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Celebrating ‘Generations of Love’

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

July 18, 2018

Fifty years ago, Pope Paul VI (now Blessed Paul VI), wrote a document called Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life). It was issued amid the social turmoil of the nineteen sixties. The culture and questions described in Humanae Vitae, though written a half century ago, remain fresh and relevant. You might think it was written only yesterday.

The Holy Father reiterated the Church’s fundamental teaching about the beauty of marriage in the face of much societal rejection. Many considered it old-fashioned and out dated, yet his words have become truly prophetic. The Pope expounded on our Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. His message is one of love and hope for the confusing world in which we live.

Every year, the Church participates in a national educational campaign that focuses our attention on Natural Family Planning methods. The dates of the NFP Awareness Week (July 22-28) coincide with the anniversary of the papal document. This year’s theme is “Generations of Love” Humanae Vitae (1968-2018) Celebrate God’s Gift of Married Love!

NFP is about giving oneself freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully to another person in marriage. To make oneself totally vulnerable, to sacrifice for the love of another is the heroism of the marital vocation. We need the witness of such unselfish love. All of us, married and single, need to accompany and support our parents, those who are single parents, often heroic in their love, and those who struggle in their marriage. The vision of Humanae Vitae can sustain them. We are grateful to the many couples who live its message, whose lives say “YES” to that sacrificial love which is open to life.

NFP ministry in the Diocese of Ogdensburg exists today because of the faith, courage, perseverance, and sacrifice of our NFP leaders. We are blessed to have Suzanne and Angelo Pietropaoli serve as our diocesan directors of Natural Family Planning. I invite you to visit our NFP office at our diocesan website: www.rcdony.org to learn more about this important element of the Church’s teaching on marriage. Please contact them at the NFP office at 518-483-0459 or at apietropaoli@rcdony.org for more information about this important ministry that helps us live and celebrate God’s gift of married love!

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