I Need You!


Dear errbody!

This might give away a huge chunk of my Super Secret Illuminati Funded Project, but I have a request of all my wonderful readers:

Would any couples who have converted from a contraceptive lifestyle to the wonderful world of NFP like to share their story? Or single people who use something like the Creighton MODEL for medical purposes? I’m looking for answers to the following questions:

  1. What made you want to switch?
  2. What have been the benefits of making that switch?
  3. Was it worth it?

And anything else you’d like to add. If possible, the stories should be secular. (And all stories can be secular. Following the teaching of the Church is the proper orientation of the entire human person, his relationships, health, emotions, and everything else, not just his religious nature.)

Send your stories to: marcjohnpaul@gmail.com

The benefits of you taking the time to do this are:

  1. I tell you all about my Super Secret Dark Side of the Force Funded Project.
  2. You get to save the world.
  3. We could make a deal. You give me your witness, I post on whatever you ask me to. Hmmmmm?

Please, please, please, please and please,


p.s. If you’re like me, and you’re thinking “lol, sex life, not happening,” but you know anyone who would like to give their witness, share this with them! Shareshareshareshareshare ok imma go now.

By submitting your story you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute your story in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). Also, keep away from pets and small children; avoid contact with eyes, skin, or open flame; keep out of direct sunlight; no purchase necessary; add 50 deg F and 15 min for elevations above 10,000 ft; no shoes, no shirt, no service; some assembly required; batteries not included.

The Difference Between a Martyr and a Victim
The Art of Dying
No, Christianity's Not Eurocentric (But You Kind Of Are)
Bettering Your Boring Christian Playlist: Jenny & Tyler
  • Peter Uhel

    And Marc, when the project is finished, you have to tell me how to convince a future girlfriend to convert to NFP. :-)

    • Marc Barnes

      When the Project is done, you won’t need me to. ( :

      • Guest

        I hope so. I have been unsuccessful in convincing my wife that NFP is the way to go. This has been a point of contention the past couple of years with her being a non Catholic christian and me just really diving into my Catholic faith a couple of years ago.

        • Marc Barnes

          I promise this will help.

        • http://profiles.google.com/allilynnwait Allicia Jensen

          I think non catholics call it FAM, I know there are some people who use it without the religious reasoning. You could look into those for some guidance until Marc is done with his Jedi-Mind-Trickery.

          • guest

            FYI, usually when people are referring to FAM, they are saying the women chart their cycles, but instead of abstaining during fertile times, they use a barrier method.

          • http://caritasestveritas.wordpress.com/ Jessica

            What is the consensus about using FAM as a stepping stone to eventual NFP?

            It can be very tricky getting off ABC when one spouse isn’t Catholic or is skeptical of full on NFP.

            I feel like the barrier times are still a sin, but at least those are discrete episodes, rather than a constant state like with hormonal methods.


          • waywardson

            Choosing FAM over hormonal BC is a MAJOR step in moral development and should be encouraged. The Church recognizes that chastity is a “long and exacting work”. CCC § 2342

            In fact, I think that many Catholic NFP promoters set couples up for failure by expecting too much too soon. Couples have to become confident in the method to be able to use it effectively and that takes a couple of cycles. Demanding complete abstinence in this time is a lot to ask from couples who have JUST given up hormonal BC.

            Catholics should not make the perfect the enemy of the good. Because none of us are perfect. And for some of us, the abstinence is far more of a burden than others.

          • Anon

            I usually say FAM when I’m talking to non-Catholics because they know what it is and seem less afraid of it. I happen to live in a very “crunchy” part of the country so I know a lot of people who are not Catholic and are really practicing NFP without knowing it (calling it FAM; about half opt to abstain so as to avoid barrier methods even if it’s not a moral issue for them).

          • Steve N.

            I would say that Guest needs to grow a pair and start doing some husbanding.

        • Peter Uhel

          If you’re a practicing Catholic who is unsuccessful in convincing his wife to convert to NFP are you in mortal sin?

          Do you have to give up sex life w/ her to be without sin until she agrees?

          Or you just say: what the heck, I tried.

          • Steve N.

            I think forcing her to give up sex WITH YOU might be an excellent motivator for her to be interested in saving her own soul (and having LICIT sex with you to boot).

  • DG

    Do the couples in question need to be professional writers?

    • Marc Barnes

      No, I will work with them to get a smooth flowing story out. I just need the witness.

      • Lisa_marie_peterson

        I sent you an e-mail even though I’m a newbie at NFP. Good luck with the blog!

      • Rachel

        My husband and I are Protestants who converted from the pill to NFP four years ago. We would love to send you our story and will get it all together and email you soon!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1148850395 Margo Basso

    Wish I could help you since I’m dying to know of your Super Secret Dark Side of the Force Funded Project. Alas, I’m a mere 21-year-old college student who has yet to experience marriage. I hope you get some great stories! Are you ever going to reveal your project to us???

    • Marc Barnes

      Very, very soon. Look for it on the news. The Internet is set to be murdered.

      • Natalie

        it will be murdered with much enjoyment.

      • Cal-J

        Murder is a grave matter. :P

        We could probably work something out over a preemptive lethality in self-defense.

  • ladycygnus

    Just couples? What about single person using contraception discovered truth and now loves NFP and charts for medical purposes (not fertility-awareness since…well that’s part of the truth found).

    • Marc Barnes

      Absolutely! I’ll make sure to add that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=33309311 Jen Popiel

    Only those who changed from contraception to NFP, right?

    • Marissa C

      Same question here. We used it from the get go, but I’d be willing to share.

      • Marc Barnes

        Please do! But specifically in reference to why it’s better than the contracepting lifestyle, from a secular point of view.

    • Marc Barnes

      Preferably. But if you’ve always lived the NFP lifestyle and would like to share why that’s awesome, that’d be sweet to.

  • Guest

    When do you need the story by?

    • Marc Barnes


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kate-Harrison/506221740 Kate Harrison

    My parents came into the Church and saved their marriage by coming off the pill and starting to use NFP. I’ve sent them the link, they have an awesome story. I owe my faith to them.

    • Marc Barnes

      Awesome! Thanks so much!

  • Musiciangirl591

    i can’t wait until your super secret Illuminati funded project is done! :P

  • Guest

    How about someone who used NFP to have a child?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=35803000 Fernando Espinoza

    “Following the teaching of the Church is the proper orientation of the entire human person…” I love that.

  • Cjacowski

    This specifically does not apply to me, but I am writing my Master’s Thesis on the different Fertility Awareness Methods and comparing their efficacies and methods (in total there are about 5-6 different methods. I would be glad to share once it is finished (around June 20th)

    • Renee S

      Please share!!

      • Cjacowski

        I will be done with it by the end of june and would be more than happy to share it then!

    • P. cyrs

      I provide my patients at a govt. clinic the page from http://www.fpnotebook.com, a online medical text. it lists the various methods of NFP and provides a 99.6% efficacy for delaying conception, (the Symptothermal method) when used by an educated couple; and a 60% + result for conception (w/i 12 months of use) when used to assist with conception.

  • Anon Y. Mous

    Anonymity? or will names be revealed? I’ve got mine ready to send, but I want to know how exposed we’ll be.

    • Anon

      Yes, I agree.

  • Maria

    Hey Marc!

    This sounds absolutely awesome, and I’m sure what follows is unnecessary, but I wanted to say it just incase…

    Please make sure this project doesn’t make it sound like NFP is a Catholic way to contracept. Please don’t lose sight of what the Church teaches is the PRIMARY purpose of sex within marriage: children. If our culture doesn’t come to realize this truth, then sex and marriage become (or remain, for many) selfish acts, and the opposite of the expression of life-giving love that they ought to be. There is a wrong way to practice NFP, and it won’t magically save a marriage if the root of the problem is not addressed.

    But, like I said, I realize you’re an awesome Catholic who knows his stuff so my comment is probably unnecessary. :) Praying for you and all those involved in this endeavor!

    • Marc Barnes

      Absolutely. Love and life, indispensable to the very nature of sex. Stressing one over the other always ruins it for every one.

      • Maria

        Right, but it is Church teaching that procreation of children is the primary purpose, and unity of the couple is the secondary purpose. Thomas Aquinas:

        “It is clear that offspring is the most essential thing in marriage, secondly fidelity, and thirdly [the] sacrament; even as to man it is more essential to be in nature than to be in grace, although it is more excellent to be in grace” (Summa Theologiae IIIb:49:3).

        I’d also clarify that it’s important that we stress this primary purpose as being essential to a marriage first, because we can’t assume that people will naturally come to understand children as being a purpose of marriage if we stress fidelity above it. They will all too easily fall into viewing NFP as simply a natural (albeit more difficult) way to avoid the procreation of offspring if this essential purpose is not stressed. It’s true that the two cannot be separated, but it is not true that they are equal in order.

        • Francis

          I think maybe we need to separate St. Thomas’ writing from what the Church has decreed in this area – to my knowledge the Church has only ever affirmed the necessity to uphold the unity of the procreative and the unitive. For the purposes of what is happening in this exercise (which I am excited for!) I’d say proclaiming proudly that babies and bonding are the two ends of marriage which can never be separated would more than adequate – and well within Church teaching.

          • http://www.catholicfword.com/ Christine Falk Dalessio

            Francis is correct here. We need to be careful about stressing something which the Church in her wisdom has not.”The matrimonial covenant…is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offpring.”( CCC 1601). Nothing here about stressing an essential primary purpose.
            Secondly, let us be clear that abstinence from sex cannot be equated with insertion of a barrier into the sexual union. Otherwise, you would most likely be reading this post amdist the throes of your marriage bed, and get nothing else done.

          • Ben

            I would be hesitant to say its not been taught that procreation is the primary purpose:

            Pope Pius XI’s Casti Connubii (cited in the CCC) seems to suggest it is from an initially glance at it.

            Just because it is primary obviously does not mean the Church teaches you must try your best to have as many children as possible and order your sex accordingly (otherwise NFP would be bad and it isn’t). However, I think there is AT LEAST good reason to think procreation is taught to be the primary purpose even if the unitive function makes things like IVF immoral.

          • James

            Ben is right. Casti Connubii 54:

            “Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious”

            Not at all to say that NFP is an intrinsically evil act like practicing artificial contraception is. The Church permits those within marriage to use recourse to natural cycles to avoid or achieve pregnancy. However, there must be a serious reason for practicing NFP–simply not wanting kids is not one of them (which I do not think anyone on this forum thinks)

          • Francis

            Perhaps we’re splitting hairs here (and I always get so sad when faithful Catholics who want to live out the Church’s teaching are divided like this while being so far on the same side of an issue such as this!) but to further quote Casti Connubii, “matrimonial faith demands that husband and wife be joined in an especially holy and pure love . . . this mutual molding of husband and wife, this determined effort to perfect each other, can in a very real sense, be said to be the chief reason and purpose of matrimony, provided matrimony be looked at not in the restricted sense as instituted for the proper conception and education of the child, but more widely as the blending of life as a whole and the mutual interchange and sharing thereof.” (24) Humanae Vitae further expounded on this: “This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.The reason is that the fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also rendapable of generating new life—and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman. And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called. (12) if we interpret this all in the “hermeneutic of continuity,” it would seem that the Church is pretty squarely emphasizing the dual ends of marriage. I’m unsure that any of us should be stripping away a duality that it seems the Magesterium has been working pretty hard to solidify,

          • Marcjohnpaul

            I absolutely agree. One part cannot be stressed over the other. Will be posting about it soon.

          • http://www.facebook.com/muldoont Tim Muldoon

            Marc et al: the Church no longer uses the terms “primary” and “secondary” ends of marriage. There was a move away from these terms after Casti Connubii, following the work of personalists like Dietrich von Hildebrand and Herbert Doms. (The former influenced JPII significantly). So the 1983 Code of Canon Law has dropped that language (see the relevant canon 1056 at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P3V.HTM). Yes, you’ll see strong use of “primary” language in Augustine, Aquinas, and magisterial sources prior to the latter half of the twentieth century, but the most current sources of magisterial reflection on marriage avoid using those terms. But stressing the dual “goods” of marriage (not “ends” as was formerly stressed)–procreation and union– is a constant. (Disclosure: wrote my dissertation on sex in Catholic marriage, Duquesne 1998) Pax, and good luck.

          • Jess

            I don’t think that enforcing the fact that there is an order to them necessitates “separating” them

          • Maria

            Compare the Code of Canon Law published in 1917 (Canon 1013) with the Code of Canon Law published in 1983 (Canon 1055).

        • Jennifer

          I think that that is no longer what the church teaches. I believe that they assign equal purpose to marriage between procreation and unity.

        • waywardson

          The Catholic Church teaches that sex in marriage is a positive good.

          “Therefore to wit He said with accuracy of expression, not “they shall be
          one flesh” but joined together “into one flesh” namely, that of the child. What then? When there is no
          child, will they not be two? Nay, for their coming together has this
          effect, it diffuses and commingles the bodies of both. And as one who
          has cast ointment into oil, has made the whole one; so in truth is it
          also here.” – St. John Chrysostom

          “Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage
          the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of
          spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are
          sanctified by the sacrament.” CCC § 2360

          As for serious reasons, the USCCB has an excellent article on that. http://old.usccb.org/prolife/issues/nfp/seriousq.shtml

  • Anna Ahlbin

    Getting. So. Excited. !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brenda Becker

    It has been my experience in the Catholic blogosphere that people who practice NFP make the Ancient Mariner look reticent; you should have no problem finding testimony. When I am found out as a cafeteria Catholic on BC, it usually takes minutes for a pile-on of earnest folks to cyberbuttonhole me with paeans to cervical mucus. I have seen benefits ascribed to its calibration that range from marital bliss to financial serendipity, not to mention An Almost Fanatical Devotion to the Pope (you either get that reference or you don’t); almost makes me sorry I missed it. Anyway, prepare for ob-gyn overshares, me lad. And if you succeed in being the PR guy for NFP to the Masses, your canonization should be imminent…not even our pre-Cana presenters took it seriously. Bless you!

  • Marie

    I will find time to sketch out my story tonight, Marc. Hang on! I’m rooting for you – excited at the chance to help.

  • Erin

    I’m super duper excited for whatever it is!!!

  • Philipacaulfield

    Hi Marc, your blog poast was forwarded to me by a friend and my husband and I discovered the beuty of NFP after we were married, yes we are Catholic! I am keen to know more and will email you my questions. VERY interesting topic you have!

  • Karyn

    Woohoo – just emailed our story to you! Hope it helps.

  • Guest

    I am so pumped to find out what you’ve got up your sleeve and praying for success. As an ‘always’ NFP user, might I add that if your project is going in this direction at all, I think there is room for some sort of witness to the ‘hard’ side of NFP…. Ya know… Those of us with ‘serious’ reasons who make the sacrifice to abstain, all the while lying in bed next to their spouse. I am 100% the NFP cheerleader, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy! Again, many prayers for the success of your project!

    • Lindsay Hayes

      I definitely agree with making sure to show the hard side of NFP and the sacrifices that come hand in hand with the bigger gifts of joy and love that will eventually present themselves. This is especially important because our culture hates to suffer and we don’t always acknowledge that sometimes one must suffer to get to the good stuff. We want the good stuff NOW and if it doesn’t come immediately we tend to think something isn’t working. I would imagine NFP has many people drop out pretty quickly because when starting to practice it it may not be all roses right away. When my husband and I started learning about NFP before marriage the books made it seem all hunky dory and didn’t really allude to the fact that IT IS HARD! Even in my relationship where we were both dedicated to practicing NFP there were still aspects of it that we were not fully aware of and even though one wants to follow a way that is the best way it doesn’t mean your emotions fall in line with what you know to be right. That caused a lot of problems between my husband and I in the beginning. Problems to the point that I felt that it was really going to affect our relationship. But we prayed and kept on keeping on and now months later we are beginning to understand it all more in our hearts. So yes again I agree that there needs to be a witness to the sacrifices and difficulties that come along with NFP but that if one continues to grow in their relationship with God and their spouse with this practice the beauty that shows itself is limitless (even if it takes some time).

    • waywardson

      Often times when NFP is hard, it shows that there are other issues. Relational issues, psychological issues, spiritual issues, etc. And it is good that NFP brings these to the surface.

      And sometimes the issues are health issues.

      NFP is science first and foremost, so if extended abstinence is making NFP difficult, then there may be a real health problem that needs to be addressed.

  • Tara

    Awwww, wish I had a story to share so I could save the world. :/ Oh well, back to watching Avatar: TLA and playing The Legend of Zelda to satisfy my wants….

  • Maree

    Found a great Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/BillingsOvulationMethod being run by the Billings LIFE in Australia with regular and highly informative post (whether you are trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy, or using the Method to safeguard your reproductive health). The posts are made by their Health Promotion Officer (Nicole Arioli, Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma of Nutrition & Dietetics, Bachelor of Arts 1st class honours).

  • Allison Grace

    NFP, or just tossed birth control when we converted?

  • http://girlwhowassaturday.blogspot.com/ TGWWS

    Confirmed, confirmed, confirmed! … though when you took down my last comment, that was sort of a confirmation in itself that I’d guessed rightly …

  • Jared

    “lol, sex life, not happening”

    Maybe next time I can help out

  • Stephen M Tefft

    You cannot talk about fertility awareness and appreciation without at least mentioning Dr. Thomas Hilgers and the Pope Paul VI Institute.
    or http://www.drhilgers.com/
    or http://www.naprotechnology.com/

    • Alexandra

      I feel like it seems pretty obvious that Marc is involved in some project trying to show non-Catholics why using NFP is better. Start talking about the Pope and non-Catholics aren’t going to listen.

      I’m excited to see what Marc’s got going on.

      • musiciangirl591

        not talking about the Pope, its an institute named after Pope Paul VI who wrote humanae vitae

  • Ptyler

    guessing you either half way serious or halfway humorous in your new endeavours

  • Christina

    I emailed you the day you put this post up, but I didn’t get a response. Should I just type out my story and send it to you?