Marriage & Family Life

Theology of the Body – honouring God’s design for married love:

Pope St John Paul II’s Theology of the Body looks deeply at the Genesis stories of the creation of man.  Genesis also describes God’s original plan for marriage, including the loving union of man and woman in which they “become one flesh.”   The Pope sees this as the key to discovering “the meaning of the whole of existence, the meaning of life.”  God built in to our very bodies His call to love as he loves.  That is why we are created male and female and are built to become “one flesh.”  Our bodies reveal the core truth about the human person: we are made to give ourselves in love.  This intimate, loving union of man and woman is a reflection, a visible sign of the invisible mystery of God – the deep union and endless self-giving love within the Trinity – and of the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. As the consecrated bread and wine are converted into the real presence of Jesus Christ in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity and He is inseparable from consecrated bread and wine, likewise, in the sacrament of marriage,  the human love in a certain sense is converted into  divine love.   So, in a real and particular way, the married couple, sanctified by the sacrament of marriage, is “no longer two, but one flesh” and realises what is written in the Holy Scriptures: “God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” [1 John4, 16]Image result for family tree silhouette

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 2373 states that “Sacred Scripture and the Church’s traditional practice see in large families a sign of God’s blessing and the parents’ generosity.Pope St John Paul II, on a visit to the United States, taught in a homily given at the Capital Mall, 7th December, 1979 that to ” favour the total good and development of the married couple, it must be inspired by the Gospel, and thus be open to new life—new life to be given and accepted generously. The couple is also called to create a family atmosphere in which children can be happy, and lead full and worthy human and Christian lives………. Decisions about the number of children and the sacrifices to be made for them must not be taken only with a view to adding to comfort and preserving a peaceful existence. Reflecting upon this matter before God, with the graces drawn from the Sacrament, and guided by the teaching of the Church, parents will remind themselves that it is certainly less serious to deny their children certain comforts or material advantages than to deprive them of the presence of brothers and sisters, who could help them to grow in humanity and to realize the beauty of life at all its ages and in all its variety.”

CCC 2367:  “Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God.154 154 Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9  “Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfil this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility.” GS 50 § 2

John Paul stressed that, “unfortunately, Catholic thought is often misunderstood on this point, as if the Church supported an ideology of fertility at all costs, urging married couples to procreate indiscriminately and without thought for the future. But one need only study the pronouncements of the Magisterium to know that this is not so.” When couples have serious reasons to postpone having children they may do so by abstaining from intercourse periodically by using “Natural Family Planning” or “Fertility Awareness.”

Natural Fertility Regulation – NFP South West

Natural Fertility Regulation or Natural Family Planning (NFP) as it is more commonly called, is the only method of fertility regulation approved by the Catholic Church for when there are serious reasons to avoid conception or to help spouses achieve pregnancy when they have difficulties conceiving. (Contact Christine: or Phone: 07742320717)

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We are a group of fully-accredited teachers across the diocese able to teach and support you wherever you are, either face to face, by phone or through the internet using ‘Fertility Pinpoint.’  We teach the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM). The BOM provides a scientifically verified means of achieving or postponing pregnancy, with trials demonstrating a method failure of less than 1% when the rules are applied diligently.   But NFP has the potential to be more than just a method: it can become a way of life in which couples think seriously each month about whether or not to use their joint fertility to conceive a baby or to refrain from sexual relations if they decide that they have reasons to wait. NFP couples build their marriage relationship with trust and care and experience the ways of true love by giving themselves totally to each other, including those vital components which makes each of us who we are: our complementary sexuality and fertility. Of course, to be commended for their generosity, are those families who decide to rely on Divine Providence and accept the babies that God sends them without using NFP.

Learn more about ‘The Billings Ovulation Method’

Retrouvaille: A Programme for Couples Struggling in their Marriages

Help Your Marriage – Do you feel alone?  Are you frustrated or angry with each other?  Do you argue … or have you just stopped talking to each other?  Does talking about it only make it worse?  Retrouvaille is a programme to support couples who have difficulties in their marriage.  It brings a positive focus, new hope and helps nourish and grow your marriage.  Tens of thousands of couples headed for divorce have successfully saved their marriages by attending and using the tools provided.  The programme helps spouses uncover or re-awaken the love, trust and commitment that originally brought them together.  It helps them through difficult times whether they are disillusioned or in deep misery.  There is no group therapy or group work.  For confidential information about ‘Retrouvaille’ or to register for the next programme commencing with a Virtual weekend on 13 – 16 October 2022 or a Face to Face weekend in Welwyn Garden City on 24 – 26 February 2023, call or text 07887 296983 or 07973 380443 or email – or visit

Retrouvaille weekend 13-16 October 2022 – See details