“It has been my privilege to be Diocesan Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) Co-ordinator for the past year and a bit,” writes Jess. “It’s a role in which I have been able to blend my medical training and Catholic faith. I will continue to do what I can, wherever we live, to promote Natural Family Planning (NFP).”
Jess moved to the diocese when her husband was posted here by the military. He is now being posted elsewhere, and the family is therefore moving on. Anthonia Braithwaite has taken over as Acting FAM Co-ordinator.
“I have loved accompanying couples living with their fertility at different stages of life,” writes Jess, “telling engaged and married couples about the range of NFP methods and seeing what method would best suit them; helping those with infertility navigate the confusing world of pursuing infertility treatment consistent with Catholic teachings; giving guidance and support in the anxiety of early pregnancy problems. I have also been blessed to give birth to our first child during this time.”
Jess has enjoyed being part of virtual communities in the Marriage and Family Life Commission and with the Diocesan Remote Workers. “Everyone has been so positive and supportive of new ideas and in making them become a reality,” she writes.
During the pandemic face-to-face diocesan marriage preparation was on hold. However, Jess spent the time developing new projects, which she hopes will continue and bear fruit in years to come. She has updated the information about Fertility Awareness and NFP on the diocesan website, which people around the UK are finding a useful resource (see www.rcdea.org.uk/marriage-and-family-life-welcome/fertility-awareness-methods/ ).
It can be hard to find relevant information about NFP in the UK, as most of what comes up on an internet search is American. Masses for couples with miscarriages and infertility were celebrated in October and November by Bishop Alan, and the plan is for these to become annual events. There are also some educational projects in the pipeline.
From now on you can send any enquiries about FAM or NFP to Anthonia Braithwaite on firstname.lastname@example.org You can also request a supply of leaflets about FAM for your parish.
Pictured above is Jessica Beckett and, below, a small group praying the Rosary on Zoom for NFP.