Where are the NFP support groups? Have you ever wondered that?

When we were first married, we needed an NFP support group, but we could hardly find a teacher. Occasionally the Couple to Couple League would send a no frills newsletter where we could see all these people with their glowing natural family planning experiences, but we had the darndest time finding people in the trenches with us. So we went it mostly alone, and it has been a long, lonely struggle.

As best you can, answer your neighbor, and associate with the wise.
With the learned exchange ideas; and let all your conversation be about the law of the Most High. Take the righteous for your table companions; and let your glory be in the fear of God.

–Sirach 9:14-16

Unless we are intentional about building a group of wise friends and mentors, we can feel isolated in our countercultural lifestyle. And with isolation come the feelings of being worn down, lacking friends, and despairing over our vocation.

While it can be challenging to find the support group we need to live a Catholic marriage well, it is possible. We desire to have some older couples to help us understand what “creative abstinence” looks like, how to homeschool with a toddler, or how to pay for college. We also want friends in our state of life who understand us and share our goals and dreams. We want our kids to have the same thing. Most of all, we want a set of reliable human beings we can talk with about the really important issues. Solid, faithful Catholics who we can count on. Often we can get some of this through blogs or Facebook groups, but we also need In Real Life relationships, as do our kids. The answer is building a prayer group.

Fortunately, Mary Ellen Barrett has given perfect instructions on how to get it started. I read this article at Seton Magazine after our family had been in a monthly rosary group for a few years. I loved that her group is so similar to ours and also that the method is exactly this easy so I bookmarked the article to share with people who needed it. Maybe you do.

Tomorrow is our first rosary group in our new home. Completely new friends–a much smaller group than before–will come over after Mass, and we’ll have a potluck lunch and pray the rosary together. And with God’s grace and Our Lady’s guidance, we’ll begin again to build the Catholic support group we need.

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