilitate outreach to new parents, i.e., meals, shopping, print resources, prayer support, pastoral visits. Remember to include new dads as well as new moms.
4. Start a support group for couples experiencing infertility and/or interesting in adoption.